Fuel up. A new new fast casual restaurant in Mercer Island called Old 76 opened this week, housed in a former gas station. The spot — from the owners of the sustainable sandwich chain Homegrown — features mostly burgers, fries, and shakes, with an emphasis on local Pacific Northwest ingredients.
For instance, the grass-fed beef for the burgers comes from Carman Ranch in Oregon, the lettuce and tomatoes are sourced from Homegrown’s own Woodinville farm, and the shakes feature hand-dipped ice cream from Snoqualmie, WA. The burgers are also topped with a tangy sauce with some spice from mama lil’s pickled peppers and roasted garlic. Old 76 also has some beer on tap, sparkling wine, and cider. Hours are Thursday 11 a.m.–8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.–10 p.m.
Homegrown co-founder Brad Gillis grew up on Mercer Island, so this new project is a homecoming of sorts. The area could use a few more dining options, alongside some of the pizzerias and bars (including the recently opened Barrels wine bar). This spot is not too far from the family-friendly Islander and Shawn’s Cafe and Bakery on 24th Street. It also represents the first time Gillis’ ownership group has stepped out of the Homegrown model, and joins a growing trend of restaurants built from former gas stations.