Friday, September 24, 2010

Bar #15: Virginia Inn - Downtown

I said I wasn't going to write up places that are more restaurant than bar, but that idea's gone out the window. From now on, I'm just going to report on every establishment that'll serve me. Recently, I visited Virginia Inn, a place that's definitely more dining spot than drinking destination. Located a block away from Pike Place Market in the area where downtown meets Belltown, the Virginia has cocktails, wine and ten or so beers on tap.

The bar area is a small percentage of the room, with table seating taking up most of the space. There are also several small outdoor tables, which tourists covet when the weather's nice. Most of the beer selections are local, which is good since it forces the tourists to drink something that isn't advertised on television. I had a couple Boundary Bay IPAs and they tasted fine.

I visited during happy hour and, oddly, there were no discounts on drinks—only on food. To encourage both eating and drinking, they offer half-price small plates if you order a beverage. For $4, I had a hummus plate that was a decent snack. They also had plates with smoked salmon, deviled eggs and pâté.

Even though I work downtown, I don't see Virginia Inn becoming a regular drinking spot. There's nothing about the bar that stands out and during the good weather months it's lousy with tourists. For me, it'll only be an occasional option for a few pints and a snack during happy hour.

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