A host of new fenced-off patios bloomed around the city this summer, from the makeshift beer garden at Chuck’s to D&E in Pioneer Square, to seemingly half of Ballard Ave, to Pike/Pine spots like the light-strung party patch outside Poquitos. Now, as SDOT’s street cafe permits get going, the latter part of summer looks to be filled with big new spaces to eat and drink atop asphalt (or cobblestones). Here are three recent arrivals, just in time for…Labor Day? Good thing the weather in September is generally fantastic.
Technically the first business granted permission to close a street took over more of a glorified alley, the side street known as Broadway Court. But now it’s an extension of the taproom, with tall tables, low-slung chairs, and, of course, beer (and maybe a nearby food truck). While it’s not necessarily a patio situation, Optimism also lets stir-crazy WFH-ers fire up their laptops and work in their giant space all day; a $15 ticket grants you access as early as 9am, unlimited, uh, water (hey, it’s sparkling), and an “after-shift” beer.
This burger emporium atop Queen Anne also got in early on the street permit situation. It’s the latest of approximately one million smart pivots, though my favorite still involves the custom-painted Jeep with three milkshake machines in the back. Right now the Jeep sits on the stretch of Crockett Street just west of Queen Anne Avenue, as a sort of mascot for the dining plaza that EHP owners Maximillian and Jennifer Petty have opened here. The menu of burgers, fries, and my beloved root beer milkshake suits the setup of picnic tables and striped umbrellas. But the Pettys have also set up a schedule of popups, like lamb gyros and this weekend’s oyster-and-shrimp extravaganza, to keep customers (and cooks) from getting bored with cheeseburgers.
Our 113-year-old civic treasure has gone all in on al fresco, adding temporary patios in multiple locations. Which makes sense when you combine extremely charming surrounds with restaurants like Radiator Whiskey or Pasta Casalinga that offer fantastic food from the interior depths of a building. PPM’s website has a page dedicated to the pop-up patios set up around the Market (plus its pre-existing fantastic patios). The notion of eating Matt’s in the Market on the cobblestones beneath the big neon sign, or a bowl of pasta in the secret garden tucked beyond all the fish-flying mayhem sounds appealing as hell.