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What’s With All the Grandma Restaurants?

Some of our hippest new establishments are ancestrally named.

By Allecia Vermillion November 29, 2011

Awww. Dot’s Delicatessen owner Miles James’s grandma Dot outside his Fremont meatery. Photo via Facebook.

In Seattle we’ve seen our fair share of restaurants named after kids (Quinn’s, Restaurant Zoe, Cafe de Lion), moms (Marjorie), and a whole heap of establishments named after the old buildings that house them (Auto Battery, Uneeda Burger, Staple and Fancy).

This year, however, it’s grandma’s turn. Seattle Magazine’s Allison Scheff said today that unstoppable hospitality duo Laura Olson and Chris Pardo are planning a Scandinavian small plate destination in Ballard dubbed Queen of Norway. It’s an homage to Pardo’s grandmother, who won that title in a Ballard parade in the 1930s.

Elsewhere in Ballard, Corson Building veteran David Sanford is readying his restaurant, Belle Clementine, which also happens to be the name of his father’s mother. Her photo (she’s a sharp dresser) even graces the restaurant’s website. Earlier this year, Miles James opened his divine temple of meatery, Dot’s Delicatessen, named for his grandmother.

Even grandfathers got a bit of love this fall. Chef-owner Sam Crannell’s new Queen Anne restaurant, LloydMartin, combines the surnames of his maternal and paternal grandfathers, both entrepreneurs.

As far as naming trends go, this one is far dearer and more personal than our restaurant community’s never-ending love of ampersands. And now I feel especially guilty that the most lasting tributes I ever created for my grandparents involved misshapen clay objects and third-grade art class.

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