Coqktail Club: Cyclops
Sometimes the best laid plans just don’t play out as imagined. For our last Cocktail Club meeting R was in charge of selecting our location. She had a place in mind, checked out the website and send out the details. Everything was in order except one small thing. We meet on Mondays, the place was open on Mondays… but closed at 6:00 pm! So we all arrived at 7:00 to find locked doors. No problem – we decided to walk a few blocks (it was a very nice night) to a place we hadn’t been for awhile. (First R crammed a note on the door for any potential latecomers.) That place was Cyclops.
Cyclops is sort of a Seattle institution. The funky place has been around forever. There was a time when they had to move from their original location and everyone worried it would become too main stream. For years it was known as the "Jello-Mold" place, as the outer walls of the building were covered in various and sundry jello molds. When they moved the molds did not come along, but the eye did, as well as other artistic endeavors. The place has managed to retain its character, while hanging on the edges of Belltown.
We chose a place outside to sit after making sure that side of the outdoor area was open. And then I remembered why I haven’t come back for quite some time. Service stinks. It took forever for our server to acknowledge us and to bring menus. And this was at a time when there were only about 4 or 5 other tables occupied. We finally were greeted, provided menus and water. Then we had to wait for our server to actually come back and take the orders – we couldn’t even flag him down, as he would just completely disappear!
R and I started with a Mojito, K decided to try a Pink Eye, JB went with his standard G&T and N, a first-timer to the group, tried the Caipirinha. The Mojitos were decent, the G&T good, N gave his Caipirinha a 6 out of 10, but after further discussion this was his first one and so it might not be that Cyclops’ version was 6 out of 10, it might just be that he wasn’t that fond of the drink, in general. The Pink Eye was super sweet. We decided it tasted sort of like Easter egg candies! It was flavorful, but it would be hard to drink more than one at a time.
R also ordered Fish Tacos and they looked beautiful and she said they were very tasty. We were too late for Happy Hour but they may be part of the Happy Hour menu.
Once we were able to grab our server again, we ordered another round to try out a few new things. This time I decided to stick with a basic Cuba Libra, K switched to a Cosmopolitan, R had another Mojito, N decided to try the Aye Caramba! and JB was going to have his second standard, Spanish Coffee, however it was not offered. Instead he chose an Irish Coffee.
At some point it got a little cool outside so we moved in to a booth, where we could more fully "appreciate" the art. Well, at least the creative renderings, I’m not sure I’d call all of it art, except in that funky and fun way. K’s Cosmo was too sweet, my Cuba Libra was good, N liked his Aye Caramba much better than the Caipirinha. JB declared his Irish Coffee, "feisty but sweet" but noted it was a bit lacking on the cream and gave it an 8 out of 10.
I’d like to give Cyclops a resounding recommendation – I love the idea of it, the fun ambiance, the interesting decor – but every time I’ve been there service has been so lacking that I can only say you might want to try it, but be ready to spend some time. And I don’t specifically remember drinks from past visits but I’d say stay away from most of the specialty drinks and stick with the basics. They do those well.
2421 First Avenue • Belltown
Sunday through Thursday: 5 – 10pm
Friday & Saturday: 5 – 10pm
Saturday & Sunday Brunch: 9am – 2pm