The latest project from bar experts Chris Elford and Anu Apte-Elford opens today in Belltown. The couple’s Vinnie’s Raw Bar will pour approachable natural wines and cocktails alongside dishes highlighting Pacific Northwest seafood. The bar opens inside the space formerly occupied by Navy Strength Coffee and Juice Bar, which Chris and Anu closed in December. The Elfords’ highly successful other projects, including next-door bars Navy Strength and No Anchor, signal Vinnie’s is one to get excited about.
The menu at Vinnie’s (2505 2nd Ave, Suite 102) will include an octopus terrine as part of a “seacuterie” plate, steamed mussels with hot sauce, a caviar sandwich with smoked mayo, and a seafood tower for folks who have trouble narrowing things down. The drinks will focus on the couple’s affinity for natural wine (in general, this means that the bottles are from producers that don’t use pesticides or other unnatural interventions in the winemaking process, but more detailed definitions can get complicated).
This wouldn’t be an Elford-owned bar without cocktails, which Vinnie’s has covered, too. The Belltown Negroni features locally distilled Letterpress Amaro Amorino and Copperworks gin, with a sweet vermouth made from leftover wine. A mezcal cocktail will use cordial made from leftover riesling and spent lime shells, and a scotch highball is made with a green and oolong tea blend and leftover lemons. In keeping with the bar’s sustainability leanings, there will be no beverage napkins or disposable coasters, and only one drink will use a straw (the mint julep).
Vinnie’s, which is named for Anu’s mother, Vinaya, is small, with seating for about 30 people. The beachy, light colors of the decor, the open kitchen, and the layout of the stools and tables make it feel more spacious. Vinnie’s is also adding outdoor seating soon.
Starting today, Vinnie’s will be open from 5 to 10 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, with pop-ups in the space on Sundays and Mondays.