the south lake union of today has undergone expansive redevelopment to transform it from the days of yore. before the well-paved roads, amazon.com monoliths, and “riding the slut“, the slu was merely a run-down void in between downtown and fremont. now thanks to paul allen, oodles of stylish businesses now grace the corridors of westlake, from designer baby outfitters to aspiring burger barons to electric zoom zoom fantasy. but let’s get down to the heart of it all, where can a girl get a decent drink around here? on recommendation, i headed down westlake to re:public, an establishment that has gained quite a buzz in the last year. file this one under the category of dimly lit industrial decor, where i wonder if maybe there’s something to hide in the darkness? as i settle in at the bar, i examine the cocktail menu, and by the looks of things (house cocktail featuring crème de violette), i assume that the bartenders are up to snuff. the menu cocktails were on par, but further interrogation of the bartender reveals that he doesn’t know how to make a cocktail containing fernet. fail. this was a case of cocktail paint-by-number, where without directions, pre-defined lines and numbers, disaster was waiting in the wings.