Many notable openings and a couple notable closures (see RIPs below)—but first, one so-new-it's-not-even-open:
COMING (PROBABLY) NEXT WEEK SOON (delayed due to the usual things that delay restaurant openings):
• LA BETE on Capitol Hill, set to open next Thursday, August 5 soon: The former Chez Gaudy space—a beautiful 1927 brick building tucked away on Capitol Hill's Bellevue Avenue—gets a renovation and what looks to be a very worthy tenant with La Bête. This pretty beast's Northwest-ingredient-focused cuisine will be made by Aleks Dimitrijevic (a.k.a. “The Vapor," with experience at Bouley, Harvest Vine, and Licorous) and Tyler Moritz (“The Beastmaster,” of Earth and Ocean, Lark, and Union).
• UPDATED! Now open: JAPONESSA SUSHI COCINA downtown: The restaurant that has replaced Union: Japonessa Sushi Cocina. The head chef: Billy Beach of Umi Sake House and Kushibar (the owner also runs iSushi, a conveyor-belt place in Issaquah). Japonessa Sushi Cocina’s concept: “Sushi, Bar, & Lounge with a Latin twist that’ll move you.” It’s gonna have to move a lot of people—that Union space is mammoth.
• HUNGER in Fremont: Hunger-the-feeling is in your stomach; Hunger-the-restaurant is in Fremont. It’s a small chef-owned endeavor, and the chefs’ resumes include Zoe, Andaluca, and the Fish Club. The bar manager comes from Volterra and Quinn’s. Hunger sounds interesting.
• RE:PUBLIC in South Lake Union: While it’s not a great idea to have a colon in a restaurant name (especially if people will have to say the word “colon” in order to explain it), signs point to greatness at this new South Lake Union place. It’s in a pleasantly cavernous, old-timbered, mercifully uncomplicated space; chef Martin Woods came from Bastille and Cantinetta; and people already love it.
• SUSHI KAPPO TAMURA on Eastlake: Taichi Kitamura, the former owner of Chiso and Chiso Kappo in Fremont, has opened Sushi Kappo Tamura on Eastlake. It’s more like Chiso—a regular sushi restaurant—than Chiso Kappo (a tiny place with $100-per-person omakase that’s now closed). Kitamura trained with Belltown’s famous Shiro, and S.K.T. features local/seasonal ingredients (such as, according to a recent Twitter post, live local spot prawns, Washington albacore tuna, and Kumamoto oysters).
• BAMBOO VILLAGE in Wallingford: Right near that grazillion-way stoplight where Wallingford meets Green Lake at 50th, Bamboo Village serves dim sum every day as well as Cantonese and Mandarin dishes, all brought to you by the former owner of the ID’s House of Hong.
• BAR FERD'NAND on Capitol Hill: Bar Ferd'nand is the oyster-and-wine bar in the middle of the neato hangar-like Melrose Market. It’s run by Matt Dillon of Sitka & Spruce, just steps away; it seems set up as sort of a S&S holding pen, but you can make an excellent summer supper of tomato and burrata, chilled local spot prawns, etc.
• BOTTLEHOUSE in Madrona: Bottlehouse is a wine bar and “shoppe” located upstairs from Madrona’s urban winery, Wilridge (which is making special Bottlehouse blends). The motto: “Dwell, Drink, Be Well,” which sounds soothing. The place was made with 80 percent reclaimed materials (including beams from a Capitol Hill duplex as seating and Montana barn wood) and focuses on local producers. Also: Salumi meats, cheeses from near and far, and both deck and back garden seating.
Citrus wants you!
• CITRUS in South Lake Union: According to Citrus’ website, it is “a premium dining establishment with an internationally inspired menu… Set on Lake Union with with views of the Space Needle our european styling and casual atmosphere [sic], Citrus is not one to miss.” Also, it is “Seattle's newest critically acclaimed destination restaurant.” At the time of this writing, no critical acclaim could be located.
• AUTO BATTERY on Capitol Hill: Brought to you by the fancy-wiener people of Po Dog—and located next door to the original Capitol Hill location in a former auto battery store—Auto Battery has 14 televisions for the purposes of sports-watching. Also: free foosball and shuffleboard.
• EVERGREENS in Georgetown: Evergreens is an eat-it-by-the-pound buffet with comfort food like sloppy joes and buffalo wings, organic baked potatoes and soups, and a multifarious salad bar.
• OCTO SUSHI on Capitol Hill: Octo is a not-super-expensive yet not-conveyor-belt-cheap sushi place that’s taken over the former Crave spot, as well as a weirdly separate larger room in the back of the building. The front room’s a little awkward, but the rear looks great; the sushi seems fine.
• BIG MARIO’S on Capitol Hill: Big Mario’s crust is thin but not floppy; the sauce is almost salty, almost sweet, and sparingly applied; toppings are high-quality. The pie is good, and so is the place: It’s a built-from-scratch dive bar with brown pleather booths, vintage UFO-style light fixtures, lots of old backlit beer signs, and a topless lady painted on black velvet.