New restaurant from Lark chef opening soon

In March we discovered Lark chef Mitch Mayers was planning to open a new restaurant in the Kickin’ Boot spot in Old Ballard.

Now we know the name, Sawyer, and a few more details, thanks to Mayers’ interview with Eater.

His approach will be high-quality, creative fine dining that’s “a bit more approachable,” Mayers explained. Like Oxtail nachos with soft-scrambled eggs, cotija cheese, and tomato ragu — or sweetbreads with a pork blood General Tso sauce and crispy fried rice, Eater explains. He’s also a big fan of rotisserie chicken with eight spits in the kitchen.

The restaurant, bar and patio is a big space, seating up to 120 people.

Sawyer’s projected open date is July 25th.

(Photo of the ongoing construction work from Sawyer on Instagram)

New restaurant coming to Sunset Hill

The eagle-eyed members of the My Ballard Facebook Group saw that the “for lease” sign has disappeared from the empty space at the corner of 32nd Ave. NW and NW 65th St.

A little investigation later, they found a new restaurant planned for the Sunset Hill spot. It’s called Samara, “a wood-fueled neighborhood bistro,” according to a calendar post on Addo Ballard.

That’s because Addo Ballard — Eric Rivera’s restaurant incubator that’s running (and expanding) at the Royal Drummer — is hosting Samara chef Eric Anderson on June 21st to try out some of the upcoming menu items.

“Get your first taste now, before this future Ballard restaurant gets it’s home just down the street,” explains the Addo listing, which says Samara will open in “early November.” The cost for the Addo event is $50 per person.

So there you go. By the way, the My Ballard Group has been growing like wildfire lately, now approaching 5,000 members.

(Archive photo from last year.)

Crown Hill Broiler quietly opens on 15th Ave.

Back in January, the Original Pancake House along 15th Ave. NW just north of NW 80th St. closed its doors for good. In the last couple weeks, the Crown Hill Broiler quietly opened in its place.

The new kid-friendly restaurant and bar is starting out with burgers — 12 different options — along with sandwiches and salads for its soft opening. Early reviews in the My Ballard Facebook Group and Yelp are positive with special raves for the onion rings.

Here’s a look at the burger side of the menu.

The interior was designed by Sue Gentry Interior Design. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Briefs: Home prices, Addo, Mae Ploy, Yak’s, secret map, bikesharing and more

A few quick stories from around the neighborhood…

SOARING HOME PRICES: The median home price in the greater Ballard area has risen 9.9% in the last year to $851,500, reports the Seattle Times. For comparison, the Seattle-wide median price is $830,000. In the Queen Anne-Magnolia area, the number is an astonishing $1,135,500, which is up 26.2% this year alone. Just incredible.

ADDO MOVES IN: Chef Eric Rivera’s pop up project Addo at Royal Drummer is becoming permanent. Seattle Mag reports that the Royal Drummer folks will still provide the coffee, and Addo will serve up breakfast, lunch and happy hour beginning next week. Then starting next month, they’ll add brunch and dinner, too.

MAE PLOY IS BACK: Mae Ploy Thai Cuisine at 15th Ave NW and NW 65th St. has re-opened nearly three months after a driver rolled a car into the front of the restaurant. “It more than exhausted their insurance,” said Ted in the My Ballard Facebook group. “Let’s support ’em!”

YAK’S TERIYAKI: The Fremont fixture Yak’s has shut down, and Palmi Korean Cuisine & Teriyaki has moved in the corner spot on Fremont Ave. to take its place. “You’ll find a variety of Korean BBQ dishes, hearty spices in soups and stews, and classic Teriyaki favorites,” explains the website.

SECRET SOVIET MAP: The Seattle Times has a great piece about a secret Soviet Union map of Seattle from 1976. At the end of 24th Ave. NW at Salmon Bay, the map shows the label, “Explosion mechanisms and radio electronic devices.” And it turns out, Honeywell Marine Systems Division was operating there at the time — with high security — possibly on torpedo homing systems.

BIKESHARE REPORT: Today the city council heard a preliminary report on bikeshare use in Seattle. As you might imagine, Ballard over-indexed in use compared to most neighborhoods. One tidbit: 70% of bikes were parked correctly, 26% were partially blocking a walkway and 4% were fully blocking a path. It’s still too early for stats on the new bikeshare parking spots.

BHS ON SEATTLE CHANNEL: Nancy Guppy and her Seattle Channel show, Art Zone featured talented Ballard High School choir teacher Courtney Rowley. You can watch it here.

