Gantry Public House
Farshid Varamini, owner of the People's Burger and Pioneer Grill Hot Dogs food trucks, recently opened a brick-and-mortar called Gantry Public House with an ideal location for those looking for grub before or after games at CenturyLink Field and T-Mobile Park. The establishment has four beers on tap (with six more to come), a menu of typical bar fare like tacos and wings, and 14 big-screen TVs. Guests also have the option of bringing in outside food from Varamini's food trucks. According to Eater Seattle, Varamini is also looking to add shuffleboard, darts, and a "rage room" (a designated area where guests can strap on protective gear and smash items for cathartic effect).
This Taiwanese chain, which specializes in drinks made with brewed tea and blended seasonal fruit, is having the grand opening for its Kirkland location from March 7-8. During the grand opening, drinks will be buy-one-get-one-free. Other offerings include waffle cakes, milk tea, smoothies, and "cheese tea" (drinks topped with a foamy cream cheese layer).
Aoki Japanese Grill & Sushi Bar
This affordable sushi restaurant, which has been open since 1986, appears to have closed. Longtime owner Hitoshi Nishitani retired last March, and the restaurant was taken over by real estate investor Alex Bae. Capitol Hill Seattle reports that a “five (5) day notice to pay rent or vacate premises” was posted on the restaurant and showed $10,000 in unpaid rent for January and February, plus $1,500 a month in charges for real estate taxes, building insurance, and maintenance.
Chuan on Capitol
One door closes, another opens: Capitol Hill's hot pot spot has closed and is set to be replaced later this year by Biang Biang Noodles, named for the hand-pulled Chinese noodle variety also served at nearby Qin Xi'an Food. Chuan will continue to operate for delivery orders only for the next month.
Drive Thru Boba
The owners of this boba shop with a loyal following announced "with a heavy heart" in a Facebook post that they will be closing their downtown Bellevue cafe on Saturday, March 14 after eight years of business, and that another business they are not affiliated with will be taking their place. The business originally started as a drive-thru stand in 2012 and kept the name in tribute to its humble roots even after upgrading to a conventional brick-and-mortar a mere eight months later. The co-owners, married couple Alex Jorge and Karen Wu, wrote, "We want to thank our loyal fans and customers who have continued to support us. It's not just us that have grown through the years - we've also seen some of you come in on a first date, proposed in the cafe, got married (we've catered your banquets too), some got divorced, had boba delivered during labor, and then brought along your newborn(s)!" They also encouraged fans to follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates or to reach out via email and hinted, "Trust us, our book isn't done."
OTHER FOOD NEWS
Coronavirus affects Seattle food scene
The Seattle food scene, already in a somewhat precarious state after an onslaught of restaurant closures, is feeling the impact of coronavirus as diners increasingly opt to stay home. As Eater Seattle reports, many restaurants are resorting to great lengths to offset loss of business, including advertising their delivery services and health and sanitation practices on social media and prominently displaying hand sanitizer. (Notably, the local pastry purveyor Piroshky Piroshky even went so far as to market a new piroshky containing ginger, curry, chickpeas, and zucchini as "immune-supportive.") The vegan Thai restaurant Araya's Place also sought to assuage customers' anxieties by assuring them that none of their employees have traveled or left the country in the last six months. Restaurants in Chinatown-International District may have borne the brunt of the situation, with business cut in half due to coronavirus fears and racist stigma. Many businesses fear having to lay off workers if the slump continues. Major food events such as Taste Washington and Cocktail District have also been canceled or rescheduled.
Surrell prepares to open on Capitol Hill
Chef Aaron Tekulve of the Pacific Northwest pop-up and catering company Surrell is in the final stages of preparing to open his permanent restaurant of the same name on Capitol Hill. The restaurant is set to open in a space that previously housed Addo and Crush. Surrell's wine bar will open on March 25, followed by a multi-course "chef's counter experience" starting in May, with tasting menus that source ingredients from local suppliers and revolve around a certain theme (such as tomatoes or mushrooms). The space will also serve as an event venue.
Dahlia Lounge discontinues brunch and lunch
Dahlia Lounge, one of the jewels in the crown of Tom Douglas's empire, stopped serving brunch and lunch in February. A representative told Eater Seattle that "changing dynamics have made those two services untenable moving forward." Douglas also recently closed his downtown restaurants TanakaSan, Assembly Hall, and Home Remedy inside the Via6 building at the end of 2019.
Speakeasy opening in Bellevue
According to a press release, a new speakeasy-style cocktail bar called Rouge is set to open in Bellevue. The bar comes from married couple Chris and Mary Kenney, who moved from New York, and will feature live performances, craft cocktails, and small shareable plates. The exact date of the opening is "to be left a mystery, holding true to the speakeasy concept," but according to the website, the bar is expected to launch sometime in March 2020.
