A friend at the Seattle Times forwarded me a piece in The Atlantic Cities about the importance of bars in developing a complete, sustainable neighborhood. As someone who lives in the changing neighborhood of Beacon Hill, most of what they discuss really rings true.
What does this have to do with sustainability? Well, quite a bit, in my opinion. The more complete our neighborhoods, the less we have to travel to seek out goods, services and amenities. The less we have to travel, the more we can reduce emissions. People enjoy hanging out in bars and, especially if they are within walking distance of homes, we can also reduce the very serious risks that can accompany drinking and driving.
Quite a few Seattle neighborhoods are complete in regards to bars, with more places to walk to than residents know what to do with. Some of you might take that for granted. But, here in Beacon Hill the options have been quite limited, especially for places with a decent beer selection. There is the tiny bar at Baja Bistro and the new bar at El Quetzal. While we love sitting at the bar at the fantastic Bar del Corso for dinner (we did last night), it isn’t a great place to linger longer than the time of your meal. But, the neighborhood will soon be getting two new establishments that fit the lingering bar model with a solid beer selection. As far as I know, The Oak is still in the works from the owners of Capitol Hill’s The Redwood and Tippe and Drague is moving nearer to completion every day it seems. I can already see myself taking the light rail on the way home, hopping off for a couple beers at one of those establishments, and then heading home.
Like I said, many of you probably take this for granted. But, I’m really looking forward to having a neighborhood option to grab beers. Not that I really need to drink more, but it sure will be nice not to have to leave the neighborhood if I don’t want to. We already have two great coffee shops in the neighborhood (Victrola and The Station) that are popular hangouts as well as a handful of restaurants that are loved by the community. Now I’m excited to have a place I can linger with good beer.
Check out the full article if you have the chance.