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Argentinian Grill BOCA Takes Over Historic Queen City Space in Belltown

It’s the second location for the restaurant, which has an outpost on Capitol Hill

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The low-lit interior of the former Queen City Grill, now BOCA Restobar & Grill, with a plant displaying large green fronds in the foreground and tall windows lining the walls
The former Queen City Grill has a history that goes back more than a century.
Peter Quian

After remaining idle during the pandemic, one well-known venue in Belltown is coming to life again. BOCA Restobar & Grill — the Argentinian steakhouse on Capitol Hill — opens its second location in the former Queen City space Friday, February 5.

As is the case at the Capitol Hill BOCA outpost, grilled meats with Argentinian influences are prevalent. There’s a mixed grill, with beef cuts, chicken, and sausages, along with ribeye and matambre (rolled beef tenderloin stuffed with roasted vegetables, hard boiled eggs, spices, and a beef demi-glace).

BOCA’s owner Marco Casas Beaux says he takes the “art of grilling” very seriously, and the new restaurant’s grillmaster Luis Torrez (who was born and raised in Argentina) makes all the sausages onsite, including pork, lamb, and morcillas (blood sausage). For those looking for something lighter, there are salads, salmon, grilled octopus, and empanadas as well. Drinks include cocktails such as the Evita (tequila, pineapple juice, and Campari) and the Ginobili (gin, pisco, green apple and sage oleo). The menu will be slightly pared down to start, with a more complete rollout to come within a week.

BOCA’s owner Marco Casas Beaux — who owns several other restaurants in the city, including the nearby Grill from Ipanema — purchased the spot from former owner Linda Derschang last year. The restaurant existed as Queen City Grill for decades, although the building itself dates back to the early 20th century, when it was a saloon serving local pier workers. Right before COVID hit, Derschang had toyed with the idea of opening a new restaurant at the same address on her own, but the pandemic scuttled those plans.

The Restaurant & Bar Design Group made some cosmetic changes to the space, modernizing the dining room with bold colors, moody lighting, and maximalist decor. The back of the bar underwent a complete renovation, but the front of the bar structure, the booths, and the original floors were preserved.

With restaurants in the city allowed to open at 25 percent capacity, BOCA will have both limited indoor dining and outdoor seating, as well as takeout via phone at (206) 268-0528. There’s also a CO2 monitor and QR codes on the menu to minimize contact. Delivery will take a couple of weeks to set up, but the Capitol Hill location offers orders through most third-party apps, including Doordash, Caviar, and Uber Eats.

BOCA Restobar & Grill

2201 1st Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121 Visit Website

Queen City

2201 1st Avenue, , WA 98121 (206) 402-5095 Visit Website

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