If you’ve been missing your Murray Stenson cocktails lately, you’re not alone. We’ve had our ears to the pavement and finally tracked him down at his new digs in Pioneer Square. Since Sunday, March 22, Stenson is employed at the beautifully curated shop and bar at E. Smith Mercantile. He’s slated to work Sundays and Mondays.
Though the bar has previously been open Tuesday through Saturday, recent successes with Guest Chef dinners have gone well on Sundays and got the owners thinking about expanding their drinking days. "We decided to open up the bar on Sunday and Monday nights and wanted a fun way to draw people in," co-owner Jessie Poole tells Eater. "We were excited about the opportunity to present guest bartenders on quieter nights as well."
The family offered the job to Stenson, and were excited when he accepted. For now, Stenson is learning the house cocktails, many of which include unique bitters made by Kate Poole, one of the owners of the quaint 1st Avenue S shop (between S Washington St & S Main St). (Editor’s note: Get the Miner’s Campfire, which features scotch, tequila, grapefruit, honey, and the E. Smith Smoke bitters.)
"It's a great atmosphere," Stenson tells Eater. "The owners and customers have no 'cocktail attitude' and there's a carefully curated, quality backbar selection. I'm in heaven!"
As for the terms of Stenson's stay, it's unclear how long he'll be making the Pioneer Square bar his home. He's told Eater before that he's looking to start his own bar. While he and an undisclosed partner are still actively looking, Stenson says they're "getting warm on location, but still at least six months away."
Reservations will be accepted for his nights behind the stick.