James Beard award-winning chef Renee Erickson opens a cocktail bar inside The Spheres at Amazon, and downtown Seattle gets another rooftop bar.
In her new Belltown bar, Linda Derschang wanted to replicate her Capitol Hill drinking den Smith. For that, she brought the old gang along. Smith chef Will Richey heads Queen City’s food program. The Smith staples are featured at Queen City: Nicoise salad, steak frites and the half-pound burger. Myles Burroughs, who put together the stellar drink program at Smith, heads the drink program as well. Queen City can seat 95 with another dozen seats on the outside deck when the weather holds up.
2201 First Ave., Seattle; 206-404-5095, queencityseattle.com
Footprint Wine Tap
An alternative to all the cocktail spots on 12th Avenue, this wine bar offers more than 40 whites and reds on tap, as well as sakes and ciders. The wine list focuses on the Northwest region. Cheese, jam and other modest noshes are available for pairing. Happy hour runs weekdays 3-6 p.m. with $2 off wines by the glass, $3 off flights and 15 percent off food. 1222 E. Madison St., suite C, Seattle; footprintwine.com
James Beard award-winning chef Renee Erickson and her restaurant group Sea Creatures have a swanky cocktail bar inside The Spheres, and it comes with a rule that might not sit well with techies: a dress code. “Smart dress encouraged. Please no athletic or casual attire.” Jermaine Whitehead, one of the underrated talents in the city, runs the cocktail program. It’s a five-page cocktail menu with gussied-up Seattle dog with cream cheese, pickle jalapeños, red onions and pink salmon caviar on a seeded bun. Yes, even when Amazon sleeps on the weekend, the 30-seat bar will stay open. 620 Lenora St., Seattle; 206-900-9390, deepdiveseattle.com
What is it about Seattle and rooftop bars all of the sudden? The latest to sprout up in our cloudy city is at The Charter Hotel from the Hilton. This 16th-floor bar towers over the 13th-floor rooftop bar The Nest, about a block away. The most ambitious cocktail program to debut this year so far, Fog Room pays homage to many of the past and present grand hotels with cocktails that originated from Bar Hemingway inside the Ritz Hotel in Paris, the Algonquin Hotel in New York City and more currently the famed NoMad in New York City.
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Of all the new bars, Fog Room had the best cocktails I sampled this year. Talented barman Jesse Cyr, who ran the stellar drink program at Rob Roy, put together the ambitious cocktail list here. 1610 Second Ave., Seattle; 206-256-7500, curiocollection3.hilton.com
Anju Bar and Eatery
One of many bars now popping up in White Center to take advantage of the dirt-cheap real estate, this Korean watering hole has a food menu priced $9 and cheaper, from kimchi fried rice to Korean fried chicken, along with popular Asian food-truck fusion staples such as a kimchi quesadilla. There are plenty of Soju and Hite beer to wash down all the greasy grub, although Anju carries a lot of stellar craft beers on tap including suds from Aslan and Skookum Brewery. Beer and a shot go for $8. Anju is family friendly until 7 p.m., when it becomes a bar. It’s also open on Sunday at 10 a.m. for NFL games. There’s six televisions with more screens coming. 9641 15th Ave. S.W., Seattle; 206-397-4669, anjuseattle.com
East Trading Co.
An Asian-themed cocktail bar takes over the former Sun Liquor Distillery spot, from the same owner behind the Dynasty Room in the Chinatown International District. One of the more elaborate bar decors, East Trading Co. is decked out in Zodiac signs and other Asian motifs with a nod to apothecary bars in early-20th-century Shanghai. 514 E. Pike St., Seattle; on Facebook.
And another distillery turns into a cocktail bar. This aquavit house, Old Ballard Liquor Co., is now the Nordic Bar with Swedish meatballs, lutefisk hand pies and lamb stew. The drink list still focuses on aquavit, more than 40 bottles, one of the largest selections in the region. 4421 Shilshole Ave. N.W., Seattle; 206-858-8010, oldballardliquorco.com
Burke-Gilman Brewing Company
True to its name, the taproom sits five feet from the eponymous trail. Yes, there are plenty of bike racks for those looking to make a pit stop. The 24-tap bar serves up a lot of saisons and hazy New England-style IPAs that all the cool kids drink these days. But the brewery hopes to focus on resurrecting esoteric brews and forgotten suds such as an English-style brown ale. The owners also got a hold of some rare Norwegian farmhouse yeast to play with. Phil Pesheck, a longtime brewer at Georgetown Brewing Co., heads the beer program. The brewery can seat about 120 inside and on the patio. 3626 N.E. 45th St., #102, Seattle; 206-268-0220, burkegilmanbrewing.com
Other brewery openings:
Monka Brewing, 17211 15th Ave. N.E. in Shoreline; Bosk Brew Works, 14350 N.E. 193rd Place in Woodinville; and Big Block Brewing in Sammamish expanded to 14950 N.E. 95th St. in Redmond. Lost Bear Brews is currently making beers out of a warehouse in Woodinville; it’s not open to the public, but expect a taproom in the near future.