Shifts & Shakeups

This Week in Restaurant News: A Protest at Slate and Poke in Kirkland

Five dining developments on our radar this week.

By Courtney Cummings and Philip Kiefer June 28, 2019

Poke + the Kirkland waterfront. They just go together.

A Slate of Problems for Slate

Over the weekend, six employees quit Slate Coffee Roasters. Citing a "toxic work environment" that includes "discrimination of many kinds, bullying and intimidation, and late and unreceived pay," five baristas and a manager unexpectedly shut down the Ballard location and walked out of a Pioneer Square cafe. They've created an Instagram account, Coffee at Large, to shine light on unfair working conditions in the industry. Mother-and-son owners Lisanne and Keenan Walker also took to Instagram to respond, saying they intend to "work through" the complaints. Slate, which opened its Ballard roastery in 2012, now runs several cafes, including a new location inside Facebook's South Lake Union office. Slate is currently hiring to fill the vacated positions, according to a company post on, fittingly, Facebook. —Courtney Cummings

Grilled Chickens Coming in to Roost

We've been flooded with fried chicken in the last couple months, so here's a breath of fresh air: Per Eater Seattle, there's a new Portuguese-style grilled chicken chain in Ballard. Galos Flame Grilled Chicken, based out of Canada, is going to sound pretty familiar to those from the East Coast: It serves grilled chicken on the bone, in the bowl, or over salad, all doused in piri piri pepper sauce, like a Canuck Nando's. The location, which opened on Saturday, is one of several planned for the Seattle area, including South Lake Union or the Westlake core. —Philip Kiefer

The Cherry on Top

Rider’s former executive chef David Nichols will open his first solo project, dubbed Eight Row, in Greenlake come August. Playfully named in a nod to extra large (and rare) cherries, the chef plans to bring his orchard roots to Seattle. Just as Rider’s menu spotlights local and seasonal ingredients, Eight Row will hew to fruit tree seasons. Nichols describes his cuisine as “Pan American,” influenced by the different cultures of his hometown, Cashmere, and his own family traditions. Expect signature cocktails and a considerable wine list as well as weekend brunch specials like crispy sweetbreads and waffles or crab and avocado salad. —CC

Poke Craze For Days

Poke was dubbed the Seattle craze of 2016, but here we are three years later, and the trend still hasn't ebbed. That's why Sam Choy and business partner Max Heigh have opened a third Washington location of their food-truck-turned-physical-eatery, Poke to the Max. Set against the Kirkland waterfront, poke is now served with a view of Lake Washington. Choy and Heigh, known for their bright teal and pink food trucks, have also added new items to the menu only available at the Kirkland location: fish and chips, and sandwiches stuffed with Korean fried chicken or shrimp. —CC

Green Sushi Turns Over New Leaf

Hajime Sato, the pioneering chef and owner of Mashiko—a West Seattle sushi hub with a commitment to local, sustainable fish—has sold the restaurant, as first reported by West Seattle Blog. Soto and his wife will move to Michigan to focus on her health, leaving the restaurant in the hands of three longtime employees who plan to continue in Soto's footsteps. (An earlier sale to an unknown buyer fell through in March, leaving the restaurant on the market and in limbo.) In 2011, Sato told SF Gate that he initially lost business after he stopped selling some classic dishes, like the hyper-endangered bluefin tuna. But once word of his local, inventive menu—sea snails and rainbow trout—spread, he won diehard fans. —PK

This Week in Food & Drink

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Since Blue C's sudden closure, U Village has been sorely lacking in sushi. That's about to change.

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