There are many good bars in Seattle—spots that pour the perfect cocktail, or the tastiest craft beer or serve up the most scrumptious happy hour snacks. But when you really want to belly right up to the bar and settle in close to the bartender (and I can’t think of anything better), it’s good to know which bars have the coziest seats. This seems a somewhat personal question —as individual posteriors are, well, individual— but I’ve asked some local bar and lounge lovers to try and get a handle on some top bar stools. If you disagree, or have another suggestion, please put it in the comments. I’m always looking for a good bar stool to sit upon.
1. Rob Roy: The stools at this revered and celebrated bar are perhaps my favorite. The seats are just soft enough, but not too soft (my healthy rear doesn’t need too much extra padding), tall enough on the back but not so tall as to feel confining, a little scruffy around the feet so you don’t have to worry about kicking anything, and the stools swirl from side to side – quite fun after the, oh, third cocktail. Plus: a rail on which to rest your feet. Right: Seat model Alex Snell demonstrates the stools at the Rob Roy.
2. The Brooklyn: This downtown favorite is better known for its steak and seafood menus. But it has bar stools that are big and plush with wide backs— comfy but not overwhelming. The stools are a favorite of the cocktailing Jackie Micucci. “[They] look like they could be part of a fancy private library,” she says. Take a book next time you go and test the theory.
3. RN 74: I know lots of folks who like cocktails and bars, but few have their finger on the pulse of it all like the out-on-the-town Elizabeth Liu. And while she, like me, enjoys the Rob Roy for lounge seating, and likes the Butterfly Room for its coziness, she thinks RN 74 is the handsomest bar in town, with gorgeous décor and lighting and elegant bar stools that swirl. The stools also have encircling lower bars to hook your feet into, which is kind of fun.
4. Shorty’s Trophy Room: While you might think of Shorty’s as a standing-centric bar due to its place as Seattle’s top pinball palace, the Trophy Room, its back houses some of the most luxurious bar stools in town (as well as some fine drinks). They’re tall-ish, two-toned, swivel and well cushioned. It’s a bit like being on the Presidential model of Barcalounger if you could get it on a pole, in a bar. Vinum Spirits director Andrew Bohrer says they are the “best seats in town.”
5. 13 Coins: An old favorite for many, this venerable 24-hour eatery and lounge features massive bar chairs that are large and leather, thick with padding, feature built-in arm slots and stretch up high enough to hide many heads. They swivel, too, providing tons of intimate moments with the person next to you (only if you know them, of course). Bubbly bon vivant Leslie Pierson says, “You can basically create a private booth with the person next to you.”
A final note: When I asked one pal, cocktail connoisseur and good eats aficionado Rebecca Staffel, which stool was her favorite, she didn’t pick one, but rather sent out a plea to all bar owners: “You know what I hate? When the bar doesn't have little purse hooks underneath.” So, let’s start a purse hook revolution, people! And for her husband, the charming, hat-wearing Eric Berg, let’s also start a hat-rack revolution!