Everett's A & A Cafe Organic Tamaleria is bringing its handcrafted, husk-wrapped delights to Capitol Hill soon. A & A Cafe & Tamaleria
This week in food and drink news, plant-based favorite Pizza Pi Vegan Pizzeria opens its new location, tamales and cider are headed for Capitol Hill, and the historic bar Queen City says goodbye. Read on for more updates, plus events for this weekend, like the 7th Annual Robert Burns Supper. For more ideas, check out our list of mocktails and non-alcoholic drinks to try in Seattle for Dry January, our list of places to celebrate Robert Burns Night, our list of food and drink specials to try in January, and our full food and drink calendar.

Batch Baking Company
Batch Baking Company, a "dessert-focused, small-batch” bakery with an emphasis on cookies, including updated versions of Oreos, Pop Tarts, Nutter Butters, and other treats, has announced on Instagram that it is now open in the former space of Niche.
Capitol Hill

Mr. Bian Dumpling
Hungry college students, rejoice: This new spot serving up skewers, pork bao, braised meats, and (of course) dumplings has appeared on the Ave in the U-District and had its first Yelp review on December 21.
University District

Dumpling The Noodle
Another new dumpling destination! This Chinese restaurant specializing in thick handmade "lamen" noodles, dumplings, and buns has opened in the former space of Wallyburger and had its first Yelp review on January 4. Other side dishes, including spicy lotus root, green onion pancakes, sweet and sour cucumbers, and bok choy salad, are also available.

Curious about tea? Learn all about different types of tea at Tea Discovery!
Learn the history, myth and lore of tea while tasting different samples in a fun, interactive class!
Get Your Tickets For The First Ever Confinement Online Film Festival!
A fun night of solitary entertainment featuring films exploring social distancing and quarantine!
The 15th Annual HUMP Film Festival is now online, hosted by Dan Savage!
16 sexy films, showcasing a huge range of sexualities, shapes and sizes, streaming from your home!

Pizza Pi Vegan Pizzeria
This vegan pizza shop, which is the oldest all-vegan pizzeria in America and has earned a loyal following, has completed its move to a nearby location in University District and is celebrating its grand opening today.
University District

Prohibition Cellars
This local winery, which was founded in 2017 by owner and winemaker Sandor Faludi and produces traditional, terroir-driven wines "drawing from Old World knowledge and experience," will have a grand opening for its new taproom in Woodinville this weekend (which also happens to be the 100th anniversary of Prohibition being written into law).

Central Smoke
In an Instagram post last week, siblings Sophie, Teresa, and Eric Banh (owners of Ba Bar and Monsoon) announced they have closed this Vietnamese-inspired barbecue joint (which rebranded from its previous concept, Seven Beef, in 2018 due to the "unforgiving economics of the Seattle restaurant scene"), writing that they felt it "makes the best business sense" to focus their energy and resources on their other restaurant concepts.
Central District

This restaurant run by the local nonprofit FareStart, which aims to provide “a community that transforms lives by empowering homeless and disadvantaged men, women, and families to achieve self-sufficiency through life skills, job training and employment in the food service industry," will have its final service on January 31. The organization will continue to use the kitchen for catering purposes and focus on operating its other businesses, including the FareStart restaurant, their Rise cafe on the Amazon campus, and the FareStart Cafe in Beacon Hill's Pacific Tower.
South Lake Union

Queen City
According to a press release, Linda Derschang's Belltown bar will close after its final day of service on Saturday, January 25. The historic location, which Derschang took over in September 2018, has been a bar for over 100 years and may be the oldest bar in Seattle. The press release attributes the closure to issues that include high kitchen staff turnover and food consistency. The Derschang Group will retain ownership of the space and will re-open it this spring as a new concept, a casual neighborhood bar similar to Derschang's King's Hardware and Linda's Tavern, serving burgers and fries, cocktails on tap, and cheap beer. The currently-unnamed new spot will also have a brunch on the weekends similar to the one served at Linda's, with "cowboy tacos" and pitchers of mimosas. In the meantime, until January 25, Queen City will be serving a limited food menu with some of their most popular dishes (like burgers, steak frites, and cauliflower fritters) and will be offering some of their natural wines and cocktail specials at a discount.

