Olympia Pizza and Spaghetti House III on Capitol Hill upped its street cred in January by adding an inviting bar next door. In the space that once housed Sonic Boom Records, The Bar (516 15th Ave. E; 206.329.4500; olympiapizza3.com) brings an old-school, relaxed flavor to bustling 15th Street.
The saloon radiates charm and boasts a historic carved-wood bar laced with intricate curls (it once graced Pioneer Square’s J&M Café). Cozy, leather-backed alcoves lit with antique lanterns are perfect for knee bumping under the tables. The busy staff is warm and professional, and the clientele is a laid-back mix of nine-to-fivers and trendy couples.
Olympia’s full menu is offered in The Bar, including pizza—made with a crust that lies between Chicago deep-dish and foldable New York pie. It doesn’t come by the slice, but the 8-incher ($7.50) is perfect for a solo endeavor. Hungry meat lovers should dig into the house special ($13.75–$24), topped with pepperoni, Canadian bacon, Italian sausage, salami, mushrooms, olives and green peppers.
No curveballs here. Gin lovers can get a Negroni ($8), or order a Last Word, with Boodles gin, Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur and lemon ($8). Locavores can enjoy Northwest microbrews (including Manny’s) and wines from Columbia Crest.
The single unisex lavatory’s sole, mysterious decoration is a black filing cabinet, but the high-ceilinged, bare space is clean.
Originally published in August 2010