In March, Melissa Miranda announced that her massively beloved popup Musang was going brick and mortar, that is to say, a permanent restaurant was in the works. By the end of the month, the Seattle chef exceeded her ambitious $75,000 Kickstarter goal in 30 days. Now, she brings news of another milestone. Musang will open on Beacon Hill (this much we knew) in the former Travelers Thali House in the fall.
After signing the lease this morning "it’s not just an idea anymore," says Miranda. "It's real." The turnkey restaurant space means Musang has a hopefully shorter opening timeline—October or November, surmises Miranda—but that still means three months of intense renovation to transform Thali House, which shuttered this month. The passing of the ownership torch has been smooth, with Thali House owners Allen Kornmesser and Leon Reed buzzing to the neighborhood about Musang's arrival.
While the exterior won't see a ton of change (the outdoor pizza oven most definitely stays put), the whole interior will be redone to create an open kitchen, like you're walking into Miranda's home and sitting at her dinner table. "Home-cooked Filipino food in a space that is a home," says Miranda, has been her mission from the start. The design, then, will look to Spanish colonial-style homes often seen in the Philippines, and create a sense of old and new touches—dark woods, fresh, white walls. It's not much unlike Miranda's food, which is simultaneously a love letter to her heritage and history with a nod to what contemporary Filipino food can be.
Musang will be a 48-seat space casual enough for a family meal but intimate enough for date night, with a menu fueled by Miranda’s culinary bona fides and childhood memories, many of which were formed while growing up on Beacon Hill.
Musang's last popup at Bar del Corso is set for this Father's Day, but shortly thereafter, Miranda will shift gears to all things brick-and-mortar. Okay, maybe one summertime popup and a trip to LA for a collaborative food festival in July. But that's probably it. When you're a chef who's consistently cooked all over the city and country for three years, it might be a little hard to stay still. A restaurant opening should help with that.