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Histoire de Mutineer (A Seattle Adventure)


A view from the balcony in Seattle’s Chapel.

The Mutineers rolled into Seattle last night for something of an adventure. We split up to start things off, with 2 of us heading to Elliott Bay Brewing to check out the awesome Elliott Bay Beer we’ve been hearing so much about, and the other two heading to the new Seattle food-Mecca, Purple Café. It should be noted that after something like 15 glasses of wine at Purple Café, my note-taking morale plummeted and I can only report on the vague recollections of the events that followed.

Gainsbourg is the place to get your French fix in Seattle.

First up, Gainsbourg, which gets its name from French musician Serge Gainsbourg. Last night was the re-release of Serge Gainsbourg’s masterpiece “Histoire de Melody Nelson” on Light in the Attic Records, which has a habit of reissuing the coolest artists on the planet.

Serge Gainsbourg’s Masterpiece
Serge Gainsbourg’s masterpiece

After listening to “Histoire” for awhile, Hunter Lea began spinning all your favorite French new wave records, including Jaques Dutronc’s “le responsible”, which make things crazy at any party. I ordered a “Jane Birkin” cocktail (Serge’s model/collaborator) at one point, but I can’t remember what was in it.

Hunter Lee at Gainsbourg
Hunter Lea spinning at the Gainsbourg re-release party

Gainsbourg describes itself on its Myspace page as, “Absinthe, bone-dry rose, rich, round Bordeaux, icy champagne, small-batch liquors, smoldering Gitanes, classic and new-wave French cinema, leftists with a sense of humor, sexually voracious women with smarts.” Gainsbroug lives up to this reputation and is quite frankly my kind of bar.

Inside Gainsbourg

What I like about Gainsbourg is the inspired vision for the bar. French bistro food and fine French beverages establish the back-bone of Gainsbourg’s food and drink program.

Absinthe At Gainsbourg
Absinthe time at Gainsbourg

Events are regularly held at the bar, from free French lessons to movie screenings to live music. This speaks to the same idea explored by Erin Jimcosky in the upcoming issue of Mutineer Magazine about how community and fine beverage can collide in an incredible way. Gainsbourg hits it out of the park and is what fine beverage is all about.

Gainsbourg Upcoming Events Events set bars like Gainsbourg apart.

Things got pretty crazy after Gainsbourg, with all of the Mutineers except myself piling into the newly acquired Mutineer Mercedes and driving who-knows-where (I would not see team Mutineer again until sometime in the early morning when I would be awakened by being sprayed in the face with beer…true story). I teamed up with Jordan from Mono in VCF and went to check out the very cool Chapel bar in Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood just as they were closing.

The epic exterior of Chapel

Chapel is where inspired imbibers go to pray. It used to be a funeral home, and the best way I can describe it is a futuristic, small church in A Clockwork Orange meets 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Spirit Infusion
Spirits being infused for cocktails next to what appears to be chocolate cake.

The cocktail program at Chapel is pretty impressive, featuring house-infused vodkas and tequilas. These delicious infusions combined with the full bar bring you Chapel cocktails such as the “The Carpenter & The Walrus” with whiskey, sweet tea, and barrel-aged bitters, “pistachio” with pistachio, rum, and cream, and “Ms. Blanche Devereuax” with spiced rum, butterscotch, mineral water and West Indian orange bitters. Yes, this place is the real deal.


  1. Ben T | Wednesday, March 25, 2009

    Sounds like a wild night. Wish I was there. That’s great that Light in the Attic are putting out Gainsburg re-releases. Nice folks there at that little label. Check out The Blakes sometime while you’re at it. They’re on that label and they’re a lot of fun. And look (I’m checking their website at the moment): They’re re-releasing Betty Davis albums! Wow.

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