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First look: You can now self-pour on Capitol Hill — Happy hour has begun at Rapport

Clawson

The self-pouring is online and Rapport is moving forward as one of the first new ventures to debut on Capitol Hill amid the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

After starting with daytime service of its coffee and cafe offerings, the new food and drink project is ready to add happy hour as it gears up for nighttime hours and opens access to its self-serve beer and wine bar taps.

“We want to be a space that people utilize throughout the day,” David Clawson, Rapport, Café, Bar and Kitchen founder and managing director, said.


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CHS reported here on the COVID-appropriate concept and the opening plans for the cafe and bar that took over the huge space left behind by last year’s exit of the indie-styled Roy Street Cafe project from Starbucks. When fully realized, Rapport will feature “100+ artisan wines and beers by-the-glass” poured “directly by guests at will.” Rapport also offers “barreled & bottled” craft cocktails and food by chef Mike Law, previously executive chef of Sitka & Spruce.

In the meantime, Rapport is working on getting its dual dispensing systems up and running. The beer? That is fully functional. A separate system handling the wine is still getting some tech kinks worked out so the full selection isn’t yet available. The self-pour kiosks are spaced out through the large cafe and, yes, social distancing restrictions are in effect as you wait your turn to select your pour, bottle, or can.

Strata Architects and DEI Creative worked on the look and feel of Rapport with construction by Metis to give the former coffee shop a new flow and room for the self-pour elements.

CHS first reported on Clawson’s plans last October as the wine entrepreneur was returning to his home after 15 years in London and scored the former Roy Street space for a trend Clawson said he saw growing in the United Kingdom and Europe of self-serve wine and beer.

Rapport is using two separate systems for the self-pour service.

Low touch Beverage dispensing and preservation systems are innovative, allowing restaurants to elevate the quality and selection of wine, beer, etc. being served by the glass. These systems prevent the oxidation and deterioration of products. Beverages are also served at the optimal temperature and in perfect condition, no matter how long the bottles or kegs have been dispensing. PourMyBeer is “a next-generation self-pour beverage system” based in Chicago while By the Glass is a British Columbia wine dispensing system manufacturer.

A credit system on the cafe’s cards will ensure that the law is followed. After 10 ounces of wine or 24 ounces of beer, the card must be reactivated so staff will be able to assess whether a customer is in proper shape for another round. Clawson told CHS that the Rapport concept isn’t about the scale of utilizing fewer employees but, instead, he said he hoped, about freeing up his staff to provide great service to Rapport customers.

For now, Rapport is open daily from 7 AM to 7 PM with items for takeout or to go along with space for a handful of customers on the outdoor patio.

The opening process being slowed by the ongoing coronavirus crisis has brought plenty of challenges but also has helped put more of a spotlight on Law’s menu, Clawson said.

“I and everyone here really care about serving things that have a meaning, by people who care,” Clawson said.

Rapport is now open at 700 Broadway E. You can learn more at facebook.com/RapportSeattle.


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