Murray Stenson fans, you just have to wait one more month before you see the living legend behind the bar again.
In May, Stenson will be a part of what is arguably the biggest cocktail bar opening in Seattle in 2014 – The Elysian Bar at 1516 2nd Ave. (between Pike and Pine) in downtown.
The Elysian Brewing Co , one of the largest breweries in the state, is making a foray into craft cocktails. It’s late to this game, but they’re sparing no expense to play catch up, making some splashy hires.
Investors brought in Kacy Fitch, who helped start Zig Zag Café, to build its cocktail bar from scratch. Fitch in turn recruited his old barman Stenson.
One of the biggest names in the bartending community, Stenson is expected to help draw patrons on week nights when downtown looks like a ghost town after 10 p.m. Stenson will work nights Monday through Thursday.
The two Zig Zag alumni, along with current Zig Zag owner Ben Dougherty, were largely responsible for introducing craft cocktails to the mainstream long before “mixology” became a word.
“Kacy is going to step up our game,” Elysian co founder Dick Cantwell said.
Fitch, who has been working around the clock to get the bar open on May 1, has said little about his cocktail program.
But Stenson said Fitch and management have put together “an incredible staff. I’m lucky to be working with them.”
Unlike the other three Elysian bar restaurants, the downtown bar won’t have a brewery, though it will feature 20 beers on tap.
Elysian has contracted with Westland Distillery in SoDo, one of the most respected craft distilleries in Seattle, to make a house gin with floral notes, similar to Elysian’s Jasmine Avatar IPA.
(update at 11:45 a.m. Monday April 7)
The new bar restaurant will be bigger than its Capitol Hill branch, with a sweeping staircase leading to a second dining area upstairs.
Investors have hired chef Andrew Gribas from Volterra. Instead of pub food, The Elysian Bar will feature its owned cured meats, crudo and a rotating menu of ingredients sourced from Pike Place Market and from other local producers, Elysian CEO and founder Joe Bisacca said this morning.
For more of our latest bar roundup, check here to get news about Zig Zag Cafe and its ambitious new dinner menu and find out which bar is serving grasshoppers and which bar has a $1,100 cocktail on the menu.