In many ways, it’s a tough time to be in the food business right now. Supply chain problems and worker shortages mean that it’s even harder than usual to run a restaurant, and the long pandemic has left many owners and chefs burned out and needing to take a break or reassess their situations. Those appear to be some of the factors that led to the (hopefully temporary) closure of Ballard’s beloved Cafe Besalu and the shuttering of Lowercase Brewing’s taproom, among other changes to the city’s dining landscape.
But Seattle remains one of the most vibrant food scenes in the country, and this spring is going to give us a bountiful harvest of new restaurants, whether that means a beloved wing pop-up getting a permanent home or a Michelin-recognized Indian franchise expanding into Bellevue. While we’re looking ahead to lots of exciting places coming this summer, including a new Moto pizza location in Belltown and Phinney’s Shared Roof project (helmed by a new Renee Erickson joint), this list is about spots that intend to open in the next two to three months.
When: March 29
Where: Bellevue Square, Bellevue
What: This high-end Indian restaurant chain was founded by mega-restauranteur Zorawar Kalra and has outposts in Dubai, London, and Canada; the Bellevue location will be Farzi’s first U.S. footprint. Everything about Farzi is big, showy, lavish, and on the verge of silliness: Even a London food critic who liked the food described it as “palate-flooding” and “hectic excess.” The executive chef at the Bellevue Farzi Cafe is Gaurav Chawla, who is promising to incorporate Northwest ingredients in the “Farzified” traditional Indian dishes.
When: Any day now
Where: Project 9 Brewing, 1409 NE 80th Street, Maple Leaf
What: One of the city’s most-hyped new breweries has an even more hype-worthy partner in Sammich, the Oregon-based mini-chain of mouth-watering sandwich spots. Founder Melissa “Mel” McMillan has already dipped her toe into Seattle with a pop-up at JuneBaby earlier this year, but the food truck at Project 9 will be a permanent, seven-days-a-week affair. The truck is already parked outside the brewery doors; we’ll let you know when it’s officially open.
Vindicktive Bar and Wings
Where: The Austin Bell Building, 2324 First Avenue, Belltown
What: As Eater Seattle reported earlier in March, Vindicktive Wings is going from a residency at Rose Temple to a bar of its own. If this means that more people can try their wings, that’s for the good — brothers Vin and Dominick Minichiello are all about authentically fried-to-a-crisp, sauce-drenched wings, no ranch dressing needed, or allowed.
Tutta Bella “evolves”
When: spring, dates TBD
Where: 2014 Fairview Avenue, Denny Triangle
What: Tutta Bella is something of an elder statesman on Seattle’s pizza scene, but it’s moving a bit away from its standard Neapolitan roots to open three new spots inside the luxury REN building: a cocktail bar, a cafe and pantry/marketplace, and a restaurant that will be, according to a press release, an “evolved version of Tutta Bella’s beloved neighborhood restaurants.” That sounds higher-end (and frankly more interesting) than what you can get at the chain’s other locations.