WeWork to take 2 floors of new office building

We already know that Equal Exchange Coffee will be setting up shop in the new office building under construction at 15th and Market, and now there’s word that the flexible workspace company WeWork will be a tenant, too.

WeWork leases plug-and-play office space to individuals and companies alike, and they’ll be taking two floors of the new 5-story space — 1,500 desks in all, according to GeekWire.

GeekWire says WeWork is doubling its Seattle footprint in 2018.

Salt and Straw giving away free ice cream, to open in Ballard soon

Update: LOTS of people came for the free ice cream on Sunday afternoon.

The line stretched over a block, merging with the crowd from the Ballard Farmers Market.

Earlier:The Portland artisan ice cream company, Salt and Straw, is planning to open its first Seattle stores next month: one in Capitol Hill and another here in Ballard.

To drum up some excitement, they’re going to be giving away free ice cream cups this Sunday in front of their upcoming store at 5420 Ballard Ave. NW (across from La Carta de Oaxaca). The craziness will begin at noon and end when they run out of ice cream. (Yes, the Ballard Farmers Market will be in full swing nearby. Be prepared.)

They’ll be serving the flavors Double Fold Vanilla, Freckled Woodblock Chocolate and Roasted Strawberry Coconut (vegan).

Salt and Straw is the brainchild of Kim Malek and her cousin Tyler Malek (pictured above). It began in Portland with a bang, and they’ve expanded to LA, SF and San Diego. In summer of last year, they landed an investment from a noted New York restaurant group to help fuel their expansion.

“We’re about building strong local community – both in the neighborhoods where we do business and by purchasing as many local products as possible,” explains founder Kim Malek.

New fitness studio opening in Ballard

Updated: The first FIT36 franchise to be located in Seattle, FIT36 Ballard is holding its grand opening this Saturday morning after several weeks of getting up to speed.

As its name suggests, FIT36 is a 36-minute, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout. The Ballard studio, located at 5601 24th Ave. NW, is run by Alejandro and Madalyn Crisafi.

“Madalyn and I have always dreamed about becoming business owners,” said Alejandro Crisafi. “It was our desire to invest in a business model that helped others.”

This Saturday’s grand opening will feature three morning classes (schedule), and the studio is offering two weeks of complimentary classes from Jan. 13th to the 26th. For each new member sign-up during the next two weeks, FIT36 will donate $10 of food to the Ballard Food Bank.

The addition of FIT36 sets up a bit of fitness studio showdown: Fitness 19 is located across the street, at the opposite end of the same block.

One year after surviving a shooting, Le Merde owner re-opening in Ballard

If you’ve seen that pink photo of the white cat in the window at 2607 NW Market St. — next to the new Nordic Museum — that marks the spot of Le Merde, a Phinney Ridge shop that’s moving to Ballard and will re-open this weekend.

Owner Debi Boyette describes the shop as a “curated concept store” with vintage collections and works from indie designers and local artists.

“It’s pretty perfect because I live a few blocks away, so I will be closer to my friends and family,” she told My Ballard. “I’m feeling hopeful about 2018.”

That’s because 2017 was a tough year. Boyette was attending a concert at Crocodile Cafe in Belltown with her son last January when she was wounded in a drive-by shooting. Two others were shot, but fortunately her son escaped unharmed. She spent two weeks in the hospital.

“My recovery was hard,” she said. “I really couldn’t walk much, but I moved around in a wheelchair or a walker.” To complicate things further, she said she clashed with her landlords after an adjacent shop closed, leaving her bills to pay for both spaces.

“I don’t want to be fearful of getting back into life,” she told Vanguard Seattle two months after the shooting. “Life is so short, and there are so many things I want to do.”

Ballard is Boyette’s fresh start. She’s opening Le Merde this Saturday, and she’ll celebrate the grand re-opening on the 18th on Art Walk — one day before the first anniversary of the shooting.

Ownership of Honoré Artisan Bakery to change hands

According to Seattle Eater, the ownership of Ballard favorite Honoré Artisan Bakery (1413 NW 70th Street) is set to change hands this month.

New owner, Suzanne Rosellini, has confirmed that the purchase is likely to go through tomorrow, June 17, after which she plans to close for a week and reopen on June 25.


