Drinking: Its always better with fire.
Drinking: It's always better with fire. Yes, even simulated fire. Bar House

Fremont Has a Fun New Bar

Bar House is a new drinking establishment from local amplifier purveyor and meat smoker Ben Verellen, located above his eponymous amplifier shop in Fremont. Their grand opening is this Wednesday, and their press release teases such decor innovations as a "forest room," which features "one cozy booth engulfed in trees and bushes, starry night sky above, forest sounds surrounding, and a 'campfire' in the middle of a coffee table." Like every themed room ever to exist, it's "perfect for group outings or date nights." More likely, it's perfect for those shitty, rainy November nights where drinking around a fire sounds great but getting soaked doesn't.

For the fare, they promise that, "Liquor, beer and wine are available ranging from local favorites to exotic offerings. The 'cocktail list' is an assortment of boilermakers preferred by the colorful staff. Hungry drinkers can enjoy an array of hot dogs (vegetarian options available) and high school style nachos." I have no idea what 'high school style' nachos are (and my memories of getting way too high and making midnight nachos in high school are definitely not good ones), but I have to admit, I'm intrigued.

Finally, Din Tai Fung in Seattle

People were, apparently, have been waiting with bated breath for the Pacific Place Din Tai Fung location to open, which it did last Thursday. Maybe I'll finally go see what all the fuss is about. But I swear, I will not-accidentally spill super hot coffee in the lap of the next person who says, "Oh my God, you haven't been yet!? You haaaave to go."

The Dane Comes to Crown Hill

"Crown Hill's neighborhood beer and coffee cafe" is now open on the corner of 15th Ave NW and NW 80th St, according to their website. The Dane has an enormous tap wall of local beer and all the tap handles are tiny pieces of timber, a bit of decor wizardry that is somehow not precious and actually appealing. Thankfully, their menu does not feature avocado toast, which I fully expected given their lack of a full kitchen, but instead, offers a selection of interesting sandwiches and snack plates. All around, looks like a great place for the stay-at-home-dads and freelance UX designers of North Seattle to congregate.

The Inevitable Weekly Poke Report

And the inevitable weekly reminder that poke is seasoned raw fish, meaning it takes less effort to prepare and serve than even a Taco Del Mar burrito. One minimum wage worker throws cubed ahi in a bowl with soy sauce and seasonings, another minimum wage worker scoops some of that cubed ahi on top of similarly pre-prepared rice and vegetables, and you pay $14.99 for it.

Why? Why do you people do this, when you could do this for basically the same price?

Anyway, Eater reports that the latest entrants to the poke arena are Star Poke, a Seahawks/Star Wars-themed place in Shoreline, and Ono Poke in Edmonds. Ono's differentiating quirk is a vegetable cutting surface made from lane No. 4 of the now-defunct Ballard Bowl.

Tini Bigs and Hula Hula Are Officially Closing

This Saturday March 18 marks the close of Queen Anne bar Tini Bigs and its neighboring tiki-themed lounge, Hula Hula. The Capitol Hill Hula Hula location will open "sometime in April," according to owner Keith Robbins.

Ethan Stowell Opens Fancy Restaurant in Fancy, Exclusive SoDo Car Club

Eater has the scoop on the new Stowell venture, called 'Derby.' Members of the dining public can sit in Stowell's upscale American joint, nosh on sure-to-be-lavish hamburgers and Cobb salads, and gaze through plate glass windows at the cars of mega-rich types who can afford membership in a luxury private car club (The Shop). I thought Eater's headline was a joke, but this is not a joke! This is a real, actual thing that's happening. Will the last poor person leaving Seattle turn out the lights, please?

Tu Cantinas Replaces Ground Control in Georgetown

Alex Parisi and Sunny Baez, the duo behind Georgetown's Brass Tacks, have softly opened a replacement for their erstwhile sister project Ground Control, reports Seattle Met. It's called Tu Cantinas, and they "wanted to keep things pretty low key on the menu, pretty dive-y on the atmosphere, and all in all reminiscent of bars visited in Mexico." The menu will feature three taco options—black beans, marinated baked chicken, and slow-roasted pork—and there's obviously lots of tequila. Sounds like a dream.

No More McCormick and Schmick's in Seattle

A hot tipper tipped off the Times' Bethany Jean Clement via Twitter. The aggressively bland bayhouse's corporate parent did not respond.

Can't honestly say I'm sad, though we do owe the original downtown McCormick and Schmick's for helping sustain the careers of a few notable food personalities. Tom Douglas, for example.

R.I.P. Geoffrey Ly

Ay, fuck cancer. But seriously, cancer is dark. It recently claimed the life of longtime West Seattle restauranteur Geoffrey Ly, reports the West Seattle Blog. His wife, Shi Qui Chen, has been left to run their latest venture, New Leaf Bistro, while also taking care of two kids. The WSB reports that her duties at New Leaf require her to be there 17 hours a day, which is insane.

There's a GoFundMe page set up to help her cover Ly's funeral costs, which, given the challenges Chen now faces, seems like the absolute least anyone can do. They're shooting for $30,000, and they're over halfway there already, which is heartening.

It's Pi Day Tomorrow, If Unnecessary Holidays Are Your Thing

Lots of places are celebrating, including (obviously) pizza joints, like local-chain Pagliacci with their two slices for $3.14 special. But this being modern Seattle, there are also places to get a fancy pie, like A la Mode Pies, which will be raffling off a free pie cooking class at both locations. Bring your business card and come early—Pi Day is apparently a line-around-the-block affair for A la Mode. Besides that, there are plenty of other specials around town. These holidays weren't created to give you an actual day off work, after all, just to sell you more shit.

Beyond Latte Art: The World Pizza Games

Yes, it isn't only baristas who get the chance to show that, of all the customer service wage slaves in America, they do their particular form of wage slavery the best. Apparently there is also a thing called the World Pizza Games, and it will join Pi Day in giving Pagliacci something to celebrate, as the pizzeria is sending two contestants: Josh Vachitz, an associate manager at the Mercer Island Pagliacci's, and Dustin Cienfuego, a cook for the Magnolia location. The games feature five events, and they'll be attempting to earn the title of world's fastest dough stretchers. Should they win, they'll get $1,000, and can come home and see how far that dough stretches in a city where the average one bedroom costs $1,978 a month. But everything is fine! Pizza!