6 Hotly Anticipated Fall Openings in Seattle
It's shaping up to be a delicious autumn, with loads of ambitious projects slated to launch, including a couple tasty places from our neighbors in Vancouver, B.C. Here's what you can look forward to as fall approaches.
1) Lark, Bitter/Raw, Slab Sandwiches + Pie
Chef John Sundstrom's new place in a cool old building that's nearly 100 years old will actually be four concepts under one roof: his relocated flagship restaurant, Lark, along with a cocktail bar featuring crudo, ceviche and such, a space called Bitter/Raw. Then, Slab Sandwiches + Pie will be a walk-in lunch spot featuring housemade charcuterie, take-out sandwiches that are good to go and meat pies similar to a Cornish pasty or an empanada. There will also be a private dining room called Off the Record. The biggest and best news for Lark fans is more seats at the bar, 16 in the new digs, and an expanded menu that will include more options in the pasta category and shareables like whole fish. Lark will also eventually be open for lunch and brunch. Projected opening date: Mid-October.
2) Quality Athletics
Josh Henderson (Skillet Diner, Hollywood Tavern, Westward) is looking to extend his winning streak with a Pioneer Square sports bar that's going to have the 'hood's biggest patio, with 95 seats outside, and killer food, all made from-scratch. "On Game Day, people are in the mood for indulgence," Henderson said. The kitchen crew will accommodate over-the-top cravings with crispy pork belly nachos and a wings lineup that will include skate wing, though the menu will also showcase lighter fare like wood-oven roasted veggies, salads and tartine. Portions will be small-plate size, encouraging diners to go for a wide variety of bites. Slushie cocktails will be featured, along with eight rotating beer taps. Projected opening: September 4, the Seattle Seahawks' first home game of the season.
3) Serious Pie on Capitol Hill
The first foray out of his comfort zone of Downtown and Pike Place Market for Tom Douglas, his third Serious Pie is on Capitol Hill in the new Starbucks that's a blast from the past, when the coffee giant roasted beans in its stores. As we first reported back in April, this location will also feature sandwiches and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pastries from Dahlia Bakery will be served in the Starbucks during evening hours. Projected opening: Early December. Before that, expect the debut of the yet-to-be-named cantina (The Lone Stranger is out) Douglas is opening on the ground floor of the Martin apartment building on Fifth Avenue, across from Palace Ballroom, his special-events venue. Just this week, Tommy D is on a fact-finding mission for that project, eating his way around Mexico City.
One of the summer's most hotly anticipated openings has been pushed back to fall, as chef-owners Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi (Revel, Joule) ran into delays with the build-out in the historic space. When Trove does debut sometime in September, it sure sounds like it will be worth the wait, especially if you're a fan of "more is more." The culinary couple will run four concepts under one roof: a Korean barbecue featuring whole beast cookery, a noodle bar, a walk-up dessert window and a spot for cocktails, where you can also order food. We want to stamp our food passport at all of them.
5) Meat + Bread
A crazy-popular lunch place in Vancouver, B.C.'s historic Gastown neighborhood, this creative sandwich shop will be located in the same transformed area where Sundstrom is moving Lark, in the Central Agency building. The M + B formula sounds so simple, offering four selections a day, but the stellar ingredients make it destination dining-worthy, including an ultrajuicy porchetta and massive meatballs. UPDATED projected opening: Late this year, or early next, though the certainty of this project now seems to be crumbling like 2-day-old sourdough.
6) Beardslee Public House
The latest from John Howie Restaurants was supposed to be up and running, but the team has hit a few bumps in the road with permits. "There's no precedent for what we're doing," said Howie, of the 300-seat operation that is part-brewery, part-distillery with a kitchen devoted to craveable burgers, bratwurst and flatbreads finished in a Woodstone oven, pizza-ish products topped with housemade charcuterie. Located near the University of Washington's Bothell campus, Beardslee's design will incorporate wood from the 200-ft. red Sequoia that was felled to make room for this development, the wood featured on every tabletop in the place and the eight-inch thick base surrounding an outdoor fireplace. Until Beardslee is launched in mid-November, the curious can go check out the housemade, award-winning Wildwood Spirits gin and vodka at Howie's other restaurants, Seastar in Bellevue and Seattle, John Howie Steak and Sport near Seattle Center.
And, finally, Ethan Stowell, pictured, has pushed back the launch of Noyer, the $300-per-person prix fixe showstopper but is getting close to finding just the right space. "We're close, but not in a big hurry to open before the end of the year. This is the most involved restaurant we've ever done and we want to make sure to do it right," said the busy chef who's now got 10 restaurants including the slam-packed Red Cow and fried fish hangout Chippy's. He's also planning on moving the company's commissary kitchen out of its basement quarters at Tavolata, and when that happens, he'll start a catering company. It was just last month, the chef catered a private party for the President of the United States. "Yeah, that was pretty cool," he said.