Rumba opening new tiki bar
The respected Capitol Hill rum den Rumba plans to open a tiki-themed bar next door called Inside Passage sometime this summer, in the former space of a Stussy shop. The new project will have colorful decor from noted tiki designer Notch Gonzalez of the San Jose-based business Top Notch Kustoms and will feature a bar program by Rumba general manager Jen Akin and bartender Sean Dumke, as well as a tropical food menu by Rumba chef Alan Bochi. If you'd like to preview Inside Passage's cocktails before it opens, Rumba will feature a libation from the upcoming bar each night during their weekly tiki night on Wednesdays.
Momofuku fried chicken brand coming to Seattle
According to Seattle Met, T-Mobile has teased that Fuku, a fried chicken sandwich chain from culinary juggernaut David Chang of Momofuku, will be joining the ballpark's new menu offerings this season. The shop currently has outposts in New York, Boston, and Los Angeles.
FRIDAY, MARCH 6
Seventh Annual Shelly's Day
In honor of Shelly Baker Butler, who passed away after a four-year battle with colon cancer at age 39 in 2013, Little Water Cantina owners Laura and Shannon Wilkinson (Shelly's sister and brother-in-law) will dedicate the day's net proceeds to Ronald McDonald House.
Seattle Cocktail Week
This spirited weeklong event puts a spotlight on the movers and (cocktail) shakers of the Seattle bar scene with special libations available at more than 60 participating venues, plus classes and seminars for industry pros, pop-up cocktail bars, bar takeovers, competitions, tastings, parties, and more. Saturday’s Cocktail District event at Bell Harbor Conference Center has been canceled and tentatively rescheduled for April 11 due to coronavirus concerns, but the smaller events and cocktail specials are still happening as planned.
SATURDAY, MARCH 7
9th Annual Bellevue Bourbon Bash
Boasting one of the largest collections of bourbon and rye whiskey on this side of the Mississippi, the annual Bourbon Bash brings over 100 sample-sized brown liquors—including a small collection of Pappy Van Winkle—to Bellevue. Hearty appetizers will be served so you don't topple over.
Cabernet Classic 2020
Toast to one of the most crowd-pleasing grape varietals out there by tasting cabernets from 30 Washington wineries at this swanky fundraiser for KIND TV, a nonprofit with an award-winning web series dedicated to "positive media and creating solutions to tragedy."
Guerilla Pizza Kitchen x Ursa Minor
Cam Hanin of the nomadic "weird pizza" pop-up Guerilla Pizza Kitchen will team up with Nick Coffey of the acclaimed Lopez Island restaurant Ursa Minor for a night of "naturally fermented pizza, a selection of natural wines, and an array of delicious vegetable offerings native to an island tucked into a southern Canadian archipelago," with all-you-can-eat salads and pizza.
Three Sacks Full: Soul Warming Soups & Flatbreads
Make the most of the late winter chill with comforting soups, stews, and flatbreads made with preserves and pantry items from Three Sacks Full's half-acre farm. There will be plenty of vegan and vegetarian options for non-carnivores.
Penn Cove Musselfest
Thanks to the nutrient-rich outflow of water from the Skagit River, beautiful Penn Cove’s famous mussels grow full-sized in record time and are harvested young, making them impossibly firm, fat, and sweet. This annual festival, which bills itself as a celebration of all things “bold, briny, and blue,” features boat tours of the Penn Cove Mussel Farm, a mussel eating contest, cooking demonstrations with local chefs, a waterfront beer garden, and the main event: a tasting competition with restaurants from all over Coupeville vying to have their mussel chowder declared the finest in town.
SUNDAY, MARCH 8
2020 Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day
Each year, the Pink Boots Society, a nonprofit that brings together and supports women working in the beer industry, brews a special collaboration beer on International Women's Day. Join head brewer Kevin Forhan to help brew a hazy IPA made with the special Pink Boots hop blend from Yakima Chief Hops.
Drink Like a Girl! Celebrate International Women’s Day 2020
Whiskey enthusiast Julia Ritz Toffoli and her friends were weary of hearing men exclaim, "Whoa, that's a strong drink for a little lady! Sure you can handle it?" every time they ordered their favorite liquor. So they founded Women Who Whiskey, an "experimental whiskey club for women." At this Seattle Cocktail Week event hosted by the society's Seattle chapter in honor of International Women's Day, Wanderback Whiskey Co. co-owner Sasha Muir will lead a whiskey tasting of limited-edition American single-malt whiskeys and give a presentation on the "American single-malt revolution" and her company's process. Tickets include a cocktail, snacks, and a whiskey tasting flight.
Lechoncito: Whole Suckling Pig
Enjoy a whole suckling pig in all of its crackly-skinned glory, along with rice, beans, yucca, tostones, "mom flan," and tembleque (a Puerto Rican coconut pudding dessert).