Bryn Lumsden fell into bartending to subsidize his musical career. But somewhere along the way—perhaps during more than half a decade behind the bar at Rob Roy, or his subsequent gigs at places like Vessel and Vito’s—he went all in on his newfound industry. Now Lumsden is opening a bar of his own in Pioneer Square.
It will be called Damn the Weather, the name of a brunch cocktail from bygone years, but also an exhortation for locals to get out and do something (well, probably drink) despite the rain. Lumsden has partnered up with some regulars from his Rob Roy days and they are busy reimagining a space at 116 First Avenue S, between Yesler and Washington, most recently part of the New Orleans restaurant.
Given Lumsden’s background, cocktails will be a significant part of Damn the Weather. But he says the bar will really be a neighborhood spot, a week in, week out stop for the newfound residents of Pioneer Square. “That’s more meaningful to me than a place that’s on trend.” It might also become a regular stop for night owls and nearby industry folk—both bar and kitchen will be open from 4pm to 2am seven days a week.
Lumsden’s not yet ready to say much about the food, or who will be making it (though he promises someone great). Damn the Weather will do a full dinner menu in the evenings, while the lineup of bar food will move in close concert with the drinks. He describes “quirky, yet affable” pairings, like an oyster that might come out with a sip of IPA, or housemade candy corn accompanied by Champagne. House cocktails won't be shy; one might be a blend tequila and amaro with notes of blueberry, eucalyptus, and lime, another would pair genever with carrot, passion fruit, and lemon.
The space is currently being taken down to the studs to unearth the requisite old brick and hardwood floors, though Lumsden says his bar might even be open by mid-May. You can track its progress on the newly minted Damn the Weather Facebook page.