Q+A with Soni Dave-Schock

We recently spent some time with Soni Dave-Schock, Co-Owner of Mr. West, a wildly popular cafe bar with two locations in Seattle. We had a lot of fun learning about her culinary-inspired take on mixology and tasting her delicious drinks. Read on for a Q+A with Soni!

What inspired you to open Mr. West?

Traveling and the love for metropolitan all day cafes inspired Mr West. The goal was to create a concept that was part café, part restaurant, part workspace, part wine shop, part community center. As an interior designer, I am passionate about creating beautiful welcoming spaces with a healthy-vibing menu to satisfy the need to eat and imbibe while you work and meet.

Mr. West has a super loyal following.
What keeps people coming back?

To the core we are obsessed with the guest experience — from the service to our ingredients, we take care in every detail. Our loyal fan base has recognized that there are very few concepts in the city that can pull off a true all day café experience really well. People crave this type of space and these are the people that keep coming back. They are truly "our people".

How would you describe the cocktail menu at Mr. West?

Seasonal / inspired by the all-day-cafe theme by using ingredients such as wine, coffee, or tea.

What are your favorite tools to use in mixology?

Jigger — mix properly!

 

Cocktail Shaker // Hawthorne Strainer // Jigger  

What's your personal go to cocktail (keeping in mind you just had a baby)?

I'm a big vermouth and amaro gal, so anything in a "spritz" form has my name on it. Aperitivo hour is a regular occurrence in our studio and at home, and love a low-proof, refreshing drink to kick off the hour!

How does your Indian background influence the drinks you create for Mr. West?

My excitement for flavors and ingredients is credited to my mother's Indian cooking. The importance of balance in food and drink, and how it requires restraint and judgement.

What tips do you have for the home bartender?
Have fun with your bar setup — mix and match, Intermix bottles and glassware on shelving for a dynamic display. Also build and stock around a signature drink — highlighting what’s special to you.
You seem to be leaning into tea a bit for your current cocktail menu,
creating a boozy London Fog (Pacific Fog) & a matcha gin cocktail (Matcha Me). Why tea?
Tea based cocktails are a perfect way to combine cocktail hour with tea time. Teas are a great way to customize a drink, and usually something people have around the house.