Regardless if your team at work is one big happy family, or a little more dysfunctional, you’ll probably end up drinking with them at some point. And when you do, it’s important to pick an exciting place that has a variety of cocktails, beer, or wine to sip on, and good snacks in case you only had three almonds and some cold brew all day between meetings.
From taprooms to rowdier bars where even your manager will knock back a shot of Fireball, these are the best bars to drink with your team.
Gold Bar is the best bar in the neighborhood. There are comfortable sofas and a disco ball, and the music is at the perfect volume so you can still party but won’t have to scream just to have a conversation. The drinks are excellent and range from a rotating alcoholic slushie to a bourbon cocktail with lemon and wildflower honey. If everyone’s hungry, get an order of the incredible popcorn chicken. The only downside is that there isn’t a ton of space, so limit your email invitations to around six people or less.
Picture a classic Oktoberfest celebration, but with the intensity turned down a few notches - that’s Feierabend. Pile into one of the long biergarten-style tables, share some boots of pilsner, and get some soft pretzels, brats, or the excellent fried pickle chips with spicy remoulade. When you’re finished half-heartedly mingling with people you already spend 50 hours a week with, invite your friends to join you and continue partying.
If you accidentally typed “Dranks!” to your boss instead of “Thanks!” in a 5pm email, it’s time for some tequila. Bring your coworkers to El Grito, where you can hang out during Happy Hour for rounds of margarita slushies and then get a full dinner of delicious tacos, enchiladas, and guacamole. Even if you all just sit around in silence while shooting mezcal, it’s hard not to have fun here.
If you work in the 400 Fairview building, you’re fortunate to have a wine bar on the first floor. They change what they serve every month to match the seasons - you might find a bunch of wines in cans or sparkling wines during the holiday season. Since the rest of the working population is riding a cramped elevator up to M Bar, it never gets too busy in here - you can set yourselves up at the bar and pretty much own the place. And the glasses of wine are $4 during Happy Hour, which makes it the cheapest deal in the neighborhood.
If you want to watch the game but still socialize with your team, Local’s the spot. There’s a good mix of big round booths and high-top tables to crowd around and they have everything from pints of beer to whiskey and guava lemonades. If you’re looking to snack on something, get their yam fries.
Brave Horse Tavern is a high-end sports bar with upscale pub food, hand shuffleboard, and boozy jello shots. If it’s your job to organize the team holiday party, you should plan it here - you get your own personal bar, a handshuffleboard table, some arcade games, and enough brick oven pretzels to feed the Fremont Oktoberfest.
If you’ve been too busy to go grocery shopping but still want to bond with your coworkers, suggest Spike And Steam Bar for Happy Hour. This bar inside the SLU Whole Foods is just a counter with some tables right near the cash registers. They don’t serve food, but it’s literally inside a supermarket, so just grab a bag of chips, some samosas from the hot bar, a pint of ice cream, or even an entire head of raw organic purple cauliflower to snack on while you drink.
Picture a Dave & Busters, only the drinks are better, every game is free to play, and no children are running around sword-fighting with chicken fingers. This is Art Marble 21. They have skee-ball, ping pong, air hockey, that basketball game that’s impossible to win, and a few arcade-style racing games. Sure, your arch-nemesis at work might have gotten a promotion instead of you, but if you beat them at table tennis, it’s a nice feeling to go into the weekend with.
If your boss popped into your office at 4:15pm and asked you to plan a last-minute Happy Hour, pull Sam’s Tavern out of your pocket. The place has a ton of giant round booths, a sports game on TV, a bunch of good beer, cocktails, and one of the best burgers in town. When it’s nice out, there’s a big patio where you can hang out and get some fresh air after staring at a screen all day.
Flatstick Pub, a mini-golf bar, is practically designed for after-work functions - the mini golf costs $8 to play, the space is massive, and there are 32 different beers on tap. While the pub snacks here like mozzarella sticks and onion rings are just fine, you’ll want to spend your company’s budget on their tasty brick oven pizza instead. Just make sure you don’t accidentally clock your colleague in the face with a putter.
There are more types of beer at Teku Tavern, a bar near the Space Needle, than there are health insurance plan premiums. They have a bunch of beers on draft, but there are also two different rows of fridges with single cans and bottles. Spread out at a few tables and try a weird fruit-on-the-bottom beer brewed with banana and yogurt or a General Tso’s-flavored ale. Then, break out some board games and get a few snacks like crackers, cheese, and Tim’s Chips.
When the clock strikes 5pm during the summer in SLU, there’s a stampede of people in polos going to 400 Fairview’s elevator up to M Bar. Everyone wants to be on this roof, looking out at the lake, sitting on a swing, and drinking something refreshing. You can even do that when it’s winter and the outdoor space is covered and heated. Things get tricky if you try to walk in with a lot of your thirsty coworkers, but there’s always a bunch of reservations available online. This also gives you an excuse to procrastinate on the internet by securing a patio table instead of watching cat videos.
Thomas Street Warehouse is only applicable to this guide if you know things are going to get wild. So if you’re looking to party hard with people who won’t mind seeing you tomorrow at your desk hungover, come here. Most of the cocktails are awful, and it’ll take a long time to identify and get the attention of any bartender. But this place is fun to make fun of - you can get tipsy on syrupy-but-acceptable sangria, laugh at the bad music, and stare at the collection of bras hanging from the ceiling and the wall art of Peanuts comic strip characters saying, “B*tch better have my money.”