Walk into South Park’s newest addition, Left Bank, on any given night and you’ll find a varying array of patrons. At the four-seat bar, a couple from the down the street sits on metal stools, chatting up guests over a glass of organic Gamay and can of Rainier. In the cozy corner alcove, old friends share a few bottles of natural Costières de Nîmes Chardonnay. Vinyls brought from customers’ homes rotate as people intermittently sneak in from off the street to grab a bottle of of sparkling wine for under $20.
In just six months, Left Bank has expertly managed to become a representation of the neighborhood it calls home—urban-industrial, diverse, and welcoming.
Left Bank, a nod to the Cabernet-dominant region of Bordeaux and the shop’s proximity to the Duwamish River, calls itself the “oldest, smallest wine shop and bar in South Park.”
And it’s true—Left Bank’s tiny shop is a first for this little section of South Seattle, known more for it’s legendary burgers than natural wine. But Left Bank’s intrigue goes far beyond the bottle list (which is killer) or the knowledgeable staff (Campbell Scarborough, the owner, can always be found behind the bar).
In a time where rents are skyrocketing and neighborhoods are changing, Left Bank is setting itself apart. This small team has managed to open a wine bar—the type of establishment that could easily scream the siren song of gentrification—and keep it relevant and respectful, and therefore, well-loved by the community it serves.
The irreverent shop is small but mighty, with an entire wall covered in delicious-yet-cheap wine bottles for purchase, reasonable glass pours, cans of local beer, and a $4 corkage fee to drink the bottle there, by far the lowest in the city. The available selections rotate with a clear focus on price and taste rather than any industry score or review. The space, which is no larger than a studio apartment, feels like home—with your dad’s old vinyls on the record player and your coolest friend pouring you a glass of this wine they just found out about and can’t wait for you to try.
Left Bank, 8526 14th Avenue South, Seattle WA, is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 3-10PM, Thursday and Friday from 3-11PM, and Saturday from 4PM to last call.