Who's the surprisingly affable new bald-headed barkeep at Marché in Pike Place Market? It's none other than Phred Westfall, the notorious surly owner of the recently shuttered Elemental.
"One year, I ate at Elemental seven times. The next year, 12 times. I went all the time. I loved it," says Marché General Manager, Cameron Williams, who hired Westfall less than two weeks ago. "The first time I met him I couldn't stand him. The next time I met him I was like, 'The guy's obnoxious, but a lot of things he says are either right or interesting, at least. He's not a fucking boring person. He's an interesting person."
How's the staff dealing with the new hire, who has a reputation for being an a-hole?
"Everyone [at Marche] looks at me like I'm crazy because I hired him. But they know to give him a chance, and they're the types who will do that," says Williams.
But Williams promises he won't tolerate the 'tude: "People getting taken care of and feeling like we're genuine and we appreciate them is super important. If I feel you're not doing that, I'll get rid of you. [Phred's] been very calm since he's been here and I really like the way he's conducted himself."
As soon as Westfall finishes up a bit of training this week, he'll be working mainly behind the bar during weekend brunch and Sunday evenings.