Pioneer Houses set to transform into Italian restaurant


According to a post on NOSH Pit blog, the Pioneer Houses on Ballard Ave NW are set to be transformed into an Italian restaurant.

The transformation and restoration is already underway at the hands of the new property owners Jeff Ofelt and Wade Weigel from Percy’s and Co. down the road. Ofelt and Weigel have also recruited the expertise of Tim Baker to breathe new life into the building.

According to NOSH Pit, the Pioneer Houses will be turned into a two story, 50-seat restaurant featuring a spiral staircase, open kitchen, banquette seating, wide plank floors, and a bar area in the back.

“We want to get people inside of it and give it another life,” Baker told NOSH Pit.

NOSH Pit confirms that the menu will be a blend of seasonal Italian staples and Italian American favorites. The menu is still be created but is likely to include a selection of salads, pastas, gnocchi, risotto, beef and tuna carpaccio.

Lunch will also be served at the kitchen counter and will offer locals pastas, salads and sandwiches.

In terms of chefs, Baker’s son Sam West will be moving over to the new restaurant to apply his skills learned during culinary training periods in Italy and Percy’s chef Derek May will oversee both restaurants.

According to NOSH Pit, the Pioneer Houses were built sometime between the late 1850s and 1880s in the area that is currently the International District. A historical report confirmed that, due to the “unusual vertical-plank construction”, the buildings “appear to be the oldest intact residential properties remaining in Seattle.”

Rainier Bank purchased the site where the buildings were situated in 1976 and donated the structures to Historic Seattle who moved them to Ballard.

Once on Ballard Ave, they were protected from changes by the area’s historical district designation and housed a number of different professional offices.

The transformation of Pioneer Houses from offices to restaurant is no easy feat and the projected opening, at this stage, is set for October this year.

The My Ballard team will update readers with the opening date as the restoration process progresses.

Photo courtesy of NOSH Pit.

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