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2017 Best of Olympia: The Brotherhood Lounge

Readers' Pick: Best Happy Hour: Best Place To Meet Someone: Best First Date Place

Check out Airbound Underground, a local aerialist troupe, the first Wednesday of every other month at The Brotherhood Lounge. Photo courtesy The Brotherhood Lounge

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Lots of places could technically be in the running for the "best place to meet someone". Prisons, public transportation, a dark alley - these are all places where you're likely to meet someone, just not necessarily someone you'd like to meet. Even designated social hotspots like nightclubs and bars have their fair share of potential new acquaintances who you just don't want to get acquainted with. If that's been your experience, you've been going to the wrong bar.

Upon entering Olympia's Brotherhood Lounge, it was obvious I was at the right bar. The Brotherhood offers a swanky lounge-style atmosphere with unique decorative touches sure to appeal to a wide demographic. Asiatic lanterns highlight an impressive collection of old movie posters from the international market, including gigantic canvas one sheets from Indonesia. Each of the luxurious black leather booths frames a vintage one-sheet promoting the German release of either a classic Bruce Lee or Planet of the Apes film. The front of the bar showcases a collection of Matador paintings and other Hispanic and Latin American artwork as well as a collection of John and Bobby Kennedy memorabilia in addition to an original billboard-sized JFK presidential campaign poster above the bar.

"It has a good vibe," said Elizabeth Lord, who's tended bar at the Brotherhood Lounge for the last 14 years. "People always have conversations with other people they haven't met before. College students, artists, laborers, state workers, lawyers, doctors - there's just a lot of diversity here."

With such a diverse clientele, The Brotherhood offers equally diverse entertainment. In addition to traditional tavern fare like the pinball machines, pool table or the free jukebox, the tavern also features an antique shuffleboard. The bar's photo booth, (some of the fruits of which can be seen on the bar's website and are entertaining in their own right), gives patrons the chance to commemorate the good times they have.

Every Sunday, the bar screens a movie, and their film collection is just as varied as their clientele: last week's film was the David Lynch classic Blue Velvet; this week's film is 2016's Captain Fantastic.

The last Sunday of each month follows the movie with a live DJ spinning equally eclectic mixes into the wee hours.

And speaking of spinning...

Starting next month, The Brotherhood Takes Flight returns for its bimonthly exhibition. The first Wednesday of every other month, aerialists from local troupe Airbound Underground gather at the Brotherhood for a performance that includes trapeze work, acrobatics and other circus arts.  Other bars throw you out for swinging from the rafters; this bar put it on the calendar.

It's not all fun and games, though, the Brotherhood Lounge also maintains an active presence in its community, with happy hour proceeds and special event covers going to support local charities and philanthropic organizations such as Planned Parenthood and SafeSpace.

The tavern also maintains an on-site donation bin for socks, hats and other warm winter clothing for the less fortunate.

"It's just a really happy bar," Lord said.

The Brotherhood Lounge, 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily, 119 Capital Way N., cash only, 360.352.4153,

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