April 2011 014 brvtud

Like one Elizabeth Bennett, Clever Bottle will soon give way to Mr. Darcy's charm.

Image: Joe Nix

For business and life partners Marcus Johnson and Jessica Gifford, Belltown is familiar territory. The duo own such neighborhood establishments as Bathtub Gin, the Bear and the Bee, Lava Lounge, and the Rabbit Hole, which is right next door to their soon-to-be spot Mr. Darcy’s.

The cocktail bar, says Johnson, will be a kind of offshoot of Bathtub Gin with the “same relaxed vibe.” But unlike its speakeasy kin, Mr. Darcy’s will be right in the middle of its block on Second Ave, where Clever Bottle once was not too long ago. It shuttered sometime last month, but word is Clever Bottle will be up and running again in a “bigger space down the street,” says Johnson (stay tuned on that front). 

As a close friend of Clever Bottle owner Kristen Burns, Johnson says it’s been tough going in and doing construction, but construct he must. Expect just a few cosmetic upgrades: wood paneling—the sexy kind, not the Griswold family wagon kind—coats of paint, and added seating.

When Mr. Darcy’s opens in about six weeks or so, expect some half dozen house cocktails done up with fresh, Pike Place Market fruits and herbs, like a spiced blackberry julep. While old school drinks will be available, they won’t take up coveted menu real estate. “Ten years into the cocktail revolution, people know what old fashioneds are.” On the food front: charcuterie, cheese plates, salads...essentially easy food prep and minimal cooking.

Their Belltown businesses all live within this one block, which speaks to their desire to keep this a tight-knit community. Put another way: “Keep it rock and roll and artsy.” Mr. Darcy's will be open to the public, but keep in mind it will serve as a private events space some of the time, too.

As for the name—Gifford’s pick—yes, it’s inspired by the aloof yet devastatingly romantic Pride and Prejudice character.

Stay up on Mr. Darcy's news here for its impending late summer opening.


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