Tom Douglas eyeing Ballard

We received an email from Caryn, the owner of Cookies, who says renowned Seattle chef Tom Douglas is looking at opening a restaurant in Ballard.

She says Douglas is looking at the old Via Verde location on Market St. “They are in talks for the space but have not yet come up with a style for the place yet,” says the shop owner. “I have suggested that they do a diner style and their thoughts are possibly for a family style restaurant that you could order an entree, vegetable, etc., just like sitting down at your own dinner table.” We confirmed with Tom Douglas’ marketing department that he is indeed looking at Ballard. We’re told that nothing is signed and things could still fall through. Tom Douglas currently owns Lola, Palace Kitchen, Dahlia Lounge, Dahlia Bakery, Etta’s and his newest spot, Serious Pie. Via Verde was evicted in July after being open a year.

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59 thoughts to “Tom Douglas eyeing Ballard”

  1. Cool that Douglas is eyeing Ballard … Via Verde's location kinda sucks though. Even though it's on Market, very little parking in immediate area & it's not the most high visibility location. Usually Douglas gets the corner spots for most of his restaurants … maybe the old Ballard Camera shop location? the only business still going on that whole block is the Chinese restaurant/dive bar.

  2. On the other hand, maybe having a Douglas Restaurant on this location will bring in more stuff along this stretch of Market – making it more “high visibility” for all. No doubt that he has the clout to get the word out about a new restaurant no matter the location.

    A corner is more ideal, but it would involve more $$ to turn it into a restaurant. And hey! Parking for this location can't be anyworse than trying to find parking in Belltown for a weekend dinner. Fans of his food will bear through it, just as they do for his other locations. But many of us lucky folks will be able to walk there.

  3. I've always wanted a Tom Douglas restaurant here in Ballard!! No doubt it will make that part of Ballard a fun place to be and there IS plenty of parking in the back of the building they share with Kinko's.

  4. Please, for the love of God, open a proper diner here in Ballard. And please have it stay open late. And please serve breakfast all day.

    And you'll have my undying gratitude, and a lot of my business.

  5. A diner that is kid-friendly (e.g. a kid menu), brekkie and a and full bar would be awesome (think 5 Spot)! And, BTW, I love Serious Pie. We've had some dangerous outings there where we go to Serious Pie then dart around the corner to Dahlia to enjoy the (gulp) fresh-fried beignets, served loose in a paper bag with fine granulated sugar and apricot jam.

  6. Who among you is going to open this mythical diner? there are very good reasons more don't exist and it's not because east coast condo dwellers eat sushi.

  7. If I could afford to open anything here it would be a diner. There is obviously (from comments here and elsewhere) a command for one. But, I can't afford to open any business in Ballard. I am just riff raff. :-)
    But I also can't afford to eat off of a Tom Douglas menu. What would be
    nice to have here is some rib stickin' food that will last me the day on a small pocketbook. I can't always make it up to Baranofs.

  8. i meant no disrespect towards you or anyone else at all. I'm a big fan of cheap eats and don't regularly spend my dining dollars at big $$ places either. (To be honest, I don't care much for Tom Douglas places outside of goodies from the bakery. I prefer to spend my special occasions at places with a better ROI for me. Mmmm Le Gourmand.)

    What particular stick to your ribs type of food and at what price range are you talking about?

  9. No disrespect taken. I've just got a preference for cooks over chefs. ;-)
    Well, sometimes I feel like an omelette for dinner, or just grilled cheese (People's Pub has a good one on the HH menu), a menu where I know what everything is.
    That's why I eat off of bar menu's so often. Meat eaters and non-meat eaters alike can find something recognizable to eat that lasts the evening. Otherwise, I'm watching Conan with a pint of Cherry Garcia when I get home.

  10. I'm only meh on Tom Douglas — most of his places seem priced as though they're really good, when in fact they're only pretty good — but I think a Tom Douglas place would put Ballard more solidly on the culinary map in this town. It might mean more goodies to follow.

    Sure beats the lousy experience that was Via Verde!

  11. It would be nice to get a good anchor tenant on that end of Market, bringing more biz with it. There is a lot of storefront to fill over yonder.

  12. Oh, Tom (Or Mr. Douglas, sir!), please come to Ballard. Create more jobs in the food industry, hire my friends in the industry who've been laid off. I know an EXCELLENT chef for you (and a few bartenders, servers and line cooks) looking for work. I promise to eat there at least once a week if you do (although it may always be during happy hour pricing). Plus I promise discounted health care to everyone there! Mostly in exchange for food. We can work something out..

  13. Market Street Grill was allegedly (never went myself) good food, but the price was just way too much.

    I agree with the other posters, PLEASE someone make a 24/7 setup in Ballard. This place is so comical that everything shuts down between 8PM-Midnight for somewhat decent food.

  14. Yes that would be great to have Tom Douglas open a restaurant in Ballard but I do not agree that the old Via Verde place would be a good choice.
    I think that the vacant spot on the corner of 24th and Market (next to Sunset Hills Vet. clinic would be awesome and what expose he would have. What do you all think of this idea?

