Drew Church’s workday begins around noon, when he unlocks the door to his bar, Hazelwood, cleans the place up, and places orders with beer distributors. “Then I do the crossword puzzle,” he says, pointing to his folded-up copy of the P-I. Owning a bar, he admits, is a lot easier than he thought.
Of course, he spent plenty of time apprenticing before jumping into the role of proprietor: Church bartended at Hattie’s Hat for eight years before pulling together three other investors (one of whom is Soundgarden’s Ben Shepherd) to open this little bar on NW Market Street in Ballard. Formerly occupied by Fast Eddie’s coffee shop, the space is incredibly cozy, the walls are darkly colored, and the bar, which faces directly onto the street, has a classic, almost French feeling to it.
“We really wanted to have a bar that would be like where Vincent Price and Lee Hazelwood would have a drink,” says Church, in an oft-repeated mantra.
Hazelwood offers no draft beer, but does stock a good selection of the bottled variety, ranging from the high-alcohol volume monster La Fin du Monde down to good old Vitamin R; and Church is talking with his distributor to get a few more cheap varieties, including Iron City. But because of the classy ambience he and Shepherd created here, most folks lean toward the cocktails. These concoctions, he says, are mostly the results of experimentation with friends. There is even a drink he regards as the signature cocktail of his band, the Cops (vodka, grapefruit, and a float of Campari).
“I’m not really qualified to do anything else,” he jokes of his career. “I love bars. Basically, I just wanted to own the kind of bar I wanted to drink at.” Brian J. Barr
Day Job is a look at how musicians pay the rent.