Ten years ago, 12th Avenue in Seattle was a street, but not a neighborhood, and it certainly wouldn't be described as a cocktail mecca. How far it's come: today, the 12th Avenue Corridor is a drinking destination, lined with bars any cocktail fan should know about.
A decade ago, it was the street no neighborhood wanted, sandwiched between Capitol Hill to the north, the Central District to the south and east, and First Hill to the west. When the restaurant Lark first opened in 2003, drawing discerning diners south of Madison, nobody would admit this could be part of Capitol Hill. To allow the waiting masses a place to stand, the restaurant opened a partner cocktail bar, Licorous—and thus began the tradition of excellent drinking in what would soon become known as the 12th Avenue Corridor. Nearly a decade later, Licorous handed its legacy to Jamie Boudreau's newcomer bar, Canon, putting the finishing flourish on a street that now has drinking options to suit every mood (and time of day.)
Today it seems inconceivable that a neighborhood so easily annexable by bar-hub Capitol Hill and flanked by Seattle University could ever have lacked for drinking options. Where should you drink when you come to 12th Avenue? Check out the slideshow for our guide to 5 essential stops on your next cocktail crawl—and what to drink at each spot.
About the author: Naomi Bishop is a Seattle based food writer and marketer. Find more of her musings on her food blog, TheGastroGnome, where she claims that being a GastroGnome is not about sitting idly on the front lawn of culinary cottages. You can also follow her explorations of cooking and culture around the world at @GastroGnome.