Food & Drink

The Most Anticipated Seattle Restaurant and Bar Openings of 2020

Flour Box, Taku, and More Spots on the Horizon
January 9, 2020
The wildly popular doughnut pop-up the Flour Box will find a permanent home in Hillman City this year. (Hillman City)
It's a new year, and there's no shortage of bar and restaurant openings to look forward to. Get ready to scarf down Japanese street food at the upcoming Capitol Hill restaurant Taku, doughnuts at upcoming Hillman City spot the Flour Box, and many more. We've collected this year's impending openings here, so you can stay ahead of the curve. For more ideas, check out our list of the most notable restaurant openings of 2019, our list of food and drink specials to try in January and our full food and drink calendar.

The wildly popular brewery Cloudburst Brewing is planning to open a new beer garden and taproom in Ballard. The location will be kid-friendly before 6 pm to accommodate families and is looking to host a permanent food truck.
Expected Opening: TBD

Great Notion Brewing
The award-winning Portland-based brewery Great Notion Brewing, known for its hazy IPAs, sour beers, and playfully designed 16-oz. cans, plans to open its first Seattle taproom in the heart of Ballard's beer district by this summer, just across the street from Reuben's Brews. The taproom will have indoor and outdoor seating, food, and beer to go.
Expected Opening: Summer

The Splintered Wand
Ready your robes: The wizard-themed pub The Splintered Wand is expected to open in Ballard soon. The food menu will feature hearty British favorites that could have come straight off the Hogwarts Express food trolley, including shepherd's pie, pasties, and Yorkshire pudding. What's more, on the second floor, guests will be able to purchase a handcrafted wand from Piscataqua & Balch, with a wood specially chosen based on birthdate and infused with a "magic essence."
Expected Opening: TBD

Flora Bakehouse
Get ready for vegan cinnamon rolls: Madison Park's charming, plant-filled vegetarian haunt Cafe Flora, which launched an outpost called Floret inside SeaTac in February 2018, is opening a new bakery outpost called the Flora Bakehouse in Beacon Hill. The commissary kitchen that produces baked goods for both Cafe Flora and Floret is located there, so owner Nat Stratton-Clarke decided to open a neighborhood cafe with coffee, pastries, and lunch bites, too. The space will be full of plants and designed by Sara Knowles, who also designed Floret and Homer, so it's safe to say it will be nothing short of eminently Instagrammable.
Expected Opening: Spring

Milk Drunk
The walk-up soft-serve window with seasonal flavors at the acclaimed Beacon Hill restaurant Homer was an instant hit. Now, the owners (married couple Logan Cox and Sara Knowles) will open a fast-casual restaurant with plenty of soft-serve (with add-ons like waffle cones, dips, and toppings) and fried chicken sandwiches, in the same building as Perihelion Brewery.
Expected Opening: Summer

Musang, the highly anticipated restaurant from Filipina-American chef Melissa Miranda, soft-opened over the holidays in the former space of Travelers Thali House in Beacon Hill and will officially have its grand opening today, January 9, with weekend brunch to follow on January 25. Melissa specializes in Pacific Northwest-influenced, Filipinx-inspired food and previously ran a pop-up under the same moniker, which comes from her father's nickname (he drove a Mustang that was missing a "T" in the decal, and "musang" also means "wildcat" in Tagalog). In an episode of PBS's No Passport Required that aired on Friday, December 13, and revolved around Seattle's Filipino culinary scene, chef Marcus Samuelsson hung out with Melissa (and shared a home-cooked meal with her and her family in her home).
Expected Opening: Thursday, January 9

Here Today
Cocktail power couple Chris and Anu Elford, who own Navy Strength, No Anchor, and Vinnie's Raw Bar (Anu also owns Rob Roy), have an exciting project in the works: They're planning to open their own brewery, called Here Today, in the former space of the Old Spaghetti Factory near the waterfront, tentatively scheduled to open in late summer. They've partnered with master cicerone Averie Swanson, who previously spent time at the acclaimed brewery Jester King and will oversee the development of beers. The space will also have a full bar with cocktails on tap and wine, plus a menu by chef Cam Hanin (who currently runs the pop-up Guerrilla Pizza Kitchen).
Expected Opening: Summer

Batch Baking Company
The recently closed gluten-free cafe and bakery Niche will soon be replaced by Batch Baking Company, a "dessert-focused, small-batch" (and non-gluten-free) bakery with an emphasis on cookies, including updated versions of Oreos, Pop Tarts, Nutter Butters, and other treats.
Expected Opening: TBD

