Nightlife Smith’s Opening Night
posted by June 19 at 22:09 PMon
I don’t want muscle in on Bethany Clement’s turf—Clement writes the Stranger Bar Exam column, and Bethany could kill me with a whispered aside—but I stopped in at Smith, Linda Derschang’s new bar on Capitol Hill. Bethany was at Smith too, and she was taking notes, so odds are good that her column next week will detail Smith’s strengths and weaknesses.
Not that I detected any weaknesses. I think Linda may have successfully lifted the curse on the space, 332 15th Ave. E., which has been home to a string of failed bars, taverns, and smokehouses. Unlike the bars that came after whatever bar it was that came first, Linda started over. She gutted the space and built a completely new bar.
A few of nice touches: The place is darker, thanks to low lighting, a black ceiling, and new dark wood booths. The wainscoting on the walls, Linda told me, was salvaged from Garfield High School, which is currently being renovated, as were the doors to the bathrooms. There are taxidermied animals on the walls, lots of deer heads and stuffed birds, which means our resident taxidermy-phobe, Dave Schmader, won’t be drinking at Smith. The menu looks great, although I didn’t order anything—the place was packed, and I’ll come back and check out the food, which looked good, another night.
My favorite touch: Smith has two long tables, meant to be shared, which means people are going to have to crowd in with each other and interact—which is perfect for a bar in Seattle.