‘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 tips@myballard.com 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)

Kickin’ Boot space gets a new look as new restaurant prepares to open

We reported earlier this month that Lark chef Mitch Mayers is planning to open a new restaurant in the old Kickin’ Boot location on 22nd Ave. NW and Shilshole.

A My Ballard reader sent us this photo of the Kickin’ Boot sign — complete with the boot — being removed this morning. The new restaurant’s name has yet to be released.

A few days ago, Seattle Met gathered a few more details on the new spot. Mayers is planning dishes like oxtail nachos, savory parmesan churros and a Reuben tartine. He’s moving the bar and adding 115 seats in all — a very large restaurant by Ballard standards.

Mayers is aiming for a July launch.

Mike’s Chili to appear on the Travel Channel

One of Ballard’s longest-running institutions, Mike’s Chili Parlor will be featured on the Travel Channel’s Food Paradise this Sunday.

Four generations of the Semandiris family have been operating Mike’s Chili since it opened out of a cart in 1922 to serve workers along the Ship Canal. The restaurant moved to its current location on NW Ballard Way near the Ballard Bridge in 1939.

“This is a great opportunity to share our history and passion with America,” said Mike Semandiris, great grandson of the original Mike who started it all. Many of Mike Chili’s regulars attended the Travel Channel shoot, which Mike said was a “fun experience for everyone involved.”

Phil Semandaris, the 3rd generation owner of Mike’s Chili, said they enjoyed working with the Travel Channel crew. “They are all a part of the Chili family now,” he said.

This episode of Food Paradise, “Bodacious Bowls,” will air on Sunday at 6 p.m. our time, and Mike’s Chili Parlor will be holding a viewing party.

Duke’s files application for Shilshole restaurant

Last May Duke’s Chowder House and the Port of Seattle announced the plan to open a new restaurant at Shilshole Bay Marina. Duke’s was awarded a 20-year lease to build the restaurant and an outdoor seating area overlooking the marina.

Today Duke’s filed the official land use application to get started on the project.

The location of the planned 3-story building is the grassy area in the central plaza area, just to the north of the Leif Erikson statue and south of the marina building (click for larger):

While the project won’t displace any parking spots, the restaurant’s construction — combined with the ongoing upgrade of the marina’s restrooms and a paving project — will disrupt parking at the marina. Restaurant construction is expected to begin around the middle of this year with the Duke’s grand opening slated for mid-2019.

Lark chef to open restaurant in Old Ballard

Back in November, Kickin’ Boot shut its doors in Old Ballard after a five-year run. In late December, Locust Cider opened in the same building on 22nd Ave. NW and Shilshole, but the sprawling restaurant space (above) was still available.

Thanks to a liquor license application, we now know that award-winning chef Mitch Mayers is planning to open a restaurant there. For the last four years, he’s been the chef de cuisine at Lark, and he was the “Prince of Porc” Winner of Cochon 555 Seattle last year.

“Yes, I’m getting read to open a restaurant in the old Kickin Boot location,” he told My Ballard when we asked about his plans. “We will have more details to share in the next month.”

(Photos from inside Kickin’ Boot when it opened.)

It looks like Jones Brothers has closed

When restaurants open, they send us press releases galore. But when they close, they often disappear quietly into the night.

Back in January, the My Ballard Facebook group noticed an online listing (.pdf) to sell the Jones Brothers restaurant — the restaurant itself, not the building — located at 5449 Ballard Ave. NW (in the old Balmar space.) We emailed the restaurant to see what was up, but heard no response.

Now Yelp reviewers were first to notice that Jones Brothers has apparently closed. Eater, too. We called Jones Brothers, but it appears the number is disconnected. Their website, Facebook and Instagram make no mention that the restaurant is closed. And it appears it’s no longer for sale.

All this adds up to the likely scenario that someone has bought the restaurant, and either it will reopen as itself — or as another restaurant — in the coming weeks.

While it was open — for about a year — Jones Brothers had positive reviews, 3.5 stars on Yelp and 4.5 stars on My Ballard’s restaurant page.

Frankie & Jo’s opening on Friday

Capitol Hill’s popular vegan ice cream shop Frankie & Jo’s is opening its Ballard location this Friday, March 2nd, just in time for spring.

The small shop is located right next door to Rosellini’s along NW 70th St. near 14th Ave., joining other Ballard hot spots Delancey, Essex, Rosellini’s and Brunswick & Hunt.

“Frankie & Jo’s Ballard is on one of our favorite streets in the city! It is also the street where owners Kari Brunson and Autumn Martin first met,” their website explains. “This shop will have all of your favorite flavors from Capitol Hill, a secret succulent garden and lots more pints to take to go.”

Autumn is the founder of another Ballard establishment, Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery on Ballard Ave., which happens to be across the street from the new ice cream shop, Salt & Straw.

Frankie & Jo’s makes everything from scratch (this old Kickstarter video is a great introduction), and unlike other ice cream shops, their small-batch, plant-based ice cream does not contain milk, egg or gum stabilizers. They use gluten-free, vegan ingredients like chewy brownie chunks, tahini fudge, fluffy cakes with ganache, shortbread cookies and activated charcoal caramel.

Flavors include Salty Caramel Ash, Brown Sugar Vanilla, Jamoca Chaga Fudge, Chocolate Date and Beet Strawberry Rose sorbet, to name a few.

The waffle cones are made from scratch using maple syrup, oat flour and brown sugar.

It’s interesting to note this narrow stretch of 70th St. has become a foodie destination, especially with the addition of Frankie & Jo’s — which often attracts lines in Capitol Hill.

Starting Friday, Frankie & Jo’s will be open 7 days a week from noon-11 p.m.

Chef Eric Rivera opening Ballard pop-up space

Chef and entrepreneur Eric Rivera loves to experiment with food, often in the form of pop-up events. His Addo project is already holding events on Capitol Hill, and now Rivera has secured a Ballard location: the Royal Drummer Cafe on 24th Ave NW near 65th St.

While the cafe operates during the day, Addo will take over on selected nights beginning next month, which you can schedule in advance along with his Capitol Hill location right here.

“A whole new set of experiences [are] on the way like movie nights, beer tastings, cooking classes, wine tastings, Richard’s aplenty, new chefs in residence, Leconchito nights with delivery and pick up options, and so much more!!!” he wrote on Instagram.

He told Eater that Addo is more like an “incubator” than a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

“Our dinners range in style from fast food style burger pop-ups to 15 course tasting menus,” explains Rivera on his website. “Our goal is to be accessible at most price points and give our guests unique and fun ways to dine.”