There’s been a flurry of restaurant activity in the U District the past week or so, most of which is centered around the U Village shopping complex. For starters, Seattle Met reports that Liam’s, the restaurant owned by Kurt Dammeier (Beecher’s, The Butcher’s Table) closed on New Year’s Eve. Liam’s opened in late 2013 and was named for Dammeier’s third son.
It didn’t take long for a replacement to come along, though. Eric Banh (Ba Bar, Seven Beef, Monsoon) nabbed the space and will open a third outpost of his wildly successful Ba Bar, complementing the original in the Central District and a South Lake Union location that opened in December.
The new Ba Bar’s menu will be familiar to fans of the other locations, with Vietnamese dishes like pho, bun bo hue, and other small plates. Naturally, cocktails and pastries will round out the offerings when the restaurant opens this summer.
Joining Ba Bar in the U Village will be a third Seattle outpost of Rachel’s Ginger Beer, which should open on June 1.
Owner Rachel Marshall tells Eater that this new location fulfills a years-long goal. “We’ve wanted to open in U Village right about the moment we opened our doors in Pike Place Market over three-and-a-half years ago,” says Marshall, who also just opened a location in Portland. “I love everything about the model, one stop shopping for pretty much anything you need/want, a pleasant place to wander from store to store, good-and-getting better dining options, and number one in my brain, a captive audience of 14 million shoppers per year.”
Marshall says to expect a lot of overlap with her other locations: growlers to go, a range of flavored ginger beer, soft-serve floats, cocktails on tap, and boozy frozen slushies. “We’re working on a frozen Chilcano, a popular Peruvian cocktail of pisco, ginger beer, lime, and fruits like strawberries, mangoes, and passion fruit.”
Last, Marshall says, “This is a family-friendly joint, because while we’re growing up and some of us have kids, we can all appreciate a good drink.” Cheers to that.
And finally, late-night drunk food favorite Rancho Bravo has expanded beyond its Capitol Hill location with a new University District location. The restaurant sits at 4243 University Way NE and for now serves the familiar menu of tacos, burritos, nachos, and bowls, with breakfast on the horizon sometime later this year, according to Seattle Met.