To-go mixed drinks became a new Washington rule in May, and one major cocktail bar is finally joining the party. Canon — one of the premier booze destinations in Seattle, known for an extensive aged spirits selection — officially reopens for takeout Tuesday, with a completely new online ordering system and menu. It had been shuttered since March temporarily, back when the state’s stay-at-home order was in effect, although the bar did serve free meals to the community during that time.
Among the cocktails now available at the Capitol Hill spot are single-serve options, such as the Harvest Moon Frizzante (with rum, passionfruit, champagne, and angostura bitters), as well as larger offerings, such as 950 ml of a spicy mango margarita, all available for pickup at the bar’s window. Food items include roasted peaches, crab rolls, and fried chicken — and diners can even order ice to-go. (Per Washington’s rules, takeout drinks must be purchased with at least one entree.)
Owner Jamie Boudreau told Eater Seattle in May that he needed some time to get things set up before he was ready to roll with the new plan. “We had to come up with a system to take orders, as we can’t afford to sign up with any of the delivery systems out there,” he said. “I project that we might get enough business to pay for rent, so I can’t have those companies taking their 15 percent.” In fact, Canon encourages patrons to preorder online and pay in person with cash, so that the bar doesn’t lose a percentage of sales to bank fees. According to the website, any exact change given to customers will have been “sterilized with high heat,” without touching “human hands for more than 24 hours.”
Gov. Jay Inslee recently revised Washington’s “Safe Start” plan to put further restrictions on bars. Seattle is currently in phase two, which doesn’t allow bar seating. Even in phase three, bar seating and congregating at a bar are no-gos, so pubs, taverns, taprooms, and cocktail dens like Canon will still need to rely on tables only for the foreseeable future, if they decide to resume dine-in services at all. That makes a significant takeout program even more important, and places Canon will need to continue making adjustments.