To walk the two-block stretch and the south end of Ballard Ave is to witness the full range of Ethan and Angela Stowell's restaurant group, from Staple and Fancy to Chippy's to the family-geared Ballard Pizza Co. Their reach will soon expand a few blocks north, and into the realm of Ballard's chief natural resource: beer.
The Stowells are converting the former home of Portalis (5205 Ballard Ave NW) into a tavern called Bramling Cross; Ethan describes it as a gastropub, "specializing in the beers of Ballard, Fremont, and Seattle."
This isn't the sort of beer bar with a monstrous tap lineup. There will be about eight drafts, but Stowell mostly prefers bottles and cans (I recently noticed Staple and Fancy's bar has zero draft beers). The food, he says, will be a mix of meaty fare from the wood-fired grill–maybe pork belly or a pork chop...or a wagyu culotte from Mishima Ranch–plus seasonal vegetable dishes and classics like a wedge salad, fried chicken, or the house wings.
Stowell describes Bramling Cross as "affordable...upscale, but not swanky," with his own take on pub food, like fried oysters that first get marinated in lashings of Franks RedHot sauce. The burger sounds distinctly different from its heftier burger kin at Stowell's Red Cow and Goldfinch Tavern: a sort of Americana fast food–style creation with shredded lettuce and thinner patties that come as a single or double.
Rest assured there will be a full bar, cocktail list, (heavy on the bourbon) and wine. The space is currently in buildout mode, but when it's done expect about 50 seats, many in booth form, plus a 10-seat bar.
Bramling Cross could open as soon as October. Daily hours will be 5 to 10pm, but there's talk of weekend brunch down the road. Here's the official announcement from the Stowell camp.