Since Terra Plata’s future at Melrose became cloudy in March 2010, there has been a great deal of speculation as to who would be able to replace this key tenant at 1531 Melrose. CHS has learned that the future tenant will be a Mexican restaurant operated by the current co-owners of Ballard’s Bastille, Deming Maclise or James Weimann. We contacted Dunn & Hobbes, the co-developer to confirm. “We aren’t ready to announce any plans yet,” they told us. We also contacted Maclise and Weiman and received no response. This will be a marquee name that may equal Tamara Murphy in star power. In addition, Bastille was one of the first Seattle restaurants to feature a rooftop garden – a feature that Murphy had planned for Terra Plata.
Melrose Market is a testament to the idea that development (for density) and preservation can coexist. Liz Dunn of Dunn & Hobbes has long been a proponent of prioritizing historic preservation in developing for urban, dense neighborhoods. Her partner in the Melrose Market development, Scott Shapiro of Eagle Rock Ventures, has likewise received praise for his preservation-conscious renovation of the 1117 12th Avenue Building (home to Cafe Presse and Stumptown Coffee). The vision is of an early 20th century arcade market (akin to pre-1971 ”Les Halles” in Paris) with specialized vendors that sell food, flowers, clothes and music sharing an enclosed space with eateries and bars.
Dunn & Hobbes nabbed their anchor tenant for 1531 Melrose in March 2009, when Matthew Dillon agreed to relocate his critically acclaimed Sitka & Spruce from Eastlake to the Melrose Market. Sitka & Spruce closed at its Eastlake location in December 2009 and is set to open Wednesday night at 5:30 pm. Initially it will open only for dinner. Beginning 6/15/10, Sitka & Spruce will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In addition to Sitka & Spruce, Dillon will open Bar Ferdinand at Melrose Market with Corson Building sommelier Marc Papineau and wine guy Jared Baily. Bar Ferdinand will offer wine-friendly foods such as fish, oysters, nuts, and olives for sale, in addition to serving them. Expect it to open mid-summer 2010.
Vendors that have already opened at Melrose Market include The Calf & Kid, Marigold & Mint and the ampersand-challenged Rain Shadow Meats. We asked Sheri LaVigne, the proprietress of Calf & Kid for an update on how her business is faring. Here is her report:
Business has been great, opening weekend and week were full of people who’d been following the blog or twitter, and since then I have already got some “regulars” from the ‘hood. Every day there is a good stream of new people just wandering by who are figuring out that we’re open or just discovering us, so it’s been great.
We also asked her when business is busiest and when she would advise neighbors to come by:
Saturday is our busiest day, so Fridays are a great time for people to come in. I get all my deliveries for the weekend on Weds and Thurs so I am fully stocked by Friday and have my most comprehensive selection at that time. Rain Shadow Meats is on a similar schedule, and Russ over there makes his terrines and pate’s during the week so those are available, also Marigold & Mint is carrying fresh vegetables Fri, Sat and Sunday.
We also checked in with Russell Flint of Rain Shadow Meats for an update on how his business is faring:
Things have been great! The neighborhood has been very receptive and thrilled. The busy times are Saturday and most evenings after people get off work. Sitka is opening this week and should draw lots of people in.
Rounding out the 1531 Melrose tenants, will be Homegrown – Sustainable Sandwich Shop. CHS confirmed with Homegrown that they will open at the Melrose Market on 6/22/10. They plan to use Calf & Kid cheeses and Rain Shadow’s meats in their sandwich offerings.
At 1525 Melrose, Sonic Boom Records has been open since December 2009 and reports that they have been able to achieve their goal of hosting more live music in the new space. Co-owner Jason Hughes stated last year that this was one of the key reasons for Sonic Boom move from 15th Avenue: “Sonic Boom’s new store will have a permanent stage and we will be hosting more in-stores than we had in our previous location.”
Immediately adjacent at 1521 Melrose is Velouria, a clothing store, owned and operated by Hughes’s girlfriend Tes de Luna. Like Sonic Boom, it has been in business at Melrose since December 2009. In de Luna’s words, “Velouria is a boutique & gallery dedicated to featuring clothing and accessories made by independent designers that take their designs from start to finish without being mass-produced along the way”.
The only tenant that faces out on Minor, Still Liquor takes advantage of the less trafficked part of the development at 1524 minor, cultivating its speakeasy branding. Co-owners Joshua Carrigan and Breckeen Anderson did all of the restoration and build out of the 1920s-era garage, and Still has won praise for its clean, modern space as much as for its cocktails. Still Liquor has been open since January 2010.