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Aston Manor & Maison Tavern: Behind the Bookcase

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[Photos: A. Garland]

They mystery surrounding Aston Manor and Maison Tavern, a soon-to-open nightclub and bar in SoDo (next to Blue Water Taco Grill), has reached fever pitch. Trying to find out whose backing this place financially is about as challenging as trying to find proprietor Roy Aston himself (he doesn't exist). If Tyler Durden from Fight Club and Randall Stevens from Shawshank Redemption had a baby, it would be this place.

The names Aston Manor and Maison Tavern raised some eyebrows when this news story came out shortly after Munchbar closed on the heels of that fatal Christmas Eve shooting.

The General Manager of both places will shed some light on a few burning questions below, but for now, the liquor license has been granted, a kind of a big-deal consulting chef has been hired (Bryan Ogden, son of the James Beard Award winning Bradley Ogden), and everything is back to normal — you know, if your frame of reference is the 1920s and imaginary playboys. And models in bathtubs filled with rose petals (yes, that is a thing here).

UPDATE: The club's PR team says Aston Manor & Maison Tavern are still waiting on their liquor license. It has not been granted yet.

Before becoming Roy Aston's personal GM, Laura Pacelli helped open Blue Martini in The Bravern. She is also most likely tired of people asking her, "WTF is this Aston guy?" Go get your monocle, because here are her answers.

When do you open?

We're aiming for the end of March, early April.

What is the concept here?

It's basically two concepts in one. Maison Tavern contains a bar and the mezzanine upstairs. It will be open for after work drinks, cocktails, girls night, happy hour Monday through Friday. Then, the entire venue will open up as Aston Manor, a high-volume nightclub on Friday and Saturday nights, with room to grow on other nights as we progress. When we open up as Aston Manor, Maison Tavern becomes a VIP area complete with table-side service. There's a bookcase that moves that separates the two rooms. There will be a host there who separates the VIPs from general admission.

We're creating an experience that no one else in Seattle has. Instead of just a velvet rope separating me from you, you'll actually be able to be comfortable sitting down with your friends not being bothered by anyone else. The idea is to bring Seattle forward by stepping back. We want to bring back the Old World elegance, Old World spirits, manners, culture — a true experience that doesn't exist anywhere else.

What does it take to be a VIP?

The same way you'd be a VIP anywhere else: spend a lot of money, be really good to the staff, heavy hitters anywhere.

Who are the players behind this place?

We have multiple investors from LA, Vegas, Arizona and Seattle. The concept where Aston Manor's name comes from is a fictitious character named Roy Aston that we created and this is his home. He became a billionaire, bootlegging during the prohibition, hence why each room has a different idea of what a home would look like. So, he's the man behind it.

Some more fun facts from Ms. Pacelli:

· Free valet Friday and Saturday nights.
· One of the two lead bartenders, Jawn Wakefield, most recently worked at Moshi Moshi.
· The other, Justin, worked at All Nations in Shoreline and pronounces his name just-IN'.
· There is a full LED wall, 6 x 14 feet, behind the stage.
· The DJ booth was custom built for them and includes a real mantle from the 1900s pulled from a home on Capitol Hill.
· There is a 6-foot rotating chandelier in the middle of the dance floor.
· Total restrooms: 10
· Total full-functioning bars: 3
· Roy's spa area (surrounded by bookcases filled with perfume bottles, toothpaste, razors, etc.) has a bathtub which will be filled with a model doused in rose petals.
· Another model will fill a high-backed chair to the right of the LED wall.
· There will also be a cigarette girl in full costume roaming around.
· Max capacity of Aston Manor: 571
· Max Capacity of Maison Tavern: 282
· Aston Manor will be open Friday-Saturday, 9 pm to 2 am; Maison Tavern will be open Monday-Friday, 4 pm to "late-ish."

· All Eater Inside Coverage [~ESEA~]
· Aston Manor [Official Site]
· Maison Tavern [Official Site]

Aston Manor

2946 1st Avenue S, Seattle, WA 98134