First Call: Nice Move, Red Door

A novel relocation strategy pays off.

The Watering Hole: The Red Door, 3401 Evanston Ave. N., FREMONT. The Atmosphere: Almost a decade ago, this historic tavern with its landmark red door operated down the street before Suzie Burke, the building's owner, received an offer she couldn't refuse. Forced off the block by a PCC and some garish condos, the Red Door moved its entire building, added some new construction, and hoped for the best. With an iconic Rainier "R" acting as a beacon out front, it seems the locals have readjusted to the more spacious digs while the comfortable atmosphere remains. Inside, the bar's cabin-like feel could inspire anyone to order a hot toddy while they enjoy multiple perspectives on the "center of the universe." The Barkeep: Matt Coombs, a New York native who decided to move to Seattle after college with a bunch of his cronies and didn't look back. A natural historian, Coombs can tell stories about Seattle politicians showing up at his bar, and even where the old "R" sat rusting some years back before it was resurrected. The Drink: Solstice Prosecco Spritz. A fan of what he calls "classic cocktails," Coombs shakes up the deep orange-colored drink that consists of Aperol Italian liqueur, rhubarb bitters, fresh grapefruit juice, and sparkling prosecco. The Verdict: A nice play on a French 75, with the rhubarb bitters adding an extra kick to each sip. Sweetened naturally by the grapefruit juice, the drink includes no artificial syrups to make your mouth go dry. While it may not be the drink of choice for some locals who'd rather sip an imperial pint, no one will judge you for going the fruity route. In fact, you might be able to convince them to tackle change one more time.

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