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Originally published July 10, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified July 10, 2008 at 3:38 AM

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Georgetown: there's more here than just beer

A look at an evolving block of Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Microhoods | A look at changing neighborhoods, a block at a time.

This blue-collar and artist enclave is evolving with more boutiques, fancy restaurants and retail stores — yeah, the same Georgetown that a decade ago no business would touch, with planes and trains whizzing by and all the run-down properties.

But artists and musicians always loved the bohemian vibe. Georgetown boasts one of the city's best art scenes, one that keeps getting better as artists get priced out of South Lake Union and Capitol Hill and relocate here. The art walk, on the second Saturday of every month, will continue now that business leaders just secured funding.

The 'hood that housed the iconic Rainier Brewery, once the world's sixth-largest, remains all about beer (if the rows of saloons and bars didn't clue you in). Head south and throw down some cold ones. Just don't get the artists riled up with talk of ... don't say it ... gentrification.

1. Smarty Pants, 6017 Airport Way S. Locals chow on "Frito pies" and other pub grub but only so they can drink more later in the night. Now offering brunch.

2. 9lb Hammer, 6009 Airport Way S. Favorite neighborhood dive bar with disco ball. Free peanuts, free use of pool table. Comfy couch, too. We might never leave.

3. Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery/Georgetown Records, 1201 S. Vale St. Shared space between a hip vinyl store and one of the best comic-book stores in the Northwest. Proof you can enjoy this block without imbibing.

4. All City Coffee, 1205 S. Vale St. Daytime neighborhood hangout, draws musicians recovering from their hangover from the night before.

5. Mix, 6004 12th Ave S., Suite 17. Some locals cried that this art gallery/bar (until recently called Christoff Gallery) reeks of Belltown chic, out of character with its beer-guzzling, working-class roots. I don't care. "Bartender. I'll have a gin martini."

6. Buttonmakers.net / Bolte Creative, 6012 12th Ave. S. Shared space between a commercial button-making business and a photo studio. Those "Obama '08" buttons around Seattle were made with the machines here.

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or tvinh@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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