Electric Coffin Mixes up the Intoxicating East Trading Co. Bar in Seattle

PROJECT NAME East Trading Co.
LOCATION Seattle
FIRM Electric Coffin

When I-Miun Liu decided to transform a former Sun Liquor distillery space into a cocktail bar, he brought on local art studio Electric Coffin to shake up a refreshing blend of fantasy and reality. “The art was inspired by I-Miun’s personal story, his childhood, his parents,” says principal Duffy DeArmas. “The concept is that you are stepping into this magical, mythical family-owned storefront.”

The maple bar is lined with custom seating the owner I-Miun Liu created with car parts. Photography by Austin Day.
A wall sculpture shows a giant squid destroying a ship in the bottle, made of plywood the team embellishes with digitally-printed components and paint, covers with epoxy, and then finishes with a hand-painted layer. Photography by Austin Day.

A year later, the space is chockablock with curiosities, including custom paintings of cobras and squid, a wall installation of timeworn flyers and new posters layered as if wheat-pasted over decades, graphics growing across the top of the bar and the sides of the booths, and a shop in back stocked with unusual treats.

“He really gave us the creative freedom to explore the narrative and concept, and push all the details as far as we could,” says DeArmas. “The hardest part was knowing where to stop.” And after taking a look at the exotic libations—the Rabbit, for example, blends emerald princess tea syrup with sole gin and egg whites—thirsty might feel the same way. 

A wall installation combines layers of custom and modified screen-printed graphics with paint. Photography by Austin Day.
The team screen-printed custom graphics on the maple plywood booths. Photography by Austin Day.
Even the top of the maple bar is covered in custom graphics. Photography by Austin Day.
On a west wall, barflies can spin this custom Zodiac drink well made of plywood, printed graphics, gold leaf, and epoxy. Photography by Austin Day.
An enamel and gold leaf palmistry mural covers a wall of the back room mercantile area, with a counter custom made from a glass cabinet. Photography by Austin Day.
A artwork celebrating of Cobra Firecrackers mixes hand-painted work with digitally printed glass. Photography by Austin Day.

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