This July 4 may be a little more celebratory than last year’s holiday, as most COVID-related restrictions — including capacity restrictions on restaurants — plan to be lifted. Gov. Jay Inslee is on a mini tour to tout the success in Washington vaccinations (nearly 70 percent of residents 16 years of age or older have received at least one shot). And the pomp and circumstance will lead into the holiday weekend, where restaurants and bars can fill their spaces to the limits, if they so choose. Those who have been fully vaccinated don’t have to wear a mask inside, since the King County directive has now been lifted.
Despite the fete, July 4 won’t exactly be fully back to normal. For one, there will be no official fireworks display from Seafair (it’s virtual this year) and while there are in-person Independence Day events around the Puget Sound region, many continue to make adjustments out of health concerns. Diners will no doubt have mixed feelings about going out into large crowds after 16 months of a deadly pandemic and counting (in a recent Eater Seattle survey, even the majority of respondents who have been fully vaccinated were taking things cautiously). And restaurants may still be in the process of staffing up for full capacity, not quite ready to be fully back in the swing of things.
With all that in mind, there are a few places offering 4th of July specials around the city, both for onsite service and takeout for those who still might want to sit back, watch some fireworks on TV, and ease into what’s already been a scorching summer.
This West Seattle smokehouse has a terrific patio, and is right in the center of all the action on California Avenue (plus not far from Alki). But for those who want to grill at home, the restaurant is a robust “meat box” with Demonico steaks, pork New York steaks, two pounds of wagyu ground beef, eggs, breakfast maple sausage, Lady Jaye’s special barbecue sauce, rub, and a pint of beef broth bloody mary, with glasses to go along with it.
Capitol Hill’s popular Lebanese-influenced restaurant offers a take-home, levantine style barbecue package for four with shish taouk, ground beef kefta, smoked lamb shoulder, hummus, labneh, pita chips, pickles, a melon and stone fruit salad, and cookies for dessert. Kits can be ordered here, with pickup on July 3, and add-ons include bottled cocktails, including the Baharat sour (whiskey, clove, cinnamon, and cardamom-spiced honey).
“Top Chef: Portland” star Shota Nakajima recently adjusted the focus at his cozy Capitol Hill spot to revolve around marinated, battered, and twice-fried karaage, available as nuggets and wings. The July 4th “party pack” includes four pounds of fried chicken, plus potato salad, mac salad, Brussels sprouts, and cucumber sunomono, with some alcohol options available (including Jello shots). All orders must be placed in advance.
The London Plane
Those who tire of the meat-heavy barbecue menus may want to take a gander at this Pioneer Square market/bistro/bakery. The 4th of July larder box includes four ears of corn, snap peas, zucchini, summer squash, sun gold tomatoes, and basil, which may make for a great cold salad. The bakery plans to offer cherry pie with soft whip on the side, and there’s the option to add bottles of local rosé.
The Mountaineering Club
The U District’s Graduate Seattle hotel has a striking rooftop bar offering great views. While no official city fireworks will go off, there will be some cocktails here dressed with sparklers, including a “drink on fire” with flaming citrus, along with Champagne cocktail slushies, magnum bottles of sparkling wine, and cooked oysters with spiced brown butter, lemon, and aioli.
Never one to miss a holiday special, Pinehurst’s Jewish deli has a few different meal kits on offer via Tock, including one with make-your-own smash burgers (that feature patties from acclaimed butcher shop Beast & Cleaver), challah buns, and a special family recipe. There’s also a sausage pack (With choice of hot dogs, kielbasa, or bratwurst), and some cold cut-focused picnic options.