There’s been a mixed bag of news for Opus Co. fans of late. Back in late April, the acclaimed restaurant in Phinney Ridge announced on Instagram it would be closing permanently this fall. But the location will be in good hands, since Opus Co. chef Paolo Campbell has been planning a Filipino fried chicken place at the same address. Now, details are coming into focus on how the transition will proceed.
On Thursday, July 22, Opus Co. — which had been sticking mostly to takeout during the pandemic — will open once more for indoor dining, beginning a six-week-long swan song that harkens back to its roots. The price of $72 per person is a “suggested donation” to help pay farmers, local purveyors, and employees, with everything extra “going back into the community,” according to the announcement. There will also be a barbecue fundraiser July 28 to celebrate the restaurant’s fourth anniversary, with proceeds donated to the Ballard Food Bank.
Opus Co. plans to shutter for good September 2, but Campbell will open his own restaurant a month later with longtime friend Donnie Adams, whom he met in culinary school. The new spot will be called the Chicken Supply, and Campbell tells Eater Seattle it’s his “dream restaurant,” an homage to his Filipino roots and one of his favorite foods. Though the full menu is still in development, Campbell and Adams plan on keeping things simple selling wings, thighs, drumsticks, and fried chicken breast pieces served on a stick as a nod to the street food of the Philippines (there will also be some chicken sandos and sides with “Filipino flare,” Campbell says, maybe pancit).
The restaurant’s vibe will be more casual than Opus Co., with counter service in the small space and perhaps outside seating, if they can get permitted for it. And there will be booze — at least beer — to start. “We’re really excited and also feel very lucky to be able to stay in this neighborhood that has treated us so well over the years,” Campbell says. The Chicken Supply will have a couple pop-ups planned before the official opening, scheduled in the Opus Co. space for August 8 and 22.
Opus Co. opened to some fanfare in 2017, as owner Mark Schroder reimagined the cozy former location of Martino’s sandwich shop with Campbell — a fellow alum of Capitol Hill Korean restaurant Trove — joining him in the kitchen from the start. The restaurant became a neighborhood destination, impressing diners with its deft use of local ingredients, particularly in well-executed vegetable dishes cooked on a wood-fired grill. It served six-course tasting menus in an approachable atmosphere, which Schroder once said was “like if Applebee’s were seasonal and small.” Opus Co. was lauded by Seattle critics, and earned Schroder a James Beard Award semifinalist nomination in 2018 for Best Chef Northwest.
“Our closing is definitely bittersweet but far from sad,” Campbell says. He adds that the restaurant’s lease ends this year, and much of the team is moving out of state, so the timing just seemed right to move on. “We’ve had an amazing 4-year run, and even through the pandemic we’ve done alright for ourselves ... We are only opening for the last six weeks as dine-in as more of a thank you to those who have supported us through the years and especially this past year and a half.”