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Capitol Hill’s Long-Awaited Retro Record Bar Previews Its Vinyl-Filled Space [Updated]

Life on Mars also features inventive cocktails and plant-based menu items

Life on Mars features a wall with more than 5,800 albums.
Courtesy of Life on Mars

Old school LP lovers have an exciting new haunt to spin some tunes in Capitol Hill. After months of anticipation, Life on Mars — a vinyl album-focused bar owned by several Seattle music veterans — quietly opened to the public this past Saturday (with some variable hours throughout this week), and is planning a grand opening party soon. On Thursday, local punk rock group Tacocat will host guest DJ set, part of a string of previews.

The new spot at 722 East Pike has shelves packed with more than 5,800 records that patrons can browse, play, and even buy, including albums by The National, A Tribe Called Quest, and David Bowie, naturally. The spot also boats a robust cocktail menu, with drinks that follow the theme, such as the Opener (green tea vodka, with elderflower, lemon, and soda) and Velvet Goldmine (mezcal, dark rum, cashew orgeat, ginger, and lime). A special Life on Mars Imperial IPA from the critically-acclaimed Reuben’s Brews (one of Eater Seattle’s Essential Craft Breweries) is on draft.

Southpaw cocktail with pineapple, rum, coconut cream, aquafaba, and lime.
Courtesy of Life on Mars
Cocktails will rotate seasonally.
Courtesy of Life on Mars

As for food, the menu rocks plenty of vegan-friendly items, such as a waffle monte cristo, made with grilled seitan ham, chao cheese, and raspberry preserves, and gluten-free fries with blackened soy curls, pepita corn relish, and chimichurri. In fact, there’s not a single meat dish on the list. Prices range from $4 (for small snacks) to $16 for large salads and more substantial offerings.

Veggie burger with onion rings, seitan ham, and queso cheese sauce.
Courtesy of Life on Mars
Waffle sandwich with pulled jackfruit, barbecue sauce, and jicama slaw.
Courtesy of Life on Mars

The new spot is a collaboration among John Richards (the host of KEXP’s popular program “John in the Morning”), his partner Amy Richards (from Pair Music Collective), Leigh Sims (from Wake Up Productions, a music and arts events company), and Steven Severin (who co-owns the well-known Seattle music venues Neumos, Barboza, and The Runaway).

That’s a lot of Seattle music muscle, so the playlist should always be on point. Sims says patrons will hear everything from deep cuts to emerging artists to classics, whether it’s Aretha Franklin’s “Rock Steady” or The Black Tones’ “Plaid Pants.” And during Happy Hour (4pm - 6pm daily and all day Sunday), anybody can grab a record off the wall to play. Yes, even “Stairway.”

Patrons can choose albums from the wall for the bar to play.
Courtesy of Life on Mars

UPDATED 6/5/19, 10:30 a.m.: The story was updated to include photos from Life on Mars and more information about preview events.

Life On Mars

722 East Pike Street, , WA 98122 (206) 323-9166 Visit Website