Side Bar

Erik Hakkinen’s Roquette Tempers the Tropics

The Belltown cocktail den balances cognac cocktails with moody flourishes.

By Stefan Milne September 24, 2019 Published in the October 2019 issue of Seattle Met

Blame it on the ocean, or that our dreary winter warrants constant reminders of sun. Either way, in Seattle tropical bars abound. Roquette, a new cocktail den on Belltown’s First Ave, extends the trend, but only just. A large palm tree mural commands the back wall, and wicker daubs wood shelving. But Roquette, owned by Zig Zag alum Erik Hakkinen and named after a Paris neighborhood, sees its equatorial flourishes through a thick French colonial lens. Where else does a vintage shot of a naked beach babe hang feet away from a dark velvet curtain?

These geographies converge in drinks, too. The Lucky Pierre translates a sidecar further into French: cognac, orange curacao (okay, a Dutch colony), a blast of lemon and bitter lemon oil, and Abricot du Roussillon, which adds some stone fruit meatiness. The $22 Corn ’n Oil layers bitters and lime to flaunt its pricey, delightfully savory—think raisins, tobacco—Jamaican rum. The small space offers small bites—tinned fish, cured meats. “We don’t have a kitchen, we have a microwave,” said one of the genial bartenders. They cook some unlikely snacks in it; she was effusive about the chicharrones.

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