Plus, renowned restaurateur Michael Mina plans a Bourbon Steak location downtown, and conservancy groups find several apple varieties thought to be extinct
Welcome back to Eater News, a semi-regular round-up of mini news bites. Have info to share? Email intel to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comedian George Lopez Will Bring a Delivery-Only Taco Kitchen to Seattle
First Mariah Carey. Then Guy Fieri. Now comedian George Lopez is on the “ghost kitchen” bandwagon, bringing a delivery-only taco spot to Seattle in collaboration with a virtual restaurant company called Nextbite. On the menu at George Lopez Tacos when the spot debuts June 8 across the U.S. will be a variety of carnitas, chicken tinga, and beef ranchero verde tacos, plus chips and churros. The sitcom star already has a small chain of Mexican restaurants and breweries in California and Arizona, and now hopes to expand his food reach through the multi-city pop-up route, with items available for delivery around Seattle via apps like Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub. Nextbite’s list of delivery-only restaurants also includes rapper Wiz Khalifa’s wing-focused Hotbox by Wiz, which has an outpost in Everett. Lopez may be a little late to the game, though. While ghost kitchens have proliferated around the city since the beginning of the pandemic, it remains to be seen whether demand for them will be as robust as before, since restaurants across Washington are due to open at full capacity by June 30.
Restaurateur Michael Mina Plans New Steak Restaurant Downtown
Speaking of star power, a new restaurant from celebrated restaurateur Michael Mina is on the way to downtown Seattle. The Michelin star chef will bring the eighth location of his Bourbon Steak franchise to 1433 4th Avenue this fall, in the spot previously occupied by his other effort, RN74 (which quietly closed in 2020). Known for its high-end service and ingredients sourced regionally, the fancy steakhouse features hormone-free cuts of beef, lobster pot pie, and duck fat fries, along with an extensive wine list and cocktails. When it debuts, the space will seat 125 in the dining room, with an additional 20 seats at the bar and a private dining area. Though Mina is based mainly out of San Francisco, he has some Washington roots, growing up in Ellensburg and working in Seattle kitchens back in the day, including the Space Needle restaurant. RN74 opened to much fanfare in 2011, and had a nearly decade-long run before closing permanently, but it looks like Mina’s restaurant group remains optimistic about the location.
Conservancy Groups Find Apple Varieties Thought to Have Been Extinct
Good news for apple lovers. Whitman County-based group the Lost Apple Project, along with Oregon’s Temperate Orchard Conservancy, announced that they have found seven more apple varieties across the Pacific Northwest that many thought had been extinct. Among the new findings is an Almota apple — a yellow variety striped with red that dates back to the 19th century — identified near Pullman, and an Eper apple variety found near Colfax that has greenish-yellow skin, believed to be descended from Hungarian imports. The Lost Apple Project collaborates with the Whitman County Historical Society in its preservation efforts, and has been at this work for years, helping to identify 29 different apple varieties thus far that many thought had disappeared for good.