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Renee Erickson Debuts Her Laurelhurst Bistro, Named for Her Mother

Erickson has remade Saint Helens Cafe, which her restaurant group purchased from Josh Henderson last July

Chef and restaurateur Renee Erickson at The Whale Wins.
Renee Erickson has remade Saint Helens Cafe into Bistro Shirlee.
Morgen Schuler for Eater

Renee Erickson’s new restaurant, Bistro Shirlee, opened last week in the former home of Saint Helens Cafe, which her restaurant group, Sea Creatures, acquired last year from Josh Henderson’s Huxley Wallace Collective. The French-leaning bistro in Laurelhurst is now open Monday through Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and weekends 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Erickson debuts Bistro Shirlee (3600 NE 45th Street) after closing Saint Helens two weeks ago for a minor remodel. She has also amended the menu slightly, adding more local and sustainable sourcing, and new dishes like steak au poivre, the Boat Street pork chop, roast chicken, Parisian gnocchi, tartare, frites, duck confit, and from-scratch charcuterie.

One holdover from Saint Helens is the burger, which now features a dry-aged, grass-fed beef patty from Sea Creatures’ fantastic steakhouse, Bateau. Given that one tantalizing detail alone, this is certainly exciting news for the neighborhood. It also gives diners a higher-end alternative to the fast casual version at next door’s Great State Burgers, another Sea Creatures acquisition from Huxley Wallace.

Erickson says she owes a lot of credit to her mom, who passed on her passion for gardening and cooking. When Erickson purchased Boat Street Cafe, her first restaurant, Shirlee was by her side to help with baking and bookkeeping — and everything in between.

“My mom has always been the one to keep things tidy and flowing smoothly in my life. When I decided to buy the Boat Street Café, it was my mom who, with the full support of my dad and the rest of my family, gave me the organizational power to get it all done,” Erickson said in a statement.

Saint Helens Cafe

3600 Northeast 45th Street, , WA 98105 (206) 775-7050 Visit Website

Boat Street Cafe

3131 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121 (206) 632-4602 Visit Website

Bistro Shirlee

3600 Northeast 45th Street, , WA 98105 (206) 775-7050 Visit Website


1040 East Union Street, , WA 98122 (206) 900-8699 Visit Website