I-Miun Liu, who owns Oasis Tea Zone and the recently opened Dynasty Room, has opened East Trading Co., an artistic cocktail bar blending Eastern traditions and Western culture in the former home of Sun Liquor on Capitol Hill. Partner and bar manager Michael Chu, formerly at Ba Bar, has created 12 original cocktails named for Chinese zodiac characters.
There’s the Dragon, a bourbon cocktail that’s smoked in a teapot with cherry wood bark, and the Rabbit, with egg white, sloe gin, rum, emerald princess tea (a combination of green tea, lavender, and rosebuds), and pineapple liqueur. Indecisive guests can spin the Zodiac Drink Wheel rather than make a hard choice.
The bar snacks sound like the perfect salty-sweet-sour accompaniments, including pickled veggies, fried smelt with a soy-based dipping sauce, and jwipo, a lightly sweet, roasted filefish jerky.
Liu hired Electric Coffin to lead the design at 514 E Pike St., which is “inspired by the owner’s personal experience of moving to Seattle’s International District from China as a child,” according to a release. The space sports a blend of vintage flourishes and street art like murals, an old kung fu compilation video that plays on repeat, zodiac coasters, and a glass painting inspired by old Chinese fireworks packaging. Between the menu and the decor, East Trading Co. is a bold, unique addition to the neighborhood.
Liu and Chu also partnered recently on the impressive Dynasty Room, another Electric Coffin-designed bar in the Chinatown–International District. It pays homage to the back bar at the shuttered Four Seas, which served Chinese food starting in the 1960s. Like East Trading Co., Dynasty Room also features plenty of herbs, teas, and other Chinese influences in its drinks.