The Speak Softly Shop

March 30, 2017
By Tamara Thomson

“In 1914, Washington voters approved a first ever citizen-sponsored initiative prohibiting the manufacturing and the sale of alcohol.” It wasn’t until November 1932 that the anti-alcohol state law was repealed with the exception of the drinking age, which remained at 21. Speakeasy’s (illicit establishments selling alcoholic beverages during prohibition) came into prominence during the prohibition era and while prohibition is long but over, Speakeasy’s remain to this day.IMG_3465The downstairs lounge decorated in the most beautiful wallpaper I have ever seen.

One of Seattle’s premier Speakeasy’s, the first of its kind on Capitol Hill and by far my favorite, the Knee High Stocking Co. has established itself as a pioneer in Seattle’s craft cocktail scene. (Providing craft seasonal cocktails for over 38 seasons now, I would say they know a thing or two about creating a fantastic cocktail.) They also feature a fairly extensive and impressive selection of spirits including some very interesting Absinthe’s and Scotch Whiskeys. In addition to superb craft cocktails they also serve: beer, wine, coffee, ginger beer and fizzy waters. (For those who don’t drink alcohol).IMG_3467Champagne, complimentary candy and good times.

Established in 2007, The Knee-High is now owned by sisters Pamela Carpio and Michelle Valko and has been featured in various publications over the years: Seattle Times, Buzz Feed, The NY Times and The Stranger just to name a few. With the Knee-High, they wanted to stay true to the prohibition-era theme but to give it a modernized twist which shows in the interesting and unique food menu they have put together. They like to refer to it as “Asia meets Europe” and I couldn’t think of a better way to describe it for it reflects the sisters own Eurasian descent. The menu features traditional European Conservas (after work bar food comprised of gourmet tin food served with a starch like bread or crackers) but then you will also find a delicious traditional Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich and snack foods like: sweet and savory popcorn, house marinated country olives and a trio of nuts tossed in a sweet chipotle spice. On my visit to the Knee-High however I opted for the Mousse Basquaise by D’artagnan-a rich and creamy pate mousse of duck liver, duck fat, bell peppers and port wine served with crusty bread, mustard and quince paste. And let me tell you, it was amazing. I even had to ask for more bread just to make sure I was able to enjoy every last morsel. IMG_3468Mousse Basquaise by D’artagnan-a rich and creamy pate mousse of duck liver, duck fat, bell peppers and port wine served with crusty bread, mustard and quince paste.

Last year saw the latest and most exciting addition to this beloved Speakeasy. They wanted to be able to supply the perfect event space for private meetings, birthday parties etc. so they turned a room that up until that point had been used as storage into an underground bar and lounge which is capable of holding up to 30-35 people. They also equipped the space with: curated playlists, photography possibilities, catering, a mobile bar, comfortable leather and wood seating, small tables, a fairly large flat screen T.V. and they adorned the walls in the space with the most beautiful wallpaper I have ever seen anywhere in all of Seattle, giving it a truly authentic vintage feel. Aside from hosting private parties this space is also being utilized for the Knee-High’s own ongoing weekly/monthly events including my favorite, “Silver Screen Sunday’s”. They also host “Industry Monday’s” and coming this Spring they will be launching brunch on Saturday’s and Sunday’s. (By reservation only)IMG_3466I stopped in for “Silver Screen Sunday’s” to watch episodes of one of my favorite shows, Absolutely Fabulous and just like the ladies in the T.V. show I was having a marvelous time.

The Knee-High Stocking Company can be fairly hard to find if you don’t know where to look. It’s located in a triangular shaped building between E. Olive Way and Melrose Avenue and is known to be “hidden in plain sight”. There’s a little nondescript sign next to the door and there you will find the magical doorbell. Once you’ve found it, ring the door bell and Voila, you’re in. (Although I would highly recommend making reservations, it’s a pretty small space that’s extremely popular so it fills up fairly quickly.IMG_3476 (1)The ever so lovely downstairs bar.