The beautiful city of Seattle, located approximately 170 miles north of Portland, Oregon sits along the corridor of Interstate 5, and is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle is known for hosting major sporting events, the world known Space Needle is here, and the city is known as a major gateway connecting locations such as Asia, Alaska, Canada and other destinations. This city is unforgettable once discovered by visitors. Named after Chief Sealth of the Suquamish and Duwamish native tribes, Seattle recently became recognized for something other than the sites it has to offer. Zig Zag Cafe in downtown Seattle, Washington placed the city name in bold print for all to see when its employee, Murray Stenson was named the “Best Bartender in America.”
While the Zig Zag Cafe has been confusing to find for some, once the destination has been found it becomes a place you will want to visit more than once. Owners Kacy Fitch and Ben Dougherty have found a place that offers an amazing experience for visitors. This hidden gem requires you to do a little of what the name states to reach it, zig zag. Behind the Pike Place public market, this cafe is on the Pike Street Hill Climb (beside stairs that run between Alaskan Way and Western Avenue.) Its location feels slightly hidden and secretive. Upon entering you will find a place that is bustling with activity and patrons ranging in age from the early 20’s thru mid 70’s. The lighting is great, making this open, inviting place that is full of energy a desirable cafe to visit. Zig Zag is easily able to accommodate moderate to large size groups, as well as make them feel welcome. Seats and tables are available, as well as nicely cushioned booths. Music can be heard playing on the overhead speakers, and great conversations are taking place throughout the restaurant. It is ideal for people watching. A patio is available for those warm summer days when you prefer to take in the outdoors and fresh air.
A large wooden bar is visible, with numerous liquor bottles on display. There is usually a wait to obtain seating here. Candles provide much of the lighting, and fresh flowers are visible to decorate the bar area as well. This is where much entertainment is visible while bartenders make customer drinks. Drinks start at $10 and bartenders will create custom cocktails based on your likes and dislikes. Many cocktails have ingredients you may not have heard of because of their large liquor selection. If you prefer to taste an ingredient before you select it, that is not a problem because generous shots are available for you to sample. Many concoctions of drinks with a seasonal list of ingredients are available as well. Murray is the principal bartender at Zig Zag, and this is where you will find him mixing beverages for customers on many nights.
Murray Stenson is not your average bartender. Having spent 30 years in the industry, he has spent the past six at Zig Zag whipping up creations from the menu as well as whipping up special customer requests. In the industry Murray has become a standout because of the customer service he offers on a continual basis. His friendly mannerisms are attractive, and the fact that he is known for remembering customer faces is a highlight that puts a smile on the faces of customers occupying bar seats. The sharing of his knowledge with other bartenders has garnered him a tremendous amount of respect from others. Held in New Orleans, the Tales of the Cocktail Festival(focuses on the craft of cocktails,) and is one of the highest honors in the industry brought Murray Stenson the coveted award of “Best Bartender in America” for 2010. The top historians and mixologists from around the world participate in this annual event. For his contagious enthusiasm for this field, Murray has been credited with reviving the cocktail culture in the United States. Hundreds of bartenders admire his work, and try to mimic the phenomenal example he has set at Zig Zag.
Offering an amazing experience, Zig Zag offers something for everyone. The wine list is extensive, and you will often find rare bottles of liquor that come in limited supply (Rathskeller rye,)and dynamic drinks such as Smoky Rob Roy (scotch,)Laphroaig cocktails,Cuba Libre (rum and coke,) Zig Zag Hot Charlotte (gin and spice,)Spicy Bloody Mary,Vermouth, Orange Bitters,dessert drink combinations (raspberry sorbet martinis,)lemon drop martinis, whatever your taste buds can imagine can be created.
Food consisting of Bruschetta, stuffed portabello, Panzanella, Calamari, Vegeterian House Pie, Hummus, Gumbo, and much more is also available. Zig Zag is open daily 5:00pm-2:00am. Happy hour is weekdays 5:00pm-7:00pm. During Happy Hour food costs average $3-$8, house cocktails are $4.75, red house or white wine is $2.75, Maritime Pacific Draft Beer is $3.00. Food is available daily until 1:00am.
With a fun environment, delicious food, and America’s Best Bartender, Murray Stenson taking mixology to another level you cannot go wrong with a visit to Zig Zag. This cafe offers more than just the usual beverage.
Zig Zag Cafe
1501 Western Avenue
Open daily 5:00pm-2:00am