The cured meat operation that grew from plucky deli to dry-cured institution now has a space that befits its stature. Salumi is officially open for business in its new Pioneer Square location—the former home of Rain Shadow Meats Squared at 404 Occidental Ave.
A grab and go bin offers muffulettas and four-packs of sliced salumi, but the people standing in line are all about that menu of hot and cold sandwiches. The famed meatballs are still attributed to Leonetta, the mother of founder Armando Batali and grandmother of his daughter Gina, who took over the restaurant with her husband in 2007. Now, though, the family has sold the majority stake in one of Seattle's most beloved businesses. New owners Martinique Grigg and Clara Veniard are also founders of Seattle's Grant Peak Capital private equity fund (per Rachel Belle, Salumi might now be the country's only woman-owned charcuterie shop). But you'll also see them hustling behind the counter as Salumi's signature long lines slowly redirect to these roomier environs. At least these waits will mostly happen indoors from here on out?
In all seriousness, lines moved speedily on a recent lunchtime visit and a Salumi superfan (who also happens to be my husband) proclaimed the porchetta sandwich marvelous as ever. Now you can eat it at a series of tables or counter stools, and a new private room in the back is on deck for private lunches in the vein of the ones that built Salumi's legend at its original location.
No, this new Salumi will never offer the narrow, unruly charm of the original (did anyone else get a little misty eyed at this photo?). And I still miss Russ Flint's menu from the Rain Shadow days. But in a city gripped with the question of how to grow without losing ourselves, this new iteration seems like an example of how to do it right. New hours and details on those lunches are right over here.