© Courtesy of Off-Alley
If there’s one thing we all had in common last year, it was a collective obsession with food: We found new ways to be creative in the kitchen, ordering takeout became an act of solidarity, and suddenly everyone and their mother was nurturing a sourdough starter. And while it’s yet to be seen whether or not 2021 will be markedly different (I don’t think that starter is going anywhere just yet), there are some new openings—and reopenings—in the restaurant world that are sure to spice things up, both figuratively and literally speaking. Hungry for some new flavors in 2021? Thought so.
© Courtesy of Martino's
When Martino’s closed its doors, foodies around the world (or at least, around the Emerald City) were crushed. Luckily, the anguish was short-lived; Martino’s is reopening in January just a few blocks south, and promises to serve up all the good stuff we’ve been missing—with an expanded menu, no less. Go for a signature sandwich, and save room for some smoked wings dipped in house-made BBQ sauce.
Spice Waala serves up what it calls unapologetic Indian street food in Capitol Hill, and after two successful years, the eatery is now expanding across the water in Ballard. Expect more of the same: kathi rolls marinated for 36 hours, then grilled; Calcutta-style eggs; Indian nachos; masala chai (importantly, not the Starbucks kind).
Opens: January 8
While we wait for the return of longstanding locale Mulleady’s Irish Pub, its pandemic iteration, Mulleady’s Mercantile, is going strong. If you missed their last pop-up of 2020—a late December spread of booze and butcher offerings—not to worry; there’ll be plenty more where that came from in the New Year. In the meantime, sign up for their email list via the link above and get reopening news straight to your inbox.
Off Alley officially shut down its restaurant when Inslee reinstated stricter coronavirus precautions; since then, they’ve been running a pantry and bottle shop operation out of the space in an effort to keep their doors open. The service continues in 2021, though they’re closed through January 19; stop by on the 20th for a fresh supply of Alley staples like house-made butter, pork rillettes, booze, and more.
Reopens: January 20
Addo is no stranger to the pandemic pivot. Back in early 2020, chef Eric Rivera shut down the restaurant and reopened as a pantry service, Puerto Rican-style. It was a hit; now, in 2021, he’s adding even more dining “experiences” to his repertoire—like a Spam Tasting Menu to-go, a three-course interactive cooking class, an Inauguration Day menu, and more.
We don’t give out this accolade in jest: Canon, the cozy Capitol Hill bar, does actually have 4,000 spirits (and counting), and was said to have the “World’s Best Spirits Collection” back in 2017. Because of aforementioned cozyness, however, there’s hardly enough elbow room to keep folks six feet apart, and they’ve been closed since late November. Once restrictions start lifting, we’ll be eagerly awaiting a reopen; according to founder Jamie Boudreau, this won’t be until late spring at the earliest.
Reopens: Late spring
© Courtesy of Here Today
Seattle has no shortage of breweries, and it’s about to add one more to an already impressive list. Here Today, from the folks who brought us Navy Strength and No Anchor Bar, is set to open in June 2021 and house both a brewery and a full kitchen.
When Manolin closed last fall, we had no idea what was coming next: a smoked fish and bagel extravaganza christened Old Salt. Since December 3, the pop-up has been serving this to-die-for combination, and you can expect more of the same come January 7 when they reopen. Old Salt is open for business Thursday-Sunday, 9 am - 2 pm (or until they sell out); if you’re feeling risk averse, go for the pre-order option instead.
Reopens: January 7
When you’re jonesing for a good glass of wine, sometimes it’s best to go straight to the source. Bartholomew Winery has deftly navigated the pandemic, managing to stay open, and is reopening post-holidays on January 9. Visit the tasting room—housed in the old Rainier Brewery building in SoDo—for a rotating selection of whites, rosés, and reds.
Reopens: January 9
L’Oursin is not your average French restaurant. Dining in? Try L’Oursin Après Ski, their new patio experience for 1 - 2 guests (recommended if you enjoy fondue and vin chaud). Shopping for more? Pick up everything you need at Épicerie L’Oursin, the restaurant’s pantry. Or perhaps you’ve had enough of the French all together. Not to worry—their Southern pop-up, Old Scratch, should do the trick. All that to say: When this operation reopens on January 9, we’ll be first in line.
Reopens: January 9