Elysian Bar used to at least have good drinks.
  • Kelly O
  • Elysian Bar used to at least have good drinks.

Five of the six original bartenders have departed downtown's Elysian Bar, open since May—and they all left in one week. It was an all-star cast, starting with the best of the best, Murray Stenson. Murray confirms his departure and says that we can now find him at Belltown's venerable Queen City Grill, along with Dennis Brand, who also left the Elysian. (Stenson characterized my July review of Elysian Bar—short version: expensive and fairly dismal food, great bar staff and cocktails—as "very accurate.") Stenson's at Queen City Tuesday through Friday, with Brand there Saturday through Monday.

As for the other barkeeps no longer at Elysian Bar, Stenson reports that Connor O’Brien can be found at Artusi, Jason Diaz is at Roux, Adam Fream will be at the very promising-looking Single Shot, and Kacy Fitch (a founder of Seattle cocktail mecca the Zig Zag Cafe, where you could also find Stenson back in the day) is finishing cancer treatment and hopes to be back to work in a month—very best to him.

Reached by phone, Elysian Bar general manager Tyler Pascoe said, "We did have a little bit of a bar turnover, just like any new restaurant. For some people it was not a good fit; other people moved on to other opportunities." I didn't ask him about replacements; this lineup is pretty much irreplaceable. From the beginning, the corporate Elysian gig seemed like an odd fit for Stenson and the crew; hopefully they got some good paychecks out of it.