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One of the city's best-kept secrets that's hiding in plain sight, this sophisticated, working-class watering hole has retained its personality (peanuts on the floor, darts on the wall) and familial ambiance (Starbucks execs bellied up alongside construction workers) amongst mass-market neighbors like Safeco Field and Showbox Sodo. It could be the most crowded, insufferable shouting match in town. Instead it's pleasantly tight, and joyously raucous when it should be.
Like the name suggests, Hooverville keeps it simple: free peanuts, shells on the floor, cheap beer, and friendly bartenders. In fact, the bartenders are so friendly that you actually feel like you're somewhere else (sorry, rest of Seattle), or maybe in a simpler era. Named after a shantytown that occupied this neighborhood, and many others around the country, during the Great Depression, Hooverville is open every day from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. and boasts both pinball and darts. The bar doesn't have a set happy hour because, in the words of one bartender, "It's always happy here." I'll say. You can get pints of Pabst or Rainier all day long for $2.50. Simple cocktails are always $4.75. The well liquor, by the way, is decent: Jose Cuervo tequila, Bacardi rum, and Jim Beam whiskey. And they just started serving pizzas, 11-inch pepperoni-and-sausage, Hawaiian, or four-cheese pies that serve two for just $10. Now that's good times.—Aimee Curl
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