A restaurant opening in Phinney Ridge this month is bringing something new to the neighborhood: food inspired by the fusion of Mexican and Korean cuisines seen at restaurants and food trucks in Los Angeles’ Koreatown.
The restaurant, called Arc, is opening in the former Park Pub space on Phinney Avenue in two or three weeks after a few soft opening events. It’s a collaboration between North Star Diner and Shanghai Room owner Travis Clark and a longtime bar manager for Tom Douglas’ restaurants, Todd Hamm. The pair worked together years ago at Ray’s Boathouse in Ballard, and they both found themselves wanting to open a restaurant during the pandemic, when Hamm stopped working for Douglas.
“The pandemic caused everyone to have a midlife crisis, and you know, we realized life is too short not to chase your dreams a little bit,” Hamm says.
The chef, Brandon Lancaster, is a Mexican American cook, painter, and musician who grew up in LA. He’s been working in Ballard’s restaurants, including the Scandinavian pub Skål Beer Hall and Rachel’s Bagels and Burritos, for a few years, and Hamm says Lancaster fell in the love with the area. At the same time, he missed the great Mexican food, Korean food, and dishes combining elements of the two cuisines, that he ate in LA, and now wants to offer those flavors to diners in Phinney Ridge.
Though the menu is still being worked on, a rough draft includes dishes like a kimchi rice bowl with braised pork, kimcheese (kimchi and white cheddar) fries with cilantro, and a pork mojo verde stew.
Hamm is pairing the Korean-influenced dishes on the menu with soju and sochu, as well as cocktails like a calamansi Campari spritzer and a chartreuse swizzle for summer, though cocktails will change seasonally. There will also be some cocktails, local beer, and cider on tap, and wines from Baja California’s Valle de Guadalupe region, to stay true to the LA theme.
During renovations, Hamm and Clark also swapped out the dark, punk-rock aesthetic of Park Pub for for floral wallpaper, leopard-print carpets, houseplants, and chandeliers.
“We love bright colors,” Hamm says.
The restaurant will be full-service, as Hamm says he wants to veer away from the pandemic-era no-contact style in favor of more human interaction. The initial hours will be 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., Wednesday through Sunday, with food available until 11 p.m. — a rarity in a city where most restaurants are still closing early due to the pandemic and labor shortages.
During the summer, Hamm says he hopes to open for lunch as well.
Arc will be located at 6114 Phinney Ave. N, Seattle. Opening hours will be 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., Wednesday through Sunday.