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Day drinking in Tacoma

How I learned to stop worrying and pass out with my shoes on

Step outside onto the Unicorn Sports Bar's deck for a blast of sunshine. Photo credit: Drake Birnbaum

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Over the past week, without quite intending to do so, I spent perhaps too much time researching this article on day drinking. In short, my results: day drinking is like walking the sloppiest of tightropes, and it takes a deft hand and more than a little bit of intestinal fortitude to come out the other side unscathed. Now that the days are getting longer and everyone in the Pacific Northwest collectively lose their minds, day drinking is becoming more and more of a reality.

As near as I can surmise, there are two categories of day drinking: fun-loving times with friends, blissfully wiling away the days on sunny patios with refreshing libations; and furtively huddling into a dimly lit bar, not talking to anyone and really getting some hard thinking done. I won't tell you which of these activities I've participated in more, but I will tell you that, as I write this, it's well into the nighttime, and I'm enjoying some whiskey, comforted by the knowledge that I'll likely not be passing out fully clothed tonight.

>>> The Home Plate Tavern is a good spot to drink alone. Photo credit: Drake Birnbaum

Hiding Out

All right, I lied. Mostly, my day drinking mostly consists of finding a dark bar where I sit for hours before being blinded by the ever-persistent sunlight (seriously, will it ever go away?) upon leaving. But it doesn't have to be sad! I swear! Kind of.

Anyway, there's a couple ways to go about doing this. If you're serious about thinking your deep, troubling thoughts, without interruption, may I suggest the Home Plate Tavern? If you're into sidling up the bar and ignoring the sports television, while boisterous blue collar folk play darts in the background, the Home Plate has you covered. Bonus points for having a beer garden in the back, complete with shabby patio chairs and a tent, to keep that awful sun from touching your skin.

Fun! Summer!

Ditto goes for the Unicorn Sports Bar, over in Ruston. No tent, but the view of the Ruston waterfront is great for mulling over your fourth afternoon drink. Over on South Tacoma Way, the Lucky Silver is conveniently located in the same building as Marcia's Silver Spoon Cafe, so if you get there early enough, you can get a massive omelette to soak up your midday booze.

If you're a fancy pants, and you want to go to a place with a little class to spend your afternoon, the Crown Bar is a dark and wood-lined place to imbibe nicer drinks than my standard beer and a shot. Tacoma Cabana is a cavernous hub of absurd Hawaiian fair.

Enjoying the Sunshine

Enjoying some fun in the sun with friends is a little outside of my wheelhouse - as every third Buzzfeed article will tell you, I'm an introvert - but I do have some soft spots for places around town that celebrate the nicer qualities of getting drunk in the daytime.

Hilltop Kitchen has been in recreating the quality craft cocktails of the 1022 Lounge, while also retaining what made the defunct Tempest Lounge so great. The back patio has been preserved, providing a great place to commiserate with friends while enjoying some elaborate, tincture-involved beverage of some sort, you Monopoly guy, you. For people seeking something with less frills, the Rock the Dock Pub & Grill offers everything that those dives previously mentioned do, but with a breathtaking patio that sits right on the dock of the Puget Sound. Special points go to the odd warehouse that houses the parking lot, in addition to a makeshift Old West town of storefronts that are ripe for drunken exploring.

Regardless of where you choose to spend your drunken summer days, what you really want to do is remember to eat before you drink. Other than that, should you fall asleep fully clothed at 10 p.m., consider it a gentle reminder that sun and liquor will always have dominion over you. Take this information and feel free to roll the dice.

Home Plate Tavern, 1042 S. Sprague Ave., Tacoma

Unicorn Sports Bar, 5302 N. 49th St., Ruston

Lucky Silver Tavern, 2605 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma

Crown Bar, 2705 Sixth Ave., Tacoma

Tacoma Cabana, 728 Pacific Ave., Tacoma

Rock the Dock Pub & Grill, 535 Dock St., Tacoma

Hilltop Kitchen, 913 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma

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