A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods

 

Hecho Mexican restaurant opens in Phinney Ridge

March 25th, 2014 by Doree

Hecho Mexican restaurant, in the former Carmelita space at 7314 Greenwood Ave. N., opened its doors today, according to its Facebook page. Co-owner Chris Navarra also has his hand in Phinney eateries Prost!, The Ridge Pizza, and Martino’s, to name a few.

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The Box and Bottle restaurant opening in Greenwood

March 10th, 2014 by Doree

The Box and Bottle restaurant is remodeling the space that used to house News Noodles, at 8576 Greenwood Ave. N. According to their Facebook page, the restaurant is by the owners of The Blue Glass on NW 65th and Evolution Revolution food truck and catering, and will be a “casual eat in or take out place, with seasonal housemade pastas, meats, lunches, dinners, hotsauces, Craft Beer and Wine to go and even locally made ice creams.”

Stay tuned for opening date information.

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Carmelita publishing cocktail book to support employees when restaurant closes this month

September 4th, 2013 by Doree

Carmelita vegetarian restaurant has spent the summer celebrating its nearly 17-year run on Phinney Ridge and saying goodbye to customers before it closes for good on Sept. 29.

The restaurant has been collecting its cocktail recipes and will soon publish a full-color book that will be available in the restaurant and on Amazon. One of the cocktail recipes is called the Golden Parachute, in honor of the restaurant’s employees. All profits from that cocktail and the book will go to the Employee Severance Fund.

The space at 7314 Greenwood Ave. N. will be taken over by local restaurateurs Chris Navarra (Prost!, The Ridge Pizza), Chris Gerke, and Shannon and Laura Wilkinson, who plan to open a Mexican restaurant named Vecino, which is Spanish for “neighbor.”

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1 new business, 1 closed, 2 moved, and another expanded

July 16th, 2013 by Doree

A brightly-painted Cuban restaurant called Bongos has taken over the former truck rental/farmers market/Christmas tree lot at North 66th Street and Linden Avenue North.

Bongos-Cuban-restaurant-resized

Mi Tiendita Latina, at 8558 Greenwood Ave. N., has closed.

Mi Tiendita Latina closed-resized

The Hair Company has moved seven blocks north, to 9220 Greenwood Ave. N.

Hair Co closed-resized

And The Yard Cafe at 8313 Greenwood Ave. N. has expanded into the adjacent space, formerly occupied by Rockwell Realty.

Oh, and Sip & Ship Greenwood has officially opened at its new location at 7511 Greenwood Ave. N.

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Vecino Mexican restaurant to replace Carmelita

July 1st, 2013 by Doree

Carmelita Vegetarian Restaurant announced two weeks ago that it would close at the end of September. New owners Chris Navarra, Chris Gerke, and Shannon and Laura Wilkinson plan to open a Mexican restaurant named Vecino, which is Spanish for “neighbor.”

According to the press release, Vecino will be family-friendly, and will focus on local, sustainable and organic food. Vecino plans to have vegetarian options, including one called La Carmelita (one of Navarra’s many other restaurants, The Ridge Pizza, just a block away from Vecino, is known for naming its pizzas after neighborhood institutions).

Vecino’s cantina will feature an extensive list of local and Mexican beers, plus agave spirits and fresh juice cocktails.

Vecino plans to open sometime next spring. It will be open for dinner seven nights a week, and weekend brunch.

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Carmelita Vegetarian Restaurant closing, to be replaced by new eatery by local restaurant owners

June 17th, 2013 by Doree

Carmelita Vegetarian Restaurant, at 7314 Greenwood Ave. N. for almost 17 years, is closing its doors at the end of September. In its place will be a new (not vegetarian) restaurant.

Michael Hughes and Kathryn Neumann have sold the business to three local restaurant owners, including Chris Navarra, who currently owns Prost! right across the street, The Ridge Pizza just a block south, and the soon-to-open Martino’s Smoked Meats & Eatery, a block north. Navarra’s business partners in the new restaurant will be Chris Gerke (also co-owner of  The Ridge Pizza and Martinos, plus Nickerson Street Saloon in Fremont), and Shannon Wilkinson (Little Water Cantina on Eastlake).

Hughes and Neumann say the recession played a part in the decision, but mostly they wanted to spend more time with their young son.

They’re planning lots of special celebrations this summer. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for more information.

Carmelita will close on Sept. 29.

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Mai Thaiku now open in former Gaspare restaurant spot in Phinney Ridge

February 19th, 2013 by Doree

Mai Thaiku has finally opened in the former Gaspare Italian Ristorante space at 6705 Greenwood Ave. N. It is the reincarnation of Thaiku, which was in Ballard for a decade before closing last year.

Thaiku-outside-resized

This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago as landscapers worked out front.

The restaurant has also revived its celebrated bar, Fu Kun Wu, although in a smaller version. (The bar in the former Thaiku was named one of the “Best Bars in America” by Esquire magazine in 2006 and 2011).

