First the signs in the window read “Watch for the Monkey,” Then the monkey told us to “Watch for the flow.” After months of debate as to what would follow the late Opal Bistro, which closed back on Halloween night, I’ve finally gotten to the bottom of the monkey mystery at the corner of Boston and Queen Anne Ave N. The former Opal Bistro has reopened as Flow, a 21 and over cocktail lounge.
I spoke with owner, Orrapin, who said that after two years in Queen Anne, Opal Bistro just wasn’t working.
“Fine dining doesn’t work up here,” she said. “I think in this economy anything that pricey just isn’t going to work. I’m trying to accommodate the community.”
Instead of closing up shop Orrapin, who also owns Orrapin Thai Cuisine next door, decided to reinvent the corner spot and make it into something new – a cocktail lounge with an array of drinks, small bites and a much cheaper menu.
Orrapin describes her vision for the new restaurant as “A place where you can have a drink, bring a friend over, have a small meal.” She decided to make Flow 21 and up because she says Queen Anne “has enough family restaurants.” She wanted Flow to be an affordable place for patrons to “wind down” after a long day.
The two level interior is decked out with tall tables, stools and creative couches, and is, as most lounges, dimly lit. Drinks range from $3 bottled beers to $10 for the pricier cocktails. The menu offers three salad choices, a variety of appetizers (or “small bites”) including seared scallops ($6) and lemongrass pork satay ($5), a handful of bigger meals, and a daily selection of desserts. The most expensive dishes on the menu? Grilled wild salmon served with sauteed veggies, and a 6 oz rib eye steak with sauteed mushrooms, both at $12 a pop.
Flow also has a happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. daily that boasts red and white wines for $4 a class, the cocktail of the day for $5, $3 garlic fries, and a $5 mini cheeseburger, to name a few.
Flow had its soft opening on Saturday, January 30. They’re open daily, from 4 to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 4 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
As for the Monkey? Orrapin laughed as she explained the mystery behind the very demanding monkey hanging in the window all those months. “The monkey is my sign,” she said. “That’s me! Without using my name, when it said ‘Watch for the Monkey,’ it was saying watch for me.”