Patrick Robinson
The Feedback Lounge celebrated 3 years with a party on Wednesday, April 25. The restaurant/bar built their business on craft cocktails and rock n' roll. CLICK THE PHOTO ABOVE TO SEE MORE

SLIDESHOW: Feedback Lounge celebrates 3 rocking years

At 6 pm, on April 25, 2009 Jeff Gilbert pushed play on his iPod and began blasting out "Jumping Jack Flash" by the Rolling Stones to launch the Feedback Lounge. It's been quite a ride since then and the restaurant/bar that pioneered the unconventional combination of craft cocktails and rock n' roll in West Seattle has thrived.

Created by Jeff Gilbert, Matt Johnston and Paul Larkin the bar leveraged their individual talents. Gilbert (who works for Live Nation as his day job) is the music man. His own musical talents (he's played guitar for 30 years) and multitude of connections in the industry plus an amazing graphic design ability have supported that part of the effort. Matt Johnston is an expert with alcohol, able to expound on the history of not just types but brands. He's built a continuously evolving array of craft cocktails, and stores on the back bar dozens of infused blends allowing him to blend drinks unique to the Feedback. Larkin did the build out and created the core structure that allowed the rest of it to exist.


It hasn't all been a rock n' roll party. "We made a lot of mistakes," said Johnston, "but somehow we made it through even though we launched it in the middle of a recession, thanks to good staff and good customers." Johnston admits that, "We were nervous and scared during the first year."

"I think playing up a comfort level and service level and differentiating ourselves with the cocktails and some of the music stuff we do made a difference."

Coming up this weekend is an event of the type that often happens at the Feedback. General Manager Bradi Jones is playing Friday night and Saturday night (beginning during the day) a band called Van Eps is doing a video shoot (with West Seattle Filmmaker Jamie Chamberlain at the helm) that will extend into a live performance that evening. They are encouraging people to show up and be part of the video.

Gilbert said he chose the Stones anthem because he felt strongly that the exhilaration that track embodies, "fits our bar. It's like putting on a concert every night!"

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