EXCITING NEWS! A collaboration between the owners of Hazlewood and Ocho is coming to Ballard. These two great bars go great together, except for the shut-down Azteca between them, and that's where the Hotel Albatross will be (2319 NW Market St). It'll have a maritime look—wait, stop yawning. Given the attenuated elegance of tiny Hazlewood (with its funny upstairs peep show) and Ocho's cozy glow (and pretty custom-made shelves), the owner-driven design should be better than the 97 other nautical-themed bars in town. (And if you feel nostalgic for that particular Azteca, well, they've seen things doing the demo there that would change your mind... things they can't unsee.) Zach Harjo, the originator of Ocho's excellent tapas, is creating the menu. The Albatross will probably open sometime next month; Harjo is wisely reluctant to get more specific.
SWEET NEWS: Sweet-toothed of Seattle, rejoice: Autumn Martin is opening a second edition of her Hot Cakes on the Capitol Hill corner where B&O Espresso used to be. This will represent a tremendous improvement on the B&O's industrial-quality desserts, and there will be a fire pit for toasting marshmallows. It won't open until next year, but meanwhile, there's Sweet Week (sweetweekseattle.com): From Thursday, September 25, though Sunday, September 28, local sweet shops—17 of them, including Hot Cakes, the Dahlia Bakery, Sweet Mickey's, and Full Tilt—are handmaking limited-edition $5 sugar-snacks.
NOW OPEN: Run by cousins Heather Ramsay and Libby Cook—who also own Daphne's Fairhaven in Bellingham—the Maple Bar (8929 Roosevelt Way NE, 402-6135) is in the little house where the Maple Leaf Bar and Grill used to be. They say it's a welcoming, neighborhood place and promise that their Grown-Up Meatloaf Sandwich is really good. • Danielle Custer, formerly of grilled-cheese truck Monte Cristo (and, long ago, head chef at the great 727 Pine), now has her new truck, Biscuit Box (facebook.com/BiscuitBoxSEA), out on the road serving "Soft. Flaky. Buttery. Yummy" biscuits topped with homemade jam and other local stuff. It's at Hilliard's in Ballard for weekend brunch, among other places. • Ten on 9th (227 Ninth Ave N, 623-0301) has replaced Venik Lounge; it's a cocktail lounge with chef J. Charles making "updated American comfort food classics." His résumé lists the City Catering Company, John Howie Restaurants, Hilton International, and the Dow Hotel Company. So, there's that.
NOW CLOSED: Cafe Parco in Madison Park • The Confectional on Broadway • Venik in South Lake Union
STILL NO WORD: Who's running the kitchen at the massively fancied-up new version of the Canterbury? After a very short tenure, Cormac Mahoney—a 2012 Food & Wine Best New Chef—departed from the former dive-bar favorite on Capitol Hill. New owners Mike Meckling (Neumos) and James Snyder (Sam's Tavern) haven't answered messages asking who's cooking now. They did, however, have a coupon in the recent ValPak.