As reported in May last year, Eric Donnelly and his partner Christy Given signed the lease on a 1926 brick building in Greenwood and have since renovated the former furniture storefront into a neighborhood restaurant. They had originally aimed for a fall opening in 2015, but that naturally got pushed back. Then a natural gas explosion erupted in March. It damaged—and in some cases destroyed—several small businesses, including FlintCreek Cattle Co. on the corner of 85th and Greenwood Avenue.
“When that gas line explosion happened it really set us back emotionally and timeline wise with the whole project,” says Donnelly, who’s also the chef and co-owner of RockCreek in Fremont. He says after the explosion “everything had just the slightest bit of damage. It was disheartening.” Donnelly admits “it was still very much a large box” at that point and is grateful none of their handmade and hand-finished tables, chairs or, worse, any employees were in there yet.
Now the space is definitely more restaurant than box. With 17-foot ceilings and impressive floor-to-ceiling windows, a mezzanine of long, dark wood tables for larger groups of a dozen or more, a full bar at its center, a visible wood-fired grill and oven, and in all about 125 seats, FlintCreek is ready to be that cornerstone neighborhood restaurant.
Like RockCreek’s menu, which avoids the expected salmon and halibut fare, FlintCreek will “try to stay away from the more mainstream cuts [of meat]. A lot of people think it's going to be a steak house. It's really not,” says Donnelly. Instead of cattle and pork, expect dishes like bison ribeye with hazelnut squash, wild mushrooms, and cranberries, or slowly braised rabbit hindquarter, or one of his favorites, a lamb crepinette with pine nuts and fresh herbs. Also: lean proteins like elk, venison, interesting varieties of poultry, and yes, from time to time, some grass-fed beef. Hand-rolled pastas, braised and grilled vegetables will also certainly be mainstays on the FlintCreek menu.
As for the libations to pair with these leaner and notoriously gamier cuts of meat, there will be whiskey-based (and other) cocktails, local beers and wines to please any palate and budget; Donnelly likes to source from “obscure wineries for reasonably priced wines” and lesser known varietals.
Dinner will be seven nights a week from 4 to 11, with the bar staying open until late. Donnelly plans to open this fall in mid-, perhaps late, September: “One day, you'll look over there and there will be like 25 people in there and we'll be open,” adding that he hopes to get brunch started sooner rather than later. There’s no official brunch menu, but fried game hen and waffles sound appropriate here.