Seattle Eater reports that originally, Rosellini planned to open an establishment focused soley on her specialty cakes that she currently makes in her business, Rosellini Sweets.

However, once the opportunity came to purchase Honoré, Rosselini tells Seattle Eater, she shifted her focus. Rossellini is now training with current Honoré owner Franz Gilbertson and plans to retain his staff.

In addition to the regular Honoré favorites, locals should expect the addition of Rosselini’s cakes and possibly other pastries when the establishment reopens under the new ownership. According to Seattle Eater, the goal is for the new items to “coexist harmoniously” with the croissants, quiches, kouign amanns, breads, and other delicacies that bring the crowds to Honoré.

“I like how Franz runs his bakery, I like his baked goods,” Rosellini told Seattle Eater. “I think it’ll be a smooth transition. Hopefully it won’t be too traumatizing for anyone.”

Rosellini is in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign to raise $25,000, which will go towards the essentials of running the bakery for the first few months including funds for rent, payroll, inventory, and more.

“This happened quite a bit faster than I thought it would, which is why I’m behind on everything,” Rosellini told Seattle Eater.

The Kickstarter campaign has various rewards for contributions including cookies, parties and tours of the facility. As of today, Rosellini has raised $15,480 with 11 days remaining on the campaign.

“I know there’s a lot of talk, regulars are scared about what’s going to happen, but I think it’s going to be a nice transition and they’re going to be happy it’s staying in the hands of a neighbor,” Rossellini, a Ballard resident, told Seattle Eater. “It’ll be Honoré and then some.”

Aysu Skincare now open on Ballard Ave

skin care

Aysu Skincare is now open at 5227 Ballard Ave NW#3 (right above Rudy’s Barbershop).

The new spot is owned by Licensed Esthetician Josie Baltan who graduated from the Euro Institute of Skincare in 2015.

“My objective with every treatment is to create a relaxing environment that is focused on meeting the needs of my clientele, so they may leave with a better sense of confidence and rejuvenation,” says Baltan.

Aysu Skincare is offering a number of treatements including facials, back facials, sugaring, brow waxing and tinting.

Baltan is proud to offer Sugar of the Nile, Dr. Spiller, DermaSource Clinicals, and Vera Botania product lines. DermaSource and Vera Botania (organic all natural line) are developed here in Western Washington.

“I love my job, and feel blessed that I am able to do something that I enjoy, while helping people feel good about themselves,” says Baltan.

Call (510) 717-1759 to find out more or make an appointment.

Tumble Swede Nordic restaurant to ‘pop up’ for Syttende Mai

In honor of Syttende Mai, the Tumble Swede Nordic pop-up restaurant will be happening this weekend in Ballard. The restaurant will feature a Norwegian-inspired menu that will serve as “a tribute to the late spring flavors of forest and field in the Pacific Northwest and will feature reimagined Scandinavian classics for lunch with more modern fare for dinner.” They tell us they’ll also have a “super fun and totally traditional” kids’ meal.


Wild herring (Photo from Tumble Swede’s Facebook page)


“This isn’t your grandmother’s cliché 1950’s food, and we don’t serve meatballs. It’s fresh, vibrant, modern, uniquely American, clearly Scandinavian and unmistakably Northwest,” Tumble Swede writes.

Tumble Swede is a creation from Scandinavian Distillery owner Lexi (Old Ballard Liquor Co.), and is, “a celebration of the Scandinavian culinary heritage of the Pacific Northwest.”  The restaurant will be found on Saturday and Sunday (May 16-17) at Demo Restaurant (5410 14th Ave NW). Learn more about their menu and whereabouts on their Facebook page or website.


Our/Seattle Vodka distillery set to open on Market St this Saturday


The second Our/Vodka distillery in the country will open this Saturday, April 18, in our neighborhood at 1836 NW Market St.

The My Ballard team reported about the initial plans when they were in the works last March.

The distillery is the new venture of Our/Vodka (a Pernod Ricard company) and local entrepreneurs, Nin Truong, Christa Thomas and Stephen Pleadwell.

