The Diller Room
There’s more than delicious coffee percolating Downtown since Rob Wilson added The Diller Room to the back of Stella Caffe in April (1224 First Ave.; 206.624.1229; dillerroom.com). During Prohibition, the space was a speakeasy accessed from the once luxurious—and later unsavory—Diller Hotel.
Tourists, executives, first-daters and pre-funkers frequent the inviting “come as you are” space, whose century-old brick walls, mirror-backed booths and plush couches evoke timeless elegance. The place is lively, thanks in part to a DJ spinning records Thursday–Saturday, but the eclectic beats aren’t too loud for conversation.
The specialties are coffee cocktails (hot and cold) mixed with Stella’s own locally roasted brew. Try the Drunken Roman ($8)—a variation on Stella’s signature Roman cappuccino—made with Three Olives espresso vodka, a shot of Stella espresso and a dash of mocha powder, topped with steamed Irish cream. La Stellina ($8) is a shot of Stella espresso and Amaretto Di Saronno topped with Frangelico-infused steamed milk.
A moderately priced sandwich and appetizer menu includes a Beecher’s Handmade Cheese plate, served with flatbreads, medjool dates, Marcona almonds and Washington apples ($9, $5 during happy hour). Also tasty: BLT sliders ($7/$5), served on brioche from Macrina bakery.
The two restrooms are simple and clean, with the same exposed brick that gives the entire space its appealing sense of history.
Originally published in July 2010