“Where exactly IS SODO?”
My friend asked me a few weeks ago as we were walking through Ballard, trying not to think about the sheer number of calories we had just consumed through lunch, lattes and ice cream. I took a second to process the question and the best answer I had was, “you know, the area between Pioneer Square and Georgetown. It’s all industrial and where a lot of warehouses like to grow.”
While SODO (meaning “South of Downtown”) generally does fit the description I gave my friend, this little slice of Seattle offers plenty of venues and places to visit if you’re looking for something to do in a different area.
Momentum Indoor Climbing
For those of us who enjoy movement, and more notably climbing things, Momentum Indoor Climbing just opened up a new gym in SODO at the tail end of summer.
The indoor climbing gym offers 19,200 square feet of beautiful bouldering space, yoga studio, a co-op working space where you can get some work done in between bouldering sets, and an impressive fitness corner where climbers can work on strength training and conditioning. They offer different types of classes, covering the beginner basics of bouldering (how to spot a climber, interpreting the ratings, etc.) to some of the more advanced methods needed to conquer tougher routes (footwork techniques, body positioning, etc.) so you can advance in your journey as a climber while also establishing a solid base.
They also offer private 1:1 instruction classes if you have a specific skill-set you’re hoping to develop.
Looking around the gym, I was struck by the array of different zones and routes that were on display, varying in their degree of difficulty. The gym has 10 zones that are on a 5-week rotation schedule, and their lead setter has set for the likes of world and national bouldering championships. Climbing in their “cave” area, I was impressed by its 3D structure and design to emulate real cave rock formation patterns – definitely harder but it felt closer to what I was used to when bouldering outside.
However, the most impressive feature in the gym is their circuit wall that allows the climber to adjust the angle of the wall to increase the difficulty of the route that they’ve selected on the side panel. Whether it’s just a small incline or a full-blown overhanging angle to really test upper body strength and technique, this wall was made for climbers that embrace an extra challenge while solving puzzles on the wall.
Ghostfish Brewing Company
What is one to do after they’ve had their fill of climbing and have thoroughly exhausted their forearms? Grab a brew of course. Maybe two, because hopefully you’ve saved some strength for lifting a beer. A mere two blocks away from the climbing gym is Ghostfish Brewing Company
This dedicated gluten-free brewery and gastropub that combines traditional brewing methods with non-traditional ingredients such as millet, brown rice and buckwheat. With plenty of space at the bar and the restaurant portion, we opted to sit at the bar so we could talk to their friendly bar staff about the rotating options and the brewery in general.
Since it was a bit late for a proper dinner, we opted to try some of their smaller bites instead, like the roasted Brussel sprouts and lamb meatballs with roasted garlic, paired with a Shrouded Summit Belgian White Ale and the Grapefruit Ale. Both equally refreshing and delicious! They might have been gluten free, but we couldn’t taste the difference.
Silver Platters Sodo
If you’re looking for something totally different to do while still close to the climbing gym, make sure to check out Silver Platters SODO, a unique and funky record shop right across the street. There are many gem records in there, waiting to be discovered and added to your record collection.
If the timing is right and you’ve planned it out, you can also go to the Monkey Loft venue, and check out a show. It’s a fun music venue that’s always got some awesome beats that are bumping, or a DJ that’s playing live and putting on quite the show.
Bottom line is, if you’re in the SODO neighborhood, make sure to stick around and give it a chance – you might be pleasantly surprised!