Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The First Cut Is the Deepest: Initial Impressions of Revolver

Posted by on Wed, May 7, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Walking into the new Capitol Hill bar Revolver on the occasion of its soft opening last night and hearing Heart’s “Magic Man” seemed almost too auspicious. How can you not feel magnificent entering a boisterous drinking establishment as one of that Seattle group’s most sublime moments fills the air?

Top-shelf wax and booze.
  • Valerie Calano
  • Top-shelf wax and booze.

The thing that immediately strikes you about Revolver—located in the space previously occupied by Dinette and owned by Electrokitty Recording Studio honcho Gary Reynolds—are all the records on the shelves above the liquor selections. They look well used and the grooves probably have been worn down to a Goldmine rating of “good.” Know that they will be played, one side at a time, throughout the bar’s operating hours.

The next thing that hits you is the extremely inviting retro vibe—all deep earth-toned walls, soft amber lighting, ’60s-looking stools, circular mirrors (transferred from the recently closed Radar Hair & Records) and woodwork that subtly hints at tiki (expertly rendered by Castor Construction's Gabe Behrend, who’s also built out Unicorn, Nacho Borracho, and Central Pizza). Revolver’s style is cool, but it’s an understated cool, and therefore cooler than most. A friend said he likes bars at which you can imagine Lee Hazlewood drinking, and Revolver meets this criterion. All of this adds up to a space that’s more about deep cuts than Top 40 hits. All of this adds up to a space that will make dbags feel uncomfortable. Thankfully.

Perhaps the most idiosyncratic touch in Revolver is in the most unlikely spot: the bathrooms. In there you’ll find the walls papered with 7-inch 45 sleeves from various labels, including Deram, Buddah, Capitol, Roulette, Motown, and Trouble in Mind. The urge is to nerd out on the details of these major- and indie-label sleeves, but try not to, as other full-bladdered patrons probably won’t be amused with your trainspotting.

Revolvers bathroom walls are a trainspotters delight.
  • Valerie Calano
  • Revolver's bathroom walls are a trainspotter's delight.

Last night the big crowd featured many local-music scenesters, and the staff had a few of them, too, including bar manager Clarita Hinojosa and DJ Stevie Dee. I didn’t have any food off the Creole-heavy menu, but the vegan jambalaya looks promising. The drink menu has a diverse and interesting-looking array of cocktails and beers, but for this teetotaler, encountering a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice is a surprising goddamn blessing. I'm calling it already: Revolver’s OJ rivals the Triple Door’s for best in the city.

Some of the records heard during my couple of hours at Revolver were Devo’s Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, John Lennon’s Walls and Bridges, and something by what sounded like a 21st-century American garage band. I’m looking forward to going back.

 

Comments (21) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
biffp 1
"something by what sounded like a 21st-century American garage band" There are dozens of apps for that, c'mon.
Posted by biffp on May 7, 2014 at 3:26 PM · Report this
2

Seattle is turning into me.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on May 7, 2014 at 3:43 PM · Report this
Fnarf 3
More shitty classic rock, just what the world needed.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on May 7, 2014 at 3:55 PM · Report this
4
RADAR closed ??? why?????
Posted by asdfdd on May 7, 2014 at 4:18 PM · Report this
Dougsf 5
Is that the old Green Cat space? Sorry, been gone a minute.
Posted by Dougsf on May 7, 2014 at 4:38 PM · Report this
Travis Ritter 6
More Fnarf comments, just what the world needed.
Posted by Travis Ritter http://nuglifer.wordpress.com on May 7, 2014 at 4:50 PM · Report this
Rotten666 7
Ya'll hate the gentrification but love when a doorman checks your name off a list and lets you into the hottest new bar.

Posted by Rotten666 on May 7, 2014 at 5:04 PM · Report this
LEE. 8
@7

obviously you have no understanding of where this bar is or what is represents, or the restaurant that previously inhabited it.

tl;dr...your comment is bad and you should feel bad.
Posted by LEE. on May 7, 2014 at 5:19 PM · Report this
9
We like this.
Posted by Thom and Bri Bri on May 7, 2014 at 6:13 PM · Report this
Noman 10
The jambalaya isn't vegan anymore - it's andouille and shrimp now.
But the red beans and rice are and we're putting out a rattatouille po' boy tomorrow.
I know because I'm the chef.
Posted by Noman http://djnoman.blog.com/ on May 7, 2014 at 6:58 PM · Report this
Noman 11
The jambalaya isn't vegan anymore - it's andouille and shrimp now.
But the red beans and rice are and we're putting out a ratatouille po' boy tomorrow.
I know because I'm the chef.
Posted by Noman http://djnoman.blog.com/ on May 7, 2014 at 7:00 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 12
those record are up pretty high to be useful to anyone.
Posted by Max Solomon on May 7, 2014 at 8:40 PM · Report this
13
Amazing, exactly what need!
Posted by Ichobod on May 7, 2014 at 8:56 PM · Report this
14
Keep up the good work! Very nice.
Posted by Jared77 on May 7, 2014 at 9:00 PM · Report this
15
Hurray for a new business opening on Capitol Hill that is fun.
Posted by Jeff on May 7, 2014 at 9:39 PM · Report this
fletc3her 16
I only listen to eight tracks.
Posted by fletc3her on May 8, 2014 at 7:13 AM · Report this
Rotten666 17
@8 Except that I have been drinking at the spot across the street for 12 years, and went to dinnete on occasion, and hapened to be outside the bar on Tuesday,watching people get their name checked off the list.

tl;dr...go fuck yourself.
Posted by Rotten666 on May 8, 2014 at 12:45 PM · Report this
18
Any plans to add a vegan dish or two to the menu, Noman?
Posted by Dave Segal on May 8, 2014 at 6:23 PM · Report this
Noman 19
Definitely.
The red beans ande rice are vegan and we've added a ratatouille po' boy.
Once we start running specials, I plan on always having at least one of them be a vegan entree.
Posted by Noman http://djnoman.blog.com/ on May 8, 2014 at 11:52 PM · Report this
20
Thanks, Noman.
Posted by Dave Segal on May 9, 2014 at 1:43 AM · Report this
21
@6
You do realize that Tuesday nite was a private soft opening party?? And mostly friends of the employees and owner.

tpvegas
Posted by tallpall on May 9, 2014 at 2:55 PM · Report this

Add a comment

Advertisement
 

Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!


All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy