"Swell is the heart that drinks till it floats," reads the sign at Admiral Bird, Heidi Herr and Corina Luckenbach's newish West Seattle cafe. Corina, who also works at Circa alehouse, says it's an homage to booze-themed sea chanteys. Admiral Bird has several local beers on tap, as well as Raven's Brew coffee, and while the landlocked cafe would more likely inspire street-parking chanteys, all of its benches are upholstered with a boat's sail. Corina and Heidi, who also owns Bird on a Wire Espresso, are both longtime West Seattle residents. "One of my first jobs was flipping burgers at Pepperdock on Alki," Corina said.
Admiral Bird shares a space with a flower shop called Flower Lab, which creates the atmosphere of a lovely indoor garden, making other so-called beer gardens look like beer morgues. The cafe is outfitted with a digital projector, and Corina hopes to host a regular movie night/pajama party. Pesto aioli takes Admiral Bird's arugula, cheese, and egg croissant sandwich to a higher plane of breakfast sandwiches. The sandwich goes well with Seattle Cider Company's Gin Botanical cider, infused with the same plants used in the production of gin. It's crisp and dry, a bit like kombucha but, as the bartender told me, "Much more fun."