Inside South Lake Union’s Ninth Avenue Dining Corridor
South Lake Union has become one of Seattle’s hottest dining destinations, and its appeal is growing. The neighborhood’s Ninth Avenue dining corridor will soon be home to three new restaurants, with more in the works. Between mid-September and early 2016, diners can expect Eltana Wood-Fired Bagels, Hurry Curry of Tokyo, and Sam’s Tavern to open in SLU. Ethan Stowell has signed a lease in the corridor and plans to add a new pizza shop similar to his Ballard and Frelard restaurants. And in March 2016, Josh Henderson’s Huxley Wallace Collective is expected to open three new restaurants in the Ninth Avenue corridor.
SLU will be home to three new concepts of Henderson’s rapidly expanding Huxley Wallace Collective (Westward, Quality Athletics, and more). HWC’s space in South Lake Union will also feature a commissary kitchen that will provide support for all the company’s restaurants. Most notable of the three spots is Vestal, where Henderson will return to the kitchen to drive the direction of the cuisine. The design focal point will be a large chef’s counter surrounding a coal-fired hearth (vestal is Latin for hearth.) Henderson will craft dishes inspired by his travels and his youth. The second project is Poulet Galore, a rotisserie chicken takeout window serving whole and half chickens dressed with chimichurri, barbecue sauce, and more. Finally, Cantine Bottle Shop and Bar will bookend the project. It will serve beer, wine, and cocktails and will have a separate space for snacking on rotisserie chicken, cheese, charcuterie, and pickles.
Ethan Stowell will open his third pizza restaurant sometime between late December and early 2016. This location will be called Ballard Pizza Company and will offer seated dining from 11am–7pm, with daily happy hour from 4pm to close. Stowell plans to provide delivery within the Fairview, Dexter, Denny, and Mercer boundaries.
Eltana Wood-Fired Bagels is slated to open in mid-September. Owner Stephen Brown said the neighborhood’s vibrancy and busy foot traffic during breakfast and lunch attracted him to open the bagel restaurant’s fourth location (Capitol Hill, Stone Way, and Seattle Center are its other stores). Brown said the new spot will be slightly smaller than the other locations with 23 seats and no tables, but will have at least three or four new menu items only available in SLU.
Becky and Tay Yoshitani are bringing their popular L.A. Japanese restaurant, Hurry Curry of Tokyo, to the neighborhood in December. The restaurant specializes in variations Japanese curry and modern Japanese appetizers. SLU’s Hurry Curry will offer fast-casual atmosphere for lunch with counter service and pre-ordering available during those hours, happy hour in the evening, and table service at dinner.
“We see a growing food-savvy community, interested in culturally-interesting dishes. Japanese curry is considered the ‘National Dish’ of Japan, although not well known in the US. We additionally serve Yoshoku cuisine—Japanese comfort food dishes based on international influences. We see South lake Union as a neighborhood of people who can embrace what we do,” Becky said.
Capitol Hill’s popular Sam’s Tavern is set to open a second location in SLU in early 2016. Owner James Snyder looked at several Seattle neighborhoods before settling on SLU. “South Lake Union is busy. In the afternoon it seems like there’s a line out the door at most places. But it all came down to the space. It has these two big garage doors and a big patio for outdoor seating. Seemed like a perfect place for a burger bar,” Snyder said. Diners will enjoy “great Burgers, endless fries, Seattle’s best bloody Mary, and $1 Rainier beers daily. We want to bring the same energy to the weekends that our Capitol Hill location has—great music, great people, and a great experience.”
With the some of the biggest culinary names in Seattle opening new restaurants in SLU, the Ninth Avenue dining corridor will be one of the best bets for good eats in the city.
– Story by Ethan Chung, bagel photo by Monica Le, burger photos courtesy Sam's Tavern