Some bar and restaurant openings are quiet and covert. Others are (understandably) delayed and delayed and then delayed again. This week feels unusually civilized: Three brand-new establishments picked an openig date and, at least as of now, are sticking to it. Let's hope I didn't jinx them by saying that.
Henry’s First Avenue Tavern
SoDo just got a sizable new haunt for beer drinkers. The 270-seat tavern at 1518 First Ave S is a sibling of the popular Henry’s Tavern in Portland’s Brewery Blocks (both are owned by Restaurants Unlimited, Inc.). The menu is large about as varied as the offerings next door at Safeco: You can get waffle fry poutine, a sushi roll, a soft pretzel, or the requisite burger. But let’s face it—we’re all here for the beer. Henry’s has 100 taps pouring brews local and regional, as well as ciders. As of April 29, the tavern is open at 11 seven days a week, but if there’s a game at Safeco or CenturyLink, doors will open three hours before the starting time.
Billy Beach Sushi and Bar
We already showed you some photos, but it bears repeating that Ballard’s new sushi hangout opens for lunch and dinner on May 1. Come to think of it, Ballard could use another weekday lunch destination. Billy Beach built a rocking nightlife-sushi empire in Belltown, then moved on to open Japonessa Sushi Cocina downtown. Here he’s stripping away his fusion past and plans to actually be behind the sushi bar most nights of the week. Grab one of the five seats at that counter, or take advantage of the fact that happy hour runs all day until 7pm.
A few months ago a reader called me in hopes I might know where he could find baker Lyss Lewis. Her Seattle Pie Company café in Magnolia had closed, leaving this nice man without his fix. Well, as of May 1 you can find Lewis and twin sister Natalie Delucchi at 1361 E Olive Way. They have transformed the former Saley Crepes into Pie Bar, a house of pies both sweet and savory, as well as drinks. While Pie Bar has a cozy bakery feel, it’s 21 and up due to the menu of beer, wine, cider, and the most curious-sounding pie-infused martinis. You can also get floats made with imperial stout. Packing minors? The walkup window is your source for a slice to go.