First Call: Good-Lookin' Joe at The Watering Hole

The Watering Hole: Endolyne Joe's, 9261 45th Ave. S.W., 937-5637. WEST SEATTLE The Atmosphere: A few of the trees along Fauntleroy Way in West Seattle are turning a brilliant shade of red. There's a slight nip in the air that never quite goes away, even with highs in the 60s. You could put on a sweater and snuggle under a blanket on the couch at home. But why would you when your friends and neighbors are all warming themselves from the inside out at Endolyne Joe's, a member of the Chow Foods empire just up from the Fauntleroy ferry terminal? "Hi!" shriek two regulars as a waiter comes bursting out the front door to greet them. Hugs are distributed, then everyone heads inside and bellies up to the bar. At happy hour the tables are empty, but the stools are full of people who gossip and munch on the house onion rings with their thick, fried-chicken-esque breading. The Barkeep: Keeping this Cheers-like scene lubricated is Adrien Lexington. He arrived from Austin, Texas, a decade ago. Perhaps it's his Southwestern roots that enable Lexington to pull off the requisite bolo tie worn by most of the staff at Joe's. His was made, he explains, by a friend in Taos, New Mexico, a place where such things are worn without irony. The Drink: "I was sick of drinking Maker's Manhattans," says Lexington, who pours the golden liquid from a Maker's bottle into a martini shaker—seemingly contradicting his words. "I wanted something like a Manhattan, but for fall." To that end, he dreamed up the Rusty Revolver. He shakes a blend of bourbon, whiskey, a dash of bitters, and a splash of Tia Maria; pours it into a cocktail glass; and adds an orange twist. The Verdict: The drink certainly looks like autumn, with its red and orange hues. It also tastes like it—a touch sweet and very smooth, unlike the bright citrus concoctions that dominate summer drink lists.

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