Here’s a recipe for new things: Take one part craft coffee, one part craft cocktails and shake it up. A familiar face behind both the espresso and the booze bars on Capitol Hill, Alex Negranza is readying a new venture that will bring together food and drink artists, technicians and savants for what he hopes will become an ongoing series of marvelously incredible — and not always incredibly expensive — events.
“I want to give these great people an opportunity to play,” Negranza said as he took CHS on a tour of the Stumptown roasting facility on 12th Ave last week that will host his first big event and explained the ideas behind his new company, An Evening With.
Negranza said the inaugural An Evening With dinner slated for October 6th captures much of the spirit of what he hopes the new venture will achieve. An Evening With Stumptown Coffee Roasters will take over the 12th Ave cafe and roasting facility and transform the space into a dinner venue to showcase some of the biggest talents in Negranza’s wide circle of industry friends. You can think of it as a bit of an all-star team approach but Negranza says another part of the goal is to give young talent an opportunity to rise and play a larger role shaping the experience than they may be able to executing somebody else’s vision.
The event is also being kept low scale and high concept. Only 47 tickets will be sold for the first Evening. The menu and cocktails will lean toward the avant garde and the experimental with hopes of including a few one-of-a-kind surprises that would only work for this sort of outsized dinner party. The $175 price tag — $250 with wine and cocktail pairings — helps explain how Negranza hopes to make the night pencil out.
The 24-year-old entrepreneur who manages the bar at 15th Ave’s Liberty also says his relationships have helped pave the way for success with the first dinner as Stumptown is providing the building to him at no cost. Other examples include Boizel partnering with Vinum wine importers and distributors to support the event. Hopefully the various permitting agencies will be as charitable. Negranza said he is working through the various permit issues as October 6th approaches. Meanwhile, Seattle will be buzzing with coffee industry power brokers as Coffee Fest is underway that weekend in the city.
Negranza said he is already planning a second event — likely in another Capitol Hill location and likely in a venue not typically associated with five-course meals. Expect a high-ticket affair for that night, too. With success, he’s hoping to also find a way to create similar small-scale food+drink events with smaller price tags. In the meantime, you’ll either have to pay your way in — or make the next An Evening With all-star squad.
A Fine Dining Pop-Up At Stumptown Coffee Roasters On October 6th
On Sunday, October 6th an exciting new events production company will be launched by longtime Sprudge.com collaborator Alex Negranza. Based in Seattle, Washington, and called “An Evening With“, this event series represents the very best of what Seattle has to offer in food, coffee, cocktails, wine, and above all, professional service. AEW’s inaugural event takes place at Stumptown Coffee Roasters, which will be transformed for one night only into an extraordinary pop-up fine dining restaurant, staffed by a team of service professionals united from throughout Seattle’s thriving food, spirits, wine, and specialty coffee communities.Featured Sommeliers:Jake Kosseff, Miller’s Guild, Wine Director and General Manager at Crush
Nick Davis, CanlisFeatured Servers:Aaron Reid, Canlis (AEW Service Director)
Mario Coello, Old Sage
Jarad Busby, Guest Server from New York
Max Sutherland, Spur Gastropub, Tavern Law, Old Sage
Dylan AuBuchon, Spur GastropubFeatured Bartenders:Elizabeth Powell, Liberty Bar, President of the Washington State Bartender’s Guild
Chris Goad, Canon, V. President of the Washington State Bartender’s Guild
Jay Kuehner, Sambar (closed 2012)
Erik Hakkinen II, Zig Zag Cafe and Giffard Spirits
Brian Lee, Canon and Toulouse Petit
Nik Virrey, Slate Coffee Roasters and Liberty BarFeatured Baristas:
Bronwen Serna, AEW Coffee Director (2004 United States Barista Champion)
Laila Ghambari, Caffe Ladro (AEW Barista Guild of America Liaison)
Brandon Paul Weaver, Slate Coffee Roasters and Essex (2013 NW Brewer’s Cup Champion)
Michael Ryan, Caffe Ladro
Michael James, Caffe Ladro
The talented staff of Stumptown Seattle.An Evening With, LLC Staff:
Alex Negranza, Producer
Bex Karnofski, Asst. Producer