Joe Russell is busy putting the finishing touches on his new bar, Russell’s, at 4111 Stone Way N. It's his first venture into ownership, after working behind the bar at Kells for eight years, four as bar manager.
His goal is to create a neighborhood gathering place on a stretch commonly associated with destination restaurants like Joule or the Whale Wins—a space for cocktails or a shot and a beer, a space that epitomizes what a bar is meant to be. Also, it will be a place that serves wine on tap. Russell has Washington-based Proletariat wines on board which means wine from a keg.
While the kitchen is small, it will be producing cheese plates, savory toasts, salads, and...housemade pot pies. The fillings will change every couple of days; variations include root vegetables or classic chicken. The food program is helmed by Dave Rochier, who has put in time at Toulouse and Re:Public.
“If a bar is gonna be open, it should be open until two,” said Russell about the hours at his eponymous estabishment. Opening hours are a little more flexible; Russell had planned to operate from 4pm-2am, but a neighbor asked for an earlier opening so he's considering 3pm.
The kitchen is still in need of utensils and the bar’s vintage looking sign, made by Electric Coffin, requires some neon lighting. But Russell is hoping to open as soon as Friday, March 21.