50 North is the new mainland project from Melinda Sontgerath, owner of The Hardware Store. That Vashon Island eatery employs Daniel Ahern—he’s the former head chef at Madison Park’s Impromptu (now a pizzeria) and he’s also married to Gluten-Free Girl Shauna Ahern. (They recently wrote a book together.)
I called Sontgerath and asked her a few questions about the new venture, questions which she kindly answered.
Why open another restaurant?
Sontgerath says she hadn’t planned to open a second restaurant, but she was lured in by the space at 5001 25th Ave NE, near University Village. The 3,200 square-foot restaurant has an additional room upstairs with a grand piano—Sontgerath plans on holding private, catered events up there.
50 North will have a “totally different look” than The Hardware Store, says Sontgerath, but she plans to replicate the island restaurant’s cozy booths because “they feel good around your shoulders, you know what I mean?”
Can we eat the stuff we like from the Hardware Store menu at the new place?
Sontgerath is still working on the menu, but she promises 50 North will be making Hardware Store oldies like skillet-seared scallops with bacon and Granny Smith Apples, Crab cakes, Mahi Mahi fish tacos, buttermilk fried chicken, and fish and chips.
Will Ahern be the chef at 50 North?
Doesn’t sounds like it, however, “we definitely want him to have a presence,” says Sontgerath. “He’ll be involved. He’ll definitely have a say in the menu, especially as it relates to gluten-free items.”
Will it be open all day and all evening like the Hardware Store?
Yes. 50 North will open for breakfast and keep its door open through dinner service.
When can we come get some of that chicken?
Sontgerath aims to open in early December.