First Call: Goldfish Racing & Shotskis

Fremont's Woodsky's is no friend to PETA.

The Watering Hole: Woodsky's, 303 N. 36th St., 547-9662, FREMONT The Atmosphere: At the former location of Sinners & Saints, Woodsky's carries a snow-sports theme. But rather than reeking of a ski instructor's dorm room, it feels clean, welcoming, and versatile—one of the few places in Fremont where you can chill out and have a beer without experiencing a total shit-show. The decor is simple, straightforward, and unobtrusive (unlike the directionless clutter of its predecessor), and the layout feels relaxing and open. As at a ski lodge, both athletes and bystanders can participate with equal enthusiasm. Despite its younger vibe, on a weeknight I'd feel comfortable bringing my parents here. That said, it's not as if Woodsky's doesn't have the potential to turn goofy. It brings out your inner adolescent with a pop-punk soundtrack, then gets it drunk with specialty-cocktail and shot menus (printed on snowboards) that feature drinks like the Gummy Bear and the Windex. Also available for reckless imbibing is the staple of the slopes, the Shotski. This is basically what it sounds like: four shots, embedded into a ski, so you and your three best friends can take them in unison. Daily specials often include dollar PBR or $2 Jell-O shots. Most of the snow gear that accents the walls was donated by patrons, with the exception of the occasional brewery swag (a Deschutes sled, a Red Hook snowboard). On Tuesday nights, they have goldfish races, where for a $5 entry fee you pick one of their goldfish, name it, and race it against other goldfish, tournament-style. The Barkeep: Greg Woodman was one of the four owners of Sinners & Saints. After the other three went their own way, he grabbed his friend Schuyler ("Sky," hence Woodsky's) and started Woodsky's in its stead. Sinners & Saints, he says, wasn't his vision, which became more apparent when they started booking DJs. Woodsky's "has more of a chill vibe" than Sinners and Saints had, he says. "We're not a dance club . . . I want a place that I would go and hang out." As such, Woodsky's has taken the form of a living-room extension. "The bar is shaped by the people who come in here," says Greg. "I always want to be just adding stuff and make it fun." In addition to his commitment to the people of Fremont (Greg is a longtime resident, and "wouldn't want to be anywhere else"), Greg says Woodsky's is educating nonresidents by "battling the notion that Fremont ends at Nectar." Therefore he loves having his bar just outside Fremont's main drag. The Drink: Greg has been on two big kicks lately: Bridgeport Kingpin Ale and Eagle Creek Bourbon. They're a match made in heaven, sweet and caramely with a complex, full texture. The bourbon essentially was a concentrated version of the beer. They both pack a pretty big wallop, and I was very glad that I didn't have to drive home. The Verdict: Even though the cocktail menu offers mostly sweet libations (another example would be the Grape Kamikaze), the combination of the bourbon and brew fit the bar well.

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