Young American Ale House, We Hardly Knew Ye
Nearly as soon as it was born, Maria Hines' excellent, upscale gastropub will close, the restaurant announced via press release last week. The last day is May 24. Young American Ale House was a rebranding of her pseudo-Mediterranean concept Golden Beetle, and it was, in this food writer's humble opinion, effing great. Hines did not attempt to be overly esoteric with it, she just made really good, really approachable pub food.
Her poutine, for example, was actually poutine, not a bowl of mushy fries covered in a blanket of flavorless cheese and dolled up with bone marrow gravy or some other red herring ingredient, as so many of the city's other poutines are these days. It was just the basics done well: good gravy, actual cheese curds, and crispy fries. As I tweeted upon hearing the news, "In a city full of phoned in poutine, hers will be sorely missed." The same could be said of their truffle mac 'n' cheese, their wings, and their fancy pizzas.
However, despite being a wonderful reboot for the space, it also carried Golden Beetle's debt. That, in addition to the financially Sisyphean task that is running any restaurant, spelled doom for Hines' "dream pub." The silver lining is that, in announcing its closure, she vowed to take another crack at it someday. Here's hoping that someday is soon.
UPDATE: YAAH actually closed over the weekend. RIP.
Not Dot's, Too?
Dot's Delicatessen is also going the way of the dodo. Chef Miles James' lovely deli/butcher shop, which landed in Pike Place Market after initially making waves in Fremont*, seemed all set to prevail, given how bomb their sandwiches offerings are, and how many hungry, porchetta-loving tourists come through the market everyday. Indeed, it wasn't a lack of demand that killed Dot's, but rather a lack of funds to hire anyone to meet it, it would seem:
"I can't figure out a good way to say this but I have some sad news - we are coming up on a year at the Pike Place Market, our lease is up and unfortunately we are not going to renew it. I say “we” but really it’s just me running the whole place by myself, and to make ends meet I need to be doing 3-4 times the business I am now which just isn't feasible on my own."
How Dot's fails when so many inferior purveyors of porchetta succeed, I do not understand. But then, the world is a cold, unfeeling, and largely tasteless place. We shall be keeping a sharp eye out for James' next move.
Clever Bottle is Also One of This Week's Casualties
They announced their closure via the increasingly common sign on the door, reports Seattle Met. Interesting that so many places choose to go the pen and paper route these days, when we expect everyone to announce everything on Twitter or Facebook. I kinda like it though—if your most favoritest bar in the world is calling it quits, the air of gravitas conveyed by the sign on the door seems infinitely more appropriate than a tweet.
Muy Macho Downsizes
The popular South Park Mexican restaurant is now an empty space with "For Rent" signs up in the window. There is, however, a brand new Muy Macho taco truck in the parking lot of the defunct South Park Discount Foods, replete with a covered seating area. Apparently the minimalist movement isn't just for burnout Millenial graphic designers, anymore. Anyway, whether it's served from a truck or a hole-in-the-wall with fake tile, the food is still fire.
Introducing Uncle Eddie's
I've been wondering, ever since I heard that the owner of Loretta's had purchased the South Park hall and would be revitalizing the building, what would come to the absolutely-perfect-for-a-coffee-shop space on the corner of 14th and Cloverdale. Turns out it's going to be Uncle Eddie's, an "all ages public house." Alas, my dreams of strolling a mere four blocks to the corner to get some work done outside of the house will remain dreams. Curious that the owner of Loretta's would decide to rent to a direct competitor of sorts, but I think it's safe to say that Tom Douglas, Ethan Stowell, and this writer's favorite cheap burger spot ain't goin' anywhere soon.
Uncle Eddie's is, however, a bit portentous. As my roommate pointed out this weekend, "I've been seeing a lot of hipsters around here. This neighborhood's in for it." The number of young professional couples with real estate agents in tow has certainly gone up, but despite the bad news about Muy Macho, cheap Mexican restaurants still prevail and we still don't have a third wave coffee shop for hipsters like me to park their MacBooks at. I like to think we've got awhile left.
Lotta New Places Landing in West Seattle
Seattle's hinterlands has a handful of new ventures on the way, as reported by the ever diligent West Seattle Blog. The Great American Diner and Bar is coming to the former Shelby's space, there's a Sushi Samurai opening, and South Delridge is getting a new neighborhood bar in 2 Fingers Social.
A Grim Forecast for Redhook's Forecasters Pub
"[The] underutilized brewery will be shut down this summer and sold as owner Craft Brew Alliance of Portland refocuses Redhook on a new Capitol Hill brewpub where executives hope to revive the pioneering brand’s Seattle cachet."
Can't honestly say I'll miss it, despite all the fond memories I have of family bike rides up the Burke Gilman that ended with a delightfully simple Forecaster's cheese plate and an hour spent climbing things in the sun while my mom drank on the patio. We went awhile back for old time's sake, and it was packed to the brim with rotund, loud white dudes with red faces, shiny foreheads, and very recently purchased Harleys. The Capitol Hill crowd won't be any less insufferable, I'd guess, but they'll at least be so absorbed with their phones that one might be able to enjoy a beer without rupturing their eardrums.
The Poke Cavalcade Continues
With not one or two but three new venues, Eater reports. You know that when even Eater is starting to question the neverending march of poke (subhead: "How much poke can Seattle sustain?"), shit's getting real. Poké Bar, a SoCal poke chain with an outpost in Kent, will take over the former Gnocchi Bar space. Next up is Poke Square, which will open in Ballard at a former pot store location towards the end of the month, followed by a second Wanderfish Poke on 6th and Stewart.
Bethany Got to Interview Pepin, and She Did a Great Job, Of Course
Bethany is an amazing food writer, Pepin is an amazing food personality. Put them together in a room, and a delightful article is sure to result. Read it here. Also, Pepin is absolutely right about marshmallows.
No Iron Chef for Seattle
A bit of a sad addendum here: Adana's Shota Nakajima didn't make the cut on the last episode of Iron Chef Gauntlet, Eater reports, so our city won't enjoy the bragging rights conferred by being home to an Iron Chef. Oh well, we've got plenty of James Beards awards to console ourselves with.
*This location has been updated.