Ballard's Little Tin Goods & Apothecary Cabinet came to be, thanks to the owners' mutual love of Hawaiian culture, plants and flowers, says co-owner Frankie Goodman, in addition to "magically-crafted food and drink." Goodman hails from New York City and has a musical theater background; co-owner Kaleilani Apo, from the garden island of Kauai, has an aquaponics background and also owns a karaoke beach bar called the Nawiliwili Tavern.
The owners met in Kauai while working at the Tavern; they realized their shared dream of creating a garden-inspired tiki lounge when they moved to Seattle in 2016.
"The main inspiration behind the business was to create a lush, safe place for all walks of life to be transported into a Hawaiian feeling oasis through music, food and drink," said Goodman.
Since Frankie also has a background in botany, the collaboration between apothecary, plant medicine and Hawaiian juices, spices and flavoring was born. Kaleilani built the bar from scratch, while Frankie dreams up the cocktails.
"We like to consider ourselves as a speakeasy tiki garden bar," Goodman said. "You can find Hawaiian eats and imported goods for our food and drinks, as well as sit in our backyard garden and enjoy specially-crafted Apothecary cocktails."
They describe the vibe as lush and sensual, with a large focus on good music that guests can boogie to.
All of their cocktails get infused with a Little Tin Mother Tincture of lemon balm, lavender and catnip. Some of their favorite cocktails include: The Koi Fish: London dry gin, Hawaiian lilikoi, house ginger puree, coconut cream and orange blossom water; Tea House Greenhouse: India dry gin infused with Himalayan juniper, tulsi, black tea and chamomile, matcha, fresh citrus, coconut milk, spiced peach and lavender bitters; and Hollaaa dé javú : Organic mezcal, house guava and bitter orange Elixir, botanical aperitivo, fresh citrus and spiced orange bitters.
Other delectable drinks have names like Weekend Face, Lei Away and Birds & the Bees (London dry and butterfly pea blossom-infused gin, local rose geranium liqueur, Spanish dry vermouth, coconut milk, house grenadine, house lemon and lime shrub).
Some popular tiki bites that complement the creative beverages include the Alani Moa, which is the venue's Hawaiian take on orange chicken with housemade sauce of orange and citrus, ginger and chilis with honey walnuts and toasted sesame. The Coconut Shrimp, which now enjoys a cult following, features light-toasted coconut with a Hawaiian lilikoi mustard.
The biggest challenge thus far has revolved around the many pivots, closings and reopening, and adjustments that have been necessary due to the pandemic.
"We persevered by our beautiful loyal customers and kick-ass team," says Goodman. The most rewarding part? Being able to create and offer a beautiful ambiance and vibe — ultimately bringing magical moments to guests.
"We hope our guests can leave us having been transported to their personal happy place," Goodman comments. "A fantastical escape filled with lush plants, good vibes and beautiful flavors. We are a queer-owned, woman-owned bar and want to make sure women, LGBQT+, BIPOC and ALL walks of life feel safe and happy being with us."