As MyBallard reported yesterday, the Old Town Alehouse, a neighborhood watering hole with killer onion rings, is closing its doors later this year on Ballard Ave. However the building won’t be ending its 110-year streak of being occupied by a bar. Jeff Ofelt of Bimbo’s Cantina, Cha Cha Lounge, and King’s Hardware reports that the space will soon become an old-school cocktail bar with an apothecary twist.
Right now the project is known as Percy’s, a nod to the long-ago days when that address housed men’s mercantile by that name. The shop reportedly had a speakeasy in the back during Prohibition.
Ofelt and business/life partner Wade Weigel are teaming up with two longtime friends for this venture. Kyle Taylor and Joe Petersen are cousins and Northwest natives, but both work at New York’s Apotheke, a Chinatown cocktail bar with an impressive reputation (though a former owner apparently a difficult time not setting things on fire). Apotheke is all about “medicinal” drinks, and Ofelt says that Percy’s will also have “specialty cocktails with an emphasis on the herbologist and apothecary world.” In other words, you can get a well-made Manhattan, or ask for a drink that aids digestion, boosts energy, or even enhances the libido.
Taylor currently manages Apotheke while Peterson bartends there. The two are moving back from New York later this year to to set up the new venture; then you will find them behind the bar.
Ofelt acknowledges that this new, decidedly nondivey direction is unfamiliar territory for him. But he’s excited to create a space with an “old school, Prohibition-era vibe,” where people don’t hurry through the creation or consumption of drinks. The fact that the former Old Town space already boasts a beautiful dark wood bar--and the brick walls and airy front windows that are practically a requirement for new establishments in Seattl--will certainly help.
Obviously many other details are still taking shape, but Ofelt estimates that Percy's might open its doors in March 2013.