"It's 1952. There's this guy. He's been a fisherman." This is how Linda Derschang starts a story that's long been stuck in her head. It's a story that became her new bar Bait Shop, opening today at 4 p.m..
"He's been saving up his money. He's in his 40s. He can't afford to do a lot and so he's got some of his fisherman buddies helping him. They're not great craftsman, they're dudes." It's the same fictional story Derschang told her contractors. And believe it or not, the imaginary tale transcends into the disco-era: "In the 1970s, when the guy was in his 60s, he was ready to retire, so his son took over Bait Shop and his son was a little bit of a screw-up, and he totaled his 1977 Firebird and all that was left was the hood."
The hood, along with some other 70s references and nautical tidbits, adorn Bait Shop. Here are some other fun facts.
· The Mallet team behind Bait Shop is also responsible for RN-74, Rudy's, Ace Hotel, Café Presse and Stumptown, to name just a few.
· Many of the nautical knick-knacks came from Cuttysark in Pioneer Square, such as the booth lights, the black and white wall photos, and the siren that hangs on the wall behind the bar.
· The '77 Firebird hood and Brotherly Love sign came from Kirk Albert in Georgetown.
· The Brotherly Love sign hanging above the kitchen door came from a church.
· Bait Shop will have a record player on the bar Saturday and Sunday afternoons, maybe Sunday and Monday evenings as well. People can bring in their own records, but leave your Skrillex and Bon Jovi at home. Disco-era KISS will earn you icon status.
· The big cigarette mural in the back, created by artist Tina Randolph, is leftover from the space's former occupant, Bako. Randolph also created the murals at Sun Liquor Distillery.
· Globe lights in the restrooms came from the Paramount.
· The puffy-painted ship art that hangs above the toilet in the restroom: $20.
· Forrest Brunton, the former chef de cuisine of Golden Beetle and Tilth sous, is the corporate executive chef. He worked with Sayab Poot, the former sous at Oddfellows, to create a menu that features barbecue pork rinds, fish and chips, wedge salad and a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich.
· Derschang is most excited about the fried chicken sandwich.
· Adam Fream, formerly of The Sexton, is the company's bar director.
· There's a frozen drink machine dispensing two cocktails: A tropical Painkiller and a margarita.
· There are two cocktails on tap (each marked with a billiards ball): Dark & Stormy (#11), made with Rachel's Ginger Beer and Porteño (#2), a Murray Stenson drink with bourbon, fernet, lime juice, falernum and cherry brandy.
· Tim Baker, the company's CEO, was a soda jerk at Farrell's in 1982. "It was located above an ice skating rink in Phoenix, AZ," he says. "Rob Halford from Judas Priest used to come in and sit at my ice cream counter. He would share a soda with this rockstar-looking kid who played in a band called Steel Breeze. They were a local metal band in the 80s and they'd play the ice skating rink and Rob would come in and buy him a soda and sit at my counter. It was like Mad Max."
· Linda has no desire to expand her business outside of Seattle.
· Major design work on Linda's next project (a casual and stylish neighborhood restaurant on 19th and Mercer called Tallulah's), will happen in March/April.
· Tallulah's will have a 40-seat patio.
· It'll be her first time working with new construction, something she thinks will be "a fun challenge."
· Derschang wants someone to open a store in the remaining retail space near Tallulah's; something like a Bi-Rite, "which would be some kind of neighborhood grocery store to pick up wine, green cleaning supplies, baguette." Derschang says Madison Market is fantastic, but, "I want more of a stylish bodega."
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