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Who’s Behind the Bar at Vessel?

A better question: Who isn’t behind the bar at Vessel?

By Allecia Vermillion April 13, 2012

Vessel is back (well, as of next month) with one innovative new bar program.

Nearly a year and a half after lease issues shuttered the original on Fifth Ave, Vessel is getting ready to reopen in its new Olive Way location in mid-May. And last night owner Jim Romdall shared an awfully intriguing glimpse into his plans for the bar program.

When Vessel 2.0 opens next month, it will definitely have some regular faces behind the bar. But Romdall plans to switch things up each night, employing a broad cast of rotating bartenders. Expect to see visiting talent alongside well-regarded local drink makers who might show up at Vessel, say, once a month. And obviously when Romdall’s ready to name names, we will too.

For Romdall, this ambitious plan means more logistics to deal with. For imbibers, it means Vessel will be a different bar every single night. The original space was a noted training ground for some of the city’s most impressive tenders of the bar, and between Romdall’s connections and Vessel’s reputation, it’s a safe bet that someone absurdly talented will be making drinks each and every night. This setup probably wouldn’t work for, say, bank tellers or programmers, but it’s an endearing expression of the tight-knit nature of Seattle’s bartending community.

The new Vessel will also have a much-expanded food program, serving lunch and dinner to hungry Nordstrom-ites and other downtown walkabouts. In summary: mid-May. Lots and lots of bartenders. Good food. Many exultant drinkers.

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