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8 Von Trapp's Design Details (and 1 Food Fact)

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[Photo: S. Pratt]

By now, just about every beer drinker in Seattle has heard about Von Trapp's—the expansive (11,000 square feet, including the mezzanines) and expensive ($1.5 million) new Bavarian bier hall on Capitol Hill named after The Sound of Music. The building has been around since 1930. For many years, it was a candy factory. Most recently, however, it was a real life mullet: a used furniture store in the front and an Ethiopian hookah bar in the back.

Von Trapp's, owned by Deming Maclise and James Weimann, the guys behind Bastille, Poquitos, Macleod's and the forthcoming Stoneburner, opens Sunday at 4 pm, and will be open daily from 4 pm to 1 am (with possible earlier weekend hours to come).

Here are 8 design details and one food fact, with quotes from Rich Fox—one of two operational owners—about the space to help you feel a little less lost. Because, you will feel overwhelmed. But in a good way. Like, twirling atop the Austrian countryside.

1. The fireplace in the entryway (known as the Fire Den) is from Vienna and is one very large comprised piece.

We're also going to have a keg fridge in this room and we're going to do weekly specialty tappings; working with the local breweries and having them come in and having some small little, like, six-barrel of something impulsive. We can bring it in and try and foster that to the beer community and then sell it off for cheap and just let them try something. 2. All the tables and benches were inspired by the Hofbräuhaus in Munich.

[Deming and James] took pictures of them, got approximate measurements, and then came back and all of these were made here based on that idea. They were made in the back mezzanine one afternoon; it was like Santa's workshop. 3. The chandeliers were purchased from a salvage place in Austria.

It was amazing to find four of them. 4. The hostess stand is a bistro wall from a restaurant in Germany.

But those elk heads on the wall are from here; American born-and-bred elk heads. 5. The banister is from the old McCaw Mansion in Medina.

They built this amazing $9 million mansion. The staircase itself was a quarter of a million dollars and they tore it down because they had to build a $15 million mansion. 6. The mountain murals near the bocce courts are photographs.

They were bought off a website which was really a gamble. We had talked to somebody about painting murals but the cost of doing that was expensive, deservedly so. Deming found a website that printed [the images] off. Considering the size, it was a relatively small investment. 7. The Sound of Music will pop up on the plasmas from time-to-time.

The intent is that there will be a DVD back there; we're sending it out a feed so we can have moments where we'll just put it on all the TVs late at night. 8. The bocce courts are covered with something called Dream Turf.

The surfaces of bocce courts can be anything from concrete to composite materials to broken up oyster shells. The nice thing about [Dream Turf] is that there's a little bit of friction to it. The one thing that I think surprises people who aren't as familiar with bocce is that it is not bowling. It does not take a lot of force to get a ball from one end to the other. 9. For the most authentic German experience, order Stiegl and a pretzel.

We have Stiegl on tap, which is an Austrian lager and not something that's all over the place. So, I think having a big liter of Austrian lager is a good place to start. We're making our own pretzels. Our baker (Jeff Robinson) came over from The Herbfarm. The other night, our importer for a lot of the Bavarian beers that we have, who spends a lot of time over there, was here with a German beer rep and they both agreed the pretzels were the best pretzels they've had outside of Germany. · More Eater Inside [~ESEA~]
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Von Trapp's

912 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122 Visit Website