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Rapport

Ready for fun?

Eating and drinking is aways fun. Rapport is offering to take the fun up a notch by having you choose your beer/wine portion size and pouring it yourself from a climate-controlled dispenser. This isn't unknown elsewhere, but it's not common here. Rapport is breaking the barrier.

The fun comes from choosing which wines you want to try, placing your Rapport card into the slot and choosing 1, 3, or 5 ounces. For beer, simply whatever amount you like (charged by the ounce). Find what you like and go for a glass, or just have a taste experience. If you're eating in courses, you can pair a different wine with each dish.

Owner David Clawson was born and raised in Seattle but spent 25 years away before returning with his family in 2018. 15 of those years were spent in London with a short sojourn in Paris where he fell in love with those cute bars a vin. After a career in finance, David got into the London wine trade and then opened The Remedy, a Parisian-inspired wine bar. David says, "We had mainly natural and biodynamic European wines on our list. That's how I learned the business. We didn't expand; real estate in London is so expensive. My wife and I started thinking that after 15 years, should we stay or go? We decided we were done and came back to the Northwest for the lifestyle. A school friend had started another wine bar concept in London called Vagabond, which was one of the first places in London to let customers pour their own wine using automated dispensers. People loved the concept, and it took off. My place, The Remedy, was more intimate. I believe in a welcoming and warm environment when it comes to approaching wine. Maybe you don't want to be told about a wine, you just want to try it. We had the opportunity to bring that here, and the staff can guide you if you want."

It took time to find the right location. "We wanted to be part of a community and this space was the former Roy Street Coffee, so people already had that bond. There are young people in the area and we're in a residential area. The space was a good size, and there is lots of natural light. We planned to open in March or April, but then COVID hit. Then, should we do it at all? The answer was yes: we wanted to start building our brand and connecting with the community. Self-pour is unique, and I like the dynamic of movement and interaction in the space. It's such a fun vibe." They opened August 10, 2020.

Owner David Clawson and Chef Mike Law, courtesy of Pacific Mist Photography

David's vision also includes food that brings the same level of fun and quality as the wine. "Origin is important to me," says David. "We have natural wines, classic wines. We have passion for the wines we work with. The same is true for food. In January, Sitka & Spruce closed and one of their chefs, Mike Law, was looking for a new gig. We met and found we shared the same views."

Mike was raised in the south. He learned about southern and Dominican cooking from his Dominican-born mother and grandmother at an early age. He loves diverse cooking styles, using seasonal and local ingredients, and has experience with butchery, charcuterie, smoke, pastry, and artisan cheese. He opened the Wandering Goose and was Chef/Partner at Bourbon & Bones for a year-and-a-half before moving to North Carolina. In 2018 he returned to Seattle and worked at Sitka & Spruce until it closed on December 31, 2019. "When I met David, it was full throttle and then brake!", he laughs. "We want to be true to our purveyors and the origin of our food. The biscuits are my recipe used at Wandering Goose; we also offer hand pies and coffee in the morning. We have New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp, gumbo, charcuterie plates. We do flatbreads using sourdough. The starter is my wife's, who is a baker at Columbia City Bakery; it's six years old. David and I both feel tradition is important, food should be true to its roots and we like to use local products that few hands touch. We don't want to pigeonhole ourselves. We're not just southern, northwest, or a wine bar. The food and wine complement each other."

Pair with this! Courtesy of Pacific Mist Photography

David is currently using distributors while he makes plans to work directly with wineries. "I have a few things in the pipeline," he says. "We may have special wines made for us as well. After wine, we added self-dispensing beer taps with hard-to-find local beers, then a concise craft cocktail program. We were part of the lobbying effort to get takeout liquor approved and have cocktails prepacked in little champagne bottles. We have 80 wines on tap. Total, we have over 100 beverage options. Retail sales was always part of the plan and right now there's an emphasis on that. Having a pantry was in the back of my head, but the pandemic brought it forward. We have eggs and bacon. Mike makes everything from scratch."

They're enjoying having people inside the space enjoying the full experience including tastings and events. "Ultimately, we'd like to think about more locations, but right now it's all about this spot. With coffee, breakfast, self-pour beer and wine, cocktails, and Mike creating great menus, we have lots of elements to play with."

Connie Adams/April 2021

Rapport
700 Broadway E
Seattle, WA 98102
206-705-9500

www.rapportseattle.com


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