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Originally published Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 7:01 PM

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Happy Hour: Slip into Knee High Stocking Co. for a speak-easy-style experience

No bar revels in playing the speak-easy role more than Knee High Stocking Co. Tucked away on Capitol Hill, it's got hostesses in ragtime get-up, Prohibition-era drinks and lots of comfort food to ponder during happy hour.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Happy hour |

No bar revels in playing the speak-easy role more than Knee High Stocking Co.

Even after first-timers find the bar — brown door under a single light bulb — they aren't quite sure. The hostess, in ragtime get-up, won't acknowledge you have come to the right place, until you acknowledge that you know you have come to the right place.

For all the role-playing and little period details down to the arm garters, Knee High uses a more modern hook to get this party started: happy hour.

The bar now offers an hour of discounted food and two hours of discounted drinks. The cocktail menu gravitates more toward dry and bitter rather than candy sweet.

Order a classic. The Sidecar maybe, without sugar on the rim, because that's the way it was done in the old days. Or go more obscure, circa 1900, via the St. Louis Country Club, with the Horse Thief Cocktail — some gin, bitters, sweet vermouth and a little absinthe. A little goes a long way.

Best days to go? Sundays and Mondays, when talented barman Jamie Boudreau holds court. Let Boudreau pick a drink for you. Or order the Alabazam, a lost classic making the rounds since Boudreau reintroduced it to cocktail geeks.

The food? It's secondary but good enough to fortify you for a couple rounds of cocktails. A trendy lamb slider (juicy) and lots of comfort food to ponder — a meaty chicken potpie; mashed potatoes topped with smoked cheddar and broccoli; a "Mac & 4 Cheese."

Feels like you're eating at your aunt's kitchen table in Macon, Ga. But resist visions of a sweetened iced tea. This is a speak-easy-style joint. Boudreau is in the house.

Knee High Stocking Co, 1356 E. Olive Way (Capitol Hill), offers happy hour Mondays-Fridays with $3.75-$6 food specials from 6-7 p.m. and $3-$4 drink specials from 6-8 p.m. (206-979-7049, text messages only; www.kneehighstocking.com).

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

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