Get ready for a new Belltown bar, heavy on the French. Acclaimed bartender Erik Hakkinen is planning to open up a spot called Roquette on First Avenue, right next to Local 360. The cocktails and general aesthetic will be influenced by Hakkinen’s time spent in Paris when he was in his 20s, so expect drinks derived from eau-de-vie, Armagnac, and other French spirits, along with some moody lighting. There will also be seating for 46, and Hakkinen aims to open the place later this summer.
The bartender — who made a name for himself at Pike Place Market mainstay Zig Zag Cafe — delivered the details to Seattle Met, explaining that he wanted to embrace the neighborhood vibe (raucous, at times), with some refinement. It will be “fancier than most places in Belltown,” Hakkinen said, “but that’s the point.”
Bold statement, perhaps? While many Belltown spots do lean toward divey, those in search of an upscale cocktail experience don’t necessarily have to search high and low. No Anchor’s bar program was a James Beard Award semifinalist in 2019, Renee Erickson’s eye-popping Deep Dive opened up in the nearby Amazon Spheres in 2018, and the speakeasy Bathtub Gin & Co. has been an open secret for years.
So Hakkinen will certainly have some fancy competition when Roquette opens, but the more thoughtful cocktail options, the merrier.