[Photo: Google Maps]
Come fall, Rainier Beach will score Jude's, a new watering hole from Beau Hebert, who also owns Columbia City's Lottie's Lounge. Jude's is moving into the former Cafe Vignole space on 57th Ave. S. on a small retail strip near a former trolley line that Hebert calls "old town." "Every other neighborhood has a 'cute zone'," Hebert says.
A 10-year Rainier Beach resident and Vignole regular, Hebert says when the Italian spot closed he was able to "make a deal that was enticing enough" to jump on, signed the lease, and began gutting the interior.
Hebert hopes Jude's will fill a needed niche for a neighborhood spot that serves fresh food and craft beer where regulars can come three times a week or once a month. Remarking that the demographics of the area are changing, he says, "Not to diss a lot of restaurants that are down here, but this concept, a neighborhood place, doesn't exist."
The "upscale bar food" will include some greatest hits from Lottie's, a chalkboard listing constantly revolving, in-season specials, plus tap beer and wine with a few cocktails thrown into the drink mix.
Jude's interior will be modeled after Lottie's, with a larger kitchen and a dining room that fits about 45. Hebert is using profit from Lottie's to slowly start the build-out and buy used kitchen equipment. He says he's been taking the summer easy and next month will start to secure funding. If the schedule keeps and money comes in, Jude's will open this November.
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