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.

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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. recommended