Heyo—what's this? Hitchcock owner Brendan McGill dropped a photo on Facebook this afternoon of a space in Pioneer Square he's turning into a German-style hall of beer and brats. Come October, the 209 First Ave S address will be known as Altstadt.
Altstadt is the German term for "old town." "I think every German town has an altstadt," says McGill. "Pioneer Square is Seattle's altstadt."
Actually, says McGill, this is more of a side project for him. He happened upon the space and thought about opening a blue collar–type bar until one of his employees, Lex Petras, offered up the German concept. It seemed a natural fit for the more open, airy space. "This way I can really focus on my Hitchcock kitchen, but still get my kicks," says McGill. His kicks specifically include a menu of about eight items—including plates of sausages, kraut, mustard, and crusty bread—with the same assertively local sourcing and housemade ingredients happening over at Hitchcock. A housemade brat of Washington heritage-breed pork with kraut raw fermented at the restaurant and a house mustard might go for $12.
There will also be pretzels and, duh, lots of beer, says McGill. Steins and das boot will be involved.
He says Altstadt will bridge the gap between the higher-end spots (aka Bar Sajor) opening in the neighborhood, and the rowdier, unfancy bar crowd. Also, doesn't a brat and a long table of clanking beer steins sound like the ideal pregame destination?
McGill, Petras, and their partner Harvey Ward Van Allen are aiming for an October opening, to catch the latter half of Oktoberfest furor (yes, sticklers, Oktoberfest is technically in September). I have yet to meet Petras, who will run front of house, but McGill described him as a dreamboat, a statement I clearly had to put on the journalistic record.