Bit House Saloon

Bit House is a bit like a circus for bar people. Seemingly everything is happening at once at the cavernous former Eastbank Saloon—cocktails served in bottles with straws, liquid nitro cocktails, house-blended sherry, house single barrels of just about every whiskey on the menu, taptails, slushies, a punch of the day, High Life ponies as whiskey backs, dear Lord. From bar manager Jesse Card to Chauncey Roach (formerly of Ración), the bar staff is some of the most lauded in town, and the place is host to seemingly every industry party. The floor at the old-time-themed space, though you only know it if they tell you, is made of old whiskey barrels. The crowd, meanwhile, is like a shotgun blasted into a census report—bar service pros, French tourists, old dudes, suburbanites, posh youth, you name it. There are loudmouths with prominent watches who swig a sincerely wonderful $11 Hennessy-and-gin drink and pronounce it, perplexingly, "a pedestrian old-fashioned," and women in faux fur who drink a less successful $9 Hennessy slushie and love it. I literally never know what to expect in here, but there's always something new, and the eavesdropping at the back fire pit is some of my favorite in town.

Happy hour: 3-7 pm daily. Food specials, $5 punch, $6 select cocktails and wines, $1 off non-Rainier beer, food specials.

727 SE Grand Ave., 503-729-9929, 3 pm-2:30 am daily.