When the team behind Seaplane in Kenmore partnered with Stoup Brewing to remake the restaurant as a taproom, both operations’ depth of talent suggested the result would be good. But newly christened Stoup Brewing Kenmore radiates an energy you don’t expect in a counter service spot where you pour your own water.
Jason Stoneburner’s menu presents exactly the food you want alongside beer: considered salads, rustic jerky, unexpected and great empanadas. Pizza made with local grains comes as whole pies (don’t miss the Dank, topped with bacon, brie, and roasted garlic) or hefty “grandma-style” cheese or pepperoni squares. Kids roam the courtyard out front, weather permitting, adults congregate with IPAs around the firepit, and the staff handles crowds with cheerful efficiency. Need I add, the beer is superb.
This rugged corner space began as Seaplane, a brainchild of James Weimann and Deming Maclise, the duo behind stylized hangouts like Rhein Haus and Stoneburner—the latter named, of course, for their chef-turned-partner. When the caliber of food (and the attendant prices) kept people from stopping by on the regular, they decided to retool into something akin to a brewpub. Inserting an actual brewery in the space felt daunting, so Team Seaplane decided to reach out to a brewery that shared their Ballard roots and felt like spiritual kin. Stoup debuted in the neighborhood in 2013; now it's one of a few significant anchors to a brewery district so impressive, even The New York Times recently took note.
Now, Stoup's pop-fir aesthetic covers the walls and Stoneburner's dishes pair off with some of the region's best IPA. Seldom do reconcepts prove this successful—or serve their intended audience this well.