Seattle's restaurant boom coming to an end?
As restaurants in the city close rapidly, many wonder if it may portend the end of Seattle's restaurant boom. This week, Seattle Times food critic Bethany Jean Clement examined the issue in-depth in an article that discussed the rising costs of the city and other factors, talking to restaurateurs such as Ethan Stowell, Matt Dillon, and Wiley Frank and Poncharee “PK” Kounpungchart, the owners of the recently closed Little Uncle. (Previously, Clement covered the closure of Matt Dillon's iconic farm-to-table Sitka & Spruce, and quoted Dillon as predicting a "reckoning, big-time" for the Seattle restaurant scene.) The Stranger's own Charles Mudede responded to the article with his own piece: "The Rash of Restaurant Closures Shows Seattle Has Reached the Second and Terminal Stage of Gentrification."

Tamales and cider headed for Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill is getting a new spot for tamales soon: Everett's A & A Cafe Organic Tamaleria will soon open a location in the former space of the recently closed poke joint Aloha Cup Bap on Broadway. The new location, A & A Cafe Organic Tamaleria Cider House, will be family-friendly and will feature Soundbite Cider alongside the handcrafted, husk-wrapped delights. The family-run spot uses tamale recipes handed down by co-owner Ali Carbajal's great-great-grandmother, who grew up in Mexico City, and the Everett spot is known to sell out daily. An opening date has not yet been set, but the restaurant should open any day now.

Caffe Vita gets a new owner
Restaurateur Deming Maclise, who has opened the restaurants Bastille, Poquitos, Stoneburner, and Rhein Haus, took over ownership of the influential independent coffee chain Caffe Vita on January 1. A few months earlier, in October, the company faced controversy after employees were allegedly fired for giving away old pastries and coffee to homeless people.

Carrie Mashaney takes over as culinary director of mama restaurant group
According to a press release, Mamnoon executive chef Carrie Mashaney, who competed on the 11th season of Bravo's Top Chef, has taken over as the culinary director of the mama restaurant group, which includes Mamnoon, Mamnoon Street, Anar, and Mbar. As Mashaney steps into the new role, chef Nicco Muratore, who previously spent time at the acclaimed Cambridge restaurant Commonwealth and appeared on an episode of Beat Bobby Flay, will replace her as the new Mamnoon chef de cuisine.

Unicorn preparing to open a huge White Center location
Fans of the baroque circus explosion that is Capitol Hill's Unicorn can look forward to a massive new location in White Center, which may open as early as the end of this year. Eater Seattle provided an early first look at the whimsical bar, which will include Tilt-a-Whirls, balloon-shaped chandeliers, spinning teacups, and, possibly, carnival rides in the parking lot.

San Francisco chef may open a restaurant in Seattle
Bay Area-based chef Evan Rich, who co-owns the Michelin-starred restaurant Rich Table in San Francisco with his wife Sarah, has told California's Alta magazine that he is considering opening a location of his popular restaurant RT Rotisserie, which serves sandwiches, pork spareribs, and buttermilk-brined rotisserie chicken, in Seattle. Another San Francisco chef, Joshua Skenes, who has received attention for his acclaimed, three-Michelin-starred restaurant Saison (the first American restaurant to earn three Michelin stars for cooking over an open fire), is planning to open a seafood restaurant called Angler inside Bellevue's luxury condo development Avenue Bellevue in 2021.

Momosan adding lunch service
According to a press release, Momosan Seattle, Iron Chef star Masaharu Morimoto's ramen restaurant in Chinatown-International District, is adding a lunch service from 11:30 am-3 pm, Monday-Saturday, starting on Monday, January 20. The menu will offer a range of customizable lunch combos, including a small bowl of ramen served with a choice of small rice bowl or sushi roll and a side of pickled cabbage. In addition, ramen, sushi rolls, and appetizers like soft shell bao and duck tacos will be available individually.

Japanese barbecue spot coming to Capitol Hill
A Japanese barbecue restaurant called Ishoni Yakiniku is set to take over the former space of Rooster's Tex-Mex BBQ in Capitol Hill later this year. High quality meats, such as Kobe and wagyu beef, and seafood will be grilled to order on tabletop grills, along with drinks such as sake and Japanese beer. Another high-end Asian barbecue spot, Meet Korean BBQ, is slated to open in Capitol Hill next month.

