Matador unveils new Ballard Ave location today

After almost two decades at the corner of NW Market St and Ballard Ave, Matador is reopening at their new location today just down the street at the former Ballard Annex space at 5410 Ballard Ave NW.

To celebrate their move, Matador is rolling back happy hour prices to 2004 when they first opened: This weekend only, you’ll be able to get dishes for $3-$4, including their classic piled-high nachos.

The new location is far bigger than their original spot, with 5,000 square feet of dining space which includes a private events room, outdoor patio, and back bar fashioned into a Mexico City-esque mezcalaria.

Photo: The Matador

Ballard Annex Oyster House closed during the pandemic, and the owners Zak Melang and Nathan Opper decided to move Matador into the bigger space rather than reopening the Annex.

“Our team has put an incredible amount of effort and attention into the entire design of our new Ballard location,” Melang, co-founder of Matador said in a statement about the relocation. “All of our restaurant interiors reflect the craft, heart, soul, and sense of adventure that live inside every good bottle of tequila—and we are taking it a step further in our latest space. We want our guests to feel as though they are stepping into a work of art when they walk through the doors.”

Cilantro-Lime Shrimp with crema, onions, poblano and red bell peppers, and achiote-chile rice

Matador expects their mezcalaria will be the best in the Northwest, with over 60 varieties.

“Our goal is to have something for everybody,” Beverage Director Brian Livesay said in a statement about the new Matador location. “From beginner-friendly, accessible bottles all the way up to rare agave varietals for the advanced mezcal connoisseur and limited-time specialty cocktails, our new mezcaleria aims to be a crowd-pleaser and completely unique spirit experience in the Ballard community.”

Matador’s new location features handcrafted metalwork and bartops, lit with vintage lanterns from Mexico. On the walls are bull skulls carefully painted by artists and tattooists, all for sale and with proceeds going to charity.

Matador plans to be open Sunday through Thursday from 12pm to 11pm, and Friday and Saturday from 12pm to midnight. Happy hour will be from 4pm to 6pm daily, with late-night happy hour on Friday and Saturday from 10pm to last call.

Photos: Halynn Blanchard and Caleb Richardson