Drinks & Doughnuts

I-Miun Liu Is the Master of Many

This year the prolific entrepreneur resurrected the Dynasty Room and opened Pike/Pine's East Trading Company.

By Rosin Saez October 23, 2018 Published in the November 2018 issue of Seattle Met

I-Miun Liu sits in an East Trading Co. corner booth, imprinted with Electric Coffin’s design inspired by Liu’s life.

Image: Lauren Colton

With a swift kick to Seattle’s food scene, I-Miun Liu has unleashed a trio of new projects this year alone. He revived the Dynasty Room, a long-gone bar in Chinatown–International District in April, opened Raised Doughnuts in the Central District with baker Mi Kim at the end of June, then in September debuted another bar inside the Capitol Hill space formerly occupied by Sun Liquor Distillery and Lounge on Pike/Pine, dubbed East Trading Company. Add to this roster a beloved cafe and four bubble tea shops. For someone who grew up in his family’s restaurant in Edmonds and kind of hated the industry life, he’s sure cemented his place in it.

Liu emigrated to the U.S. from China with his parents when he was four. Weekends meant trips to Seattle’s Chinatown: “We’d go get groceries, we’d go get dim sum... I took martial arts classes above a barbecue pork restaurant,” says Liu of his younger years. Three decades later he’s still in Chinatown, now though, to tend to Oasis Tea Zone, Eastern Cafe, and Dynasty Room, the back bar of the erstwhile Four Seas restaurant—“As a kid I used to go eat there all the time.” While Liu’s preservation of local history is only temporary (the building will be demolished and redeveloped in a year, maybe two), his Capitol Hill bar is both permanent and personal. East Trading Company, decked with kung fu posters, is a place for Chinese zodiac–inspired drinks and Asian street food.

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