And now will Seattle’s favorite bartender move to Tacoma? “I can see myself living there,” Stenson says.
Seattle’s favorite bartender Murray Stenson was named as one of the key figures in the cocktail renaissance in the new book “A Proper Drink” (Ten Speed Press, $27) by New York Times cocktail writer Robert Simonson. The book talks about how a shy Stenson worked his way up from Il Bistro at Pike Place Market to Zig Zag Café to become a “local legend.”
By 2005, Stenson became a national figure thanks not only to the cocktail revival but also to the internet, which made local bartenders such as Stenson more accessible to an eager generation that wanted to learn more about the art of bartending, Simonson said.
“These bartenders needed mentors … There weren’t many career bartenders then. Murray was one. He was an important figure,” Simonson said from his home in Brooklyn.
These days, you can find Stenson, 67, still bartending seven days a week, back at Il Bistro on Monday and the other six days (5-10 p.m.) at Kaname Izakaya in the Chinatown-International District, where he has put together a solid Japanese whiskey program. Stenson is also hunting for commercial spaces for a new bar restaurant he wants to open, but the search has been challenging, he said, due to the hot real-estate market. Stenson wanted the now closed The Double Header bar in Pioneer Square and “was crushed” he didn’t get a chance to bid on that space. He also looked at a few commercial spots in Tacoma and plans to look at other properties in that city because he loves the architecture of the historic structures there. And the cheaper price tag is alluring. “I can see myself living there,” he said. Stay tuned.
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