On January 1, Renee Erickson's Sea Creatures restaurant group will close Westward for 12 weeks. The restaurant acquired in 2018 from Josh Henderson will reopen after a bit of a remodel. The oyster bar and adirondack chairs stay, no worries, but the menu will shift focus to seafood from up and down the Pacific—"British Columbia to Baja California" per the release. Erickson is taking a page from Saint Helens Cafe's similar transformation into Bistro Shirlee and keeping a few favorites on the Westward menu, like the pork chop, half chicken, and (thankfully) the chips and oyster dip. Westward 2.0 should arrive in April.
Nostalgic Cookies, Ahoy
Capitol Hill Seattle says Batch Bakery will bring faux Oreos, Nutter Butters, Pop Tarts, and a host of other cookies to the former Niche Bakery address on 12th Ave, most likely in December.
Eater Seattle says the edible cookie dough truck, Sugar and Spoon, has opened a brick and mortar counter in the U District. I won’t lie, I’m into this.
Speaking of beverage clusters, the Republic of Cider has landed at SoDo Gateway, pouring ciders with global or historic influences in a new tasting room at 2960, Fourth Ave S, alongside boozy neighbors like Elsom Cellars and 2Bar Spirits.
Jason Stratton's Portland Project
What's next, in part, for Jason Stratton: a partnership at a new restaurant in Portland's Hawthorne neighborhood. The chef has reunited with Michael Galloway from his earlier Spinasse days, and bought an Italian cafe called 3 Doors Down (their third partner, Jeff Saulsbury, is a Portland native). Per the official announcement, Stratton is a "culinary consulting partner" on a menu that will include handmade pasta. Per my nosy text when mBar first announced his departure, the chef will remain, thankfully in Seattle. While this project happens to be way down I-5, the prospect of Stratton returning to Italian cooking feels like a bright note in this ridiculous world.