Booze News

Tavern Law Opening Delayed

A bit about what we’re waiting for.

June 3, 2009

Talk about good press.

Tavern Law got a fourth-graf mention in William Grimes’ article about speakeasies in today’s New York Times, and the place hasn’t even opened yet. Opening has, in fact been delayed: Chef/owners Brian McCracken and Dana Tough hope to be up and running by mid-July mid-August. The Capitol Hill bar and restaurant will have a cocktail menu with more than 70 pre-prohibition and prohibition-era drinks designed by “stone cold fox” David Nelson, who will be a far less frequent site at the trio’s well-loved Spur, though he will continue to manage the Belltown bar as well.

Food, according to McCracken and Tough, will be more “humble” than at Spur. Humble being a relative term: the Tavern Law Monte Cristo ( “around $12”) is stuffed with sliced pork shoulder with maple and smoked olive oil that they’re cooking sous vide for seven hours; a jam of fresh huckleberries; and the gruyere-esque Valentina cheese from Estrella Family Creamery. What they really seem to mean by humble is a certain old-school efficiency. “We’ll bring in a case of fresh vegetables and use them until they’re gone…buy a whole pig and serve dishes with all the different cuts of meat,” says Dana. The simple chalkboard menu with feature 8-10 revolving plates, all under $15.

Happy hour is still in planning stages.

Classic cocktails, seasonal food. Sounds good. But what makes it a speakeasy? Dana and Brian say they were inspired by NY’s throwback bars—they recently went on a 2.5-day Manhattan speakeasy bender, and were especially impressed with Milk and Honey—but they’ve also built in some speakeasy-style surprises.

What those are, exactly, McCracken and Tough want to keep a secret for now, but, they say, word is out among industry types. So if you really want to know, try bribing your bartender. Or just wait until the place opens in July.

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