“Queen City marries the bar’s original design elements-exposed brick, mahogany booths, and a 1920’s style bar- with Derschang’s signature edge and irreverence (black and white portraits of drag queens pepper the interior). ‘We had a big responsibility to create a place that was updated yet maintained a sense of history”, Derschang says. “And of course, royalty and drag queens totally work together!’”
“The thing I’m most proud of in regards to cocktails in my career is the recent development of nitrogen-infused tap cocktails. Using a process very similar to making nitro cold brew, we are forcing nitrogen into solution with classically stirred cocktails and dispensing them through a stout faucet as you would a Guinness or other nitro beer. The results have been a bit of a revelation for me and I’m super excited to continue to evolve the process to affect both the development of flavors through immediate aeration and augmenting the textural component of cocktails.”
“Derschang intuits potential and coaxes a place into being its best self. Her places are neighborhood hangouts. If you’ve been to Oddfellows Café, Smith, Tallulah’s, King’s Hardware or Linda’s Tavern (Derschang’s first venture, opened in 1994), you’ve experienced her magic touch. She creates her signature look with art and found objects, light and shadow, wit and weird taxidermy. The vintage corner storefront, with its arched transom windows and acres of mahogany, gives her a lot to work with.
She brought in her own team to execute a tightly edited menu of bar food, updated classics made with high-quality, locally sourced ingredients. Will Richey, oversees both Queen City and Smith on Capitol Hill. Myles Burroughs, the Derschang Group’s beverage director for the past five years, created the drink program. It includes natural wines and the company’s first experiment with nitro tap cocktails.”
“Prolific restaurateur Linda Derschang (Linda’s Tavern, Oddfellows) has put her sophisticated spin on Belltown’s longstanding Queen City Grill, beautifully redesigning the space, the menus, and even the name, slightly — Queen City — for its reopening today.
Derschang says she’s been wishing for a nearby neighborhood hangout for a burger and a cocktail since she moved downtown a few years ago, and Queen City is her solution — she’s even brought along the burger from Smith, another of her restaurants”
“Derschang’s restaurant group has dominated the Capitol Hill dining scene with places like Smith, two Oddfellows, and of course Linda’s. Then there’s King’s Hardware in Ballard. But now Derschang is putting her effortlessly stylish mark on Belltown.
“Since moving downtown a few years ago,” Derschang tells me, “I’ve been wishing there was a place like Smith nearby, a neighborhood hangout for a cocktail and a burger.”
“She has a knack for bringing character into interiors. "The Queen City could be a scruffy tavern, or an elegant Italian restaurant, or a fancy cocktail bar, or a regular steak house. But I want it to be a place with the kind of feeling that makes people smile."
Derschang moved into a skyward downtown condo two years ago, and felt her new environs lacked something: a burger-and-cocktail kind of joint. Almost cosmically a space became available; she opened such a place in the old Queen City Grill some five blocks from home. She didn’t change much, except to call it simply Queen City, in keeping with its original moniker back when it was an 1890s-era saloon. It evokes a little bit of nostalgia and has Derschang’s signature aesthetic touch (vintage fixtures, taxidermied adornments).