Redhook's Brewlab Launches in the Pike Motorworks Building

The "Grandaddy of Craft" will officially return to its native Seattle on August 17. Redhook closed its Woodinville brewery (the brewpub remains open) to focus on its latest, hippest venture, the Brewlab. The Brewlab is in the new-with-an-old-front Pike Motorworks building, which used to house the Hill's BMW dealership. Opening in a former auto shop is in tune with the brewery's roots, as it originally occupied a remodeled mechanic's garage in Ballard, a fact they did not hesitate to emphasize at the media preview.

Speaking of said media preview, it's a very well-appointed space, and the beer is much better than I expected. The entire menu is collaborations between head brewer Nick Crandall and his favorite friends in the industry, with most selections available only at the Brewlab (and occasionally on the mass market). I particularly enjoyed the Tandem Storyline lager, brewed in cahoots with Chainline.

Though a Forecaster's Cheese Plate on the deck of the old Woodinville location is one of my earliest and fondest food memories, I'm actually pretty okay with what they've got going on here. There's a wood-fired pizza oven, they're putting Salumi meats on the pizzas they put in that oven, and there are oysters. What else do you need with beer, really? Oh, fried chicken, pretzel bread, and roasted brussels? They've got those too, 'cuz they fancy now.

Speaking of fancy, there's a top-of-the-line brew system behind glass on your left as you walk in, a bar with white-subway-tile and very clean design to your right, two really rad Sasha Barr murals, and more patio space than you can shake a stick at. In the back, a side room boasts a shuffleboard table, and the adjacent patio is dominated by Adirondack chairs and gas firepits (remember, winter is nigh!). Up front, you've got big communal picnic tables to people watch on a Friday night.

There's also a bar in the back, which boasts a vintage wooden bar back that once housed snacks and sundries in the Bellingham Greyhound station. Now it houses plenty of beer, as well as much of Crandall's personal record collection, which will provide the brewery's soundtrack. Being so musically inclined, they'll be hosting lots of live shows, the first of which will be their opening night party with KEXP, held Thursday 3-10pm.

FlintCreek Takes Top Honors From Seattle Met

FlintCreek Cattle Co., chef Eric Donnelly's second venture (after RockCreek), won the Met's Restaurant of the Year award. They earned it with, as their food and drink editor Allecia Vermillion put it, "clever compositions like venison pate and lamb crepinette that wowed us—not to mention the great service."

If you're curious about the "why" behind the win, the whole story is right here.

Lark Brunch Becomes Slab Brunch

Lark's last brunch service was this Sunday, Eater reports, but their smaller, more casual cousin Slab Sandwiches and Pie will take up the mantle. They'll have tasty breakfast sandwiches options like "chorizo scrambled eggs with harissa mayonnaise and padrone pepper on toasted brioche," and will offer overflow seating in Lark's bar area.

RIP Ray's Brunch

Ray's Boathouse recently launched brunch and, like their fancy friends at Lark, had to sail back to shore with it, Eater adds. Alas, no more bayside Old Bay breakfast potatoes. Perhaps our city's insatiable appetite for brunch isn't so insatiable after all?

Get Your Hands on Some Small, Oily Fish

Herring, to be precise. The Old Ballard Liquor Company, where herrings bords ("a tasting plate assortment of five rotating flavors of pickled herring") abound, is now offering you the raw uncut, as some of my favorite rappers might say. Lexi, the Alaskan herring advocate at the helm of OBLC, announced that she's gotten access to some raw fillets, and is selling them at $4/lb. The freshest quality would have been yesterday, but if you're a fiend for the once-native fish, I'm sure today or tomorrow is just fine. Email or call them at (206) 858-8010.

No More Nara

It's on the east side, but anytime a restaurant has been around for 26 years, it's news when it closes. Nara, an extremely long-running sushi joint in Redmond, is being forced to shutter for the redevelopment of Redmond Square, Eater reports. Why they need to shut down one of the few things that could be said to give that bland suburb some semblance of character—most likely to make space for "fast casual concepts" and bike stores that sell $450 spandex shorts—is beyond my ken.

A Eulogy for The People's Pub

Ballard's beloved dive bar, The People's Pub, called it quits after 17 years this last Saturday. Employee Katy Sewall eulogized it for Crosscut, noting that—as in every instance of your favorite old bar closing—the Pub, "once part of a small wave of gentrification, has been gentrified."

OMFG Fuck the PSL

Starbucks is bringing its fad phenom beverage to bottle form and selling it in grocery stores, because of course they are. Via their press release:

"While the official date of the return of the original handcrafted Starbucks® Pumpkin Spice Latte remains under wraps, Starbucks today announced the launch of two new products in fall’s favorite flavor, coming exclusively to grocery locations: new ready-to-drink Starbucks® Pumpkin Spice Latte and Starbucks® Pumpkin Spice Flavored Ground Coffee."

I for one am very excited to continue drinking black coffee and the occasional can of fizzy cold brew from Slate.

Adam Callaghan Spice Watch

Speaking of spice, how spicy is my increasingly spicy colleague at Eater this week? Very spicy:

A West Seattle staple, Blackboard Bistro, is for sale, as owners Jacob and Ginger Wiegner have had to cut back operations to care for family, a grim specter that looms over everyone in a country where the ruling class is determined to slash what limited healthcare currently exists.


Amazon is Making MREs

As if Adam's observations on health care weren't dismal enough, here's this, via Reuters:

" Inc is exploring a technology first developed for the U.S. military to produce tasty prepared meals that do not need refrigeration, as it looks for new ways to muscle into the $700 billion U.S. grocery business."

Yes, that is exactly what our country needs. More prepared, prepackaged food, sold via the internet and intended to be eaten alone in a sad micro-apartment lit only by the glow of a laptop screen. Fucking kill me now.

Some people are rightfully perplexed as to why Amazon would be interested in MREs—"I struggle to see how this solution addresses an actual consumer want or need better than fresh, prepared meals," Bentley Hall, CEO of fresh food delivery service Good Eggs, told Reuters—but I have a theory that involves a massive underground cavern below South Lake Union, an army of child supersoldiers raised on "beef stew and vegetable frittata," and Bezos standing on a ledge high above it all and laughing maniacally. The end times are upon us, friends. Throw your Kindles into the ocean and repent!