Tacos Chukis pays over $400,000 for labor violations
Beloved baby-burrito purveyors Tacos Chukis had to pony up over $419,459 to 92 of their employees after failing to comply with overtime requirements. On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced the local chain had failed to pay their employees overtime despite their working over 40 hours in a week, and that it had failed to combine hours when employees worked at multiple Tacos Chukis locations. The investigation also claims that Tacos Chukis divided hours to make it appear as though employees had worked at multiple locations when they had in fact worked over 40 hours at a single location to avoid paying overtime. In a statement to Eater Seattle, Tacos Chukis said, "Some of our employees who wanted more hours asked to work at a second Tacos Chukis location, and in doing so worked more than 40 hours a week. We did not know that, legally speaking, hours from one location would be combined with the second, and so we paid straight time rates for what we did not realize were overtime hours. This was our mistake. We were trying to help our employees and were tripped up by overtime pay rules we did not fully understand. We have now paid twice the unpaid overtime, so this was an expensive lesson. We apologize for our mistake, it will not happen again. We always try to do right by our terrific employees, including paying well above market rates. We appreciate their understanding and yours too."

Mocktails Mixology with DRY Soda
Looking to decrease your alcohol consumption for January? Keep your non-alcoholic refreshment game on point at this zero-proof mixology class with Heartwood Provisions' Amanda Reed. For mocktail specials, classes, and more, check out DRY January and our calendar of official DRY January events.

Alternative Milks
Skip the storebought coconut, oat, and almond milks and learn how to whip up your own at home. You'll leave with a kit to recreate your own milks at home, the knowledge of how to use them and customize them, and ideas for using up the leftover pulp (apparently, you can use it in a face mask—who knew?).

Assemblage: Juice Club x Disco Nap x Double Sunrise Club
The irreverent natural wine pop-up Juice Club, "party supplies and design services" provider Disco Nap, and disco DJs Double Sunrise Club will come together for a trifecta of party vibes.

This annual fundraiser for the Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research combines live music and a good cause with the sweet and savory promise of a pie buffet.

Winterhop Brewfest
At this annual festival, join hundreds of other beer lovers to try Pacific Northwest brews from over 30 breweries and take in local music in various downtown Ellensburg businesses and venues.

7th Annual Robert Burns Supper
Five years after the death of Scottish bard Robert Burns in 1796, a group of friends gathered on his birthday (January 25) to celebrate his life. Today, the tradition persists and involves haggis, recitations of poetry, songs, and, of course, plenty of Scotch. If you'd like to witness the unusual ritual for yourself, James Beard Award–winning chef John Sundstrom of Lark, Southpaw, and Slab will prepare an exclusive menu with his take on the Scottish delicacy, and the choral project whateverandeveramen. will sing the poetry of Burns along with some traditional drinking songs.

Borsch Competition
Bring a pan of stunning scarlet-hued beet soup to see how yours stacks up, or just come and sample all the delicious entries (and cast your vote for your favorite).

Oyster Feast with Pleasant Bay Oyster Farm at The Growler Guys
Slurp some superlatively fresh oysters (pulled from the ocean that very morning and shucked on the spot) from Pleasant Bay Oyster Farm, paired with four kegs of Breakside Brewery beer (including a 2019 Salted Caramel Stout).

Chinese New Year: Teahouse Beer Day
Ring in the Lunar New Year with tea-inspired beers, including Lapsang Souchong Black Lager, Cinnamon Orange Cream Stout, Hawaiian Breeze Hazy IPA, and Lemon Berry Sage Sour, from Lucky Envelope.

Fowl & Offal Goes to Whidbey
Chef Eric Leichtling of the nose-to-tail pop-up Fowl & Offal (and upcoming Columbia City restaurant Off Alley) will return to Prima Bistro, where he was once the sous chef in 2006, for a four-course prix-fixe meal with "surprises" and wine pairings.

Jennifer Tyler Lee: Half the Sugar, All the Love
From cereal to snacks, I check the label on everything; there is so much added sugar where you don’t expect it—and plenty of extra where you do. Enter Jennifer Tyler Lee, who introduced a game-style strategy that prompted her kids to eat fresh foods while involving them in the making of their meals with her debut cookbook, The 52 New Foods Challenge. For her second outing, she’s teamed up with Dr. Anisha I. Patel to come up with 100 recipes for breakfast, snacks, desserts, beverages, and even condiments that contain at least 50 percent less sugar—or no sugar at all—without sacrificing the flavor. Half the Sugar, All the Love: 100 Easy, Low-Sugar Recipes for Every Meal of the Day also includes techniques on how to sweeten naturally, with fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, plus a bit of education (like how to really read a nutritional label, the myths of sugar, and recommended daily sugar targets). With a growing 2.5-year-old who has recently discovered the joy of candy and cupcakes, this is the sort of cookbook I need in my arsenal. Lee will be giving a talk and signing copies of her cookbook at the Book Larder event. LEILANI POLK