A rendering of the downstairs bistro portion of Harborside. Image via Facebook.

Seafood standby McCormick and Schmick’s has morphed its Harborside location on South Lake Union (1200 Westlake Ave N) into a different concept entirely. The space will reopen November 22 with a simplified name: Harborside. The focus remains on seafood but reps say it’s the chain’s first and only chef-driven restaurant in Seattle.

The chef driving things? That would be Peter Birk, who spent 11 years at Northwest seafood institution Ray’s Boathouse, holding the title of executive chef since 2007. At Harborside, Birk will continue focusing on local and seasonal oceanic fare, but occasionally stray beyond the Northwest for notable non-local delicacies like, say, Maine lobster. Another way Harborside distinguishes itself from its seafood siblings: the restaurant will only serve seafood green-lighted by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, one of the industry standards when it comes to deciphering seafood’s sustainability.

The restaurant has been closed since late August for a remodel. When it reopens, expect higher-end service in the upstairs dining room, and a more casual bar and bistro vibe downstairs. Birk was known for the beer dinners he organized at Ray’s, so keep an eye on the tap selection here. Press materials say he’s got an entirely Northwest list of wines and microbrews at the ready.

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