Saturday afternoons are my preferred hours for haunting Georgetown. Usually, the streets are fairly desolate, few of the boutique businesses are open, and you can shake hands with local punk-rock hangers-on Larry Reid and Lance Mercer as they chill in front of the Fantagraphics and Georgetown Records stores (their respective employers). In other words, it comes closest to feeling the way it might have when Jules Maes Saloon was Rainier's corporate bar. But change is heavy in the Georgetown air. The looming brick wall of the Rainier Cold Storage Building will soon be demolished, and the artists are slowly being priced out. Jules Maes, however, remains pioneer-stubborn. Sure, it hosts rock shows (which new booker Kwab Copeland will no doubt beef up) and serves some fancier beers. But the walls are still covered with dusty political posters from the '70s and vintage beer bottles, and there is the same wood floor plenty of flannel-clad factory workers once walked. All around it on Airport Way, themed bars are sprouting up. But Jules Maes, having changed little since 1888, doesn't need a theme to pack them in. It's exactly what every new bar down there is aspiring to be: the real deal.
5919 Airport Way S., 957-7766, www.myspace.com/julesmaessaloon.