Remember Cassis? The French bistro on Capitol Hill that closed in 2004 only to become a rotating door of restaurants, including Skelly and the Bean? Owner Jef Fike is bringing it back. This time, to West Seattle, which is notorious for having lackluster finer dining options to chose from. If Ovio Bistro, Beato and Spring Hill are any indication, upscale casual doesn't really seem to stick on the west side of Elliott Bay. Says Fike:
To be honest, I kind of had the same attitude about West Seattle. I hardly ever went over there, but the more exploring I've been doing over there, the more excited I am about it in terms of how fast it's growing and the demographic—especially down on the beach. I think what we're going to be doing is going to be very different for West Seattle. I'm hoping, obviously, but I think we're going to be well-supported there.
Fike says he never imagined he'd reopen his beloved restaurant when it shuttered eight years ago.
At that time, no, because of everything that happened with Bandol—the restaurant that I had in Pioneer Square. There's a misconception out there that Bandol brought Cassis down, which is really not the case. I made a personal choice to sell Cassis to pay off debt, so I could walk away with a good conscience.
It was a chance meeting with some former regulars that convinced Fike to resurrect Cassis. The couple basically told him they had plans for him to move into a building they own right on Alki. And while Fike won't disclose the exact location, he does say he'll be taking over a currently occupied space (or two).
He also won't disclose the name of his chef, but says diners can expect the same concept and same seasonal rotating menu, all anchored in French tradition. Many of the dishes on the Cassis menu will return—steak frites, frisee salad, fish soup—but the new chef has free rein to put his own spin on things.
Fike is aiming for a June 1 opening date.
[Photo: Design Beat: Seattle]