Nightlife Vessel Loses Top-Rated Bartender
posted by May 5 at 13:08 PMon
Bartender Jamie Boudreau has parted ways with posh downtown bar Vessel. Vessel’s doom was falsely rumored early last week; Boudreau’s employ by the bar ended May 1. Vessel’s been in the news before, in June 2007, for alleged failure to pay bills. The Boudreau/Vessel split sounds as if it may not have been completely amicable: On his blog, Boudreau specifically denies rumors that he is consulting for Vessel and says a private party gig was his “first payday of quite some time.”
According to Boudreau’s blog, he will muddle for food—and he’d love for someone to help fund his own bar. He’s been written up bountifully in the local and national press (Time, Details, Esquire) for his cocktail genius. When Vessel opened in autumn of 2006, he lectured me about how vodka is unfit for consumption, at least by people with any taste. He’s the kind of guy you feel lucky to be lectured by:
Bar manager Jamie Boudreau, imported from Vancouver’s vaunted Lumiere and given his full druthers here, achieves curiosities and wonders, exploiting the rich history of alcohol and his own clearly fixated imagination. He is a man of strong opinions when it comes to liquor: Vodka does not now and never will appear on his cocktail menu, as it is “for amateurs,” lacks complexity, and lies beneath consideration. He imparts this extreme prejudice with mesmerizing charm; he wears arm garters. Each drink on his menu bears a date, a place of origin, and a composer as available; you may get knocked on your ass here, but it’s knocked on your ass by art.
Boudreau moved here specifically for Vessel; Seattle will be lucky if he sticks around. After all, he’s either Seattle’s best or second-best bartender.
UPDATE: Rumors to the contrary notwithstanding, Vessel remains open for business.