The CHS Crow approves: Corvus and Co. opens on Broadway

Guymon pours a drink on a busy opening night (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Guymon pours a drink on a busy opening night (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

To get an idea about how Corvus and Co., Broadway’s newly opened Levantine-flavored bar/restaurant and Capitol Hill’s second big debut of the week, took shape, ignore the crow for a minute and focus on the owl. Co-owner Izzy Guymon projected an image of the mystical beast onto the plaster that covered the original brick of the longtime Byzantion restaurant the new joint replaced. He then chipped away at it, piece by tiny piece, eventually forming the relief that now looms over the new space.

It’s not about being meticulous — it’s about pounding it out and carving something new. Corvus, which opened officially Monday night on northern Broadway, is hoped to bridge the gap between the pretensions of Capitol Hill’s craft cocktail scene and the real power of community and, well, spirit in its bars and restaurants.

“We’re not a craft bar, we’re not a dive bar, we’re right in between,” Guymon told CHS Monday night.

Grinding it out has taken on all sorts of shapes as Corvus and Co. has formed. Guymon and business partner Paul Berryman also chiseled away at the very essence of the project as pushback on the original Spirit Animal name and an attempted compromise inspired a last-minute name change. Reincarnation is a fitting part of the Corvus story. In September, CHS reported on the Berryman and Guymon purchase of the 30-year-old Greek restaurant and their intention to create a “slightly mystical” bar and restaurant.

The realization of this vision has resulted in a total transformation of the old restaurant with plenty of shadows and textures. Chef Mac Jarvis, fresh off helming the launch of Ernest Loves Agnes, has created a Levantine-inspired menu.

“There’s a lot of really amazing spices, and fresh ingredients,” Guymon told CHS earlier this year. “That’s where Mac comes in. Her expertise is going to showcase a lot of Pacific Northwest ingredients and incorporate those Mediterranean-Levantine flavors.” The results include grilled asparagus topped with a “six-minute egg” and lemon aioli, spiced crispy chickpeas, artichoke fritters with tahini aioli, and paprika-spiced latkes with harissa aioli and coriander creme. Try the cardamom-spiced doughnuts with pistachio and cinnamon creme anglaise for a treat.

Guymon worked with the Derschang Group previously where he first met Jarvis. She spent 2015 helping launch Ernest Loves Agnes on 19th Ave E. Berryman said he and business partner Guymon met while working behind the bar at Percy’s & Co. in Ballard.

Now the two first-time owners have built their own place with mostly their own hands.

Corvus and Co. is located at 601 Broadway E. You can learn more on Facebook.

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