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Originally published August 27, 2014 at 4:30 PM | Page modified September 1, 2014 at 2:31 PM

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Intermezzo Carmine: Pioneer Square’s new cocktail spot

Intermezzo Carmine, the dolled-up new cocktail spot from the family behind Il Terrazzo Carmine, is pretty, but is it too pretty for Pioneer Square?

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Those who live in the past are doomed to repeat it. The interviewer suggests Intermezzo is forward looking and of high... MORE
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It looks like Tribeca meets French Country, my friend said of Intermezzo Carmine, the new cocktail bar located in Pioneer Square. The room looks all dolled up in its summer attire — linen-covered bar stools, white marble bartop, an earthtone color motif and more linen-covered furniture.

But even with the buzz about Pioneer Square being the next hip or trendy ’hood, Intermezzo looks a bit overdressed and out of place.

That’s because Intermezzo debuted this summer with the future in mind, one that features a Pioneer Square that the owners believe will be revitalized, and a little swanky. They built the bar on that premise instead of the gritty Pioneer Square of 2014.

Hence, there’s a disconnect between Intermezzo and its environs.

To get here, I walked past rowdy Mariners fan spilling out of dive bars and ran into some homeless people panhandling a block away.

Inside, there are dudes dressed like they came from Savile Row nudging next to the out-of-the-heat sports fans eyeing the cheapest beer on tap.

Started by the same folks behind the classic Italian restaurant Il Terrazzo Carmine, the bar features a ciccehetti-inspired happy hour with Arancini and — better — the meaty wild-boar sliders. But this is Pioneer Square. Patrons will demand something more substantial like the Prosciutto di Parma focaccia sandwich.

Intermezzo had the unfortunate timing of debuting when Damn The Weather, the new “it” cocktail bar, opened four blocks away. The cocktails need retooling. I got a watery negroni with floating shards of ice. On another occasion, I ordered a vesper and got a negroni, which wasn’t good that time either. Stick to beer or wine.

It could be that Intermezzo is a few years ahead of its time. Or maybe it should have located 10 blocks north, closer to the suits. We’ll see.

Intermezzo Carmine, 409 First Ave. S., offers happy-hour weekdays 4-6 p.m. and again 10 p.m.-midnight, with $3-$7 bites, $8 cocktails, $5 wine and $3 beer (206 596-8940

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or On Twitter @tanvinhseattle

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