This is not a drill, y’all. Chef/owner Eric Johnson is readying Foreign National, his and Seth Hammond’s ’70s-eque cocktail lounge, for an opening early next week. It’s located mere steps away from Johnson’s Stateside on Capitol Hill, where Hammond also runs the front of house.
Foreign National is a 28-seat dark and moody den of drinks and bar snacks. The bar program is captained by Adam Fortuna, who seems to be doing some boozy Middle Earth–style wizardry, along with Tommy Stearns and Eli Hetrick and Shattuck Wildaner. They’re slinging house cocktails like a Long Thailand iced tea, a “Sorrel Sour”, and a drink made with sour orange, neroli, and pisco. As for those snacks, there’ll be things like spiral-cut curry puffs, fermented pork and sticky rice sausages, and fresh, rice noodle pho cuon rolls.
In the first opening nights, Foreign National will do bia hoi, a piece of Vietnamese drinking culture in which folks can sip on small-batch beer brewed specially for them. The inaugural brew will come from Snoqualmie’s No Boat Brewing. Later, the bia hoi will continue but a little less frequently.
As far as the vintage vibe goes, “Foreign National evokes what certain parts of Asia really look like as opposed to Asian-inspired things,” says Johnson, who wants to "create a hole-in-the-wall bar that might exist in Saigon or on the sixth floor of a building in Tokyo.” So, less bamboo screens, more four-foot-wide disco balls. Got it. Plus, a rosy wallpapered bathroom that will likely be in your next Instagram selfie thanks to the retro stylings of Callie Meyer who designed the whole space.
While, it's looking like an early next week opening, stay glued to Foreign National's Instagram for updates. Hours will be daily, from 6 to 2am.