Action Items

Restaurant Shifts and Shakeups

This week: a pinball bar opens on Capitol Hill, Ethan Stowell plans a salumi shop, and Bluebird becomes a nanobrewery.

By Sabina Cao November 16, 2012

John John's Gameroom: beer, liquor, and pinball aplenty. Photo via John John's Gameroom website.


In a piece about hot new big-brand food concepts, Forbes says that the Evolution Fresh juice store at University Village will open this weekend…just in time for Black Friday fortification.

John John's Gameroom
Capitol Hill's new pinball bar is ready to take your quarters, says CHS. Travis Echert and Brad Johnsen, the duo behind Fremont's Add-a-Ball, have taken over the erstwhile Faire Gallery at 1351 East Olive Way. Games available include pinball, arcade, and Jenga. 

Measure at Benaroya Hall
The former Founder's Room has been transformed into a preshow restaurant. The third floor eatery will open two hours prior to concert time and served seasonal entrees and small plates provided by Wolfgang Puck, says Seattle Dining Newsletter

BevMo!: Northgate
The behemoth beverage retailer's first Seattle location opens Friday with a special holiday selection, tastings, and complimentary gifts for the first 500 shoppers. As the fifth location in Washington state, the Northgate BevMo! will offer wines, spirits, beers, gourmet food items, cocktail mixers, glassware, bar accessories, and more. 


The Augustus
Spouse duo Jaime Mullins-Brooks and Brian Brooks, owners of Hunger, is partnering with old friends Robb and Sarah Sheldon to open cocktail bar the Augustus at the former Rogue and Peasant address. The idea is to create a "place where we would want to hang out when we got off works," says Brooks of the new bar adjacent to Hunger. The menu is built on upscale pub food, carefully selected beers and wine, and craft cocktails. 

Jeff Ofelt of Bimbo's Cantina, Cha Cha Lounge, and King's Hardware is taking over the Old Town Alehouse in Ballard to create an old-school cocktail bar with an apothecary twist. The name is a throwback to when a men's mercantile occupied the spot. Ofelt and his business/life partner Wade Weigel are partnering with longtime friends Kyle Taylor and Joe Petersen of New York's Apotheke to open the place, hopefully by March 2013. 

Plum: Vegan Food Truck
Now that her Kickstarter campaign is funded, Makini Howell is getting ready to roll out her vegan food truck, the city's first. The menu isn't set yet but will include customer favorite mac 'n' yease and potentially po' boys. 

Ethan Stowell Salumi Bar
Eater Seattle reports the local restaurateur is planning a yet-to-be-named salumi bar next to Anchovies and Olives, to open by the end of January or early February. At about 1,000 square feet, the space will act as a build-out to assist Anchovies and Olives, and will share a bathroom, dish pit, and walk-in area. The menu will include wine, cocktails, salumi, small bites, and pizza.


KORAL Bar and Kitchen: Simon Zatyrka
Chef Simon Zatyrka has left his post at Cutters Crabhouse to join the team at KORAL in Bellevue. He's already introduced two new menu items: herb-drenched prawns and bacon-bleu cheese Penn Cove mussels.

Cal's Classic: Chris Fletcher
After opening Cal’s Classic American in Kent and Cal’s Classic American Kitchen in South Lake Union, Shannon Galusha is leaving Classic Concepts for a culinary director position at Columbia Hospitality. In his stead comes Chris Fletcher. British-born Fletcher has acted as Galusha's right-hand man since Bastille opened in 2009. 

La Medusa: Gordon Wishard and Meredith Molli
The fate of the beloved Columbia City restaurant was uncertain after owner Julie Andres put it up for sale in early 2012. However, the restaurant's sous chefs Gordon Wishard and Meredith Molli, have teamed up to assume ownership. The duo is hoping to officially take over on January 1, the day after Andres retires. The incoming owners are planning to do some fundraising in December and doesn't foresee any big changes.


Bluebird Microcreamery: Greenwood
The scoop shop in Greenwood is all grown up. Earlier this week it made the transition to a nanobrewery dispensing three tap sodas plus several alcoholic ales: a milk stout made with Theo Chocolate, a Caffe Vita-infused coffee porter, and a rotating guest beer. Look for Bluebird brews at the Capitol Hill and Fremont shops in a few weeks.

Poco Wine Bar: POCO wine + spirits
Owner Jonathan Nelson tells CHS he's tweaked the bar's name to better reflect the variety of beverages—100-plus spirits and several rotating beers—on hand. Also, a tapas-style menu update is in the works.  


Hunan Garden
According to the Seattle Dining newsletter, the long-time restaurant on NE 8th Street will close at the end of the month.