Chase Lounge, Ballard's latest addition to the seafood scene, opened officially over the weekend.
Owner Rob Milliron–who worked most recently worked at Radici and before that at Bizarro Italian Cafe and Homegrown–grew up with seafood. As a kid, raw oysters were a regular part of his diet. Now, at Chase Lounge, seafood is the centerpiece. The restaurant also pays tribute to Milliron's grandpa, who taught him to cook.
Located at 1556 NW 56th St. in Ballard, Chase Lounge's menu will include ahi crudo served with radishes, onion slaw, and avocado puree, New England style clam chowder and a rotating selection of raw oysters, their sourcing locations marked on a floor-to-ceiling mural of the Salish Sea. Cocktails will be curated by Travers Romann, who hails from New Orleans, and oysters by Kevin Bartlett, Milliron's longtime friend and an "oyster god."
After three days of being solidly booked during the soft opening earlier this month, Milliron decided to take some time to dial in on the feedback they received and refigure some things.
During the closing period, Milliron worked on training staff in service cues and things like knowing which of the "whole bunch of forks and spoons" go with which dish. His crew also fine tuned the menu and got the bar fully stocked (though liquor license was still pending as of Sunday).
Milliron wants his spot to be somewhere he and his friends would be able to enjoy good food and cocktails and have something to do. The old school arcade games in the mezzanine are a shout out to"us 'indoor kids'" says Milliron, "the ones who weren't the sportsters." They will also have TVs for Sounders and Seahawks games, although the biggest one in the main dining room will be curtained when not in use.