Shifts & Shakeups

This Week in Restaurant News: Skål Opens, Pike Place Gets (Another) Chocolate Factory

Five dining developments on our radar this week.

By Philip Kiefer April 5, 2019

Skål finished up its renovation this winter.

We'll Skål to This Opening!

Skål, Ballard's new Viking beer hall, softly opened last Saturday for early funders, which it calls the Beerhalla Mug Club. The bar leans heavily on Ballard's Scandinavian past—unknown if the king of Norway will be stopping through on his next visit—and serves aquavit, lots of meat (although no lutefisk), local and Scandinavian beer, and of course, mead. The walls are decorated in fur, they have Viking chess-style board games, and you'll be able to drink from a horn. It's been more than a year since Skål first announced it would take over the former People's Pub space—and now, finally, it's slated to open to the general public April 10.

But How Big Are These Burgers?

Portland-based, Seattle-hungry Little Big Burger will open its second and third Seattle locations later this spring, per Eater Seattle. The Greenlake location, which was slated to open last year, will open later this month, and another on Capitol Hill sometime this May. The burger chain, which sources everything from beef to ketchup in Cascadia, plans to open 10 locations in the Seattle area, with no firm timeline.

Bye, Bye Birdie

Harry's Chicken Joint, a casual West Seattle fried chicken spot with a devoted following, closed permanently over the weekend. It announced the closure on Instagram with a video of the neon sign turning off for the last time.

Joe and the Chocolate Factory

Starting this summer there's going to be yet another chocolate factory in the market. Joe Chocolate Co., founded by two UW grads, will open in May next to Beecher's in the old Local Color Cafe space. The goal, say the founders, is to bring visitors into the chocolate making process. It'll serve the good stuff, liquid and solid chocolate, straight from the production line, as well as pastries, ice cream sandwiches, and coffee from locally based Lighthouse Roasters.

Capitol Hill Vaudeville and Cafe Takes Over Old Scratch Space

How's that for a mouthful? Scratch Deli, a sandwich shop in a 100-plus-year-old building east of Cal Anderson Park, closed last year to the disappointment of its fans. But in the last few weeks, one of those fans has opened a new cafe in the space, alongside a revived Capitol Hill Vaudeville flea market. According to Capitol Hill Seattle, the cafe has attracted support and donations from other local businesses, and is looking to add vendors and live performances to the mix. Vaudeville, a holdover from an older Seattle, has been looking for a new home since 2016, when its Airstream home was stolen.

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