Rupee Bar In Seattle Packs A Punch With Inspired Design


With an aesthetic that corresponds to its description of the menu—“inspired by the flavors of India and Sri Lanka”—Rupee Bar packs a punch the moment guests step in from beneath the oft-gray skies of Seattle to the peacock-green-swathed room. Selected for its warmth, rich Oregon walnut tops the bar and wraps the casework, while gleaming brass, slatted pendant lamps and Indian clay tiles interfuse to up the cozy factor in the diminutive 700-square-foot space. Collaborating with Rupee Bar owners Joe Sundberg, Rachel Johnson and Patrick Thalasinos for a second time—the first was on the trio’s well-known Manolin, also in Seattle—Heliotrope Architects crystallized the vision the trio had for their latest enterprise. “Like all of our restaurant clients, they came to us with a vision and our job was to bring it to fruition,” says Heliotrope principal Mike Mora. “This group is incredibly hands-on and everyone brought ideas to the table. Also, the owners have strong design sensibilities, and what you see at Rupee is very much of their hand.”