For most of 2020, things did not look good for the future of Belltown restaurant Local 360. But nearly a full year after closing, the farm-to-table favorite has now reopened, with a new chef and some optimism about what the future will bring.
For the past ten years, Local 360 developed into a reliable neighborhood spot, emphasizing the use of ingredients from farms around the area within a 360-mile radius (hence the name). The current menu from veteran chef Jon Maley doesn’t represent a radical departure from that philosophy with items such as include Heritage Farm pork chops, Penn Cove mussels, and beets, the latter of which undergo a meticulous preparation process.
“We braise our beets, turn the tops into ash, use raw beets, and solidify the beet juice for a puree,” says Maley. “We want to showcase simple ingredients in various ways through textures and technique.”
The restaurant offers both full takeout meals geared for two, as well as limited dine-in service and a happy hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily. On the drinks side, local purveyors continue to dominate, with Fremont distillery Mischief providing the base spirits for old fashioneds and gin concoctions, and PNW wineries and breweries rounding out the offerings.
Local 360’s revival may come as a pleasant surprise to longtime fans. When the restaurant closed March 10, a message on its official Facebook page thanked its customers for “10 wonderful years,” a suggestion that the closure might have been permanent, but owner Marcus Charles said back then “time will tell” whether that would be the case. Lo and behold, the restaurant forges ahead, even in an uncertain environment. Though restrictions have eased enough to allow for indoor dining at 25 percent capacity and vaccination efforts are ramping up, overall business may suffer in the Belltown vicinity without cruise ships or conferences (and many downtown companies still allowing employees to work from home).
Still, the Local 360 team is looking on the bright side, hopeful that there are better days to come. Says operations manager Sylvian Berthe, “We are mostly currently focused on our local neighborhood and past regulars that reach out in mass, [saying] how excited they are that our restaurant is back.”