North of downtown, bordered by Denny, the waterfront, and Stewart Street, Belltown Seattle is full of trendy and tasteful restaurants, funky shops, pool halls and music venues. The terrain is flat and the area is fairly easy to navigate, making this an easy place to explore any kind of bar Seattle has to offer, from the chic pool hall at Belltown Billiards to the Capitol Hall.
Most of the action and most happening spots for Seattle nightlife are on First and Second Avenue close to downtown, where a Saturday night at a hip restaurant like Brasa draws an interesting crowd. Its four-star Mediterranean cuisine is presented in a plush, warmly lit atmosphere. Its bar and popular happy hour are known as one of the most elegant areas around the bar Seattle has in any of its restaurants. Belltown offers a sophisticated, laid-back alternative to the rowdy Pioneer Square neighborhood, which is another center of Seattle nightlife for this area, and is where the raucous young students from the University District come to play.
The early part of the 1980s saw a rise in the construction of office space in Belltown Seattle. High rises and the ubiquitous Belltown Condo have brought well-to-do residents to the neighborhood, which is home to trendy restaurants, and many chic new venues, clubs and bar Seattle has to cater to the residents and visitors to Belltown. From Thursday to Sunday, the bars and restaurants in Belltown are full of people of all ages out to have a good time. Seattle nightlife in Belltown is a mix of locals, residents, and tourists exploring the nearby Space Needle and Seattle Center.
Belltown Seattle has been undergoing a transformation since the 1990s, which continues today. Highrises and Belltown Condo complexes continue to be built, and projects like the Olympic Sculpture Park all make this a lively place to visit in ever-changing Seattle.
This may seem like an extension of downtown Seattle, but the mix of old brick apartment buildings from the 30s and 40s and the newer Belltown Condos add a neighborhood feel to this part of the city. Also, there are a few interesting spots in Belltown under the concrete sculpture lit up in psychedelic splendor. This is at Western Street, at Bell, under the viaduct ramp from I-99. As you are coming up Western going to Venom"s or a similarly hip Seattle club.
There are lots of all night dining options for inebriated and hungry partiers after closing time at a Seattle club. While some might find the 5 Point Café at Denny and 5th to be loud and smoky, the tattooed waitresses, noisy rock music, and purple and black décor make you feel like you've just went a different Seattle club. At places like the Bada Lounge, you can have a drink as well as some tasty appetizers, and stave off the late night munchies. Across from the 5 Point café, which has been cheating drunks and tourist since 1929 as it so proudly boasts, is a statue which is at the center of a charming little square on the borders of Belltown. This is Chief Seattle, whose bronze, life-size figure stands on a tall platform, at the center of a fountain adorned by bear heads that spout water into a large circular pool below. He has one arm raised in a greeting gesture symbolic of his welcome to the first settlers, who arrived in 1851 at Alki Point. In 1912 Chief Seattle's Great, Great-granddaughter unveiled the statue, which has graced this square in Belltown Seattle since that time.
Image: Jeff Croft (flickr)