Opening Dispatch

Stout Opens Tomorrow on Capitol Hill

With "just" 20 carefully curated taps.

By Caroline Ferguson January 29, 2015

TVs and bubbly light fixtures. Photo via Stout's Facebook page.

The countless development projects on Capitol Hill are bringing even more new restaurant projects to the area, from John Sundstrom’s new-and-improved Lark to the two forthcoming Renee Erickson spots (come faster, summer). And now there’s Stout. It’ll be open for business as of Friday morning, serving up New American food and beer (and then some more beer) in the mixed-use Sunset Electric building kitty-corner from Cal Anderson Park.

Yes, the neighborhood is saturated with bars, but owner Paul Reder knows what he’s doing. His showy, sprawling Tap House Grill downtown offers no fewer than 160 taps, but his new spot caters to a more discerning Capitol Hill audience: He’s downsized to “just” 20 taps at Stout, all carefully curated and mostly local.

As you may have heard, a slightly important football game also happens this weekend. Challenge accepted, apparently. Stout will be holding a joint Super Bowl/opening party on Sunday from 1:30 onward, offering the full menu and a slew of prizes for those who show up in Seahawks gear. Tickets for a snowboard raffle will also be available, with all the proceeds benefitting FareStart

Here's what to expect from the pub (hint: plenty of stout-themed libations, not all of which are beer).

Eat: Solid pub food with minimal frills. According to Reder, the lineup of accessible New American flatbreads, salads, and burgers isn’t celebrity chef fodder, but will surely make good beer-blotting material. Right now it’s just a lunch and dinner spot, but Stout's Saturday and Sunday brunch should be up and running by spring.

Drink: Stout. Or not. The 20 taps are certainly the focus here, but Stout will also offer a selection of 50-70 bottles. This allows for more adventurous curating than at Tap House, where each massive keg has to be a crowd-pleaser. The cocktail program, which features local distillates from 3 Howls, Captive Spirits, and Oola, tends toward playfulness—from a local coffee–infused margarita (Marga-Vita, get it?) with a cinnamon rim, to an old fashioned finished with a drizzle of stout-flavored syrup.

Sit: In a lofty 5700-square-foot dining room that pretty much screams Auto Row, from the exposed wooden beams all the way down to the concrete floors. But though it may be industrial, it’s not too hard-edged: A colorful mural by local artist Tina Randolph serves as a focal point above the sweeping L-shaped bar, and a buoyant glass bubble chandelier lights up the space. You’ll have to wait a while for the full effect, though—rental chairs and tables are standing in through the end of the month. 

Bonus Intel: Happy hour deals abound. Draft beers, cocktails, and wines will all be $2 off, every appetizer will be offered at a discount, and all flatbreads—usually $12–$13—will cost a mere four bucks.

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