Some big-name bars and restaurants are either relocating or expanding around Puget Sound. Find out who they are.
Bai Tong moves into the old Boom Noodle spot on Capitol Hill. This local Thai chain runs three family-oriented restaurants in Tukwila, Redmond and Issaquah. Its latest is more tailored for the young, barhopping crowd. There’s 27 small-plates and street-food noshes and a larger cocktail list. Some favorites from the other locations remain, like the crab fried rice and the garlic chicken.
Café Hitchcock expands to downtown Seattle in the ground floor of the Exchange Building, at 818 First Ave., with breakfast and lunch service for the office crowd. Dinner hours coming in May. For now, chef Brendan McGill runs breakfast from 7 a.m.- 11 a.m. with “grab-and-go” items like pastries and biscuit sandwiches. Lunch service runs from 11 .m.-3 p.m. with soups and sandwiches and fancy fare such as cassoulet and duck confit.
Bruce and Sara Naftaly now have a cocktail bar, Spirit in the Bottle, inside their Capitol Hill restaurant Marmite. Cocktail geeks will remember their last cocktail den, the acclaimed Sambar, inside Le Gourmand (closed 2012). The couple wants to bring the same Sambar charm to this Chophouse Row location.
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Katsu Burger also doubled its capacity to 2,000 square feet at its Georgetown location. Those giant Mt. Fuji burgers (see picture above) are a big hit, each 8-inches high, stacked with three deep-fried patties (pork, beef and chicken), three rich sauces, three cheeses (American, Pepper Jack and cheddar), bacon, pickles and other condiments, all topped with a fried egg. Katsu also has locations in Lynnwood, Bellevue and on Capitol Hill.
Ethan Stowell’s Ballard Pizza Co., Bramling Cross and Josh Henderson’s Great State Burger are some of the new concession stands at Safeco Field this season. List of new concession stands at the ball park here.
Wild Ginger in Bellevue has moved. It’s now across from Bellevue Square, south of Bellevue Arts Museum. The new space includes two private dining rooms in the back and a full bar in the front.
Art of the Table has moved into a bigger spot to take advantage of the large lounge area. Now there’s more craft cocktails on the menu. And the chef’s tasting menu and a la carte menu will be featured every night. It’s located by Bar Charlie along the hip Stone Way North.
Sun Liquor has moved its distillery operations to a bigger facility behind the University Village. The question now is what happens to its two namesake bars on Capitol Hill. Michael Klebeck of Sun Liquor said he’s considering selling both bars or perhaps finding another investor to continue the bar operation under the Sun Liquor name. He has talked to prospective buyers but said no deal is imminent.
Hula Hula, the tiki and karaoke bar, reopens Friday (April 21) at the old Clever Dunne’s space, after moving from Lower Queen Anne.
Big Mario’s Pizza opens its third location this Saturday (April 22) in Frelard at the former Bourbon & Bones spot on 4350 Leary Way.
Chick-fil-A plans to open two more branches in the Seattle area. Details here.
Three big names expand to U Village this summer: Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, which arguably makes the best ramen in Western Washington, will open its second Washington location after its success in Bellevue. Details here.
Ba Bar will open its third location in the former Liam’s restaurant space.
And as with her other locations, Rachel Marshall of Rachel’s Ginger Beer will rely on another chef to do the food for her latest expansion. Mark Fuller of Ma’ono, and New Luck Toy will make chicken sandwiches for Rachel’s in North Seattle. Fuller, famous for his fried chicken at Ma’ono, will do Nashville-style chicken, Seattle Met reports.
Fall City Bistro has relocated to downtown Duvall, set to open in mid May under another name, Flavour Bistro. All those game meats like alligator, python and kangaroo dishes will still be served at the new locale. So will the crowd favorite, Chicken Nachatta. But there will also be a new French-Asian fusion, farm-to-table concept to take advantage of the bounty of the valley, said owner Sean Langan, who ran Amore restaurant in Belltown before that kitchen suffered a fire. The bistro will be at 15715 Main St. N.E.. Ste. 101, Duvall.
Check out our recent reviews of places that have changed their food concept if you need a place to hit:
Pittsburgh Lunch & Superette in Pioneer Square, which used to be The Faerie Queene, makes a great clam chowder. Our review here.
Can’t afford Canlis’ $145 tasting menu? Hit Canlis’ revamped bar program, where finger food ranges from $8-$14. Our happy hour review here.
Why are so many restaurants revamping their food programs?
Glad you asked. Check out my colleague Bethany Jean Clement’s column here.