By the way, the Ballard community calendar is PACKED with summer events in our area, and you can submit your own events, too.

‘Super Bueno’ restaurant opens in Fremont

Ethan Stowell’s latest creation is not just bueno, it’s Super Bueno — a new Mexican restaurant that just opened this week at 3627 Stone Way N. in Fremont.

Super Bueno wants the best of both worlds: a family-friendly restaurant that also attracts the 20-something crowd. The lower level features a full bar with 65 tequilas and mezcals, and the upper level has a play area for kids. There are also two large heated patios right on Stone Way, and a happy hour that runs from 4-6 p.m. every day.

It’s also a cafe that serves espresso, breakfast burritos and sandwiches during the day. Then a restaurant that offers a full range of tacos, nachos, salads and flank steak in the evening.

“We’re not trying to be crazy serious about it,” Ethan Stowell told Seattle Met. “We expect to serve a lot of cheese quesadillas.”

The cafe is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day, and the restaurant opens at 11 a.m. on weekends and 4 p.m. on weekdays.

Lockspot Cafe temporarily closed after reports of norovirus outbreak

The King County Health Department is investigating an outbreak of norovirus associated with four restaurants, including the Lockspot Cafe in Ballard.

“Since May 16, Public Health has learned of 3 people from two separate meal parties who became ill after consuming food and beverage from Lockspot Cafe between May 12–13, 2018,” the health department said. “Environmental Health investigators visited and closed the restaurant on May 17. At this point, investigators have not identified any risk factors that are known to contribute to the spread of norovirus.”

The other restaurants are Anthony’s Homeport in Des Moines, Italianissimo Ristorante in Woodinville and Okinawa Teriyaki in downtown Seattle.

Lockspot Cafe is required to thoroughly clean the premises. When we called on Saturday, the restaurant said it hopes to reopen in the next few days.

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!)

‘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!)

Briefs: Deadliest Catch, Trailbend, Biscuit, Larsen’s, O’Brien, NW Peaks

A few quick Ballard stories from our inbox and around the web…

DEADLIEST CATCH: The word in the My Ballard Facebook Group is the Deadliest Catch folks are filming today (Wednesday) inside The Market Arms, which has been closed for the event the last few days. “They are filming ‘The Bait’ to celebrate Deadliest Catch’s 200th episode,” Erin said. A new season of Deadliest Catch kicks off on April 10th.

TRAILBEND TAPROOM: We first reported on Trailbend Taproom back in January. Now after a few weeks of soft-launching (and working with the city to get the last permits lined up), the restaurant and its 42 taps are now officially open at 1118 NW 50th St.

SEATTLE BISCUIT COMPANY: Back in February, we told you about Seattle Biscuit Company’s plans to open a restaurant without wheels in Frelard. Now the restaurant is open for business, and it landed some airtime in KING 5’s Evening Magazine.

LARSEN’S BAKERY: We missed this great profile of Larsen’s Bakery in the Seattle Times a couple weeks ago: “Larsen’s Danish Bakery is still going after almost half a century.” Quick factoid: Larsen’s makes 80,000 kringle every year.

O’BRIEN VISIT: Last weekend the mayor dropped by Ballard for a community meeting, and now Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien is on the agenda at the upcoming Ballard District Council meeting on April 11th, 7 p.m. at Merrill Gardens (5601 24th Ave NW). Details here.

NW PEAKS – The NW Peaks brewery in Ballard is reopening tomorrow afternoon (Thursday) with a newly refurbished patio and porch.

Have news? Email us at or submit an event to the Ballard calendar.

Freya Cafe to serve Scandinavian cuisine inside new Nordic Museum

For both museum visitors and locals alike, Freya Cafe will open this May inside the new Nordic Museum on the Market St. side. The space (above) is still under construction.

Prepared by City Catering, the menu spans several Scandinavian countries from a Swedish-inspired “personal smörgåsbord” to Danish smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches) and “The Hund” and “Great Dane” sausage dogs. The cafe will also offer a selection of aquavit, reports Seattle Weekly.

These are mostly small, shareable plates with prices in the $8-12 range.

Together with the upcoming opening of the Skål Beer Hall on Ballard Ave., it seems Ballard is getting a bit of a re-infusion of Scandinavian cuisine and beverages.

When Freya opens, its hours will be Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (open until 8 p.m. Thursdays). The Nordic Museum’s grand opening is slated for May 5th.

(Photo by Nordic Museum)