Last November, we discovered that Skillet was negotiating to be the marquee tenant at the renovated Packard Building at 12th & Pine. In June 2010, we learned that Grey Gallery made an unsuccessful bid for the same space. Today, we can confirm the tenants who will occupy the retail spaces fronting 12th Avenue at the Packard Building.
When walking by the corner of 12th and Pine, you can already see the signs for Varro, an italian bar that was inspired by Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. We spoke to Richard Troiani, a hospitality industry veteran, who conceived an Italian bar that serves espresso and coffee during the day and apertivos (including limoncello) and cocktails in the evening and night. Troiani and his partners plan to serve paninis and pastries, along with Lavazza Coffee. If Troiani’s name sounds familiar to you, it may be because his name used to grace the space at 1001 3rd Avenue, back when it was an Italian steakhouse and where he once served as the Managing Partner. Troiani hopes to open Varro mid-November.
Next door to the south, Stephen Brown and his partners will open Eltana, a middle eastern eatery that will serve wood-fired baked bagels known as “Montreal bagels”. Montreal bagels are smaller, sweeter and coated with either sesame or poppy seeds all over the bagel (rather than on one side). The bagel maker at Eltana will have an impressive pedigree, having made bagels at St. Viateur’s Bagels, the renowned Montreal bagelry. The wood-fired stove will sit in the center of the space, so customers can view the bagels emerging fresh from the oven.
Brown shared with CHS that Eltana will have an otherwise limited menu carrying no more than 15 items of middle eastern spreads, salads and soups. He described the menu as consisting of middle eastern street food and envisioned it topping off at $12. Brown is a restaurant veteran having helmed Entros, an “intelligent amusement park” / restaurant in South Lake Union from 1993 to 2000. Before that, he operated an oyster bar in Palo Alto. Eltana hopes to open sometime between Thanksgiving and the end of the year.