Our/Seattle is the third distillery to open in the Our/Vodka family that has opened establishments so far in Berlin and Detroit. The next Our/Vodka distilleries are planned for London, Amsterdam, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Houston.

According to the Our/Vodka team, the local partners at each distillery follow the same global recipe, but each location partly distills, blends and bottles the vodka using local ingredients. According to a report by Seattle Eater, Our/Seattle vodka uses Idaho-grown winter wheat and purified Seattle water.

Seattle Eater confirmed that the Our/Seattle local partners were keen to open the distillery in our neighborhood.

“We were looking for a centrally located space in a vibrant neighborhood, but there were not a lot of options that met the zoning requirements for a micro-distillery. The old Ballard Camera building had been sitting empty for several years. It met all of our needs and we really wanted to preserve this corner landmark in Ballard,” Truong and Pleadwell told Seattle Eater.

Once up and running, the distillery will comprise of a tasting room and a retail space where, in addition to being open to the public, the team will also run workshops and community events.

Tomorrow’s opening event will include tastings of Our/Seattle vodka, a walking tour of Old Ballard organized by local nonprofit Feet First, and musicby DJ Greasy of DUG.

After the official opening Our/Seattle will be open Wednesday through Saturday from noon – 6 p.m. and Sundays from noon until 4 p.m.

Click here to learn about the Our/Seattle distillery.

Photo courtesy of Our/Seattle.

The Amber Den opens next month

Just a block off Market Street, The Amber Den will open next month.

“The Amber Den started with a simple concept: great wine, craft beer and artisanal food at prices anyone can afford, offered in a warm, welcoming environment,” the owner Nick Simonton writes in a release. The casual bar will have a high-top table in the ground floor ‘cove,’ easy chairs in the reading nook and a dining table on the mezzanine.

“My goal is to provide a space where everyone feels comfortable,” Simonton says, “whether you’re in jeans and a T‐shirt or headed home after work. I want everyone to feel free to be themselves and to enjoy the most amazing beer and wine the Northwest has to offer.”

Chef Ryan Boehler is putting together an evening menu with fresh, local and seasonal bites. They will serve artisan meats and cheeses and Mediterranean-influenced small plates. A future lunch menu is also in the works which will feature panini sandwiches, homemade soups and salads.

The Amber Den is located at the corner of 17th Ave NW and NW 56th Street (1556 NW 56th Street), the former location of Nervous Nellie’s. Follow The Amber Den on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest on their opening.

Bitterroot BBQ plans to open next week

For more than six months Grant and Hannah Carter have been building out the little space at the corner of Ballard Ave NW and NW Vernon. Their work is almost complete and Bitterroot BBQ will soon be open.

As part of the remodel, they gutted the old ACME Rubber Stamp space (this is what the building looked like before) and the building owner did seismic retrofitting. The two literally started from scratch with a blank canvas.

Their designer, Ryan Brooke Thomas, worked with Northwest Timbers in Port Townsend to get reclaimed wood for the interior. The wood comes from old barns that are torn down. The walls are exposed brick, bringing great character to the space.

The front will be all-ages dining room with a row of tables down one side and two larger tables on the other that can be joined for larger parties.

Down the hallway is the bar, which has a back entrance from the parking lot. There is dining in the bar as well as a TV that will be turned on during sporting events.

“We’re super nerdy about our bar and our ice. We’re doing all-American beer, all-American whiskeys or bourbons. That’s kind of our main focus with beverage,” Hannah says as she shows off the ice cube maker they splurged on for the cool ice cubes. “We’re taking our whiskey seriously. We think it pairs really well, obviously, with the Americana BBQ theme.”

A look at their custom-built smoker

The menu includes “all the classic barbecue favorites,” Hannah says. This includes pulled pork, pulled chicken, whole roasted and smoked chickens. As well as pork ribs, beef spare ribs and traditional sides, which will rotate with the seasons. Sandwiches will run $7 to $10, entrees will be $13 to $17. The only thing priced over the $20 mark will be a full rack of ribs.

The two hope to open early next week, but it all depends on the final inspections. Once open the hours will be 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. with late-night dining until about 1 a.m. They won’t take reservations except for large groups. “We’ll never close early,” Grant promises.