Ballard Avenue is quickly becoming Bivalve Ave. The busy duo behind Ballard Annex Oyster House, the new seafood concept opening in the old Thaiku space, is getting their dining room chairs in a row (photo) as they begin the speedy descent to grand opening. Co-owner Zak Melang:
I feel really good because when we started this project, we wanted to open before the new year. Meeting these dates when you're trying to build a restaurant is very difficult. And then, the more you do it, the more perfection you're trying to achieve. And to achieve perfection when you're designing these restaurants — you can't always hit those due dates and do quality stuff.
Melang and business partner Nate Opper have opened 10 restaurants in 9 years, starting with Matador in 2004. The Ballard Annex opens on the heels of their barbecue joint nearby, Kickin' Boot Whiskey Kitchen, which Melang reveals:
We came up with the Kickin' Boot concept before we found our first Matador location. Nate has a real passion for barbecue, but we needed to do a lot of research before we could pull it off because it's much more of an expensive concept.
Ballard Annex will open at 5 pm next Thursday, March 21, with Friday through Sunday hours TBD. Starting March 25, however, the hours of operation will be:
Mon-Thu: 3:30 pm to Midnight
Fri-Sat: 11:00 am to 1:00 am
Sun: 11:00 am to Midnight
Says Melang of his new Annex: "This is the land of the Dungeness crab. This concept just seems to make a lot of sense to us. It reflects what the city's natural cuisine is all about."