With a spin of the zodiac wheel, East Trading Co. now open on Capitol Hill

I-Miun Liu

E Pike’s East Trading Co. is ready to be a drinking spot for all Capitol Hill communities: rats, oxen, tigers, rabbits, dragons, snakes, horses, sheep, monkeys, roosters, dogs, and, yes, even you pigs.

The new bar in the old Sun Liquor space is now open with Chinese, Korean, and Filipino flavors and themes of Sheng Xiao, the Chinese zodiac. And, if you can’t decide on which sign to associate with, you can always spin the big zodiac wheel to let fate choose a cocktail for you.

“When I first bought this place, it already had a lot of Sun Liquor soul to it,” I-Miun Liu tells CHS about the makeover of the E Pike venue. “I wanted to get back to the bones of it.”

Stripped down and built up with new colors and new flavors, the space formerly home to the Sun bar and distillery is now filled with Sheng Xiao-themed cocktails and small plates designed to accompany them. It will mark its grand opening Thursday night with a celebration of the new joint’s design from Electric Coffin.

The food is for drinking, Liu says, and is “Korean, Chinese, Filipino inspired.”

CHS talked with Liu in May about his plans for East Trading Co. including the original “doughnut bar” concept that ended up on the cutting room floor. “Everything will be in disposable containers: street food bites. Chinese, Korean, things that I grew up eating,” Liu told CHS. You’ll even find a selection of convenience store snacks in the bar’s market space.

The owner is known for his methodical pace. CHS reported on Liu’s first Capitol Hill project, the E Pine Oasis Tea Zonewhen it opened in 2016 and set a “record” by debuting “two years and two days after CHS first wrote about the project taking shape.” Following Sun Liquor’s decision to move it distillery business off-Hill, Liu’s latest Pike/Pine project will have a total turnaround of somewhere just under two years — not quite the 12-year cycle of the zodiac, but close.

Liu is a prolific entrepreneur. Despite his methodical pace, East Trading Co. is also the third venue Liu has had a hand in starting up this year. His Dynasty Room transformation was completed in the International District this summer and Raised Doughnuts, another Liu-backed project on 23rd Ave from baker Mi Kim, opened in the Central District in June. Kim, by the way, has lent her fried sweets expertise to the dessert menu at East Trading Co.

Meanwhile, Liu isn’t ready to rest. With a small chain of bubble tea joints and Liu’s collection of bars, straws are a big deal to his businesses. Faced with Seattle’s ban, Liu tells CHS he has a solution. He started a compostable supply company.

East Trading Co. is located at 514 E Pike. It is open daily from 4 PM to 2 AM. You can learn more on the East Trading Co. Facebook page.

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