Laura Olson, Queen of the Po Dog, is getting ready to launch her next venture, Anchors Down. The original concept was going to be Queen of Norway with then business partner, Chris Pardo. But when the two parted ways, Olson redirected her energy into a nautical-themed bar (build-out started in January) and plucked two new business partners from her other properties: Amy Graeff manages Grim's and Christopher Williams is the general manager and co-owner of Auto Battery. Says Graeff:
We're almost open. We were shooting for the 13th of March, but I think it's going to be closer to the end of March.
Graeff describes the place, going up right next door to the Ballard Po Dog in a former Scandinavian gift shop, as a working class, blue collar bar with booze to match: Schlitz, PBR, Olympia as well as beers on tap. "We're going to focus on supporting local distilleries and local breweries," adds Graeff.
Just like Auto Battery, the food will be Olson's signature gourmet hot dogs served via a pass-through window from Po Dog.
Inside, an old refurbished bar from the early 1900s seats 15 people, while custom booths and a large communal table round out max seating capacity at about 50.
Graeff says they came up with concept in honor of all of the fisherman who pass through Ballard, even picking up a lot of Anchors' design details and artifacts from the Washington and Oregon coast.
We're doing a whole vintage feel with Edison light bulbs; we're using salvaged wood for the back of the bar and other recycled stuff. It'll be a mix of new and old.
Anchors Down will be open daily from 4 pm to close.
UPDATE: Graeff wants to clarify that Laura Olson is a silent partner in this project.