UPDATE: RGB Market officially opened Tuesday, July 23.
This Saturday, the former Seattle's Best Coffee shop space will officially reopen as RGB Market. It's a hybrid bar–soda fountain and the flagship location for Seattle's nonalcoholic showstopper, Rachel's Ginger Beer. Here are five reasons to get excited about the new chapter of this prime Pike Place Market address.
Ginger beer in all its (boozy and nonalcoholic) glory. It's counter service only here, and that counter boasts a row of roughly 15 taps. Seven of these will dispense rotating flavors of ginger beer (familiars like white peach, apple-kale, and strawberry, plus newcomers like hibiscus and blood orange versions). Five more will pour ginger beer–centric cocktails like the ones packing patrons at Montana, the bar Rachel Marshall owns with partner-partner Adam Peters and friend-partner Kate Opatz.
It's like drinking in an ice cream parlor. Three flavors of Cupcake Royale ice cream—chocolate, vanilla, and a dairy-free coconut—can be scooped and blended with ginger beer. Two other milkshake options are for adults only, based on the dark and stormy and Montana's signature drink the Montana mule. And, because slushy machines are enjoying newfound legitimacy, a frozen strawberry mule also awaits at the bar. Marshall promises it's "incredible" and says the slushy machine will be churning year round. You can also get traditional cocktails. Marshall says RGB Market will have a small but purposeful collection of the hard stuff, plus some beer and wine options.
BYO Beecher's. The space doesn't serve food (unless you count alcoholic milkshakes as food, and no shame in that) but Marshall says she fully expects people to wander in with, say, some Beecher's mac and cheese to accompany their ginger beer. She also manged to fit an impressive 50 seats in the space, including a long, tall table down the center of the room.
Growler fills. Growlette fills. Duh, you can fill a growler with ginger beer here. And a cooler will be stocked with growlettes, RGB's signature cute little takeaway devices.
Whimsical creepiness. Up by the counter, local artist Stacy Rozich painted a mural that's cute and whimsical but with an enjoyable dash of creepy. Fish are tossed, and people with animal heads cavort with growlettes and ginger and lemon. In summary: It's awesome.
RGB Market will be open from 10 to 10, seven days a week. Marshall is still pondering the neon signage that should replace the iconic coffee cup that illuminated the space since 1984.
UPDATE: The lovely Rebekah Denn has a piece in the Seattle Times today about Rachel's Ginger Beer's growth from farmers market stand to Pike Place Market reatil presence.