First-time Seattle restauranteur Eric Johnson plans to open Stateside — blending “fresh flavors of Vietnam with French influence” — in a new project at 300 E Pike this fall.
“We couldn’t be more pleased — just serendipity that we got it,” Johnson tells CHS about the 2,400 square-foot restaurant space being built where offices and parking used to be hidden away in the old building behind the McMennamins tavern. “We really, really wanted an old building. Now we’re going to have to live up to the best concentration of restaurants in Seattle.”
After years traveling the world to open restaurants from Paris to Shanghai, Johnson is hopefully steeled for the competitive Pike/Pine entertainment economy competition. He’ll be familiar with one aspect of Capitol Hill living, to be sure. His last restaurant project in Hong Kong ended when its building was demolished to make way for development.
Stateside is envisioned to build on Johnson’s living abroad in Asia and France for nearly a decade as he built his global restaurant career. Following the end of his Hong Kong project, Johnson said he had longings to end his ex-pat wanderings. With family in the state, the Pacific Northwest called.
“And you know why we wanted to be on Capitol Hill,” Anderson said.
With a growing restaurant and bar density, it’s fertile ground to build a food and drink venture, to be sure.
Anderson’s new home between Six Arms and Victrola will see even more activity soon as Starbucks and Tom Douglas move in to create a new roastery complex and the new Melrose and Pine mega-development digs in around the corner.
Capitol Hill real estate investor and developer Jerry Everard fired up the project — he dubbed it “Six Legs” — to create the new restaurant space in the building after its longtime office tenant decide to get away from the desk. “David Fukui, a long time Seattle architect who bought the building in the 1970s and converted it from an automobile dealership to his firm’s offices (and a restaurant) sold the building to our group in 2005,” Everard tells us. “As part of the deal, we agreed he could stay in the office on the ground floor that he was then occupying for as long as he wanted to keep the office.” With the space open, Everard was ready to move forward. Stateside should fit in nicely. He says the McMennamins lease was just re-signed. Game maker Wonder Forge has also called the building home. In the meantime, Everard is also busy at the helm of the Central Agency Building project where a new venture from the team at Lark will create a restaurant, raw bar and sandwich shop on the backside of the Pike/Pine core.
At Stateside, Johnson is working with Heliotrope Architects to put together plans for the 80-seat restaurant and bar. He’s still working out ideas for the project’s look and feel but wants a casual vibe and expects the “old building charm” to shine through. Stateside will start with dinner service only with plans to add lunch and brunch as things settle in.
The rest, Johnson says, is a basic focus on French-inspired Vietnamese cuisine.
“Our hopes are very simple,” Johnson said. “Make great food.”
Shibumi Izakaya is planning to welcome its first customers Thursday night on E Pine at 13th in the new Collins on Pine building.
CHS told you about the project from longtime Santa Fe chef Eric Stapelman here last fall. We’ll have more from Stapelman and his Japanese tavern-style izakaya offerings soon.
Shibumi Izakaya is located at 1222 E Pine. Hours are 5 to 10 PM on Monday through Wednesday, 5 to 11 PM on Thursday through Saturday and closed on Sunday. You can learn more at shibumiseattle.com.