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Seattle’s Hottest Mexican Pop-Up Gets a Permanent Home

Plus, crab season is upon us, and more news of the week

A sign on a storefront reading “Pair.”
The exterior of Pair
Harry Cheadle
Harry Cheadle is the editor of Eater Seattle.

So long, Pair. Hello Pancita.

On Friday, Seattle’s most buzzed-about Mexican pop-up, Pancita, announced via Instagram that its six-month residency at Bryant’s Pair was turning into a full-fledged takeover. “Excited to continue to share our love for Mexican cuisine with y’all,” the post read.

Pancita was started by chef Janet Becerra, who grew up in Kent before working in some of the world’s best kitchens, including Mexico City’s acclaimed Pujol. She’s passionate about masa, and nixtamalizes her own corn, making her tortillas the freshest you’ve ever had. Her suadero tacos — made with brisket dry-aged for two days — a were anointed by the Seattle Times as some of the best in Western Washington.

Pair was a cozy French restaurant in the largely residential Bryant neighborhood. According to the Times, owner Sarah Penn closed it down at the height of the pandemic partly because she was fighting off cancer and partly because of labor shortages. It transitioned into being used as a pop-up hosting space. Pancita’s residency was supposed to end with the summer, but instead it’s transitioned into being a restaurant. The space is owned by Penn and the rights to the concept of Pancita are owned by Becerra.

Correction August 28, 9:30 p.m.: An earlier version of the above item incorrectly described the ownership situation at Pancita.

Get crabs in Port Angeles

Straight from our inbox to your ears: “Port Angeles Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival, one of the country’s most acclaimed seafood festivals is back in full, ready for another signature ‘Crabtastic event!’” Crabtastic? Well, if they say so. The event runs October 6 to October 8 and will feature mountains of crab from a dedicated fleet of boats that will drop off the delectable arthropods right to the festival. Admission is free but the crabs are not — advance tickets for full and half crab dinners can be had for $40 and $25, respectively, and food prices being what they are, it may be more expensive on the day. More info here.

Tutta Bella blesses new facility

Seattle’s OG Neopolitan chain opened a new 15,000 square-foot “Culinary Innovation Hub” in SoDo last weekend, which includes a production facility, a prep kitchen, and office space. Once a restaurant, Tutta Bella is now a full-fledged brand with retail sales, but it’s still carrying on the tradition of formally blessing each of its ovens. “I consider this a ‘joint blessing’ and ‘christening’ of the Culinary Hub along with the ovens which produce the bread which nourishes our hearts, bodies, and souls.” said founder Joe Fugere in a release.

Metropolitan Market gets a 10th store

Good news for upscale grocery store fans in Crown Hill — Metropolitan Market is opening its 10th location in the neighborhood on August 30. The address is 8532 15th Avenue Northwest, the former site of a Value Village (sign of the times in northwest Seattle). It’s going to have a bakery, a coffee shop with Vita beans, kitchen stuff, food... We’re just like, describing what a grocery store is? Have a good weekend!


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