A famous poet once said, love hurts, love scars, love wounds. But while drinking may sometimes not turn out great either, drinking alone at a bar on Valentine's Day can be pretty superb.
If you're less into mushy expressions thinly veiling the importance of your thick wallet, and instead want to make your drinking hours count, Eater has some recommendations for you. Meet a handsome stranger, hide from an ex, or cry without being disturbed, all with a drink in hand at one of these 10 choice watering holes.
Ballard Smoke Shop: As someone who has been on more than one date at the Smoke Shop, I can say with authority that there is nothing romantic at all about the Smoke Shop. There is something romantic, however, about ordering a drink that is taller and stronger than the bastard who dumped you. Though it's probably just as cheap.
Damn the Weather: There's something about Pioneer Square these days that feels like anyone could walk in at any given time: whether that's your ex on a date or your next mistake. The drinks are strong enough to blur that line, and you can literally eat your heart out (well, figuratively) by ordering their savagely good beef heart tartare.
Single Shot: With the word single in the name, it sounds like it's practically made for you, unlike that hand-knit sweater you found her making for another man when you came home a day early from your work trip. But what makes it especially nice for singles is its out of the way location in the middle of a neighborhood. Just wear a hoodie and people will think you're grabbing a drink between laundry loads.
Stoneburner: The anchor at the bottom of the Ballard Hotel is a great place to drink every night (or day), but is an especially intriguing pick for Valentine's Day. Besides their overwhelmingly attractive staff, there's also a fair amount of talking to strangers that happens here—well, a lot for a Seattle bar, anyway. And if things go well, you might just make your way upstairs with that handsome stranger making eyes at you from across the bar.
13 Coins: The most appealing thing about this 24-hour diner is how easy it is to shield your tear-streaked face in a tall-backed leather barstool. The cushy seats allow you to swivel away from your mistakes and are sizable enough that you can tuck a box of Kleenex behind you for when memories surge—or just hide the extra cheeseburger you ordered before remembering you're
dying dining alone.
White Horse Trading Co.: A couple years ago, a bartender told a friend of mine to put her phone number inside one of the many used books tucked along the walls. An awesome guy found it and texted her and they met up and fell in love. So, if you've seen Serendipity a few times more than is healthy (anything more than once, for the record), or you just want to sit at a bar with a book (they're for sale) instead of another human (hopefully not for sale), this is the bar for you.
Vito's: Walking a fine line between classy throwback and seedy underbelly, Vito's teeters on the edge of the Hill, in its own little world. It seems like the kind of place where a fellow in a sharp brim might just meet a dame in a pencil skirt and legs for days who could teach him a thing or two about love. Plus, with its dim, dim lighting, it's dark enough that no one can see your tears.
Add-a-Ball: The worst date I've ever been on was at Add-a-Ball, when a guy who went to video game school took my quarters, criticized my Ms. Pac-Man skill, and then made a snarky comment about "finally pulling my weight" on a dual killing game. Solo, I could've played twice as many games of pinball and not been shamed for taking shots of blue drink at the makeshift bar.
Polar Bar at The Arctic Hotel: Pretending you're not from around here often leads to some pretty good times. With Polar Bar's elegant marble bar, cushy stools, and absinthe served right, who knows what will happen. If that involves a sleepover, you'll have plenty of room for a change of clothes in the suitcase you're entitled to wheel around without suspicion.
Club Hollywood Casino: Drinks are usually pretty inexpensive up there at the ol' Club Hollywood on Aurora. Plus, there's endless entertainment to be had at the gaming tables and it's a safe bet that you'll never be the most depressing person in a casino.