This summer in Seattle has been packed with restaurant openings. Sushi By Scratch Restaurants, a group by chef Philip Frankland Lee that received a Michelin star in California, started serving a 17-course omakase in Downtown Seattle on September 1. Brendan McGill’s Seabird restaurant on Bainbridge Island has impressed diners with the best ingredients the Puget Sound has to offer since July. And after some delays, a Turkish pop-up from a couple used to working in three-Michelin-starred restaurants is opening up sometime this month in Ballard. It seems like after a long period of hesitancy, chefs and restaurateurs are back to taking risks and making moves in Seattle.
While this fall is looking a little quieter in terms of restaurant openings, there are still some exciting spots to look out for, with a banchan-focused Pioneer Square deli from a cookbook author, a seafood-focused bar in Bellevue from the longtime chef at The Barking Frog, and more.
When: Late October
What: Cookbook Author Sara Upshaw is opening a Korean deli and cafe in Pioneer Square serving noodles, soups, stewed meats, and most importantly, a selection of 10 seasonally rotating banchan. “Whatever’s in season, we’ll either pickle it or make it into kimchi,” Upshaw says. The space will function as a casual lunch and takeout spot during the day and as a bar serving soju, beer, wine, and cider, with Korean snacks and a few dinner dishes at night.
What: Longtime Barking Frog chef Bobby Moore recently announced he was leaving his post at the Woodinville staple to run his own restaurants. Part of this transition involves him taking over and making some changes to Bellevue’s Bis on Main, while keeping the staff the same. Bar Moore is his new next-door concept, somewhere diners could get drinks and snacks before or after dinner at Bis on Main, or spend an entire evening drinking and eating. The food will be largely French and seafood-focused, with snacks like oysters, poached prawns, charcuterie, and foie gras torchon. The drinks and wine will be bright and refreshing, to pair with the seafood.
Sohn Mat By Tae
What: Popular Chophouse Row chef’s counter ByTae shut down in February 2021 and announced it was looking for a new location. At the end of August this year, ByTae announced on Instagram it had found a larger home in Beacon Hill. The restaurant’s website says the new concept will have a bar and a yard (with pictures of a patio on its Instagram) and will serve grilled meats, veggies, fermented foods, beer, and cocktails. Though details are yet to be announced (the website simply says the restaurant is opening soon) it will be exciting to see this next phase in James Beard Award semifinalist Sun Hong’s career. Based on the menus at ByTae, expect Japanese and Korean influences.
Dave’s Hot Chicken
What: This wildly popular Nashville hot chicken franchise, started in California, is finally coming to Washington state after opening dozens of locations elsewhere in the last few years. The chain recently announced it made a deal for 10 locations in Washington, many of which will be in the Seattle area. Considering the rapid growth rate of this company (it started as a pop-up in a Los Angeles parking lot in 2017 and has since opened dozens of locations across the country and got investment from celebrities like Drake and Samuel L. Jackson), locations should be opening up in the Seattle area soon.