Do you know what no one has ever discussed before online? Gentrification. In particular, people have certainly not written about gentrification taking place in major coastal cities. I'm such a trailblazer.
This is an awkward topic for me to write about, as I'm part of the problem. People like me are flooding into the city to find work, grabbing tiny, expensive studio apartments from towers that loom ominously over the remains of older, demolished buildings, and buying expensive novelty cocktails on Friday nights. A large amount of displacement accompanies this, with many residents being priced out of the market. To the extent that an entire city can have a "culture," that is going to change as well, likely becoming blander and more homogenized as Big Chipotle spreads its tendrils through the streets.
Is this necessarily a bad thing? I suppose that depends on who you ask. Local government officials certainly enjoy to having more taxable income to work with. To the extent that cities become safer and cleaner as they become richer (assuming there's a correlation there), that's pleasant. And hey, having a higher pool of decent-paying jobs to draw from is wonderful. There are clear winners and losers involved here, though, and there's a lot more that could be done to reduce the sort of damage that's caused by this process.
All of this is a roundabout way of contextualizing my trip to The Redwood. Just minutes after I sat down and introduced myself to a Meetup group, the event's host mentioned that the bar was already scheduled to close its doors, making way for another giant apartment complex on Capitol Hill. Yikes! Knowing this added some urgency to the mission of taking in the rustic ambiance and some cheap drinks.
Categorized as a "Dive Bar" on Yelp and as a "hipster dive bar for people in flannel" in the actual Yelp reviews, The Redwood's casual vibe and spacious interior seems great for groups. There are plenty of beers, a handful of simple mixed drinks, and a lot of solid, greasy bar food. Everything has a vaguely woodsy feeling to it, including random antlers hanging from the ceiling and sort-of Christmas lights adorning the shelves. Nothing remarkable, but a nice change of pace from all of the $12+ cocktail bars with tables that can barely seat two people and please god those EDM remixes of top 40 songs are terrible why are you playing them stop it hurts.
In the end, I'm ambivalent about this place's impending demise. It's possible that I would change my tune if I were being priced out of Seattle. But that will never happen! Hopefully.