Briefs: Esters, Roux, Brewery District, RapidRide, Solstice poster and more

Lots of quick updates from Ballard and Fremont…

ESTERS – The owners of Piccolo in Maple Leaf, which shut down last year, will open Esters Enoteca soon in the old Homegrown spot at 3416 Fremont Ave. N. “Grab a quick panini to go or stay and enjoy a glass of wine, local beer or one of our house-made sodas,” reads the sign on the door.

RESTAURANT ROUX – Speaking of Fremont Ave. spots, Restaurant Roux will close on February 18th. “After some soul-searching, we decided to accept an offer to sell Restaurant Roux,” explained owner Matthew Lewis. (No word on the identity of the incoming restaurant.) For fans of Lewis’ food truck, Where Ya At Matt, don’t worry: it’s not going away.

LUCKY ENVELOPE – The Ballard brewery is launching five specialty beers for its Chinese New Year celebration on Feb. 16th and 17th. “Last year’s celebration was such a great success that we decided to extend the event to two days this year,” said Raymond Kwan, co-founder of Lucky Envelope. The beers include Buddha’s Hand Citron IPA and Lychee Sour.

BREWERY DISTRICT? – What do you think about the growing use of “Brewery District” to describe Ballard’s industrial neighborhood? That question is from FreeBallard in the forum, which is now in working order — so head on over and chime in. (To create your own username and avatar — which also displays in comments — you can register quickly here. Once you’ve created your account, click your profile to upload an avatar.)

RAPIDRIDE TO UW?Over at the Urbanist, Doug Trumm wonders why there isn’t a RapidRide route that connects Ballard and UW along the water. He breaks down the idea in maps, and he adds, “I’m just a guy who wants his commute to the UW in the morning to be more dependable.”

SOUND TRANSIT – The Ballard-West Seattle light rail advisory group met for the first time on Thursday night, and the West Seattle Blog was there.

SOLSTICE POSTER – For those designers and artists out there, the organizers of the Fremont Solstice Parade are looking for proposals to design this year’s parade poster. If you win, you get $250 bucks and lots of bragging rights. Proposals are due March 19th.

FISHING VESSELS – A bill by Rep. Gael Tarleton (D-Ballard) that provides “temporary incentives to support the rebuild and replacement of aging fishing vessels” has won state House approval. “This bill gives badly-needed support to one of our most prosperous industries, while also accelerating our transition to a clean-energy future,” Tarleton said. The bill now moves to the Senate.

FISHERMEN’S TERMINAL – The Port of Seattle announced this week that Delmas Whittaker is taking over daily operations at Fishermen’s Terminal. He replaces Kenny Lyles, who was recently promoted to director of Fishing and Commercial Operations, a department that combines Fishermen’s Terminal and Terminal 91.

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Briefs: New Nordic, Hullabaloo, Hale’s Ales, Stoup, Sloths, Goodwill and more

A few quick blurbs from around the Ballard area…

NEW NORDIC: The Nordic Museum’s address has officially switched to the new location, and the staff moved into the new digs on Friday (photo above from @NordicMuseum). The building opens to the public on May 5th.

HULLABALOO – The Leif Erikson Lodge will host “the biggest Ballardest clearance sale under one roof” this Friday evening and Saturday morning. “Find treasures galore at heavily discounted prices” and support local shops, explains the event listing here.

BURGLAR STEALS CAMERA: Early in the morning of Jan. 30th in the 1400 block of NW 63rd St., police say a man gained access to a locked condo building, tore the surveillance camera off the wall and walked away with it. Nothing else was reported stolen. Police are examining the video.

CRIME CHECKS: We spoke with SPD’s Mark Jamieson to check on a few ongoing cases. He said the investigation into the assault at Salmon Bay Park is still active, but he has nothing new to share. He said there’s no new information on the search for the Ballard dumpster fires suspect — or the search for Chris Burrus, suspected of setting a man on fire last November.

HALE’S ALES: As we reported in December, 34-year-old Hale’s Ales is promising big changes this year to compete with newer breweries. “We’re rolling out new packaging. The website is getting an overhaul. We’re brewing new beers. The taproom is getting a makeover,” explained Mike Hale in an email this week. “We’re working on becoming the most happening spot in Fremont, featuring events and musicians in our pub on a weekly basis.”

MOTHER OF EXILES: As part of the “Beer Trumps Hate” campaign initiated by Rooftop Brewing following the 2017 election, Stoup Brewing has brewed Mother of Exiles IPA. Proceeds from the sale of this beer will benefit The Refugee Women’s Alliance (REWA) during the month of February. Stoup will host an event tomorrow (Tuesday) evening.

