Good news for Seattleites who crave lobster rolls, but don’t love fighting traffic on drives up north. As Seattle PI first reported, the Market in Edmonds — known for its popular take on the New England-derived seafood snack — is coming to Seattle soon, taking over the catering and cafe operations at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) and its affiliate sites. Owner Shubert Ho tells Eater Seattle the plan is to open a full-service cafe at SAM sometime in mid-to-late August or September.
To start, the menu at Market Seattle will feature many of the favorites that people flock to Edmonds for, including the Maine-style lobster and Dungeness crab rolls poached with garlic brown butter and topped with Old Bay aoli, as well as fish and chips and chowder. But Ho says the most exciting feature may be the large, 3,000 square-foot-kitchen, which should allow chef Hans Korompis — who hails from Singapore — to experiment with newer items: perhaps some noodle dishes or even some clams baked in the onsite pizza oven. There will also be a full bar, with froses, lemonade slushies, beer, and wine on tap.
The cafe space, formerly occupied by Bon Appetit Management Co’s Taste (which closed last fall and never reopened), is already in good shape, and Ho is just waiting for some permitting to come through before moving in. There’s a lot of room on the wall for art, naturally, but the Market will add its own touches, with some seafood decals and other pieces of flair. It will also handle the catering for not just the First Avenue SAM, but the Olympic Sculpture Park, and Asian Art Museum.
Ho and his Feedme Hospitality and Restaurant Group have been transformative to the Edmonds dining scene. In addition to the success of the Market, Ho’s group includes Edmonds-based Salt & Iron, Bar Dojo, SanKai Sushi, Fire and Feast, and the new Potlatch Bistro, which offers a charitable lunch program that aims to address food insecurity among seniors. That spirit of community work also includes a program that offers free meals to kids impacted by COVID-related school closures and those who receive subsidized meals.
Ho’s company wasn’t immune to the economic downturn over the past 17 months, but he says that the Market has made some adjustments of late, shifting away from being a hybrid restaurant and fishmonger into more made-to-order items (“We used to sell 50 lobster rolls a day; now it’s more like 250 per day on weekends”). And though his 10-year-old catering business (Shooby Do) took a serious hit in 2020, there are signs it’s on the comeback trail.
Mostly, though, Ho is excited about the possibilities of expanding further south and reaching new customers, with those famed seafood rolls as a draw. “Those in South Seattle who don’t want to travel all the way up to Edmonds can now enjoy our food,” he says.