1022 South: Tacoma's Hidden Jewel

We ventured to Tacoma to sample libations from a praise-worthy bar.

The New York Times recently named 1022 South (1022 South J St.; 253.627.8588; 1022south.com) in Tacoma’s Hilltop district “home to some of the most fascinating apothecary cocktail work on the West Coast.” Given such praise, we ventured outside our usual Bar Hop range to explore the 2-year-old space, which is co-owned by Chris Keil and Neil Harris, and boasts house-made mixers and an extensive collection of infused liqueurs.

THE VIBE: Tucked inside an unassuming corner building, this cozy sliver of a
space is minimally decorated with candles, exposed light bulbs, scattered books and a long black banquette. A dark wood bar sits in front of a high wall of shelves housing bottles of booze and all manner of mysterious tinctures, and an arty, casual crowd shares tables and conversation.

THE FOOD:
Gourmet snacks are minimal but tasty, including the delicately crispy chèvre crostini, heaped with Blue Rose goat cheese, drizzled with balsamic reduction and sprinkled with Yakima applewood smoked salt ($5). A charcuterie plate ($10), salads ($3–$8) and a variety of panini ($8) are also available.

THE DRINKS: Don’t order a well drink; half the fun is watching the mad-scientist bartenders measure and mix house-made infusions. Clear your sinuses with a ginger-heavy Drunken Boat (black strap rum, ginger liqueur, house-made ginger beer and flamed angostura bitters; $8) or try the Lavender Cocktail (vodka, lavender, coconut and lemon; $8). Feeling picky? Let the barkeep customize something to your taste with the Apothecary Cup (price depends on concoction).