Chino's is changing up their food menu and bar service, after four months of figuring out their Pike/Pine identity. In a recent interview with Crosscut's Hugo Kugiya, co-owners and first time restaurateurs Walter and Mari Lee admitted to some bafflement regarding attracting customers. Mari Lee told Kugiya:
We’re feeling a little lost in the sauce right now . . .We’ve had to start in square one with everything ? In all ways, we are out of our league. Look around us. You have Café Vita, Quinn’s, the Unicorn, Poquitos. They’re all very established, with tried and true business models. It can be a little demoralizing being next to them sometimes, especially when you see they’re always packed.In response to customer confusion regarding their concept, Chino's is offering up more substantial fare in their just-released new food menu.
Chino's has also replaced Veronika Groth(who is now at Artusi) with Evan Martin, who was most recently(and notoriously) at Ba Bar. Mari Lee tells Seattle Met's Allecia Vermillion that after setting up Chino's well-received cocktail program, Groth realized her true cocktail passion lay with bitters.
Here is the new food menu, which now offers a burrito, a rice bowl and a market-priced from the grill protein, in addition to popular appetizers such as the gua bao and furikake kettlecorn.Chino's Seattle Spring 2012
We asked Martin, the newly installed Chino's bartender to preview his cocktail menu for us. Martin tells us that he's working on a new menu of ~20 drinks that should debut in April: "It will be primarily exotic tiki drinks including some of my own and from the handful who have inspired the current tiki craze and of course Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic. We hope to build Chino's to be Seattle's destination for tiki while we dream of better weather and of course to fight off the heat that's hopefully coming, there's some new dishes being served as well that will pair perfectly with the cocktails."