Seattle’s hometown department store just announced it’s packing its upcoming New York City flagship with restaurants by hometown chefs.
When Nordstrom opens its new store near Columbus Circle this fall, it will contain two restaurants conceived by Tom Douglas, and an East Coast doppelganger of Ethan Stowell’s How to Cook a Wolf.
Douglas already operates a bento spot at the Bellevue Nordstrom and Jeannie’s, a pizza-centered restaurant, at its store in Las Vegas. He’s expanding Jeannie’s to the NYC Nordstrom, bringing with him a family-friendly menu of pizza and salads (and, yes, drinks). His other restaurant in the new department store, Hani Pacific, leans into another strength of the restaurateur’s 30-year, 16-location tenure in Seattle: dishes with a Pacific Rim influence.
Meanwhile, up on the third floor, Ethan Stowell will run Wolf, a full-blown restaurant that's essentially a cognate of his perennially charming Queen Anne spot, How to Cook a Wolf. It will stay open after business hours, as much a restaurant for passing Manhattanites (and the people who will occupy the tower's condos above) as for famished shoppers.
Of all the restaurants he might have replicated in New York, Stowell's reasons for choosing HTCAW were rather low-key: "It's always super busy, and does a great job of cultivating regulars." Wolf will be "really be a Seattle style restaurant," he says, friendly and approachable and not overly adapted to Manhattan's more aggressive restaurant climate.
It's Stowell's first project outside Seattle, not counting this Japanese airport fever dream, and one he says is 100 percent driven by the partnership with Nordstrom, rather than a desire to expand eastward.
Per a press release from the department store, the NYC project will have three other food and drink outposts (that's a whopping six bars and restaurants in one store). That includes the second-floor Broadway Bar, another family-friendly Italianish spot with a forthcoming patio called Bistro Verde, and Shoe Bar, a cocktail spot that is, yes, right there in the shoe section. I hate how much I like that idea.
Stowell and Douglas join a handful of Seattle food brands that have made the leap to NYC; the Beecher's outpost in the Flatiron District seems to be doing well, the Via Tribunali that opened on the Lower East Side in 2012 is no more, but its neighboring Caffe Vita is still there. This concentrated dose of Seattle opens October 24.