Buddha Belltown

I celebrated my 23rd birthday by getting plastered, flailing about to Billy Idol, and then dumping my boyfriend of two years via text message. I woke up the next morning hungover, single, and thoroughly ashamed of myself. But that unpleasant experience hasn’t deterred me from frequenting the bar where it all happened: Buddha Belltown. A Thai restaurant by day, it closes the kitchen and transforms itself into a full-blown ’80s themed dance party every Saturday night. It’s one of the few places in the neighborhood that comes off as both trendy and approachable with its leather sofas, gurgling fountains, and lingering aroma of greasy noodles. The happy hour (10 p.m.-midnight) features $3 Jäger shots and $4.50 martinis and cosmopolitans. And if you have one too many and start sending text missiles to loved ones—it’s not just me, right?!—you can take comfort in the Buddha statue near the entrance, smilingly reminding you that near it’s never too late to improve your karma. ERIKA HOBART

Saturdays, noon-2 a.m., 2009

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