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There’s no way to humble brag about Founders Club, an intimate speakeasy anchored inside of the swanky Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle. The bar’s blood red accents, rich dark wood, moody lighting and meticulously curated and diverse spirit collection, matched only by its inventive cocktail creations, make it a can’t-miss drink destination.


BY: Andrew Williams Contributing writer

An upscale cocktail experience doesn’t always come at a premium, but when it does — it helps to be well worth the damage. Enter Founders Club.

The swanky Fairmont Olympic Hotel is a jewel of Seattle’s hospitality scene. And we weren’t surprised to discover a watering hotel of this distinction hitched inside of the space.

Decorated with blood-red accents, rich dark wood, brass, moody lighting, and a meticulously curated spirit collection, it’s a cocktail aficionado’s dream. Give me a boisterous, brightly lit bar that delivers balanced drinks any day — but sometimes you need to escape the trend of instagrammable interiors that’s overtaken the beverage industry.

CYTIES will always celebrate adventures with variation — it’s the only way to explore.

And Founders Club is an instant classic. The intimate, warm atmosphere, secluded locale, and carefully crafted creations transport you back to the days when ‘20s speakeasy culture, and this caliber of establishment, remained a curious novelty.

We love when bars ratchet up the nostalgia — drink culture is underappreciated for its ability to reflect and preserve the artistry of any generation. Concepts like Founders Club are the time machines we crave that deliver the goods, with subtle flair.

The spirit collection is handpicked by Beverage Director, Jesse Cyr, who has a reputation for innovation. The program features “fine spirits – aged, vintage and limited edition,” all exhibited through top-notch recipes with memorable flavor.

Our favorites, all cleverly branded, include the Bad Listener (Nuestra Soledad San Luis del Rio Mezcal, Träkál, Vecchio del Capo, Hidalgo Oloroso Sherry, Chocolate Bitters) and the Many Miles (Tromba Anejo Tequila, Jean-Luc Pasquet Marie Framboise, Orgeat, Acidulated Orange, Soda Water).

The rest of the menu is littered with stunners that almost make you forget the $26+ price point.

If your taste buds are feeling especially refined, you can level up the affair by dipping into the Reserve Cocktails menu. At the top end is the Palmetto (Rum & Cane Longpond Single Cask 1998 Rum, Sweet Vermouth, El Maestro Sierra Pedro Ximenez Sherry, Angostura, and Orange Bitters).

The options to imbibe are endless with additional offerings that include beer and cider; extensive brandy; whisk (e) y; agave; cognac; r (h) um; vermouth; sake and shochu; and more. You’ll just have to plan a visit to unearth the rest.

We recommend this spot to anyone ready to elevate their Northwestern excursion with a lavish layover at Funders Club. It’s open Tuesday to Thursday, 6 p.m. to midnight. It only seats 30 guests at a time and is accessible by reservation only — so get on it.


Experience and enjoy an array of fine spirits from around the world

The $25 million restoration project began in January 2020 and was the largest renovation the hotel had seen in 40 years

The history of the Fairmont Olympic dates back to the Roaring Twenties

Look for Tim Brennan and DJ Avenell at the bar any day of the week—who are these guys you ask? They run the city…