Juice Club
Juice Club, a pop-up that The Stranger contributor Jordan Michelman called "a roaming series of natural-wine bottle parties with an experiential, interactive bent," has secured a space for a "beer/wine specialty shop" on the ground floor of Capitol Hill's St. Florence building on E Denny Way, where Ghost Gallery used to be located. Further details about the shop are currently unknown.
Expected Opening: TBD

La Josie’s Mexican Bar
Capitol Hill's convivial, beloved Mexican restaurant Fogon will open a sister bar called La Josie's Mexican Bar, named in tribute to owner Noel Cortez's late nephew and business partner Jose Ambriz, in the former space of nearby East Trading Co.
Expected Opening: Early 2020

Meet Korean BBQ
An upcoming upscale Korean BBQ restaurant called Meet Korean BBQ, from the owner of Chan and Bacco Cafe, will take up residence in the former space of Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi's Trove in February. If you're expecting a laidback KBBQ joint where you can grill your own meats, think again: The restaurant will focus on premium meats like wagyu beef and Kurobuta pork, and staff will cook the proteins to order on tabletop grills for diners.
Expected Opening: February

Exciting news for fans of Capitol Hill's bustling izakayas Suika and Tamari Bar: Their new sibling Rondo, which Rich Smith first reported on in October, has soft-opened and will have its grand opening Friday, January 10. The spot, which takes inspiration from the Japanese tale of the fisherman Urashima Tarō who travels to an underwater Dragon Palace, is a "50-seat lunch and early-dinner spot serving up noodle dishes, teishoku, donburi, and a bunch of drinking snacks." Beverages include sparkling sake, chūhai, Asahi beer, and drinks made with a Suntory Whisky Toki Highball machine, which carbonates the booze.
Expected Opening: Friday, January 10

Sweet Alchemy
This popular ice cream shop with carefully sourced ingredients will open in the former space of Kurt Farm Shop (which closed at the end of 2019) in Chophouse Row sometime this year.
Expected Opening: TBD

Adana chef Shota Nakajima is planning to open an Osaka street food-inspired eatery next door to Salt and Straw and Redhook Brewlab on Capitol Hill, sometime in the last week of January. The restaurant will be called Taku and feature kushikatsu, Japanese deep-fried meat and vegetables on skewers. Targeting the late-night Capitol Hill crowd, the space will also feature a Suntory Whisky highball machine, seasonal tempura ice cream from Salt and Straw, secret menu items that can only be ordered in Japanese, and selfie-worthy bathroom decor.
Expected Opening: January

Temple Pastries
Baker Christina Wood's pop-up bakery Temple Pastries, which slings exquisite sourdough pastries (including croissants, croissant pretzels, and "cruffins") made with locally milled buckwheat, rye, and whole wheat, plans to open a permanent cafe in the Central District in collaboration with Broadcast Coffee Roasters, which has previously sold Wood's treats at its cafes. Temple Pastries will open this fall across the street from the current Broadcast Coffee location in the Central District, which will close when the launch occurs, and feature a full Broadcast coffee bar and Wood's signature baked goods, plus doughnuts, tarts, lunch and brunch items, and beer and wine.
Expected Opening: Fall

That Brown Girl Cooks
Chef Kristi Brown, who runs the popular catering business That Brown Girl Cooks and is known for her famous black-eyed pea hummus and "Seattle soul" style of cooking, will open a brick-and-mortar restaurant in the Central District's Liberty Bank building. An opening date has not yet been set.
Expected Opening: TBD

Chengdu Taste
The popular Sichuan chain Chengdu Taste, which started in Los Angeles and has locations in Hawaii, Houston, and Las Vegas, plans to open its first location in Seattle in the International District's Publix building (which currently houses Dough Zone and the recently opened Hood Famous Cafe and Bar) early this year, possibly by February. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats once called it "the best Sichuan restaurant in America."
Expected Opening: February

Phnom Penh Noodle House
Fans everywhere mourned when this beloved Cambodian restaurant and longtime Chinatown-International District fixture closed after 30 years of business in spring 2018. Happily, after a successful Indiegogo campaign, owners Dawn, Diane, and Darlene Ung plan to re-open at a new location in the Thai Binh Apartments building this year.
Expected Opening: TBD

