Four people with connections to Seattle's music scene are opening a bar in the Pike Flats building in May called Life on Mars. (It's located on the same corner where the War Room and 95 Slide used to be.) KEXP DJ/associate programming director John Richards, his partner Amy Richards (Pair Music Collective), Neumos/Barboza/Runaway co-owner Steven Severin, and his wife Leigh Sims (Wake Up Promotions) will run what they're dubbing a vinyl-centric business that will offer a plant-based menu stocked with local vegetables. The kitchen will be overseen by chef Joe Ball, who's worked at Flying Apron (Seattle), Bread & Chocolate (Grand Cayman), and Harlow (Portland). Life On Mars will stress classic cocktails and "a few simplicity-done-well drinks like the Original Line Up with bourbon, grapefruit juice and maple, or Death by Juniper: dry gin and juniper berries, fresh citrus and rosemary." They're planning to emphasize local craft beers and wines, as well.
In a press release, the owners said they're "aiming to create a relaxed bar with good music, deep comfy booths, a gigantic wall of vinyl, local beers, unfussy cocktails... We want people to come in and grab a record for a spin during happy hours, and other hours, we’ll be playing good music, really good music. We’re crafting playlists from classics to emerging artists so you might hear Radiohead’s 'Karma Police,' Idles’ 'Danny Nedelko,' and Stevie Wonder’s 'Living for the City.'" In an email, Severin said he wants Life on Mars to be "a nice place to kick back with a focus on listening to killer music on a great system."
The bar's aesthetic is geared to resurrect a late-'70s vibe, with comfortable, upholstered booths and a wide U-shaped bar. The Life on Mars team designed the space along with Mike Skidmore of Skidmore Janette.
Life on Mars plans to have a monthly rotating selection of vinyl for sale, participate in Record Store Day activities, link up with local brewers and distilleries, and organize events for "good causes with local non-profits." Also on the agenda are special guest DJs and listening parties—but no live music. Severin says he already has enough places for people to enjoy that form of entertainment. For more info, go here.