Grim's Outcome

The former Grey Gallery brightens up a gray day.

The Watering Hole: Grim's, 1512 11th Ave., 324-7467, CAPITOL HILL The Atmosphere: Grim's is dark and brooding, but in an unexpectedly comforting, beer-hall sort of way. Just moved into the former Grey Gallery space, it describes itself as "steampunk-meets-Silent Hill," which is pretty accurate, if not a little unsettling. The lighting is dim and enhanced by candles—perfect for the industrial-chic space dotted with touches of recycled, reclaimed, salvaged, and repurposed items around each corner. The wall to the left of the long, handcrafted wooden bar is made entirely of old keyholes, and communal tables relieve those hungry for inventive food, thirsty for handcrafted cocktails, and in need of respite from the enormous puddles that line Capitol Hill sidewalks this time of year. The Barkeep: Troy Hedrich. He likes vodka—Stoli, to be exact. That explains why he makes us the cocktail credited for kicking off the post-WWII vodka craze. "I like the Moscow Mule," says Hedrich of the vodka, lime, and ginger-beer concoction. "It has a great flavor. It's not too sweet, but it's kind of refreshing at the same time. It's simple. You don't need a master's degree and 10 bottles at home to make it." Personally, Hedrich says his favorite cocktail is ginger ale and Stoli. "I love ginger, which kind of seems to be a popular flavor these days. I have been drinking Russian Rockstars for a few years now, which are Stoli on the rocks with a splash of ginger ale. But out here, I've been loving the ginger beer, which has altered my own drink a bit." Some stats on Hedrich: He moved to Seattle from Petoskey, Mich., a little more than a year ago, knowing nothing about the city except it's where his sister calls home. At 33, he's already been in the restaurant business 14 years; he's the second oldest of three brothers and a sister; and he thinks Seattle is a pretty great place to tend bar. "Bartenders here know what the hell they are doing, which raises the bar," he says. "It's nice." The Verdict: The Moscow Mule was an extremely refreshing, perfectly balanced, summery drink on a terrible rainy day that happened to coincide with our first visit to Grim's. We were soaking wet after walking the four blocks from the illegal parking space it took us 20 minutes to find. We probably weren't in the best mood when we sidled up to the bar looking like wet rats, but Hedrich and his Mason-jarred Mule had us sitting and sipping for more than an hour while we waited out the rain and made a new friend.

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