Shifts & Shakeups

This Week in Restaurant News: Coronavirus Cancels Taste Washington, But Also, Chicken

Your Friday dispatch from Seattle Met’s food team.

By Allecia Vermillion March 6, 2020

Fuku’s spicy fried chicken: blessed ballpark fare.

Tough (But Wise) Calls

Coronavirus concerns (and work-from-home measures) have kneecapped bars and restaurants around the city of late. But the biggest hit might be the news that Taste Washington organizers decided to cancel the region’s biggest food and wine event of the year. Not postpone—cancel. Getting all those chefs and winemakers together on a new date with relatively brief notice does seem nigh impossible. I really hope this year’s sweeping overhaul of the food program remains part of next year’s plan. The Taste Washington website has details on ticketholder refunds, etc.

A Fuku Fried Chicken Tease

Who’s ready for some good news? Well, not so much news as a teaser. T-Mobile Park’s official invite to its annual media preview of new menu items for the Mariners’ 2020 season says this year’s ballpark fare will include “Fuku’s spicy fried chicken.” (It's listed online, too.) Which presumably means David Chang’s popular fried chicken sandwich operation is headed to town. More details to come.

Covert Den of Tiki

Even better—some confirmed good news. Rumba, the seminal Seattle rum bar on Pike, has expanded its Wednesday tiki nights into a full-on tiki bar. The name, Inside Passage, also seemingly describes how you access this 30-seat spot. Really, you’re not going to find a better description of the entry situation than the one on Capitol Hill Seattle blog: “A descent through Rumba into a grotto of idols and South Pacific stylings.” Owner Travis Rosenthal assembled the heaviest of hitters to put this spot together, from bringing in this guy from San Jose to help fabricate the space to turning the drink situation over to local rum and tiki savants Jen Akin and Sean Dumke. Look for Inside Passage this summer.

Crushing It at Surrell

More good stuff to anticipate: Crush’s former home in Madison Valley has a bright new future ahead: Aaron Tekulve, the chef behind longtime multicourse menu popup Surrell, plans to make this converted house his permanent home, launching hyperseasonal tasting menus in May. He’ll ease his way into full-on restaurant life with a Northwest wine bar setup (with bites) on March 25, then add wine flights. A private dining and catering arm will offer some financial ballast. His newly minted website has a full rundown.

More Sisters and Brothers

In other fried chicken (and tiki?) news, Eater Seattle says Sisters and Brothers is up and running in its new Georgetown digs, also home to Sneaky Tiki.  

Meanwhile, on Seattle Met...

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