SLOTHS: Those Woodland Park Zoo sloth cubs have opened their eyes, and there’s video.

HOLMAN PEDESTRIAN OVERPASS: The city has finished its design work for the new crosswalk on Holman Road at 13th Avenue NW, near Dick’s Drive-In, that will keep the current pedestrian overpass instead of tearing it down. PhinneyWood has the details.

TRANSFER STATION: In partnership with Goodwill, the North Transfer station in Fremont (1350 N 34th St.) has opened a “reuse donation center” — a drop-off location for reusable household goods and electronics. It’s also opened a “community education room” with interactive exhibits. Seattle Public Utilities will be holding an open house there on Saturday between 10 a.m. and noon.

We have a lot more community events on the Ballard calendar — and there’s always something going on in the My Ballard Facebook group, which recently surpassed 2,500 members.

Trailbend Taproom to open in the middle of Ballard brewery country

The sign has gone up over the Trailbend Taproom, a new restaurant and bar from the owners of The Dray and The Yard.

Located deep in Ballard’s brewery district at 1118 N.W. 50th St., Trailbend is slated to open in March. With 42 taps and a wood-fired oven, the new restaurant and bar aims to capitalize on the growing brewery crowd in the area.

The taproom is the brainchild of Jamie Butler, Travis Eaton and Andy Walls, the founders of The Dray in Ballard and The Yard in Greenwood. The West Woodland location will be the most ambitious of the three.

“We’ve been trying to find a location there for a while,” said Butler, who says his Ballard home is “triangulated” between the three locations. “The food trucks are great, but some people prefer a sit-down restaurant, and the neighborhood is lacking that.”

The taproom takes up the first floor of The Klotski, a new three-story office development. With tall ceilings, concrete floors and custom woodwork and metal, Trailbend looks like a larger Colorado version of The Dray. Pending city approval, they also plan to open an outside patio.

The heart of Trailbend is the 42 taps, stretching 20 feet down the bar. On the wall, a giant sign with movable wooden letters details what’s available at a given moment, “inspired in part by an old train station sign,” Butler says.

The taps will feature “a good representation” of beer from the breweries next door. In fact, Butler says he’s working with Stoup Brewing to create “Stoup Trailbend IPA,” a co-branded beer for the opening. We also spotted Reuben’s, Populuxe and Fremont on the sign. Also on tap: cider, ginger beer, wine, Stumptown cold brew and a cocktail or two. “There will be a little bit of everything for everyone on tap,” he said.

As far as food, Trailbend is designed around its Wood Stone Oven — a popular oven created by a Bellingham company — that will create wood-fired pizza. They’ll also serve entrees, sandwiches and salads to attract folks in the neighborhood, too.

“There are a lot of homes around there,” he said while we talked at The Dray, a few blocks away. “We wanted to create a place that’s good for neighborhood.”

We’ll keep you updated as Trailbend gets closer to launch.

(Bottom two photos courtesy of @trailbendtaproom on Instagram)

Fremont Brewing to debut geeky beer

It’s fun to watch our local breweries spin up new beers for any occasion. For instance, Fremont Brewing just announced they’re bringing back the “Official Beer of Emerald City Comic Con,” designed for the geekiest drinkers out there.

Called Dark Heron, it’s described as a “loud, expressive IPA” that “stands as a beacon of light and justice.” The beer features artwork created by Seattle artist Jeffrey Veregge.

And yes, it is the official beer of the Emerald City Comic Con (March 1-4), complete with a joint press release with ReedPOP, the organizer of the event. This the third year of the partnership.

Fremont will unveil the beer at its beer garden on February 1.

Last month Reuben’s Brews brought back its Crush the Dark Side beer — complete with Yoda in the artwork — timed to the release of the latest Star Wars movie.

Hale’s Ales closes pub, to re-open as a taproom

Hale’s long-running pub — a restaurant serving hamburgers, pizzas and sandwiches — has closed, and it will turn into a taproom serving a shortened menu in the new year.

The announcement was posted on Hale’s door. “Keep your eyes open for more information on our new hours and a new concept as we bring in the new year,” it explains.

Besides Hale’s beer and some guest taps, the taproom will serve chili, deli sandwiches and mac and cheese, according to Hale’s website.

A lot has changed since Hale’s opened in 1983, billed as the “longest-running, continually-owned brewery of any size in the Pacific Northwest.” Breweries of all shapes and sizes have popped up around Ballard and Fremont, attracting crowds with new brews, food trucks and social marketing.

