With a monthlong lockdown underway and conditions for Washington's bars and restaurants looking grim, it brings no pleasure to offer a brief update on a story from earlier this fall: Canon, Seattle's venerable all-world cocktail parlor, most recently home to a particularly elegant liquor store pivot, will go into "hibernation" starting Wednesday, November 25.
"We can't express how much we appreciate your support over the last few months," the bar wrote on Instagram. Canon's late September profile here on The Stranger pulled no punches, including some pretty dire predictions from founder Jamie Boudreau. "We're losing $8000 a week at this stage," Boudreau told me earlier this year." But it costs me just 10k a month to hunker down, close, and wait for spring… either collapse now, or I shelter and maybe we can have jobs again in the years to come."
Business did, in fact, pick-up for the bar, who rolled out an autumn series of new bottled offerings (including "red" and "blue" election riffs on the Corpse Reviver cocktail) and took their dinner program to the delivery apps in order to increase business. Still, it wasn't enough. The latest shutdown is making the final decision a no-brainer for owners like Boudreau, and many others across the region, for whom the double-whammy of state-mandated restrictions and the coming rainy season is just too much to weather.
It's hard to know what comes next—for Canon, for bars and restaurants citywide, and for everyone else riding out this same cursed timeline. "As far as reopening for regular service, well, that all depends on getting this panic under control," the bar writes on Instagram. "Stay home. And wear a mask if you have to go out. If all goes well we'll be open in the spring."
So go we all. But in the meantime the bar is open for takeout cocktails, food delivery, vintage bottles of rare spirits and nice cocktail glassware priced to move. If, like me, you're actively thinking about drinking your way through the next month and seeing where we land on the other side of the closures, the final days of Canon in 2020 make for a tragic, perfect must-stop.