Imagine a cafe with a 5,000-bottle, 20-ft. spiral wine tower. Sounds like a grape lover’s dream, doesn’t it? Seattle is now home to the third Puget Sound location of the Purple Cafe & Wine Bar, which opened in July on Fourth Avenue and University Street across from the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.
My husband and I popped into what was formerly a branch of University Bookstore. The volumes have been replaced by vino, bottles and bottles of vino. The decor, described as “casual sophistication with an upbeat metropolitan style,” is dark and seductive. Almost Spanish-Gothic in feel. Wrought iron bar stools along with matching chairs and tables are set against a backdrop of distressed brick walls, a cool concrete bar and 20-ft. floor to ceiling windows looking out onto the streets. Chandeliers and votive candles give it a warm glow when night falls.
But the most dramatic feature is the 20-foot, floor to ceiling steel wine tower that holds more than 5,000 bottles. A spiral staircase winds around the tower to the ceiling, allowing servers access to all the bottles. There’s a 20-seat wine bar, but we opted to sit at a table for two on the main floor. Upstairs is the loft level with a 37-ft. tasting bar, along with a private dining room and a lounge area.
We began our anniversary celebration with Gosset Champagne from France. Then it was on to the cheese tasting menu, presented as a “flight” of two to five tastes, along with a selection of wines. Purple has organized them into five whimiscally named categories: Ode to a Musty French Cove (aged to perfection); Pepe le Phew, We Love You (slightly stinky); If Willy Wonka Had a Cheese Factory (mild and sweet); Donald Trump in Vermont (rich and creamy); and To Our Beloved Sea Captain Ivar (dry, sometimes mild, often briny and always nutty).
It was the perfect beginning to our anniversary celebration.
Purple Cafe and Wine Bar has other locations in Woodinville and Kirkland.
The Seattle locale details:
A: 1225 4th Ave., Seattle , WA 98101.
Hours: Mon-Thur 11am – 11pm;
Friday 11am – 12am;
Saturday 12pm – 12am;
Sunday 12pm – 10pm.