Do you live for the Renaissance faire season? Do you wish there was a place you could go in garb to get a pint of mead, listen to some amazing local music and engage in LARP? Cup of Swords Tavern, a renaissance-themed bar in Olympia, is the answer to all your wishes. Created by Lina Ciampi, the artistic mind that runs Black Rune Creations – which has its own permanent storefront next to the Tavern – and South Sound Artisan Guild, Cup of Swords is sure to become a new favorite hangout.

Lina started Black Rune Creations and the South Sound Artesian Guild in 2019. The former is where she sells her creations, including chainmail jewelry and cosplay pieces, scalemail, costume armor, home décor, candles and more. If you’ve been to a ren faire locally, you’ve seen people wearing her incredible creations, which are more than costume pieces but handmade intricate artwork. The latter is Lina’s company that creates artesian pop-up events – like the ones held monthly at Capital Mall. There, you can find handcrafted creations from a wide range of local artists.

Now, Lina is opening a renaissance-themed bar in Olympia next door to Black Rune Creations, so you can get a taste of ren faire life any time you want. “I decided to open a renaissance tavern to create a welcoming and inviting place to celebrate and keep the magic of the medieval era alive right here in Olympia,” shares Lina. “I participate in renaissance-themed events throughout Washington (sometimes Oregon) and wanted to build that here for everyone.”

Cup of Swords Tavern in Olympia

Inclusivity. Welcoming atmosphere. Comradery. Sports. Music. These are just a few of the reasons thousands of people flock to Renaissance faires each year: our closest faire, the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire, sells out of tickets each year. You’ll find all of these same things at the new Cup of Swords Tavern, year-round.

Linda Ciampi in a back skirt and halter top, wearing chainmail skirt and shoulder armor standing between two men dressed as knights
Linda Ciampi (center) is the owner of Cup of Swords Tavern, Black Rune Creations and South Sound Artisan Guild. She is also a skilled chain and scalemail artists. Photo courtesy: Lina Ciampi

Lina is a performer and fair-goer herself, and wanted to bring that special faire feeling to Olympia. “The tavern is a place where period entertainers can find a year-round venue in addition to the Renaissance Faire summer circuit, patrons can wear their garb, and fantasy enthusiasts alike can join together to play games and socialize,” she explains. “There is nothing quite like the spirit of a Renaissance faire and we intend to capture that here.”

The tavern will be like stepping into a mini-faire. There will be drinks, live music, LARPing (live action role playing), live sword fighting, SCA performances and table games. Current plans include weekend music and daily games. “As the tavern grows, more entertainment will be added,” Lina says. Play D&D? They will be hosting D&D on Sundays and offering Hare of the Dog Mimosas.

Inside Cup of Swords in Olympia with wood floors and high wooden tables and chairs.
Cup of Swords offers visitors a taste of the Ren faire atmosphere year your at this Olympia. Photo credit: Lina Ciampi

Speaking of drinks, Cup of Swords Tavern offers craft beer, wine, mead, cider and seltzers. Not a drinker but want to come and enjoy the atmosphere? No worries, they will have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks for designated drivers and dragons.

Have a furry dragon at home? Cup of Swords is pet friendly, so long as your dragon is well-behaved and on leash, they are welcome!

Cup of Swords Tavern is 21-and-over only, so bring your ID, as they will check at the door. The tavern will not serve food, so you are welcome to bring your own, choose from their pre-packaged snacks or purchase from visiting food trucks – check their website or Facebook for updates on food truck visits!

Cup of Swords building from across the street
Cup of Swords Tavern, a renaissance-themed bar in Olympia is now open next door to Rune Creations. Photo credit: Lina Ciampi

Black Rune Creations in Olympia is Your Medieval Gift Shop

From dragonscale bracelets and chainmail shawls, to wax melts and ceramic dragons, step into Black Rune Creations next door to the Cup of Swords Tavern. It’s the perfect place to get a gift for the bard or wizard in your life, or something special for yourself. Lina’s work in chain and scalemail is true art that you can wear.

And of course, since Lina also runs the South Sound Artisan Guild, keep an eye out for when they will host pop-up events in front of Black Rune Creations. These all-ages events are a great way to support local businesses while finding treasures.

The Cup of Swords Tavern and Black Runes Creations are definitely “come as you are.” No garb is required, but it’s encouraged! If you’re comfortable coming in your full Renaissance faire costume, great! If you’d prefer to wear jeans and a t-shirt, go for it. Or anything in between. All are welcome, just like they are at the faire. For more information, visit the Cup of Swords Tavern website.

Cup of Swords
1005 4th Ave E Olympia

Black Rune Creations
1003 4th Ave E Olympia

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