New burger restaurant coming to ‘The Terminal’ across from New Seasons

If you’ve wondered what’s planned for the new retail-restaurant space under construction across from New Seasons, you’re not alone. After we asked for tips earlier this week, My Ballard reader Stephen pointed us to The Terminal At Ballard at 907 NW Ballard Way.

“The Terminal” is the name of the CenterCal Properties development that includes New Seasons — which is opening on May 9th — and “14,000-square feet of restaurant and small shop retail space” on the other side of the parking lot:

So far, AT&T is the only confirmed tenant, but The Terminal’s Facebook page shared a post by The Habit Burger Grill. “We can’t wait to welcome The Habit Burger Grill to the neighborhood,” it said.

Since its humble beginnings in Santa Barbara in 1969, Habit Burger has grown into a national chain of over 200 restaurants. Its closest locations are in Shoreline and Tukwila. Here’s the menu.

We reached out to both CenterCal Properties and Habit Burger, but neither has responded so far.

The Terminal’s open date is scheduled for sometime next month.

(Thanks Stephen for the tip!)

Ballard’s Joel featured on Eric’s Heroes

You may have seen Joel Abel around town, helping out at Bop Street Records (above), hanging out at Hattie’s Hat or tasting cupcakes at Cupcake Royale.

“Joel is a part of Ballard, Ballard is Joel. He’s just synonymous with Ballard,” says Emily Scully, who works at Cupcake Royale.

KOMO TV’s Eric Johnson followed Joel around Ballard for his weekly “Eric’s Heroes” segment, and it’s a good one. Without further ado, here’s the clip:

(Top photo from KOMO News)

Gemenskap Park still on schedule

Construction work to build a new park along 14th Ave. NW between 59th and 61st is running on schedule, according to Seattle Parks.

Gemenskap Park is going in on the east side of 14th Ave., shifting both lanes to the west and removing the middle parking area. The park will feature a green space, rain gardens and wider sidewalks (as you can see above along the right.)

When we checked this week, Seattle Parks confirmed that workers are still on track to complete the project in “late spring.” In the meantime, 14th Ave. remains closed to traffic.

By the way, Gemenskap is the Swedish word for “community,” and it’s pronounced Yuh-MEN-skawp. We’re still practicing.

Fast-growing Reuben’s Brews to open new production facility

One of Ballard’s most popular breweries, Reuben’s Brews is expanding into a full-scale production facility at a large, historic building at the corner of 8th Ave. NW and NW 46th St. (above).

The brewery has been operating out of several locations to keep up with growth, explained co-founder Adam Robbings in an announcement today.

“As we grew we needed space, but unfortunately nothing was ever available within the same building!” Robbings wrote in an email. “But now we are so excited to announce that we will be bringing most of our production together at 800 NW 46th St. The building is not only less than half a mile away from our taproom and brewery (which will remain in its current location), but it is also walking distance from our home.”

Robbings co-founded the brewery with his wife Grace (their first child is named Reuben) back in 2012. He said it was important to find a production facility in his home neighborhood of Ballard, close to the taproom. He says they plan to “carefully renovate” the historic facility.

“The building is getting a big overhaul – new roof, new siding, new insulation and heating systems – but the character of its 70 year-old barrel roof will now be exposed for us all to enjoy!” he wrote. “Here, our team’s lives will be made easier, and they will be able to focus on brewing different beers and increasing diversity of offerings for our customers rather than traveling between buildings!”

As you can see, he’s very excited about the new digs, which he expects will be operational by the end of the year. He’ll also get a new office, a big upgrade from his current working space inside a “merchandise storage closet.”

Reuben’s joins Fremont Brewing in opening a large, dedicated production facility and office in Ballard. Fremont’s facility is located at 4700 9th Ave NW, which the brewery calls “Fremont West.”

Music lineup announced for Ballard SeafoodFest

You might come for the salmon and lutefisk, but live music at the Ballard SeafoodFest is becoming a bigger attraction every year. On this 44th year of the festival, the lineup features headliners Blitzen Trapper and All Them Witches.

“We are excited to announce a stellar lineup of musical artists that complement everything this three-day festival has to offer,” said SeafoodFest Director Mike Stewart. “Through the support of our generous sponsors and countless volunteers, we are pleased to produce Ballard’s signature summer event that is free and open to all.”

Co-presented by KEXP, here’s the lineup:

Blitzen Trapper | All Them Witches | The Dead South | Whiskey Shivers | Smokey Brights | The Grizzled Mighty | Nite Wave | Purple Mane | Gypsy Temple | Acid Tongue | Lanford Black | Whitney Monge | #All4Doras | School of Rock

When the festival opens at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 13th, NiteWave and #All4Doras will kick things off near the beer garden. Food trucks Paella House, Where Ya At Matt, Nosh and Off the Rez will be serving up dinner.

The full festival gets underway on Saturday — when Blitzen Trapper and All Them Witches will take the main stage — and runs until 9 p.m. on Sunday.

We’ll provide more details as we get closer to the big event.

‘Corner Spot’ opens in Central Ballard

Back in February, we reported that neighborhood hangout Crooked Nail had closed at the corner of NW 56th St. and 17th Ave. NW. According to a liquor license, it looked like a new establishment called “Corner Shot” was in the works.

We were close. It’s called Corner Spot, a new bar and restaurant that has quietly opened over the last week or so.

Corner Spot is owned by Loyal Heights resident Kacy Fitch, who used to be the co-owner of the cocktail place Zig Zag Cafe near Pike Place Market. “I was tired of the commute,” he told us. “And I wanted something small that I can manage myself.”

