Hold onto your hats, whiskey and barbecue lovers – the Kickin’ Boot Whiskey Kitchen is opening its doors next Thursday, August 16. Kickin’ Boot is the newest venture from the Opper Melang restaurateurs who brought us Matador. The whiskey kitchen is located on the corner of NW 22nd St and Shilshole Ave, marked by a big florescent cowboy boot on its south wall.
The restaurant is housed in an old warehouse once operated by Olsen Furniture. The building owners told restaurant co-owner Zak Melang to maintain as much as the original building as possible, which Melang did by keeping the original ceiling and floor. The wooden floor, Melang said, was black when they first started their overhaul. Now, after some sanding, the worn wooden beams help tell the story of the building’s former self.
Melang, who hails form North Carolina, was in charge of the interior design of the restaurant, and took special care to make the Southern-style whiskey kitchen as rustic and original as possible. He spent countless hours cutting up pieces of scrap wood, fashioning them into geometric patterns on the walls in the dining room and bar.
Kickin’ Boot has a large all-ages dining room that seats 50, an all-ages patio for 50, and a bar area for 75 plus. The bar area has whiskey and bourbon stacked to the ceiling along the south-facing wall, and is surrounded by accordion windows. The view from the bar is one not often seen in Ballard, with Magnolia peeking behind the warehouses and business along Shilshole Ave.
The spacious patio has heated floors and garage doors , which co-owner Nate Opper says they hope to have open throughout the summer.
Opper and Melang say they went through three chefs before finding Bo Maisano, who grew up in New Orleans and learned to cook in the French Quarter. The menu screams Southern comfort, with everything from sandwiches filled with house-made pulled pork and beef brisket to fried chicken and biscuits to sides of four cheese macaroni, crusted with a bacon breadcrumb. They smoke their meats in their house smoker, situated right next to their open-view kitchen.
In addition to an extensive in-house menu, Kickin’ Boot offers to-go items such as pulled pork sandwiches, a few salad options, and even baby back ribs.
The Kickin’ Boot’s cocktail menu is nothing to sneeze at, as beverage manager and Seattle native Niles Peacock has developed a number of classic cocktails and even house-made sodas. The menu includes drinks such as the Southern Punch, which is bourbon, peach, lemon and lime sour, fresh OJ and cranberry, and a non-alcoholic Orange Cream Soda, made with orange blossom, vanilla bean and sugarcane.
The restaurant is set to open to the public on August 16. They will be open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., with a happy hour from 3:30 to 6 p.m. The full menu is available until 11 p.m. each night, and the bar menu until 1 a.m.