Today is the official halfway mark for 2013. So it seems like an appropriate moment to take stock of all those bar and restaurant projects we mentioned at the first of the year, plus all the cool stuff that has made itself known since then.
What's opened so far: Ballard Annex Oyster House, Bar Sajor, Capitol Cider, Miyabi 45th, Radiator Whiskey, Stoneburner, Tanakasan et al, Von Trapp's, plus lots more. And it looks like the rest of the year will be awash in whiskey, small and cool spaces, and new eateries at University Village. Here are the openings that have us antsy with anticipation for the second half of 2013. Stay tuned for a Sauced counterpart of upcoming bars.
This is shaping up to be one of the biggest projects of the fall; the Spinasse and Artusi chef is hopping from Italy to Spain, planning a modern Spanish-influenced restaurant in the longtime Thoa's space at First and Union, in the thick of downtown. Seattle Met Rising Star Carrie Mashaney will be running the show, overseeing plates like chicken wings with Dungeness crab and walnut mayonnaise, or breadcrumbs with housemade chorizo and a fried egg. Newly minted master sommelier Chris Tanghe is planning a heavily Spanish wine program that also nods to some other regions across the Mediterranean.
Target open: late summer/early fall
The team behind the popular Cantinetta in Wallingford and Bellevue is opening a diminutive version in Madison Valley, specifically the former La Côte space at 2811 E Madison. Look for lots of antipasti, several pasta dishes, and a lot of casual bar seating. Also, this will be the first Cantinetta location to serve brunch, a nod to its French predecessor.
Target open: late July
Ever wait for a table at The Walrus and the Carpenter? Like, for a long, long time? Walrus owner Renee Erickson and her partners are turning part of the Dutch Bike Co. shop in the Kolstrand building into a tiny bar for wines by the glass (plus a fun reserve list), aperitivi, and Eli Dahlin's plates of pickles, cheese, marinated octopus salad, or terrine. The Barnacle will be a place to while away the hour until dinner, or a destination unto itself.
Target open: late summer
Blind Pig at Eastlake Teriyaki
The neighbors were worried that Charles Walpole and Rene Gutierrez would pull out of Eastlake when it came time for Blind Pig Bistro's inevitable expansion. Instead, the guys are taking over the teriyaki shop next door and launching a lunch program. Their eventual plan: Make this the adjacent bar for Blind Pig.
Target open: July, in theory
Bourbon and Bones
Hey, look—another of our Seattle Met Rising Star Chefs is planning his own restaurant. That would be Michael Law, the man behind the insane fried chicken (and other Southern-styled items) at Wandering Goose. As the name suggests, you'll be able to have fried chicken and plenty of brown liquor at his Frelard restaurant at 4350 Leary Way NW. Also: barbecue and smoked shellfish.
Target open: July...ish?
Din Tai Fung II
The new building going up at University Village is going to house several restaurant projects. One being the oft-rumored, long-awaited second location of Din Tai Fung. Expect the same menu as the Taiwanese chain's Bellevue location, and the same observation room where a team of dumpling masters nimbly fold the renowned xiao long bao. But this location will have a larger bar area, a nod to the Husky-watching crowds.
Target open: November, or maybe early December. Definitely before the holiday rush begins.
Booze at last. This is a California-based craft burger-centric chain, also making its way to U Village. And bringing along 40 taps of craft beers, a 21-bottle list of brown liquors, all small-batch and American-made, and an unprinted "antique collection" of whiskeys that will include things like Pappy Van Winkle.
Target open: December. Again, shooting to beat the holiday rush in the latter half of the month.
Skillet founder Joshua Henderson does not mess around. He's got three projects in the works right now, including the revamping of Woodinville's Hollywood Tavern into a destination burger joint. Think Taylor's Automatic Refresher (now known as Gott's) in Napa, but with tons of whiskey. The chef will be Angie Roberts, most recently of Hotel 1000 but already busy helping out in the Henderson fold.
Target open: September
Beecher's founder Kurt Dammeier has set October 20 as the opening date for his 150-seat restaurant in University Village. Dammeier is envisioning a grown-ups' haven of shareable platters of protein and vegetables. Dammeier also has a restaurant in the works across from the South Lake Union Whole Foods; it's called Max's and will open next spring.
Target open: October 20.
Matt Dillon and Marigold and Mint owner Katherine Anderson are in progress on the bakery/production/food takeaway project at 300 Occidental Ave S. There will also be a wine bar space.
Target open: later this summer
Loulay Kitchen and Bar
Rover's served its last meal on June 23. And Thierry Rautureau has talked in passing about his plans for a downtown restaurant set to open this fall at Sixth and Union, but says he wants to stay quiet on details until everything is certain.
Target open: uh, fall?
Capitol Hill is getting its own piece of the cult that is La Carta de Oaxaca, in the form of its mezcal-focused sibling Mezcaleria Oaxaca. The space at Summit and Pine will have one hell of a rooftop patio.
Target open: Our latest intel says early fall
The Old Sage
Updates have been few and far between on the status of Brian McCracken and Dana Tough's new project, a parlor of Old World–style smoked meats and flavored Skinny Girl vodkas (just kidding—there will be lots of brown liquor) at 1410 12th Avenue. But presumably progress continues apace.
Target open: ???
Adria Shimada's all-natural organic ice cream truck will give rise to an all-natural, organic ice cream patisserie on Ballard's new Greenfire Campus. In addition to scoops, her atelier will serve artful ice cream cakes, push pops, and hand-dipped ice cream bars, alongside treats like profiteroles and madeleines.
Target open: August
Buildout (and mural painting) is well underway at the former Seattle's Best Coffee space in Pike Place Market. Its next life: a dispensary of Rachel's Ginger Beer, in both its original and fruit-enhanced forms. There will be a full bar (though cocktails will lean heavy on RGB, duh) and plenty of Cupcake Royale ice cream on hand to make floats.
Target open: later this summer
Eric Donnelly held an informal open house this past weekend at his very cool–sounding seafood restaurant, going in at 4300 Fremont Ave N, right by Uneeda Burger. We're equally excited about the great deck space and his love of composed, sustainably sourced seafood plates. Nah, that's a lie—the food totally gets the edge.
Target open: early July, aka any day now
After a bit of a funding delay, Where Ya At Matt's Matthew Lewis is back on track with his New Orleans–infused restaurant in the former Buckaroo Tavern. He's planning beignets all day, trucklike fare at lunch, and a grown-up take on Louisiana come nightfall. Oh, and chicory coffee, Abita beer, and lots of cocktails.
Target open: August. For reals, y'all.
Did I mention Joshua Henderson is a busy guy? He's readying a second location of his popular Capitol Hill diner on the Greenfire Campus (right next to Parfait). This one will have a larger bar space than the original, the better to partake of Skillet's underrated cocktails.
Target open: end of July or early August
Again with the Joshua Henderson. This "water–inspired" restaurant at the foot of a long dock on north Lake Union is part of Henderson's Huxley Wallace Collective. Zoi Antonitsas will be in the kitchen rocking a menu full of seafood (and her own cool Greek flourishes here and there) while ace oyster shucker David Leck holds court next door at Little Gull, a combo market and oyster bar. Both the deck and the view promise to be reediculous.
Target open: August