Alex Negranza is a busy guy. He’s the bar manager at Liberty. He serves at the Old Sage. He judges barista competitions and works with the coffee brains at Sprudge. He’s basically a hyper-palated bridge between Seattle’s cocktail and coffee cultures. Now he’s also launching an event company called An Evening With, designed to further entwine coffee into the bar and restaurant world.
What this means for you: a debut dinner on Sunday, October 6, full of up-and-coming local cooks/chefs and decidedly superb bartenders, servers, sommeliers, and baristas. It’s a sit-down dinner where each of the five courses comes with a paired cocktail, wines from Vinum, and coffee, each of the latter a producer under the Stumptown umbrella.
Negranza said the idea snowballed quickly from an initial conversation about a joint event between the local barista and bartender guilds. His inspiration came in part from Houston’s food and coffee community. According to Negranza, chefs do guest stints as baristas at top coffee shops, while baristas do guest stints at cocktail bars. Call it incest or cross training, but imagine what our landscape would look like if this were happening here (also, industry folk probably need all that coffee to pull off a schedule like that).
The dinner, known as An Evening with Stumptown Coffee, is $250 per person ($175 if you just do the coffee pairings, but Negranza promises the alcohol component is pretty stellar) and happening at Stumptown's roasting facility at 1115 12th Ave. Check out this great list of participants; Negranza's various jobs gives him a handy pipeline into rising talent. Cocktails, says Negranza, will “take an avant-garde approach.” Bartenders are scheming some flavors, combinations, and presentations that are too complex to pull off on a busy weekend shift. Here's the current menu.
Negranza says he's not about pressuring every restaurant in town to suddenly offer craft coffee pairings. However he doesn't want coffee to be a dining afterthought, especially around these parts. Look for future events from his newly formed company with a similar focus on both coffee and community building.
There are just 47 seats, so hop to it if you're interested.
An Evening with Stumptown Coffee
October 6/Stumptown Roasting 1115 12th Ave/Tickets $250