This week started with another step toward normalcy on Capitol Hill — Espresso Vivace is back open:
Vivace will open it’s Brix location at 532 Broadway Ave. E. tomorrow morning at 7 AM for coffee to go. In addition Alley24 will be open at 10 AM both of which close at 5 PM. 321 Broadway,our sidewalk bar, will open on Saturday.
Hope you can make an announcement for our devoted customers
The heart and soul of Capitol Hill craft coffee for more than 30 years, Vivace joins the hardworking core of neighborhood coffee joints that have been pulling shots and foaming oat milk throughout the outbreak. Feel free to add a thankful shoutout to your favorite in comments.
Capitol Hill rum bar Rumba is heading undersea where it is going to be a little more colorful and, maybe, just a little bit more fun. Travis Rosenthal, owner of the leading Seattle purveyor of rum, has announced the planned summer opening of Inside Passage, a neighboring bar accessed in a descent through Rumba into a grotto of idols and South Pacific stylings from one of the leading designers of tiki-celebrating culture on the planet.
“The tiki culture is about escapism and trying to achieve that narrative is crucial, so Rosenthal enlisted the help of Notch Gonzalez from Top Notch Kustoms based in San Jose, to create and curate an incredible tiki design that will honor the tiki culture and shine a light on tiki cocktails,” the Inside Passage announcement reads. “Gonzalez has helped create and fabricate some of the country’s best bars including Smuggler’s Cove, Whitechapel, False Idol and Hale Pele.”
The Rumba expansion and focus on tiki comes at an interesting moment for the genre. Continue reading →
Sunday’s sale — promoted via social media and some classic utility pole flyers — was also a sort of anniversary celebration Canon opened on 12th Ave in August of 2011. “My goal was when I first moved to Seattle was to go to any bar, order a sazerac, and not have people look at me funny. I think we’re there,” Boudreau told CHS about his goals for the bar when we spoke with him a few years back. Continue reading →
In the latest chapter from the fallout of a crumbled family of food and drink businesses, two Eastside real estate professionals have taken over Tavern Law, one of the pillars of Pike/Pine’s craft cocktail scene.
Mark O’Shea, a Bellevue property manager, recently bought the business along with Derek Straight, a former executive with a large West Coast housing developer. O’Shea confirmed the ownership change with CHS but we are still waiting to hear details on the duo’s plans for the 12th and E Madison bar.
The buyout comes in the wake of financial troubles faced by Tavern Law co-founder Brian McCracken, one of Capitol Hill’s craft cocktail pioneers. In June, CHS reported on the $2.4 million bankruptcy behind the sudden closure of 12th Ave’s The Old Sage. According to documents filed in Western District of Washington United States Bankruptcy Court, McCracken and his wife filed May 20th for chapter 7 protection over some $2.4 million in debts. The big number is owed to Key Bank — $1,248,498.16. Continue reading →
The Sell Out at the Bitterroot in Ballard features The Shrubbery’s cranberry spice shrub (Image: The Shrubbery)
We know. You were mixing shrub cocktails before they were cool. But the rest of us might have something to learn from one of the newest vendors joining Broadway’s farmers market.
“This is my neighborhood market. This is my business,” Capitol Hill drinking vinegar entrepreneur Rebecca SerVoss proudly tells CHS.
Her months-old business The Shrubbery produces small bottles of the flavorful mixers designed to add a sweet and sour punch to, well, your boozy punch. And more.
“The shrub provides multiple elements of a cocktail,” SerVoss said. “It lets you add additional flavors and play with wacky vinegars.”
SerVoss launched her business after getting spun out of the corporate world. “I’ve been making shrubs for my own uses for two and a half years now. Then I lost my corporate job,” she said.
Her response was to refine her recipes and start experimenting. “I get to be a nerd about my vinegar,” she said.
In addition to the farmers market, the Capitol Hill resident has found space on the shelf at E Pine’s Sugarpill apothecary and will also have one of her shrubs again featured in a cocktail at Broadway’s Witness when the spring menu rolls back around.
Her target market includes expert craft cocktailers who know their shrubs — “boozehounds totally know what I’m doing,” she says — and cooks looking for unusual new flavors for their sauces. Shrubs are, you’re probably not surprised, a popular trend as craft cocktail pros look for new ways to create old flavors. The name, by the way, doesn’t refer to botanicals or herbs but to the Arabic word sharāb — “to drink.”
SerVoss is also enjoying introducing those new to shrubs to the flavors she has concocted and is selling by the bottle every first and third Sunday at the Broadway Farmers Market.
The Shrubbery will be in place this Sunday, March 1st. Along with some of her standard flavorings, SerVoss says to make sure to try the early rhubarb and pear and honey shrubs. The latter goes perfectly with gin, SerVoss said she’ll tell the newbies who stop by this weekend.
“People who need education — they’re a whole other level of fun for me.”
Ask two people on Capitol Hill for the best bar in the Seattle Inner City and you’ll get three different opinions. But somehow, the industry journal Drinks International is able to rank the 50 best bars in the entire world. This year 12th Ave’s Canon came in at number 6.
What does that mean for you, dear Capitol Hill drinker?
Since it opened in 2011 with a 12-page menu, Canon has steadily grown and tweaked its dizzying selection of spirits, bitters, and ornate cocktails. It now boasts one of the largest spirit menus in the country — a 130-page tome (PDF) that represents around $1 million worth of inventory.
Owner Jamie Boudreau said the recently released top ranking took him by surprise. Even though Seattle’s high-end food+drink culture has grown by leaps and bounds, Boudreau said the city is still considered quite provincial in the craft cocktail world.
“To crack the top ten when I know the judges are always in New York, always in London, always in Chicago, it’s impressive,” he said. “To have a recognition of Seattle’s cocktail culture is really great. It’s nice that the city is starting to get noticed.”