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Popular Pop-up Oaky’s Tex-Mex Is About to Open Its First Restaurant

Plus, Shota Nakajima’s Taku readies indoor service, and Seattle’s “Welcome Back Weeks” begin with a bunch of restaurant promotions

A topdown view of Tex Mex dishes, including enchiladas, chili, and chips with a side of dipping sauce
Oaky’s Tex Mex comes from the same owners behind the Central District’s Wood Shop BBQ.
Oaky’s Tex Mex [Official]

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Popular Pop-up Oaky’s Tex-Mex Is About to Open Its First Restaurant

Oaky’s Tex-Mex — which had a short, well-attended stint at Interbay’s Batch 206 distillery in 2019 — is about to open a new restaurant at 2524 S Jackson Street in the Central District. According to its official Instagram page, the debut will happen this summer after some delays and, though no exact date was revealed, Oaky’s is already rolling out some previews, which began Monday, July 12. Among the items on the menu for the trial run are brisket barbacoa, carnitas, chicken verde, and shredded portobello, all available in taco, burrito, or quesadilla form. There are also snacks, such as queso and frito pie, plus a couple of booze options, including margaritas and guava rum punch. The operation comes from former Texan James Barrington and Kansas native Matt Davis, who run the acclaimed Wood Shop BBQ on the same block, making for quite a meaty pairing in the neighborhood.

Star Chef Shota Nakajima to Open Taku for Indoor Dining July 15

Fresh off his successful finalist run on Top Chef: Portland, Shota Nakajima will be expanding service for his Japanese fried chicken joint Taku soon. On Thursday, July 15, the cozy Capitol Hill spot will open for indoor dining after operating as a takeout only restaurant since May. Taku’s food menu will remain largely the same — karaage nuggets, burgers, and fries — with a few new additions, including a watermelon salad, fried rice side dishes, and a rice pudding with cardamom, fresh fruit and granola for dessert. The bar menu, which has offered to-go drinks and Jell-O shots, will also feature a couple of new items, including kegged cocktails (such as a spicy concoction with jalapeño vodka, Midori, sake, and lime), boilermakers, and highballs made with a machine designed to perfect carbonation. During previews, a few of Nakajima’s fellow Top Chef contestants showed up to offer support, including Byron Gomez, Avishar Barua, and Gabriel Pascuzzi.

Seattle’s ‘Welcome Back Weeks’ Begin with Aim to Help City Businesses

On Monday, July 12, Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan heralded the beginning of “Welcome Back Weeks,” part of a series of new initiatives intended to help small businesses in the city, with events planned for the Chinatown-International District, Pioneer Square, and Westlake. The first event will take place at Hing Hay Park on July 17 and 18 as a celebration of local food and culture. In addition, there are discounts at neighborhood restaurants, coupons, and $500 tabs courtesy of website the Intentionalist. A few of the businesses participating in the program include Fulcrum Coffee, Jerk Shack, Bangrak Market, Hood Famous Cafe and Bar, and Jade Garden.


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