Over the past three months, the Tom Douglas team has quietly given its Serious Pie & Biscuit restaurant on Westlake Avenue North a drastic makeover, reinventing itself as a pizza-and-beer haven in South Lake Union, targeting the Amazon workforce and the late-night bar crowd.
Gone is the wine shop. In its place is “Serious Bar,” with 24 taps focusing on local and Northwest breweries. And yes, that popular happy-hour Serious Pie pizza is offered here, too.
“We wanted to be a beer-focused operation,” said Tony Catini, head chef at both Serious Pie restaurants. “These Amazon people are beer geeks.”
Other companies with a budget to do demographic studies have drawn the same conclusion — that this Amazon ’hood is an untapped gold mine for craft beer. Last summer, Whole Foods Market opened a bar near its grocery aisles, featuring 12 taps and events such as “Brewer’s Night,” where hop heads can trade tasting notes. Bartell Drugs at Mercer Street took a departure from its business model by opening a growler station so that the Amazon employees can grab brews to go.
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It was also not lost on the Douglas team that the most popular bar in South Lake Union is its own Brave Horse Tavern, a beer barn.
At Serious Bar, the snacks are plated prettier than any bar food needs to be — sweet and salty sausage-stuffed peppers topped with smoked mozzarella and small plates of pork liver sausage topped with a duck egg, both juicy, salty morsels.
The only misfire was the lardo crostini with fava greens that lacked acidity to cut through the richness.
But patrons eye only one thing: those popular $6 happy-hour Serious Pies with the pastry-like crust. Serious Pie is a franchise in itself. (A third branch on Capitol Hill is scheduled to open in the fall.)
Unlike its downtown Serious Pie location, where workers complain that the happy-hour pizza (3-5 p.m.) ends before they can get off work, Serious Bar offers those popular $6 pies until 6 p.m.
Serious Pie & Biscuit, 401 Westlake Ave N., offers happy hour weekdays from 3-6 p.m. with $6 half-size pizza, $6-$7 cocktails, select tap beer and wine $5, Rainier $2 (206-436-0050 or http://seriouspiewestlake.com).
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle