Fresh off opening The Lakehouse and Civility and Unrest in Bellevue last summer, chef Jason Wilson is teaming up with the El Gaucho group to open four upcoming projects in Seattle and in Walla Walla. First up, their partnership, known as Fire and Vine Hospitality, will bring a new, as-yet-unnamed restaurant to Pike Place Market at 2001 Western Ave, hopefully by the end of summer.
Perched at the western edge of the Market Place plaza, the new restaurant overlooks glimmering views of Elliott Bay—and the ill-fated Alaskan Way Viaduct. It's the space Wilson says he considered relocating Crush to some six years ago. Now he's come full circle. Whereas The Lakehouse was Wilson's brainchild, this forthcoming establishment will be the culinary offspring of both Wilson and Fire and Vine CEO (and El Gaucho president) Chad Mackay, whose father Paul Mackay reincarnated El Gaucho in 1996. Here, the restaurant will have a full bar, for the thirsty, a dining room with a large table and a live bonfire at its center, private spaces enclosed by glass doors that pivot open for overflow dining, plus two chef's tables seating about a dozen. Oh, and there will be outdoor seating for around 50 people, too.
Yep. This space is no joke.
As far as food and drink goes, the menu will be "led by the seasons," says Wilson, which makes perfect sense given the proximity to the market. On the meaty end of things, think grilled beef cuts like, say, a large, shareable coulotte. (You won't likely find those high-end center cuts here as you would at places like El Gaucho.) Things will remain "approachable" as they say.
As for the three other ventures in the works: Eritage resort and restaurant will debut in early May in Walla Walla, where Wilson's lent his culinary know-how to the menu. There's Crossbuck Brewing and Walla Walla Steak Co. "Seven years ago my dad moved to Walla Walla," says Mackay, to supposedly retire. Well, true to his entrepreneurial spirit, retirement for Paul Mackay looks like opening a brewery and steakhouse with a few of his fellow hospitality veterans (and same architects behind El Gaucho) in the historic Walla Walla train depot this spring. Walla Walla residents initially thought that El Gaucho was coming to their town, but not quite: same steakhouse classics, same warm service, but very cold beer.
There's plenty coming down the pipeline for the Fire and Vine group. Stay tuned for updates (like a restaurant name, perhaps) as we have them.
This article has been updated on March 14 at 2:04pm to state the accurate year Paul Mackay took over El Gaucho which was 1996, not its founding year 1953 as previously stated.