Westward details 114 xl lgxjoh

Did Westward's crazy backbar start this whole trend?

Image: Westward

Did it start with Josh Henderson’s Westward, the lakeside restaurant whose name wasn’t particularly nautical but whose decor—based on The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou—intensely (humorously) was? Or did it begin earlier, when Renee Erickson followed up her Boat Street Cafe with the Walrus and the Carpenter, then the Whale Wins, then Barnacle, and now Bateau and Bar Melusine (the French word for water fairy)?  

Perhaps those two madly successful restaurateurs simply launched a template that others hoped would herald similar success for them. Just look at the spate of nautically named businesses to open recently: Ethan Stowell’s Marine Hardware. Maree Bistro in West Seattle. The new Fremont cocktail bar, the Helm. The new lobster roll emporium, Bar Harbor. Sea Wolf Bakers, newly relocated to Stone Way.

Do Mollusk, 100-Lb. Clam, and White Swan Public House count as nautical? Not so much? Because the new Rob Roy sib beer bar No Anchor, the cold brew cafe Anchorhead Coffee, and Vendemmia’s adjoining seafood market, East Anchor Seafood certainly do.

What up?

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Editor’s Pick

No Anchor

Recommended Beer Selection 2505 Second Ave

Editor’s Pick

The Walrus and the Carpenter

Outdoor Patio, Recommended Menu, Romantic 4743 Ballard Avenue NW

And now from the idiosyncratic French sensibilities of the prolific Renee Erickson comes a Ballard nosh bar par excellence. Settle into the whitewashed-and-w...

Editor’s Pick


$$ Italian 1126 34th Ave

“Pasta, seafood, and vegetables.” Brian Clevenger’s philosophy is pretty simple, as restaurant concepts go, but then factor in the flawless fish and produc...

Anchorhead Coffee

Coffee Shop CenturyLink Plaza, 1600 7th Ave #105

Editor’s Pick

Rob Roy

$ Small Plates 2332 Second Ave

Owned by the very cute cocktail-crafting couple Anu Apte and Zane Harris, Rob Roy is a James Bond-style bachelor pad that offers imbibers a library of unique...

Editor’s Pick

The White Swan Public House

$$$ American/New American, Gastropub, Seafood 1001 Fairview Ave N

It’s not easy to find this clattering tavern on Lake Union—and elder sibling Matt’s in the Market tends to get more buzz. But White Swan combines one of the ...

Editor’s Pick

The 100 Pound Clam

$$ Seafood 1001 Fairview Ave N

From the folks who brought us Matt’s in the Market comes the rare South Lake Union spot with waves lapping at its toes. Yes, it’s a fish and chips shack—you ...


$$$ Global 803 Dexter Ave N

This update of the former fringe favorite Gastropod in Sodo has become a stunner of industrial chic near South Lake Union, all sweeping sightlines and banque...

Editor’s Pick

Bar Harbor

$$$ American/New American, Sandwiches/Deli 400 Fairview Ave N

It’s a splash of down-east Maine in Seattle; a tidy nautical space in the restaurant-court lobby of the 400 Fairview, with plenty of patio seating for the la...

Maree Bistro and Bar Closed

$$$ French 2820 Alki Ave SW

Seattle doesn't have that many waterside restaurants, so this sparkling French cafe across Alki Avenue from the beach makes it noteworthy off the top. Add in...

Editor’s Pick

Marine Hardware

$$$ Italian 4741 Ballard Ave N

Ethan Stowell and longtime deputy Michael Gifford present a vibrant challenge to prix-fixe’s fusty rap. Casual diners packed into the narrow, low-lit, brick-...

Editor’s Pick

Bar Melusine

$$$ French, Oyster Bar, Seafood, Small Plates 1060 E Union St

Seattle seafood legend Renee Erickson has reprised her Ballard oyster bar, the Walrus and the Carpenter, in this breezy Capitol Hill bar splashed with sprays...

Editor’s Pick


$$$ Steak House 1040 E Union St

Renee Erickson refashioned the old-school steak house model into this lovely white-on-white dining room, which makes liberal use of edible flowers, but also ...

Editor’s Pick

The Whale Wins

$$ French 3506 Stone Way N

Another white restaurant from the extraordinary Renee Erickson (the Walrus and the Carpenter) wears all the buoyancy and cheer of a country cottage. Add in t...

Editor’s Pick

The Walrus and the Carpenter

$$ Oyster Bar, Small Plates 4743 Ballard Avenue NW

No mortal restaurant can really live up to that national hype…right? Well, Renee Erickson’s merrily jostling oyster bar on Ballard Ave remains the gold stand...

Editor’s Pick


$$$ Oyster Bar, Seafood, Small Plates 2501 N Northlake Way

In summer it’s pure Hamptons. Glide in by boat, tie up along Westward’s north Lake Union dock, then snag an Adirondack chair lined up resort-like along the s...