Magnuson Cafe and Brewery, guaranteed to have one of the best brewpub views in Seattle and a dog-friendly deck, is under construction and still on target for its June opening in Sand Point. The Lake Washington waterfront sibling to Mollusk Brewing and Dexter Brewhouse — which, under the new ownership of Cody Cluff, appear to be recovering from a tumultuous first couple of years in South Lake Union — appeared this spring and is hiring now for most positions.
While the cafe’s pub fare will be similar to that of Dexter Brewhouse — fried cheese curds, nachos, crispy chicken wings, burgers, salads, and fish and chips will all show up at both spots, says marketing director Thomas Bobson — Magnuson Cafe will also add items like a kale and strawberry salad, a veggie burger, avocado toast, summer mushroom pasta, lamb bolognese, and crispy pork carnitas to appeal to a new park-going crowd that the owners hope will turn out to admire the view of the lake.
Executive chef and director of kitchen operations Jon Langley is in charge of both kitchens. He’s supported at Dexter by sous chef Shana Stuart, who brings experience from Barrio, Monsoon, Tavolata, and Stumbling Goat. General manager Lawrence Barnes, formerly of Elliott Bay Public House and Brewery, is overseeing both locations.
Under the bar management of Cristina Buenaventura (Knee High Stocking Co.), Magnuson will also serve coffee, espresso, milkshakes, Northwest wine, and 16 taps for beer — primarily Mollusk’s own, though a couple will be reserved for guests or collaborations. At Dexter, co-founder and head brewer Cody Morris expects to focus on small-batch beers, while at Magnuson assistant brewer Carey Dixon will mostly handle larger-production beers — yes, the famously adventurous brewery is finally developing more regularly available products to support its many experiments.
As for the historic brick building itself, it was used for housing munitions, like torpedoes, as part of the former Sand Point Naval Air Station. From the outside, building 20 will look the same as ever when construction is complete, aside from the addition of a windowed garage door on the front wall and a huge two-tiered deck with 100 seats. Users of Magnuson Park’s off-leash area will be delighted to know that the lower deck will be dog-friendly. Inside, some touches will remain as well, like an internal crane system for hoisting torpedoes, while various infrastructure like walls, equipment, seating, brewing equipment, and more will be new.
Construction photos follow, as will more details as the project develops.