Despite its name, Single Shot will be made up of many shots.
First of all, there will be the shots of liquor you can get in your craft cocktails. Espresso shots will also be on the menu. A folk-art single barrel shotgun is the bar’s namesake, and an old gun shop sign will hang near the bar. Owner Rory McCormick is also taking a shot that his third project in Seattle will be a success.
“I couldn’t be doing this with better in people, in a better location,” McCormick told me. “This is an exciting time for us and this project is going to be great.”
McCormick is partnering with James Sherrill, the Executive Chef behind his other bar, Re:public; home of my favorite brunch poutine and one of the best Manhattans in Seattle. Longtime Capitol Hill photographer Spike Mafford is also working on Single Shot, since the space it will occupy used to be his art gallery. Mafford’s colorful work currently adorns the walls of Mezcaleria Oaxaca.
“Spike’s been so helpful,” said McCormick. “He’s a good friend and a mentor, and we both really wanted to make sure we were honoring the space. He’s been there for 22 years and landed a new, awesome place for his gallery. So he’s working with the landlord, and handing me the torch.”
Single Shot will be moving in next to the original Top Pot at 611 Summit Avenue East. Sun Liquor rounds out the trio in the old masonry building that is almost 100 years old.
“The location is amazing,” said McCormick. “You just don’t find a lot of locations like that anymore. I absolutely love that old, 1920’s style of building. There’s already so much charm before you ever even put anything in it. I think it’s awesome to get the opportunity to be able to help maintain such an old building.”
McCormick definitely has a thing for old, interesting spaces and he’s generally a little daring when choosing the locations for his bars. He opened Re:public in South Lake Union four years ago, right before the full mega-Amazon-expansion-explosion happened. He renovated an early 1900’s warehouse building in order to open Re:public, doing a full conversion.
“It was a big project,” he said. “But my team and I kind of like to be pioneers. And now Re:public is going strong; we’re about to celebrate four years in business. In fact, it’s celebrating its birthday on July 3rd. We get a lot of different kinds of people in there, from the business and lunch crowd, to the people out drinking at night.”
McCormick also acknowledges the north end of Capitol Hill can be finicky, but he’s confident in the project.
“It’s going to be a food-drive bar,” he told me. “That’s what my team is good at. I think there’s definitely a place for that in that location. We’re really focusing on what that part of the neighborhood needs.”
McCormick says the food at Single Shot will be very vegetable-driven. He also bought a wood stone pizza oven to make flatbreads.
The interior of Single Shot will be polished and intimate. McCormick is working with Kirk Albert of Kirk Albert Vintage Furnishings, who also helped with Re:public. He’s using some salvaged parts from an old gun shop mixed with modern décor, including a concrete floor, metal work, and custom-made booths. With only 1200 square feet and 42 seats, it will be a much more cozy atmosphere than the cavernous experience at Re:public.
“It’s going to be more similar to the size of Canon,” said McCormick. “And a lot of my same crew from Re:public will be helping to get Single Shot started.”
When I tried getting a hold of McCormick for this article, I called Re:public, hoping to get help finding him from a hostess or bartender. Instead, it was McCormick himself who answered the phone.
“Yeah, I work a lot,” he told me, laughing. “And I especially work a lot when I’m gearing up to open a new space. I care a lot about what I do and my team.”
McCormick says Single Shot will likely open around the end of July or early August. It will be open 7 days a week in the evenings, except on Sunday when there will also be brunch.
“I’m not guaranteeing an opening day yet,” McCormick said. “I want to make sure things are perfect. I’ll wait until I get the word from my team that we’re ready to go. That’s how I always do things. But we’re definitely hoping for some time in the next six weeks.”
611 Summit Avenue East