The Gerald's Elliot Westwater and Kevin Rothrock Party Like Their Grandmas
The Gerald is a brand-new Ballard bar and restaurant that makes you feel like you've wandered into a swanky 1960s office building, then discovered an especially excellent liquor cabinet.
You guys went to Garfield. Were your first discussions of starting a business together over tater tots in the cafeteria?
K: Those discussions began a year ago. If we'd started a restaurant in high school, we would definitely have served Beck's hot links.
What are those?
K: A gym teacher at Garfield sold them in the basement by the guys' locker room.
E: They were spicy!
I see. What drew you to a "mid-century modern-inspired" aesthetic? I'd guess Mad Men, but nothing on your menu is served drenched with bourbon or hurled across the room.
E: The hopeful, aspirational things that were happening in the '60s...
K: ...cultural expansion, women's rights. I remember my grandmother's house with the shuffleboard built into the floor. I remember her hosting cocktail parties—she wasn't vacuuming floors, she was being a socialite, and that thought makes me happy.
Which dishes here would likely have been on the plates of the mid-century diners you imagined while designing your menu?
K: Dottie's mac 'n' cheese! It's our chef's variation of my grandmother's recipe. He does different toppings, a daily mac 'n' cheese. And casseroles—everything was a casserole then.