One unfortunate casualty of the pandemic in the heart of Seattle’s Ballard Neighborhood was Bastille, which had been packing people in for dependable, comforting French bistro fare in classic environs since 2009 before closing last March.
While the concept may not have translated well for takeout service, in its place comes Sabine Café Bar & Market, a bright and lively counter-service and coffee-focused concept from the same owners, Seattle restaurateurs James Weimann and Deming Maclise.
With a brighter palette of creams and blues, exposed ceiling trusses, ornate ceiling moulding and numerous indoor and open-air seating options, Sabine opened last October under the watch of manager Kathryn Meyer.
“There’s a lot of room for customers to walk around, which made it easier during the pandemic,” Meyer recently told Daily Coffee News. “The space is very inviting.”
Sabine is serving coffees from Caffe Vita, the iconic Seattle coffee brand acquired by Maclise on Jan. 1, 2020. On the bar are two Mazzer grinders alongside a custom-painted, Seattle-inspired La Marzocco KB90 with gold trim.
A coffee menu led by Meyer includes traditional espresso drinks, batch brews and teas alongside a menu of adaptogenic drinks featuring alternative milks mixed with various extracts, spices, root powders, barks and salts.
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“The ingredients in the adaptogenic powder help your body deal with stress in different ways,” Meyer said. “And part of the idea is that we wanted to offer something unique that isn’t on this block.”
Farther down the drinks menu are a wide variety of sparkling sodas, craft beers, wines and cocktails, all befitting the generous food menu that benefitted from a remodel of the Bastille space to include a larger bakery. Breads, toasts, sandwiches, salads, pastries, spreads, smoked meats, vegan items, gluten-free items and more flow out of the Sabine kitchen under the watch of Chef Jacob Dunkelberger.
As the cafe operation finds its flow, Meyer said Sabine will likely be expanding its “Market” concept, which currently includes bottles of wine, house-made jams, fresh bread, nut butters, salsas, sauces, and spice mixes.
Sabine is located 5307 Ballard Ave NW in Seattle. Tell us about your new coffee shop or roastery here.
Craig Batory is a writer, marketer and coffee professional working and living in Detroit.