Capitol Hill gay bar veterans Steve Nyman, Nathan Benedict, and Mark Engelmann have joined to open a brand new cocktail bar on 14th and Union in the space formerly occupied by Zoe. Wednesday, the new owners were on the new patio of the updated venue ready for a new era.
Union Bar will begin its regular 2pm to 2am service on Thursday the 26th as part of a soft opening, before a “fabulous” opening party on Sunday with an all-day happy hour which includes $4.75 wells. UPDATE: Delayed! No Thursday opening but stay tuned!
The three agreed on location as their favorite aspect of the bar. Just blocks away from where Thumpers once stood at 15th and Madison, Union Bar joins other gay bars in the area, immediately near Diesel and close to Madison Pub. The owners commented on contributing to the “gayborhood” and embracing the activity going on down Union.
The layout was designed with a focus on flow through the space, from the garden/patio to a raised mezzanine, and extensive seating around the bar itself in a full loop. Additionally, the team installed sound panels to deaden the echo of audio, and a system that is designed to maintain the sound’s direction to facilitate conversation between patrons, even when the music gets loud or the game — there are screens everywhere inside — isn’t your thing.
With a long list of spirits including local favorites like Sun Liquor, the bar will also serve a variety of Washington wines and ten beers on tap. Oola, the small batch distillery next door and Heritage (based in Gig Harbor with a tasting room just down the Hill) also make the list.
Union’s food menu features appetizers like baked brie, crostini, and nachos, flatbread pizzas and paninis, sandwiches and salads. Union will also serve the Impossible Burger, which can be substituted on any burger item for vegetarian eats. The kitchen will be open from 5 PM to 11 PM Sunday through Thursday, and 5 PM to 12 AM on Friday and Saturday, which they hope to expand as business picks up.