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Tom Douglas Just Opened a Downtown Wine Bar

Plus, brewers fundraise for victims of the Maui fires, and more news of the week

A table full of wine, olives, and Italian food.
A spread at Neb
Kelsi Billedo / TD&Co.
Harry Cheadle is the editor of Eater Seattle.

On Thursday, November 16, restaurateur Tom Douglas’s eponymous group opened its latest business, a wine bar called Neb, in downtown Seattle on Virginia between Third and Fourth Avenues.

According to a press release, the menu speaks to the “rustic northwest” and is “Italianesque,” but what Neb is really about is its extensive Negroni menu — including a zero-proof Negroni — and Italian wine list. There are glasses available for as little as $10 and also rare and big bottles for special occasions with $300-plus price tags.

Douglas has concentrated his little restaurant empire in downtown Seattle. The Palace Kitchen, which reopened earlier this year, is just a bottle’s throw away, as is his Greek-influenced restaurant Lola. Etta’s and Seatown share a building next to Pike Place Market, etc. With the Palace Kitchen reopening and now Neb, Douglas is clearly betting on a future for downtown dining.

Neb is far from the first bar of note to open downtown; the neighborhood has been shaking off a bit of its pandemic lockdown rust. New additions to the scene this year include the Fonté Bar at Rainier Square and Rosebay in Hotel 1000. Neb is open from Wednesdays through Sundays starting at 5 p.m.

Local breweries are joining an effort to raise money for Maui wildfire victims

The Maui wildfires broke out in August, but the impact of the disaster is still being felt by many. That’s why the Maui-based Maui Brewing Company is still raising money in partnership with a nonprofit to help those in need. More than 700 breweries are helping this effort by volunteering to brew a session IPA called the Kōkua Project and donating the proceeds to the relief fund. Of those breweries, 33 are in Washington State, including several big-name Seattle-area breweries like Reuben’s, Hellbent, Georgetown, Postdoc, and Fair Isle. A full list of participating breweries can be found on Maui Brewing Company’s website.

Seattle brewers win at Washington Beer Awards

Speaking of brewers, the Washington Beer Awards were announced recently, and unsurprisingly, given the density of breweries in this town, a lot of Seattle brewers nabbed awards. If we listed ‘em all, we’d be here all day, so we’ll focus on the gold medal winners, which include Seapine picking up two lager-related awards for its German- and American-style lagers, Lucky Envelope getting a top prize for its Vienna-style lager (and three other medals), Reuben’s nabbing up two golds and a bunch of other medals, and Georgetown Brewing getting golds for its Gusto Creme and 9 Pound Porter. A full winner’s list can be found on the Washington Beer Awards site.

Redmond Starbucks unionizes

The Starbucks at Avondale Road and 116th Avenue in Redmond joined the ranks of the 25 other stores in Washington to attempt to unionize on November 6, when employees (or “partners”) filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board for a union election. Their complaints against the coffee giant are largely about poor scheduling and low pay, common issues among green aprons who have joined the Starbucks Workers United union. “The Avondale store is organizing because each year our store’s sales go up but yet the number of scheduled partners goes down,” Sam Spinrad, an employee at the store, said in a press release.