Mai (“new”) Thaiku uses original family recipes from Thailand. The menu categories include: Gahp Glam (bar food that goes well with drinks, $8-$12); Yaang (grilled on skewers, $2-$4 each); Som Tahm (seven different kinds of green papaya salad, $8-$9); Yum (various types of salad, $8-$12); Guaytiaw (noodles, $9-$12); and Ahaan Piset (special dishes, $11-$14).

General manager Unchalee “O” Ayucharoen was born and raised in the Jantaburi province of Thailand. Ayucharoen also managed Thaiku at the old location. The chef is Anne Sawvalak, who was born and raised in Bangkok.

Mai Thaiku is open seven days a week; from 12-11 p.m. Sunday, 4-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m. – 12 a.m. Friday, and 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Saturday. Happy hour is from 4-6 p.m. Phone is 206-706-7807. See their Facebook page for updates.

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Mae’s Phinney Ridge Cafe for sale

February 13th, 2013 by Doree

Mae’s Phinney Ridge Cafe, famous for its breakfasts, cinnamon rolls, and Wisconsin cow-themed interiors for the last 25 years, is for sale. Owner Jeanne Mae Barwick tells us she has put the restaurant at 6412 Phinney Ave. N. up for sale.

Barwick says she listed the business for sale just this week. She hopes to have a sale done by April, when she will celebrate her 66th birthday. From her email:

Retirement? Never even considered it until recently. Actually, I’ll look for a job, but one that does not include managing employees and dealing with rising food costs and equipment failures and…dumpsters and grease traps and, well, you get the idea. I’m hoping to have a “Open House and Garage Sale” at Mae’s sometime during March. This would be my official farewell to the neighborhood. If I find a buyer that wants a fast turn around, I might not be able to do the special party and what if they want to keep my salt and pepper shakers and other miscellaneous moo-morabilia? It could happen!

Barwick is also famous around the neighborhood for calling the monthly Bingo Karaoke at the Greenwood Senior Center. (Seriously, if you haven’t gone, you MUST – it’s an absolute hoot!)

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Thaiku restaurant taking over former Gaspare in Phinney Ridge

November 30th, 2012 by Doree

Thai restaurant Thaiku, which closed its Ballard location last December, is taking over the former Gaspare Ristorante & Bar at 6705 Phinney Ave. N. It is planning to open in early 2013.

The press release did not give the exact location, saying that information would be released later, but the Washington State Liquor Control Board shows Thaiku applied for a liquor license application for that site in early November.

“We thank our regular customers of nearly 20 years for their suggestions and continued support on the reincarnation of Thaiku. It has been an overwhelming response with a seemingly endless number of possibilities for new locations,” says Jon Alberts, proprietor and jazz musician. “We’re looking forward to a new beginning in the new year.”

A selection of Thaiku’s favorite dishes will be offered, in addition to a more specific genre of authentic Thai cuisine based on original family recipes. The bar will offer the herb-infused cocktails from Fu Kun Wu, Thaiku’s former resident bar, along with new Thai-inspired libations.

General manager Unchalee “O” Ayucharoen says, “Our family of staff continues the commitment to the authentic culinary and cultural traditions of Thailand while our restaurant evolves. We are humbled to offer this unique culinary experience to our loyal customers and new friends in our new home.”

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Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant

November 11th, 2012 by Doree

Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant (Ethiopian)
10002 Aurora Ave. N. (map)
Seattle, WA 98133
(206) 402-3058

Yelp: “…We ordered the veggie combo, as usual and it was delicious. The stewed dishes were bomb and the injera was a great consistency…”

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 3.83 out of 5)
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Gaspare Ristorante & Bar in Phinney closing Saturday, but will begin catering for the holidays

October 25th, 2012 by Doree

Gaspare Ristorante & Bar at 6705 Greenwood Ave. N. is closing Saturday night. Co-owner Dianne Trani told me by email this morning that reservations are recommended for their last few days, as lots of people are coming to say goodbye. Gaspare is open from 5-10 p.m.

But Dianne says while she and husband Gaspare are retiring from the full-service restaurant business, they’ll offer catering in time for the holidays. The new catering menu will be online in a few weeks.

Trani says they own the building, and will be landlords to a new business coming soon. Stay tuned for more details on that.

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Kalbi Grill Express reopens

October 23rd, 2012 by Doree

Kalbi Grill Express at 8202 Greenwood Ave. N. has reopened, nearly four months after closing when a car accidentally crashed through the front door. Kalbi had opened just two weeks before the crash.

Jeanna Lee from Kalbi tells me they had their “soft” reopening last Friday. Current hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The Korean restaurant’s menu includes items such as Kalbi (marinated beef short ribs), Bulgogi (marinated beef), Bibimbap (rice, vegetables, meat, and a fried egg), and Soondubu (soft tofu soup).

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