The first crush I remember having as a child was on Papa Smurf. You may focus on the bizarre/perhaps mildly inappropriate nature of this crush, but I prefer to revel in thoughts of his fitted red pants, sagacity, and assured voice. These days I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of another older, bearded man: Beard Papa. For the last few months, there has been spirited talk and speculation on local food message boards about the imminent arrival of this Japanese-owned chain that sells a variety of delicious cream puffs. (Than Brothers, I will always love you, but Beard Papa offers a filling that is thicker and more custardy. The Papa also offers green-tea-flavored cream puffs.) According to the Beard Papa website, two Seattle locations (one in Uwajimaya, one in Safeco Field) were set to open in June. But as of July, no Beard Papa. (A phone inquiry to Uwajimaya regarding the arrival of Beard Papa placed on July 31 yielded this reply: "Should open next month. But there is no exact date.")

This weekend brings the commencement of the Chinatown–International District Night Market, and the elusive Beard Papa is listed as a food vendor at the August 9 market. Will he and his cream puffs actually materialize? We must believe.

Chinatown–International District Night Market, Sat Aug 9, 16, and 23, Hing Hay Park, Maynard Ave S and S King St, 5–11 pm.

For more information on Beard Papa, visit