Fitch says Corner Spot aims to be a friendly neighborhood bar “away from the craziness of Ballard Ave.” with quality food, drinks and service.

From chef Mario Pujals, the menu ranges from small plates (i.e. charcuterie) and soups and salads (i.e. balsamic caesar) to sandwiches (i.e. smoked turkey) and a couple heartier options (i.e. creole mac & cheese.) Pujals said more tapas-style food is coming.

Fitch is known for his craft cocktails, but he says he has “something for everyone” at the bar — including a good selection of wine (and even champagne) by the glass. The beer taps include local favorites Maritime, Reuben’s and Fremont.

Corner Spot is currently open from 3 to 10 p.m. (to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday), but it plans to add a lunch menu on Friday and Saturday soon. The bar is 21-and-over for now, but Fitch said he’s working on a city permit for a bar railing to make it kid friendly.

(Our thanks to Henry and Alex for the tip!)

Unique microhousing development coming to 15th Ave. in Crown Hill

A proposal to build a microhousing community at 8311 15th Ave NW — where the old Restaurante Michoacan was located — has been given conditional approval by the city (.pdf).

This is a four-story building with 78 “sleeping rooms” and five “congregate residences” with retail space on the ground floor.

“This project is part of our ongoing mission to rethink the possibilities for dense livable housing in our rapidly changing city,” explained architect David Neiman in a blog post about the project back in October 2016. “(It’s) a pursuit that has led us to a unique approach to micro-housing that emphasizes small affordable housing paired with generous common amenities arranged to foster social interaction among residents.”

Those small “sleeping rooms” include private bathrooms and a kitchenette, and “congregate residences” located on each floor — which Neiman called “pajama commons” — offer full kitchens, dining area and laundry. On the main floor, there’s a larger commons area with a lounge area and a patio. (Here’s the full design proposal in a large .pdf)

Similar to the upcoming apartment development a couple blocks to the north on 15th, this project will offer no vehicle parking. The city found that there’s adequate on-street parking to handle the additional vehicles for both developments.

Ballard McDonald’s plans to rebuild restaurant

McDonald’s has filed plans to rebuild its 36-year-old facility on Market St. from the ground up.

If the project is approved, the new McDonald’s will be slightly smaller, still feature a play place and will provide two drive-thru lanes instead of one — which will reduce those occasionally long drive-thru lines. The new facility will offer 41 parking spots instead of 49.

The details appeared in a land use filing (.pdf)

Motivated to bring back more customers, McDonald’s has been offering big incentives for franchises to upgrade and modernize, according to a WSJ story last year. Potential upgrades go beyond the building itself to self-order kiosks and table-locator technology, new employee uniforms, enhanced desert counters and more.

If for some reason a complete rebuild is not approved, McDonald’s plans to remodel the facility.

In either case, the work will likely close the restaurant for an extended period of time once the project is approved. No word on any timeline.

New Seasons sets opening date for May 9

New Seasons Market is set to open at 951 NW Ballard Way one month from today.

The 25,000 square foot facility will feature a full-service meat and seafood department, deli, local and organic produce, fresh sushi, made-to-order sandwiches, pre-packaged meal kits, floral department and a large variety of local beer, wine and spirits.

“We are excited to open our doors to the Ballard community,” said Kerri Hunsley, Ballard store manager. “We hope to become a favorite a gathering place for our new neighbors and friends and be an active part of the community. We’ve partnered with local nonprofits, sourced products from local vendors and have hired staff from local neighborhoods.”

When we peeked in the windows this weekend, we saw shelving, signage and cash registers in place (above). As we reported earlier, the mural along the back of the building is complete.

New Seasons says it’s been working with local producers and artisans, and the store will feature Parfait Ice Cream, & Tonic, Fidalgo Coffee, Iris & Poppy’s Kitchen and Fremont Brewing (which will offer an exclusively brewed Hazy India Pale Ale.)

“We’re honored to join the wonderful Ballard community and have spent time over the last year listening to understand the needs of our new neighbors, local vendors, producers and community partners,” said Kristi McFarland, Co-President and Chief People Officer. “It’s important that we reflect all the great ideas we heard from the residents into our Ballard store offerings.”

New Seasons will join Ballard Market, QFC, Safeway, Fred Meyer, Trader Joe’s and Amazon Fresh in the Ballard area — as well as the new PCC, currently under construction a short distance away at Ballard Blocks II.

In February Portland-based New Seasons announced the departure of its CEO and a “strategic shift” to invest more in core stores and communities. The company’s employees have been working toward unionizing and filed a labor complaint against the company in December.

By the way, there’s no word of what’s coming to the new office/retail space located directly across from the New Seasons parking lot. If you have any tips, please let us know.

(Full disclosure: Both New Seasons as well as the “Good Jobs Coalition” — which opposes New Seasons opening in the Central District — have been My Ballard advertisers)

Tickets go on sale for Ballard Jazz Festival at new Nordic Museum

After 10 years at the old Nordic Heritage Museum, the Ballard Jazz Festival’s main stage is moving to the new museum facility on Market St.

“The soaring concert hall with flawless acoustics will double audience capacity and elevate the listening experience for the foreseeable future,” explained an email from the festival.

Tickets are now on sale for the Friday, May 18th main stage concert featuring Clarence Penn & Penn Station along with the Oskar Stenmark Quartet. The Ballard Jazz Walk gets underway on Saturday, May 19th with an afternoon, all-ages show at Peddler Brewing Company, followed by many concerts throughout the Old Ballard area.

Lots more details on the Ballard Jazz Festival website.