Off Alley
At his pop-up Fowl and Offal, chef Evan Leichtling, who was previously abroad in Paris for five years and returned this summer, focuses on whole-animal, nose-to-tail cookery and lots of natural wine. Now, he's opening his own place called Off Alley in Columbia City. Further details, including the location and opening date, have not yet been announced. If you're curious, you can check out Fowl and Offal's next pop-up at Prima Bistro (where Leichtling was formerly the sous chef when they opened in 2006) on Whidbey Island on January 21.
Expected Opening: TBD

El Gaucho
Longtime swanky steakhouse chain El Gaucho will open a new location in the Union Stables building, just a stone's throw from Pike Place, this summer. The opening will coincide with the closure of the Belltown location, located just above the movie theater Big Picture—employees will migrate to the new 10,000-square-foot space.
Expected Opening: Summer

The wildly popular hot pot chain HaiDiLao is planning to open locations inside Bellevue Pacific Center and Pacific Place this year. In addition to its Sichuan-style hot pots, the chain is known for its outstanding customer service and free entertainment, including "noodle dancers" who perform a stunning dance as they stretch dough into 10-foot-long ribbon-like swathes and must undergo four to six months of training, as well as a waiting area with free manicures, hand massages, board games, and unlimited snacks. (Unfortunately, manicures are not offered at the chain's U.S. locations.)
Expected Opening: TBD

How to Cook a Wolf and Tavolata
Chef and restaurateur Ethan Stowell decided to close his Ballard restaurants Marine Hardware and Bramling Cross and his family-friendly Wallingford restaurant Super Bueno at the tail end of 2019. The decision was informed in part by a desire to focus on his more popular restaurants: Super Bueno will re-open as a new location of Stowell's successful Italian restaurant concept Tavolàta in late spring, and Stowell also plans to open a location of Tavolàta downtown and bring a new outpost of his well-liked Queen Anne restaurant How to Cook a Wolf to Madison Park.
Expected Opening: Late Spring/TBD

The Flour Box
Baker Pamela Vuong of the Instagram-famous doughnut pop-up the Flour Box, which is known to sell out rapidly at its events, has announced on Instagram that she's secured a spot for a permanent brick-and-mortar location. She will open the bakery, which will serve pastries alongside espresso from Anchorhead Coffee, in the former space of Big Chickie (which closed recently and teased that a "small business" with a big following was set to replace it) in Hillman City this spring. Vuong had previously announced last year that she had locked down a permanent home, but the space unfortunately fell through, forcing her to continue her search.
Expected Opening: Spring

Halal Guys
Anyone who's ever enjoyed street cart chicken drizzled with creamy white sauce in New York is probably familiar with the Halal Guys, a Middle Eastern street food favorite that was propelled into ubiquity after the owners pivoted their hot dog cart chain into an American halal cart chain in 1990. The chain, which opened its first Seattle location in Pioneer Square in 2017, is set to open a location in South Lake Union in the same building as Facebook.
Expected Opening: TBD

Rubinstein Bagels
Many Seattleites scorn the city's dearth of quality bagels, but baker Andrew Rubinstein is aiming to change that with his bagel company Rubinstein Bagels, where he makes long-fermented, kettle-boiled, hand-rolled, stone hearth-baked bagels with a sourdough starter. His tagline: "These are the bagels you've been looking for." Currently, he slings rings of dough at Ethan Stowell's downtown Cortina Cafe, but he plans to expand shortly with his own South Lake Union cafe near the Amazon Spheres, estimated to be open by April.
Expected Opening: April

Korochka Tavern
This beloved Russian bar, which Stranger contributor Meg van Huygen praised for its "cozy, unpretentious chill," closed without warning in Lake City in October. Happily, after a successful crowdfunding campaign, it will now be re-opening in a new spot in Wallingford (the former space of the neighborhood bar The Grizzled Wizard), hopefully by February.
Expected Opening: February

Grillbird, a fast-casual teriyaki-focused restaurant in West Seattle, is slated to open early this year. Owner Matthew Parker, who's served as creative director and designer for spots like Westward and Great State Burger, has planned a small menu of gluten-free dishes with vegan options and told Eater Seattle the joint will not be "elevated" teriyaki but "just your local teriyaki joint made a little more modern."
Expected Opening: Early 2020

Phorale Way
The popular Asian-Tex-Mex fusion food truck Phorale is planning to open a restaurant in White Center by late February. Phorale was originally a food counter in South Park (former Stranger writer Tobias Coughlin-Bogue praised it for its "adventurous flavor combinations) before closing in 2018 and re-opening as a food truck last year. The food truck will remain in operation.
Expected Opening: February