Dating is a wonderful way to meet new people and possibly find someone to split rent with you. But sometimes you date someone for a couple of months, then wake up one morning and realize that life would be better if you were dating someone else. Or dating no one. If that’s how you’re feeling, it’s probably time to break up with this person (in the nicest way possible, of course).
We’ll be honest - you should probably host this breakup in your home. But maybe you lost your keys or don’t own enough chairs, and if that’s the case, try a bar. You’ll need one that isn’t weirdly quiet, doesn’t feel too depressing, and isn’t full of people who might recognize you. Pick one of these spots, then start brainstorming how to tell someone that you’ll be sharing your Seahawks season tickets with someone else.
The name of this bar is a blatant foreshadow of what’s to come. This cocktail bar on Capitol Hill has reasonably-priced drinks and there’s plenty of places to sit - if you want, pick somewhere in the back where nobody will notice your new ex weeping. If it’s all a bit too much for them to handle, the least you could do is order them some Korean fried chicken from Bok A Bok next door.
Nothing says “this romance has run out of HP” like a bar full of arcade machines. Grab a booth at Add-A-Ball and rip off the band-aid over some cheap tallboys of Rainier. People are so busy playing games that nobody will notice if you get a drink thrown in your face. Before you break the news, you might want to play a few rounds of Time Crisis 2 or multiplayer Pac Man - you’re not going to have a player two by your side for a while.
The murals and pink fluorescent lighting in Neon Boots feel like some kind of Las Vegas-esque dream sequence. You can use the aesthetic to explain how similar your relationship is to a mirage in the desert. Let them ponder that alone while they sip on a black pepper margarita and eat a sausage hoagie. There’s also a colorful back patio in case either of you needs some fresh air.
You’re about to hit this person with some devastating information. Break the bad news at Radiator Whiskey over some brown liquor and crispy tater tots covered in gravy. This cocktail bar in Pike Place Market should be full of tourists, but it’s weirdly never too crazy. Plus, the bartenders don’t hover over you after every sip, so you can have your conversation in relative peace.
Baker’s is busier than your ex is about to be - they’ve got a lot of stuff to pack up from your place like their toothbrush and box set of Grey’s Anatomy DVDs. This spot in Sunset Hill is a chill space with great drinks and loud music, which makes it perfect for a serious talk that won’t be interrupted by someone shaking a cocktail mixer. The small plates like cured meats, cheeses, and vegetables won’t leave you trapped in a full dinner once the conversation begins either.
While New Luck Toy would work well as a first date spot, it’s also a great place to end things forever. It’s dark, busy but not too crowded, and they serve some tasty alcoholic slushies with flavors like a prickly pear margarita and Singapore sling. Order a frozen drink just in case you need to fake a brain freeze if you can’t think of anything to say. Even though things could get awkward, you should share some excellent Chinese snacks like spare ribs with a sticky five-spice sauce and shrimp dumplings in chili oil.
Your significant other is kind of fun, pretty nice, and at the end of the day, a little boring. Or in a nutshell, just like Dandylion. This place is where you can drink some good wine and explain why this person has been relieved of their duties as your partner. Also, the lemon ice cream with black salt here is great, in case your ex would like to sob into a bowl.
At El Sirenito, there’s plenty of darkness to hide your face, the tequila flows like water, and the tortilla chips are crunchy enough to drown out the cries of “but, I love you.” Plus, the seafood-focused menu of tacos here is just OK, so you won’t feel bad about not coming back if you’re too embarrassed to return.
In the event of a fire, flood, or reluctantly going to a Dave Matthews Band concert, it’s important to have an exit strategy. Breaking up with someone is no different. Cure is a moody wine bar that only serves snacks, so you won’t have to commit to a full meal. Plus, it’s right near the Cap Hill light rail stop, so if things get ugly after some merlot and charcuterie, you can make it to the station in no time. After it’s all over, your ex might hop in a karaoke room next door at Rock Box and cue up “All By Myself.”
Essex is a dimly-lit spot to keep in mind for a breakup. You can discuss as adults why things aren’t working without having to get a clear view of your ex’s crying. Plus, a few of their refreshing cocktails are on tap if you need a drink quickly after it’s all over.
If you can’t break up with someone at your apartment, you could at least do it somewhere that looks and feels homey. The Nook is a cozy West Seattle bar complete with sofas, a fireplace, and fantastic cocktails ranging from a rye drink with creme de violette and egg white to a smokey mule topped with rosemary and torched marshmallows. If you’re too ashamed to say “this relationship is toast,” say it with a burnt garnish.