A double dose of bar news feels like a postcard from normal times, while a new showpiece food shop in Pike Place Market feels like a portal to our dining future, where grab-and-go meals and smart convenience items like ready-to-bake croissants and containers of salad-ready housemade bacon bits seem likely to take up permanent residence. All this and a vegan walkup window from the Ba Bar folks?
Pike Place Market
Did a Dean and Deluca just beam down into Pike Place Market? The former Pear Delicatessen space now gleams with white tile and an impressive range of pantry items. Coolers and shelves offer dinner in various stages of convenience, from actual ingredients (lemons, garlic, eggs) to ready-to-roast squash and raw chicken breasts marinating in a bag with za’atar, heat-it-up risotto dinners, and shopping bags packed with entire roast chicken dinners for grab and go at its most literal. Throw in the bags of pumpkin pancake mix, multiple kinds of cookie dough, and every artisanal beverage known to man—bougie grocers abound, but seldom do they strike such a balance. Owner Stephanie King has a background in private-label grocery items (and produced her company's first meal kits out of Ethan Stowell's Cortina kitchen). Her modular take on meal prep also delivers throughout much of the city, plus Mercer Island and the Eastside.
The Fairmont Olympic has augmented its delightful new bar with a vintage (as in the early aughts) cocktail experience: The high-end speakeasy. This 30-seat bar-within-a-bar hides behind a bookcase and pours an impressive library of spirits, plus a “locker list” of rarities and cocktails by beverage director Jesse Cyr. Grabbing a seat in this wood-paneled, leather-clad sanctum requires a reservation (Founder’s Club is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 6pm until midnight.)
The alliteration maestro and fried chicken phenom has departed its temporary quarters in Pioneer Square for an official brick-and-mortar shop at 1744 NW Market. Owner Brian “Cookie” Chandler described the current status on Instagram as “a continuous soft opening.” TL;DR: Some ongoing interior tweaks, but cool new items like some decadent bowls that gild fried chicken morsels in mashed potatoes and gravy or cheese curds and fries.
South Lake Union
Ba Bar’s South Lake Union location has nestled a vegan walkup window into its facade, turning the former pastry prep space into a plant-based haven of flavors from across Southeast Asia: laksa, Singapore-style noodles, tofu or soyrizo banh mi, dan dan noodles, even crispy Lao-style salads. Even the Vietnamese coffee uses coconut for its condensed milk. Order online Tuesday through Saturday from 11–6. You can eat it on the sidewalk patio, or inside Ba Bar if you buy a drink or other item from the main restaurant.
With the former Bastille reborn as all-day cafe Sabine, the Ballard restaurant’s storied back bar now gets a new identity to match. Bar Sabine opened November 17 with cocktails from new bar manager Justin Fox that draw on flavors like ras el hanout and rooibos. A share-ready menu of cinnamon-spiced kefta, dungeness crab dolma, and smoked brisket continues Sabine’s ethos into nighttime hours. A merguez lamb burger puts a smoky new spin on one of Bastille’s OG dishes. No reservations; Bar Sabine opens at 4pm Wednesday through Saturday.