Food News

This Week in Seattle Food News: Volunteer Park Cafe Reopens, College Inn Pub Returns, and Molly Moon's Makes a Glossier Sundae

August 20, 2021 Edition
August 20, 2021
Try baked goods made by a former Canlis pastry chef at the newly reopened Volunteer Park Cafe this weekend. (Volunteer Park Cafe)

This week's batch of food news sees the return of some beloved Seattle institutions, including College Inn Pub, Volunteer Park Cafe, and Portage Bay Cafe. Plus, Katsu Burger opens a new location in Kent, Molly Moon's drops a collab with Glossier, and a local chef is concocting food for astronauts. Read on for all of that and more culinary tidbits. For additional inspiration, check out our food and drink guide.


College Inn Pub
Rejoice: After being closed for 16 months, the historic College Inn Pub reopened its doors on July 15. The beloved University District watering hole previously announced it would close permanently in summer 2020, but it has since been taken over by new owners and longtime regulars Seth Howard (owner of The Collins Pub, Last Drop Bottle Shop, and Draft Punk), Al Donohue, and Jen Gonyer. The team intends to retain the spirit of the original pub but has given it some TLC, including a deep clean, updated electricity and plumbing, new kitchen and bar equipment, and refinished woodwork. They've also brought back all of the original menu items, with the exception of the bagel dog (due to sourcing issues and eliminating microwaved menu items), along with a few new ones, like pizza bread with house-made marinara. The beer menu has also been expanded with brews from local breweries like Cloudburst, Ravenna, and Maritime. Charles Mudede writes, "During a recent visit to the wood-rich basement bar, I ordered from the pub's menu of grub a Hot Italian Grinder. This was my favorite item of the former College Inn Pub, and my question was just this: Did the HIG change under new ownership? By the taste of it, it was much the same as before: perfectly simple, moderately meaty, and the right size (not too big and too small). My love for the grinder was renewed. There is hope for the post-pandemic world."
University District

Deep Dive
Renee Erickson's dark, swanky cocktail bar housed within the infamous Amazon Spheres reopens to the public this Saturday. Vaccination proof is required for entry, and an online waitlist will be available.
Denny Triangle

Katsu Burger
The local Japanese fusion burger franchise known for its behemoth deep-fried tonkatsu-style patties, nori fries, and unique milkshakes soft-opened a new outpost in Kent this week. The new spot, which is preparing for a grand opening soon, has the same menu as other locations and features a vivid Godzilla mural.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

One Pot
According to Yelp, this former Korean restaurant recently reopened with a new northeastern Chinese menu, with regional dishes like dried tofu skin with hot peppers and spicy stir-fried pork.
Chinatown-International District
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Portage Bay Cafe
The popular organic, local, and sustainable brunch spot announced on Instagram that it will reopen its Ballard cafe this Saturday.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Volunteer Park Cafe and Pantry
The iconic Capitol Hill staple Volunteer Park Cafe, which closed last fall and was purchased by local architect and winemaker James DeSarno, reopened last Wednesday, and two Canlis alums are running the show. Former Canlis expediter Melissa Johnson is managing the cafe, while former Canlis pastry chef Crystal Chiu is in charge of the baked goods. (If you tried any of the bagels at Canlis's short-lived pandemic pivot bagel shop last year, you're already familiar with her work, and yes, they will be making an occasional appearance on the menu.) The space is functioning as a coffee shop, bottleshop, and corner market, with natural wine and goods from local purveyors for sale. The new menu includes items like New York-style breakfast sandwiches, seasonal toasts, vegan chocolate hazelnut cake, strawberry rhubarb galettes, and chocolate babka.
Capitol Hill
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Dorothy's Piano Bar and Cabaret
Time to start polishing your rendition of "Maybe This Time": A new piano bar and lounge is set to fill the former Highline space soon. Founder John Lehrack has previously run Dorothy's as a traveling piano night at venues like Re-Bar and the Lumber Yard Bar. An opening date has not yet been set.
Capitol Hill


