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Murray Stenson is Now Bartending at Kaname Izakaya

File this one under… unexpected.

Seattle bartending legend Murray Stenson is on the move again, and is now shaking and stirring it behind the bar at Kaname Izakaya and Shochu Bar.

Stenson tells Eater that Kaname owner Todd Kuniyuki asked him to come in and help the bar gain some direction. "The opportunity to learn about Asian products like shochu and Japanese whiskies and brandies just sounded like a fun challenge to me," The Blur explains of ending up in the International District.

Last we had heard, he was working Sundays and Mondays at E. Smith Mercantile, with previous stints at Queen City Grill and back at his old stomping grounds, Il Bistro. The E. Smith nights are still in place as of now, though he's scheduled to work Tuesday through Thursday at Kaname. Late nighters beware, though, as Stenson will be wiping down the bar at around 9:30 each night.

"Kaname will give me time to work on a long-term project over the next several months," he says, referring to the long-rumored bar he's mentioned in several interviews with Eater.

Also attractive to him is "the departure from the craft cocktail world of ‘something brown, bitter and stirred,' or ‘anything with an amaro.'" Like customer requests for the latest trends have burned out plenty of barkeeps.

Kaname - Izakaya & Shochu Bar

610 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104 (206) 682-1828 Visit Website