In 2004, The Seattle Public Library opened their spacey new building on Fourth Avenue in downtown, designed by architect Rem Koolhaas, featuring one of the most innovative things to happen to books since the Dewey Decimal System—The Books Spiral. The Books Spiral is like a parking garage for books, a four-tier ramp allowing contiguous access to the 1.5 million nonfiction books in their catalog. It’s damn impressive.
Walking into Purple Café, just a few blocks from the library, you’re met with the same kind of man-made wonder, the Wine Tower. This monolithic structure rising through two stories of vertical space, ribboned with a spiral staircase, is stocked up with countless bottles of wine, making your eyes widen as you step into the café like you’ve just stumbled upon the Holy Grail while window shopping. You immediately wish you could make like Jack and go beanstalking for treasure.
By Doug Haugen
Walking up the sidewalk toward Poco Wine Room on Capitol Hill, you approach a clean if unassuming storefront among others along the strip. But, stepping inside Poco, you feel like you’re about to share a bottle with Frank Lloyd Wright. Postmodern interior architecture combining metal and wood in clean aesthetic strokes provides an amalgam of swank and hominess—enough of one to get you take your coat off and stay awhile, and enough of the other to keep you from taking off your shoes and putting your feet up on the table.
Artemis Café & Bar
757 Belleuve AVE E
Seattle, WA 98102
By Doug Haugen
It was a year before I knew Artemis existed in my neighborhood. When I found out from the recommendation of a friend (who lives nowhere near the place), I took a short walk to find it. Artemis set up camp on an end of Bellevue Avenue that no one has any reason to go to unless they live there or can’t find parking near Broadway. Until now.
North City Bistro & Wine Shop
1520 NE 177th ST
Shoreline, WA 98155
By Tara Dezao
The façade of the North City Bistro and Wine Shop looks like a throwback to a retro dinner, but don’t be fooled. Once inside, you are transported to a cozy cellar with handmade marble counter tops, wood fixtures and hand-stained floors. North City Bistro is a wine shop featuring over 600 wine selections by day. At night, the second half of the venue opens into a bistro where Chef Justine Palmer whips up a menu of Mediterranean-infused small plates and full entrées.
Wine 101: The Gathering Place
11601 Harbour Pointe Blvd, #101
Mukilteo, WA 98275
By Tara Dezao
I consider myself a tried-and-true city dweller. Sometimes I dread leaving Queen Anne, let alone Seattle itself. When I found out I had to travel to Mukilteo in order to review the fledgling “Wine 101 – The Gathering Place” wine shop, I cringed a little at the prospect of trekking “all the way” to one of the many notoriously hard-to-pronounce Seattle suburbs. Once I arrived at Wine 101, I realized what a great decision it was to leave my concrete jungle. A mere thirty minutes outside of Seattle, Wine 101 is on Harbor Pointe Blvd, in a relatively quiet neighborhood. It is a small shop with a good selection of wine, adjacent to one of only three decks with outdoor seating that Mukilteo has to offer restaurant patrons.