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Seattle Restaurant Group Shows Support for City Tax on Large Corporations
Next year, Seattle’s new “JumpStart” payroll tax on big businesses will go into effect — and it has some support from local restaurants, who are fighting the tax’s opponents. On December 8, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming that the tax on corporations with more than $7 million in payroll — exempting grocery stores, government entities, and health care nonprofits — was unconstitutional. But Seattle Restaurant United (SRU), has condemned that legal effort, emphasizing that the revenue generated from the tax (expected to be around $200 million in 2021) could help provide a boost to smaller businesses hurting during the pandemic. In a statement, SRU, which represents nearly 250 local restaurants, called the Chamber of Commerce’s lawsuit “wrongheaded, harmful, and frankly infuriating to the small businesses which they claim to represent, but clearly do not care enough about to fight for.” The chamber continued to defend its lawsuit, insisting that the Seattle City Council overstepped its bounds. It’s unclear whether King County Superior Court will agree to hear the case, although the debate over corporate taxes will likely continue well into the new year.
Standard Brewing in the Central District Lands Chef Jason Stratton
Star chef Jason Stratton — a former Top Chef alum, who earned accolades at renowned Seattle restaurants such as Spinasse — is now running the kitchen at Central District’s Standard Brewing, according to Seattle Met. Stratton has introduced a lamb sloppy joe and green gumbo to the menu in recent weeks, and hopes to rotate in more items as he goes along. Most recently, the chef spent some time in Portland after doing consulting work for a former business partner on the cafe 3 Doors Down, and has devoted energy to local side projects as well. But working at the acclaimed Seattle brewery seems like it could be a good fit, since Standard has long put a good deal of effort into its food offerings.
Fremont’s Bar Charlie Joins Forces with Pie Bar Cofounder
Three-year-old Fremont cocktail haven Bar Charlie has turned into a dessert shop hybrid thanks to a new partnership with Pie Bar cofounder Alyssa Bleifuss. On the new menu are sweet and savory offerings, such as chicken pot pie and chocolate bourbon, served out of a takeout window, along with a selection of to-go drinks. Bar Charlie owner Christian Thomason and Bleifuss (who sold her interests in Pie Bar but still operates under The Pie Lady moniker) dreamed up the idea to team up after commiserating over the pandemic challenges, according to a note on Bar Charlie’s website. Now, it seems, the pies are a hit, selling out quickly, and The Pie Lady has found a way to expand through a new location. But this is no temporary shift in strategy. Thomason tells Eater Seattle, “The pie bar element of Bar Charlie is here to stay for the future.”