Meanwhile, Hale’s Palladium remains a popular event space. Tonight (New Years Eve) it will host the Moisture Festival New Year’s Eve Extravaganza. Details here.

Ballard beer and chocolate for a good cause

If winter is giving you the urge to drink Ballard beer and eat tasty treats from Seattle’s own Soulever Chocolates, you’re in luck.

Maritime’s Jolly Roger Taproom is hosting a benefit dinner this Saturday evening to support REST, a non-profit that helps people exploited by the sex trade in Seattle and the greater King County area.

The dinner will start with a special chocolate amuse bouche, followed by four chocolate-infused courses, each paired with a special Jolly Roger beer. Tickets are $48 each, and $5 goes directly to REST programs. Maritime will also donate $1 from each pint sold on Saturday.

Since the dinners are individually prepared, reservations are recommended: call (206)782-6181 to schedule for Saturday night between 6-9 p.m.

‘Hop Idol’ contest is back at Reuben’s Brews

Are you brewing in your garage? Have dreams of distributing your own beer?

Reuben’s Brews is bringing back its “Hop Idol” contest for a second year. Jonathan Cooper won the first annual contest, and Reuben’s brewed a 30 barrel batch of his IPA to serve in the Ballard taproom and distribute in draft and bottles throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Like last year, this year’s winner will be entered in the Pro-Am category at the Great American Beer Festival. Just make sure you’re entering a “hop-forward” brew.

Here are the rules. You have time to perfect your creation — the entry deadline is February 12th.

Lagunitas Brewery and Tasting Room now open in Ballard

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According to Eater Seattle, Lagunitas Brewery and Tasting Room is now open in the former Hilliard’s Beer space at 1550 49th St NW.

This location is the second of this type of satellite tasting room for Lagunitas, which recently opened another small Taproom and Beer Sanctuary at a former brewpub in Charleston.

News was first announced in September that Lagunitas had acquired the warehouse space after Odin Brewing purchased the property in June.

In terms of what is on the menu, locals will usually be able to get the full selection of Lagunitas beers on draft. Small-batch experimental beers will be brewed on site at the Seattle facility.

Locals will notice changes to the venue since Hilliard’s left. The space has a new paint job and includes an island bar.

At the moment, the brewery is limited to guests 21+ until the kitchen opens and starts serving food in the second quarter of 2017.
The company is also developing a large area in the back of the brewery to serve as free event space for nonprofit groups.

The new watering hole will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Lucky Envelope Brewing to open in Ballard


Ballard is set to welcome its newest brewery just in time for Seattle Beer Week. Lucky Envelope Brewing (907 NW 50th St) is set to officially open this Thursday, May 7, at 3 p.m.

The neighborhood’s newest brewery is the venture of Brewmaster Barry Chan and Director of Operations Raymond Kwan (pictured). Both are beer enthusiasts and have a ton of experience in their own right.

“What began as an occasional weekend activity evolved into an obsession. When I wasn’t brewing I found myself studying the chemical and biological processes involved in producing beer,” says Chan.

The brewery’s name takes after the the Chinese tradition of giving red envelopes with money to celebrate Chinese New Year and major holidays.

Lucky Envelope Brewing is set to feature a regular brew rotation packed with traditional German-style beers including Munich Helles and Schwarzbier lagers. The brewery will also feature Asian-inspired beers including the Belgian Style Tripel that is infused with Thai ingredients.

At the grand opening event, attendees will have the chance to sample six beers on tap which will include an IPA, Fog Dart Pale Ale, Seattle Helles, Thaiger Mom Trippel, British Stout, and a Cherry Stout.

The Lucky Envelope Brewing tasting room will be both kid and dog friendly, will feature partnerships with local food trucks and also boasts a bike rack outside the front door.

“Our tasting room will be family friendly and dogs will also be allowed as long as they are well behaved and play nice with other customers and dogs,” says Kwan.

Click here to find out more about Ballard’s newest brewery.

Photo courtesy of Lucky Envelope Brewing. 

Hilliard’s Chrome Satan release party set for Friday

hiLocal favorite Hilliard’s Brewing (1550 NW 49th St) is set to release their latest seasonal canned brew “Chrome Satan” this Friday, May 9, from 7 p.m. in their taproom.

The brew has been on tap for quite a while and now the folks at Hilliard’s are ready for locals to sample it on the go.

The name Chrome Satan comes from anagram and it is light copper in color. The brew contains a mix of Crystal Specialty malt, Golding hops and Czech Pilsner yeast and is 5.7% ABV.

All are welcome to celebrate at the release part where Plum Bistro will be providing the seitan.

Click here to check out the Facebook event page.