Craft cocktail bar finds a niche in beer-centric Fremont

Happy Hour |

Of all the ‘hoods to start a craft cocktail bar, Peter Glick selected Fremont. Beer rules there. But Glick figures his cocktail den, The Backdoor @ Roxy’s, would stand out amid all the breweries and soccer bars.

They can’t all just want beer, he said.

The bar’s name refers to its location, behind his lunch spot, Roxy’s Diner.

If you’ve hit any trendy cocktail bars in the last six months, you know what to expect here: barrel aged cocktails, pre-prohibition-era drinks and rye.

The décor is part Hemingway-in-Paris era, part speak-easy inspired — with dangling chandeliers, grand draperies and wall murals of flappers. There is a bookcase filled with giant jars of homemade bitters and tinctures.

Bartender Jayson Cottam has put together a good bar program. The drink list features his originals along with cocktails of legendary barman Murray Stenson and other local bartenders Cottam admires.

With the holidays, the drink menu tilts toward eggy concoctions, hot cocktails and dessert drinks. Eggnog comes in three variations: brandy, bourbon or with rum.

But start with the whiskey sour. The cocktail renaissance saved this much maligned club drink. Gone are the days when bartenders just pour cheap blended whiskey and store-bought sour mix on top of ice.

The whiskey sour gets its proper respect here. The egg white gets emulsified with a hard shake along with booze, fresh squeezed lemon juice, rhubarb bitters and honey syrup. That foamy top is what whiskey-sour purists like. The honey and rhubarb notes are Cottam’s own touch, a nice one.

The food is decent enough, more notable because the portions are generous and a good value (around $8), such as the pork chop or the roasted chicken breast wrapped in pastrami.

A benefit of Roxy’s being in Fremont is that the cocktails are a couple of bucks cheaper than in cocktail bars on Capitol Hill. A martini, Manhattan and other classics cost $7. Few drinks cost more than $9. I’ll drink to that.

The Backdoor @ Roxy’s, 462 N. 36th St., offers happy hour daily from 5-6 p.m. and again 11 p.m.-to close with $1 beer, wine and well drinks and bar bites from $1.50 to $5.95 (206-632-7322 or

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or [email protected] On Twitter @tanvinhseattle.

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