It’s all so familiar: The Subway franchise next door. That comically tight parking lot. The small dining room, painted a deep hue. And yet it feels new. Tonight the tiny Eastlake restaurant that once housed Sitka and Spruce, then Nettletown, makes its debut as Blind Pig Bistro. It’s the much-anticipated project from Charles Walpole, an alum of the original Mistral who went on to earn himself quite a fan base at Ethan Stowell’s Anchovies and Olives. His business partner and front-of-house man is Rene Gutierrez, a fellow Mistral alum and Ethan Stowell vet.
The tiny dining room, a deep blue in the Nettletown days, is a now a vaguely pig-inspired red. The walk-up counter is now a smaller host stand, and the restaurant has a few more seats. Up on the wall, old schoolroom chalkboards are cobbled together to display the night’s menu. Tomorrow’s will be something different. Walpole cooked at Marjorie for a few months as he put his plan together and brought Josh Nebe from that restaurant to be his sous chef. It’s just the two of them at work in the tight (and very green) kitchen space.
Blind Pig Bistro (2238 Eastlake Ave) opens its doors at 5pm tonight. Have a look at the slideshow to see what’s in store.