Shifts & Shakeups

This Week in Restaurant News: Yalla Opens and Molly Moon's Fights the Wage Gap

Five dining developments on our radar this week.

By Philip Kiefer March 15, 2019

Yalla Opens Its Doors, er, Window

Yalla, the much-heralded Middle Eastern popup, will open in its permanent home today, according to an Instagram post. Located in the former Tortas Condesa space, the walk-up window will emphasize unsung Middle Eastern saj wraps stuffed with traditionally prepared meats—lamb, beef, chicken—or labneh, za'atar, and spinach. There'll also be a spread of shareable food: charred eggplant salad, red pepper and walnut dip, hummus, and fermented pepper hot sauce. They plan to open at 4pm.

Molly Moon's Takes a Stand for Wage Equity

Just over two months after its decision to go tipless, Molly Moon’s is pushing for more fair wage initiatives. On April 2, this year's Equal Pay Day, the local ice cream chain will roll out a wage transparency initiative, meaning that all wages will be published internally. (Last year, the company donated 21 percent of its revenue for the day to support equal pay activism.) The move targets gender-based inequities in salary negotiation, and the company spent much of 2018 auditing and fixing its payroll to prepare for the transition. Owner Molly Moon Neitzel hopes that the change will spur other local restaurants to act on wage inequality—particularly timely, given recent reporting on wage theft at the Melting Pot.

Another Bar to Join the East Olive Crowd

Slated to open in April, Rose Temple will fill the space formerly home to By the Pound, the speakeasy-boondoggle on East Olive Way, per Capitol Hill Seattle. So far the bar has a pretty light web presence, and although co-owners Austin Polley—previously of Westward—and Benjamin Smith are loosely inspired by the divey-ness of the old Moon Temple in the University District, they want it to develop a scene organically. The two envision jungle themes and a whole list of things that don't make a lot of sense together: “bright Instagrammable drinks,” “gangster rap,” and “Farkle.” Intrigued? You might be able to find out more on Instagram.

You Barely Have to Look Up from Your Phone!

The Halal Guys—a New York-based national gyro franchise—will start testing a pre-ordering system, Allset, in Seattle. Pre-ordering is like a strange fusion of takeout and dine-in: You order a meal online, pre-pay, and then show up to eat at the restaurant. The Seattle location of the Halal Guys already advertises five separate pick-up and delivery options on its website, but apparently we're still craving screen-based nourishment: Seattle residents spend on average more than $2,500 a year on takeout food, more than any other city in the country.

Root Table Hits the Dirt

Root Table, downtown Ballard's Thai-fusion spot with a woodsy-baroque dining room, will close at the end of the month, according to a sign posted in their window. Despite a strong online following, they cited financial challenges in operating the restaurant.

This Week in Food & Drink

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Between camp-inspired fare and a lodgelike interior, new rooftop hotel bar Mountaineering Club is peak PNW.

Big news in the Italian food scene: Maria Hines is selling Agrodolce to executive chef Thomas Litrenta.

Lowrider Baking Company will bring cookies to the Central District when it opens a brick-and-mortar shop this May. 

13 cozy lounges and neighborhood one-stop shops for Washington Wine Month and beyond.

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