A great chef opening a place in Pioneer Square—home of many lovely art galleries, and many par-TAY-ing clubs/bars, and some very fine sandwiches, and an odd number of carpet merchants, and diverse hoboes, and the city's most marvelous architecture—this is just a great thing.
The space is on the corner of leafy, cobblestoney Occidental Park at Jackson (in a c. 1900 building at 323 Occidental Ave. S., between First and Second, next to Temple Billiards for your pool-shooting convenience). It is high-ceilinged and 2,600 square feet—it was, at some point in the past, another restaurant, and has been a gallery or two since then.
The name is Bar Sajor (pronounced SIGH-your)—Sajor is Dillon's mother's maiden name. While "Sajor" is Polish, Bar Sajor will serve food influenced by North Africa, Portugal, Spain... it'll have a wood-fired oven and wood-fired grill and a rotisserie for lots of chicken—no stove and no range. The menu will have, according to Dillon, flatbread, simple roasted vegetables, housemade yogurt, a little raw or cured seafood, and "lots of naturally fermented goodness," like whey-fermented pickles.
Bar Sajor will also have a to-go window on Occidental Park where you'll be able to take-out a presumably totally delicious rotisserie chicken plus all of the above, as well as housemade, fresh-squeezed juices and drinks like lovage soda (yes!) or cucumber and whey. The space inside will be about half bar, half dining room, around 40 seats, with a mezzanine level for overflow or private dining.
Bar Sajor is going to be a bar in the Spanish or Portuguese sense of being a bar, Dillon says, "a casual place for simple food," one where you stop by after work and have a conversation and drink and a snack or supper instead of, say, drinking until you can't see straight at 2 a.m. (Pioneer Square already has plenty of places for that). It'll open for lunch and stay open only until 8:30 p.m. or so initially, while Dillon sees how the neighborhood responds. He'll stay open later for art walk. Eventually, there will be a Middle Eastern/North African weekend brunch.
Also! In the immediate area, Dillon is looking at a bread and pastry production space, which may also serve as a retail outlet, which means, hopefully, Matt Dillon's Bakery. (It'll have a way better name than that. Have you had his bread? It is goddamned delicious.) For this prospective part of the Pioneer Square venture, he's partnering with Katherine Anderson of Marigold & Mint, so there will also be local flowers and veggies and etc.
Opening is hoped for at the end of November. Yay!