Vinyl Vegans

Seattle Music Industry Insiders Are Opening a Capitol Hill Bar

It’s called Life on Mars and it promises plant-based food and cocktails, plus a heap of records.

By Stefan Milne February 27, 2019

The friends behind Capitol Hill's forthcoming Life on Mars. 

Four friends—who are music industry power couples—are opening a new bar on the Hill: Amy Richards (a partner in Pair Music Collective) and John Richards (the KEXP DJ), Steven Severin (co-owner of Neumos, Barboza, and the Runaway) and Leigh Sims (Wake Up Productions).

About three years ago John and Steven ran into each other at a music industry photo exhibit. They’d been friends since John did some DJ parties at Neumos, and now he had an idea. “And if you say it's crazy, then okay, I'll go ahead and step off of it… I want to start a bar,” Steven recalls John saying. They now plan to open that bar—dubbed Life on Mars, after the David Bowie song—this spring, hopefully at the end of May, he adds.

It’ll be in the Pike Flats building, next door to Redhook Brewlab. The four had been planning a 1970s vibe, relaxed but not shabby (think plush booths), so they originally sought an old building—something increasingly hard to find on Capitol Hill. This location’s history, though, won them over: It previously housed HG Lodge, 95 Slide, and the War Room. “I used to go to the War Room all the time. All the time," Steven says.

The cocktail list will focus on classics, with a few simple originals like a Death by Juniper (dry gin, juniper berries, citrus, rosemary). The beer and wine list will skew heavily local. And, most notably, since John and Amy Richards are vegan, the food from chef Joe Ball will be, too, from salads to coconut bacon to waffle sliders with chicken-fried artichokes.

The obvious, but still fun, flourish? A wall with thousands of vinyl records. Radiohead? Sure. Stevie Wonder? Why not. “This bar is a way to mix music and gathering friends that’s not a live venue or a DJ booth—and with drinking,” reads the press release. During happy hour you can even pick an album to spin.

Follow along Life on Mars' progress via Instagram.

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