Plus, Phinney Ridge’s Yonder Bar reopens (for now), and demolition begins on a downtown food court
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Star Chef Jason Stratton Heads to Georgetown Italian Restaurant
Not long after landing at Standard Brewing, star chef Jason Stratton is on the move once again and will head up Georgetown’s newish Italian restaurant Mezzanotte in April. Stratton made his name as the chef-owner of acclaimed northern Italian destinations Spinasse and Artusi on Capitol Hill, before he departed for other projects. After spending some time doing consulting work in Portland, the chef returned to Seattle in 2020 to take over the food menu at Standard. Meanwhile, Mezzanotte — from restaurateur Marcus Lalario, who owns nearby Ciudad — generated some chatter when it first opened last summer with a selection of small plates and pastas, but has been closed for a winter break. When the kitchen reopens, Stratton will serve up items such as tripoline with pork, veal and beef ragù; tajarin with salsiccia di Bra sausage and sage; and spaghetti with duck and anchovy ragù. Mezzanotte has a tented, open-air patio, as well as takeout.
Phinney Ridge’s Cider Garage Yonder Bar Has Reopened Again
The continuing saga of Yonder Bar continues. Not long after the Greenwood/Phinney Ridge cider operation shut down because of minor small business infractions, the garage is open once again for retail — with a close eye on what Seattle City Council does soon. After six months in business, Yonder was forced to close earlier in 2021 to avoid fines related to technical violations around small home-based businesses after a neighbor lodged persistent complaints. But a new council bill is in the works to loosen restrictions on such businesses — for instance, eliminating the need for appointments — going to a vote March 15. In the meantime, co-owner Caitlin Braam says she received an email from the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections that said she could carry on, for now. “They also said though, that if the bill does not pass, we’ll need to close back down,” she say. “So we figured, why not open for a few days leading up to the vote?”
Demolition on Downtown’s Marion Street Food Court Begins
On Monday, March 9, development began on a new office tower that will replace a three-story building and an open-air food court off Marion Street. Cafe Pho, Evergreens, and Middle Eastern street food vendor Mado’s Taste of Palestine were among the businesses that used to set up shop at that location, serving downtown office workers pre-pandemic. But those outposts closed in early 2020, and it’s unclear whether they will return to the spot once the building is complete. The owner of Mado’s told the Puget Sound Business Journal she’s already on the hunt for a new North Seattle location.