Seattle chef leads team to devise menu for NASA's Mars missions
Local chef Young Cho, best known for his Asian Tex-Mex catering business Phorale, has assembled a team called Ad Astra to take part in a contest called the Deep Space Food Challenge, which aims to find solutions for feeding astronauts in coordination with NASA and the Canadian Space Agency. The challenges posed by the undertaking are unique to say the least, as food eaten in space requires an extended shelf life and needs to take into account the physical toll that space takes on astronauts' bodies. If Ad Astra is chosen for the contest's shortlist, they could receive $25,000 to execute their proposal and get a shot at the ultimate prize.

Upcoming Wunderground Cafe launches pop-up
As we previously reported, Cupcake Royale owner and entrepreneur Jody Hall is launching a new startup called Wunderground, which sells a blend of adaptogenic mushrooms and coffee beans, and will transition the former Capitol Hill location of Cupcake Royale into Wunderground's flagship cafe. Now, in the meantime, Hall is opening a pop-up in Chophouse Row, serving adaptogenic coffee drinks from Wednesdays through Sundays. It appears that Cupcake Royale's Capitol Hill location has also moved into Chophouse Row along with the pop-up.


Taste Edmonds
Revel in live music, food trucks, beer, wine, and a corn hole tournament at this three-day festival, which will raise funds to support free, all-ages community events in Edmonds.
Frances Anderson Center, Friday-Sunday

Grayseas Pies Pop-Up
The pie pop-up Grayseas Pies is back with some adorably diminutive mini pies. Flavors include elote (tortilla chip crust, corn custard, sour cream whip, corn and cotija cheese, cilantro lime crema, and Tajín) and apple pie with sharp cheddar from Roslyn Valley Creamery.
Distant Worlds Coffeehouse, Saturday, 11 am-2 pm

Garzón Latinx Street Food Pop-Up
The Latinx pop-up Garzón will first showcase brunch items like gallo pinto with eggs and linguiza calentado in the morning, then morph into a late-night street-food-inspired party in the evening, with "small bites, loud tunes, and cold brews."
Great Notion Brewing, Sunday, 12-9 pm

Good Shape Pizza Pop-Up
The pizza pop-up Good Shape will sling cheesy pies ranging from a classic margherita to a "breakfast for dinner" pizza with bacon, cream cheese, chives, mozzarella, eggs, and an everything bagel crust. They'll also have pepperoni rolls and cheeseburger rolls that will give Totino's a run for their money.
La Dive, Sunday, 12-5 pm

Seattle All You Can Eat Ice Cream Festival
Stuff yourself with all the frozen desserts you can handle at this festival featuring upwards of 60 different flavors, as well as food trucks and a bar. Proceeds benefit Food Lifeline.
Seattle Center, Sunday, 12-8 pm

Whiskey & Wildbites
Wander through the zoo as you enjoy "a mix of global and local expressions" in the way of gourmet offerings from four different chefs and sip whiskey provided by four different distilleries. 
Woodland Park Zoo, August 19 & 26


Molly Moon's Ice Cream
Need a treat after stocking up on Boy Brow and Balm Dot Com? Taking advantage of the buzz and long lines inspired by the much-hyped opening of the new Glossier showroom on Capitol Hill, Molly Moon's has created a special Glossier-themed sundae, available exclusively at its Capitol Hill shop for the next month beginning today. Inspired by Glossier's signature millennial pink ethos, the special includes strawberry ice cream, homemade raspberry sauce, fresh whipped cream, colored sugar sprinkles, and a Chukar cherry.
Capitol Hill
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Tio Baby's
Savor the flavors of late summer with the "high-quality bar food" pop-up Tio Baby's refreshing watermelon salad, which combines watermelon, lime, Tajín, agave vinaigrette, pickled onions, arugula, torn herbs, and marinated queso fresco. You can find Tio Baby's seven nights a week inside Rose Temple.
Capitol Hill
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