  15. A diner like The Pancake House at Snoqualmie Pass would be great in Ballard. The whole 24/7 thing. No irony here for a change. Nothing like bacon waffles, hash browns drowned in catsup and an IPA for dinner after an early season snowshoe up Red or Snoqualmie or Silver! Waitstaff who remember you. Show up with 10 people, place packed already, no problem, there's always room as long as you're willing to cozy up. Opps, and here surfaces the smirky, snarky comment, finally!–Or maybe a Denny's? Yeah, a Denny's. There's an idea. Just thinkin' Jonathan Pryce

  16. Douglas is merely catering to the new Ballard. You know whe they are. The “limosine-liberals” are every-freaking-where. Between home organics being delivered, 3-4-5 vehicles per house, private schools for their kids, and trips galore, what are some talking about here? My neighbor has $75,000 Steinway. But his house looks like a damn rental. There ARE plenty of people with plenty of $$ or Mr Douglas wouldn't be considering this, if he is at all. Don't like his product? Don't go there. Vote with your feet. Let the market decide. Sadlya radical idea to many. Are jobs produced by him just “the wrong type of jobs” then? Looks like a few here should try their skills and open their own place. Firsthand in the biz to find out how “easy” it can be. Perhaps we'll get another government office to hand out goodies there then? Would that make whiners happy?

  17. I'd be embarrassed if I were one of the people in the pic for this article. No, it's not those shorts — they're looking toward Via Verde as though they're actually considering eating there.

  18. Amen! It amazes me that Seattle likes to pretend it's a real city yet it's almost impossible to find a decent restaurant that's open early in the morning or late in the evening. Only 24/7 places in Seattle seem to be fast food and chains. Bleh.

  19. I've eaten at most of his places and honestly was underwhelmed. It's not bad food by any means but for the prices he charges I feel it could be better. I have a bad feeling anything he does in Ballard will be along the same lines.

  20. Lease rates are just to high for a new business to move in and charge 5 bucks for a sammy. Those days are over in the heart of Ballard.

    Just the facts, M'am

  21. I've eaten at most of his places, too (all but Serious Pie, which several friends have highly recommended) and was underwhelmed at all of them except for The Palace Kitchen. I've eaten at the Palace countless times and have been impressed every single time. Their goat cheese fondue is to die for, their 'plin' ravioli is amazing, and their bloody marys are some of the best I've had anywhere. YUM. Now I want to go there for dinner tonight.

    Yes please to Mr. Douglas coming to Ballard.

  22. Yes please cater to the “limo(u)sine liberals”. I'd much rather have wealthy people with good values than spiteful conservative closeted self hating gays and pedophiles preaching at me how I should live my life while they do whatever they please.
    So, yes more wealthy liberals is fine with me as are more dining options.

  23. “Good values” eh. As in yours and most of the other “D” schlubs that have
    ruined Ballard? ANd where does the “spiteful conservative” shit come from?
    Been watching MSNBC too much pal? That Subaru with NPR getting to yer head?
    Just look at how many adjectives it took you to describe the people YOU
    hate? THe hate IS on your side you poor sap. I hate nobody. I do NOT like
    the direction our country is headed though. How is that hope and change
    workin for you Mr.? Don't give me your mean spirited tirade(s) again. I
    witness limo after limo pulling up in my hood to the peoples home with 4
    cars, boats, home organics delivered, expensive toys galore, but out of
    guilt they incessantly pull that “D” lever. When was the last time we saw an
    “R” on any ballot in the 36th district? Name when? Inclusiveness, tolerance.
    My ass. Code word for” do it my way. Seattle is a boring monoculture of
    people so open minded that apparently everything HAS fallen out. Imagine the
    “diversity” you're having now. Communicating with an evil waskilly
    conservative. Have a nice day, Scott. The only conservaitve for miles.
    Yeah, real inclusion.

  24. I agree h2o_girl, Palace Kitchen is the best. I'm happy at the bar with a hamburger. Ballard would be lucky to get a Palace Kitchen-style place.

  25. Self-hating gays, really? You must know they only hate themselves because of the perceptions of the people around them. I get your point, but no reason to bring them into it.
    Sorry, as you were. ……

  26. The self hating gays reference was to the repeated news reports of so many GOP officials/evangelical preachers who are on record strongly opposing gay marriage and denouncing “the homosexual agenda” and then wouldn't ya know it…get caught having gay sex in a park or a bathroom or not paying their gay hooker.
    It seems like it happens every few weeks, and those are just the ones who get caught.

  27. This is going to get very tiresome. I will admit that I hate what the conservative movement has done to this country and what it continues to do today. I don't know you so I can't say whether I'd hate you if we met, but since you've already called me a sap and a schlub and are quick to go on tirades about “teh libruls” I doubt we'd get along very well.
    I still don't get this limo liberal slur…is it bad that they are successful and have money? I thought the GOP was all for the wealthy? Or is it bad that they have money and aren't conservative?
    As far as mean spirited tirades, you seem capable of holding your own. And what prompted yours? A slur against conservatives? No, you railed against liberalism from a story about a possible new restaurant (a business I should point out).

  28. Ah, you were thinking of the more dangerous version of self-hating gay. I apologize for flipping out.
    I have a gay friend who spent a lot of time in angry denial before coming out. Even to the point of heckling the people waiting in line for Seattle Men's Chorus concerts. He had very valid reasons for being that way but fortunately he didn't hold a position of power. So I get your point.

  29. Yeah, I don't think my original comment was very clear, but when the libertarian/republican cranks come out I don't really feel like spending more than a moment on a response.
    I've got nothing against gays, self hating or otherwise, but I do hate hypocrisy, which conservatism and especially the GOP is dripping in it.

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