Bryn Lumsden, he of the excellent Pioneer Square cocktail destination Damn the Weather, says he's opening a new spot in the former Citizen Six space in Interbay. The name: Champagne Diner.
Yes, there will be some bubbles on the menu, but it's definitely not a champagne bar. The moniker is partly a deep-cut nod to Seinfeld's Champagne Video, where George, Jerry, and Elaine furthered plotlines while perusing VHS options. And partly a pun on luxe champagne dinners, but also a hint that this place plays with your expectations of what's casual and what's fancy. Plus, says Lumsden, "from a culinary standpoint, champagne really does go with everything."
If Damn the Weather's a cocktail bar that surprises you with marvelous food, Champagne Diner will be, pretty overtly, a diner; Lumsden promises "laminate tables with aluminum edges and booths." The menu includes french toast, a turkey club, burgers, and meatloaf, all rife with upgrades—a tuna melt, for example, might contain melted gruyere and smoked rockfish and aioli—plus a few unexpected adventures like shakshouka and plates of Spanish ham and melon.
The word "diner" often conjures images of the 1950s, but this space, with its pink and green motifs, will lean into the 1980s and beyond. Ever since he showed me the cool material that will be on some of the tabletops, I've pictured the opening credits to Saved by the Bell, retooled for the Instagram era. If Lumsden's involved, you can rest assured the cocktail list will be meticulous and fun as hell. Though the musician turned barman does tend toward understatements. Much like Damn the Weather, Champagne Diner won't advertise the fact that it serves only natural wine, and Lumsden modestly promises the list at Champagne Diner will be "good...to very good."
Lumsden's opening this spot with a few of his partners from Damn the Weather, Jacob Edelstein, Angel Azcarraga, and Adam Mann, hopefully by mid-August. The space at 945 W. Elliott Ave will be open from 11am to 11pm, at least at first.