Patric Gabre-Kidan, the erstwhile business partner of Ethan Stowell, is heading a new venture in Fremont.
The Book Bindery, a bistro-style restaurant serving contemporary American fare, is scheduled to open somewhere between mid and late July, owner Michael Almquist confirmed to me. Gabre-Kidan will act as general manager and has been helping with the buildout of the space at 198 Nickerson Street, Almquist continued. The former Dier’s book bindery (hence the name) sits along Ship Canal near Fremont Bridge.
Gabre-Kidan’s longtime friend and former colleague Shaun McCrain will chef the new restaurant. McCrain brings a lustrous culinary background: After working with Gabre-Kidan at the Painted Table, he moved on to Masa’s and La Folie in San Francisco, then to the kitchens of Paris’s Elyse du Vernet and Taillavent. Next, New York, where he spent four years at Thomas Keller’s Per Se, eventually becoming executive sous chef. In 2008 he landed in the Bay Area to work with Michael Mina before returning home to his native Seattle. Considering Gabre-Kidan’s also-accomplished past, this is a powerhouse partnership.
While the restaurant will seat 60, it is situated in a 20,000 square-foot space, the remainder of which is reserved for Almquist Family Vitners. At once a winery, custom crush facility, craft distillery, and tasting room stocking 30 unique spirits, this is the first venture in hospitality for Almquist, who notes he is incredibly lucky to have hooked up with such talented individuals.
The Book Bindery’s opening is contingent on the completion of an attached greenhouse. That space will seat diners in the summer and harvest foodstuffs during the remainder of the year.
Longtime Seattleites might recognize the name Mike Almquist, or, as he was once known, "Squish," for his involvement with F5.