During the pandemic, several restaurants in Seattle have leaned into burgers and sandwiches as a reliable menu option, from L’Oursin’s Old Scratch pop-up to Salare’s first effort at a patty. Now, acclaimed Bainbridge Island restaurant Hitchcock is joining the crowd, transforming its dining room into Burgerhaus, a fast-casual burger restaurant with a Bavarian bent.
On the menu at Burgerhaus, starting November 10, will be a selection of items with ingredients sourced locally, in keeping with Hitchcock’s farm-to-table philosophy. Among them: smash burgers made with Pure Country beef, a Pacific Rogue wagyu option topped with chanterelles, a vegan patty, and a “biercheeseburger,” with braised purple cabbage, beer cheese sauce, apple, and whey-fermented mustard on a pretzel bun. The drinks include cocktails like JobDog (with applejack, Michelberger Krautliquor, vermouth, and kirschwasser), alongside beer and wine from Germany and Austria. Food and some bottled cocktails are available for takeout, and there’s also limited dine-in service.
While the creation of an entirely new concept may be a surprise, those concerned about the fate of chef and owner Brendan McGill’s critically lauded flagship restaurant on Bainbridge may not need to fret too much right now. Rep Kirsten Graham says, “The plan is to open Hitchcock back up at some point.” When that will be, though, is unknown.
Rather, Burgerhaus marks the latest shift for McGill, who has adjusted services across various properties several times during the pandemic. Earlier this year, Hitchcock offered some family meals, subscriptions to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes, and a wine club (the latter two are still available). McGill also opened a pizzeria offshoot in Georgetown earlier this spring called Panino Taglio, serving Italian pressed sandwiches and other takeout-friendly fare, but that has since closed. Bar Taglio, the downtown Roman-style pizza restaurant, reopened briefly, then closed again for the time being, as did Cafe Hitchcock on First Avenue; both hope to reopen down the line.
This new effort appears to be a more robust version of the “Sacka-Burgers” pop-up McGill launched this summer at Hitchcock Deli a few doors down from the main restaurant, which gained some traction. If Burgerhaus is successful, the chef will likely have some more decisions to make once conditions to open the more upscale, sit-down dining experience at Hitchcock are more favorable.