Von's 1000 Spirits opens at 11 am tomorrow on the Harbor Steps. And while it can never truly replace Von's Roasthouse that opened 25 years ago near 7th and Pine, it's certainly going to try and take full advantage of a waterfront revival.
Here are seven ways the new Von's is different than the old Von's, including quotes from proprietress Merrisa Firnstahl-Claridge — daughter of Tim Firnstahl, who opened the original Von's.
1. They've rebranded.
We wanted to keep the great deal on martinis and Manhattans, but we felt we really needed to update our brand, our interior, and our food. 2. They're no longer a roast house.
We serve sourdough French country pizzas (called frics) and hamburgs, our version of a hamburger. We chop all of our meat in-house daily and we put it on our homemade sourdough brioche bun; that's kind of the mainstay of our food. 3. They've introduced an alchemy bar.
We still have a large bar, over 1,000 spirits. The alchemy bar is where we do all of our bar science. We have three custom in-house liquors that we make. 4. They're going for a different customer base.
We're down by the waterfront, so obviously we're still catering to tourists, but we're much more interested in getting more of a business and art crowd, since Benaroya and the museum are so close. 5. They play only vinyl records.
We have two turntables. 6. They're in a new space (duh!).
We needed something fresh. And when we heard the waterfront was opening up, that was of interest to us. There's a lot of possibility here (at the Harbor Steps) over the next five years. Says Tim Firnstahl:
[Our former] building was 80 years old. Everything was falling apart. 7. They're going to try do brunch in about six months.