Coming soon to S.L.U.: a restaurant and bar called Maslow's, a cafe called Rise, and places for barbecue, bowls, and salads, too. And with them, FareStart almost doubles its impact in providing routes to living-wage jobs in Seattle.

Share story

AmazonFresh Pickup may not be my favorite thing — I gave the weird new grocery service a one-star review — but the help the company is giving FareStart absolutely gets five stars. Amazon donated 25,000 square feet on its South Lake Union campus for five new restaurants for the nonprofit’s new Foodservice Apprenticeship Program. Now comes the news that doors should be open by the end of next month, plus details on the new spots.

Full-service but casual Maslow’s will feature a menu using regionally sourced ingredients, and it’ll have a bar, too. Community Table will “offer a market-like dining experience,” with three fast-casual outlets for barbecue, bowls and salads. And an Italian-inspired cafe called Rise will serve coffee, tea, sandwiches and housemade pastries.

FareStart has been providing restaurant-industry job training for Seattle’s homeless and underprivileged for decades (and has a James Beard Award for doing so). These new endeavors mean the nonprofit can nearly double its reach over the next 10 years — providing more routes to living-wage jobs at a time when growing income inequality makes that more important than ever. (Faced with a shortage of cooks these days, local restaurateurs stand to benefit from an increase of well-trained prospective employees, too.) FareStart executive chef and local food hero Wayne Johnson says, “This expansion is amazing for how much more good we can do!”

And speaking of chef-heroes, none other than Jacques Pépin is partnering with FareStart on developing the curriculum for the new apprenticeship program. In Seattle recently for a celebratory fundraising dinner, Pépin said, “We’re addressing people who have been a bit maligned by life. Cooking is to give a lot of pleasure to people. So you give some of yourself as well … It can redeem you in many ways.”

Maslow’s — which is named after Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, asserting that human beings provided with basic physiological needs, love, and esteem can move into self-actualization and altruism — will be at 380 Boren Avenue North, near Harrison; the other new FareStart places will be at Amazon’s Houdini North, 399 Fairview Avenue North, at Harrison.

FareStart continues to run its flagship restaurant downtown — reserve now for Guest Chef Night on June 15 with Zoi Antonitsas of the much-anticipated Little Fish in Pike Place Market — along with its Cafe @ PacTower on Beacon Hill and Cafe @ 2100 in Rainier Valley.