Seattle is beer country with more breweries than any other city in the nation. Kenneth Dillon, a Seattle wine aficionado, has decided to do something about evening the score — and doing it with a new, more environmentally friendly approach.
Dillon plans to open his own unique Footprint Wine bar and tap on E Madison by September.
“I’m happy to now be joining the Capitol Hill wine community and hope to give a little back to the community one glass of wine at a time,” Dillon said.
Before realizing he could work with wine as a career, Dillon spent 10 years in human resources, including four at the University of Washington. He always had a passion for the grape since it was legal for him to drink it, but didn’t actually break into the industry until 2016.
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Dillon, who now works as bar manager at Sixth Avenue Wine Seller, began planning Footprint just over three years ago to create a modern space for both residents and visitors alike to enjoy wine in a comfortable and welcoming Capitol Hill atmosphere.
The name has a double meaning as it deals with both the carbon footprint of the restaurant business and the tradition of stomping grapes in the winemaking process.
Sustainability is one of the strongest forces driving Dillon to open this business at 1222 E Madison, which previously housed The Growl Store, an inventive but ultimately unsuccessful beer venture that inspired Footprint to an extent. Every step of the winemaking operation, from transportation to bottling, creates waste that adds up and can be eliminated.
Footprint plans to avoid waste with sustainably sourced, organic, or biodynamic wines from mostly local wineries. Additionally, the bar will house wine on tap, rather than strictly bottled varieties, similar to The Growl Store which tried to make its footprint greener by offering 44 taps of beer. Tap wine isn’t a new thing, Dillon notes, but it is just now gaining popularity in the United States alongside keg wine.
“I want be part of this movement to show the world that wine on tap is really your consistently high quality pour,” Dillon said. “And you can get it at economical price.”
For those customers looking to drink their wine elsewhere, Footprint will have a retail wing that allows for bottles and cans to go. That being said, patrons will be encouraged to drink in with food options that include “experimental” pâté and crostini.
According to Dillon, Footprint has raised at least $55,000 from investors, which was the goal listed in the LLC’s February 2017 filing with the Security Exchanges Commission. That money will be used for working capital, inventory, and furniture among other things needed to get the business off the ground.
Footprint Wine is slated to open later this year at 1222 E Madison. Keep track of footprintwine.com for updates.