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Skelly and the Bean working to ‘raise the barn’ in 2012

Paquette tests out some vintage chairs. They work! (Image: CHS)

In this twilight of 2011, CHS will spend some time looking back — watch for our Year in Review posts next week. But here’s something to look forward to in 2012. We stopped by 10th Ave E to visit the work underway to create new community restaurant Skelly and the Bean.

“It’s community supported and a community restaurant,” Zephyr Paquette told CHS during a chat inside the restaurant space she’s overhauling. The look by the time the restaurant opens in around late January will be full-on Capitol Hill “grange” with walls covered in recovered barn wood and a semi-realistic mural on the ceiling. “It’s going to be the best barn in Seattle,” Paquette said. But right now, it’s just the old walls left behind by Easy Joe’s.

The Skelly barn is being raised by support from members — “founding memberships are currently available and come with many great perks, including a monthly dining stipend and invitations to private events,” the marketing text goes — but it will take community a step farther by featuring an always-in-motion group of local food and drink entrepreneurs, innovators and artists.

“I see it as an incubator series that I’ll be curating,” Paquette said. “It will be a showcase for pop-ups and food trucks and also a test kitchen.” 

She said she’s currently reaching out to area cooking schools to arrange for opportunities for top students to take a spin at Skelly and the Bean.

That doesn’t mean that Paquette won’t be running the kitchen at Skelly herself. With experience built at Elliott Bay Cafe, Dandelion and Cafe Flora, Paquette said her menu will focus on farm fresh local ingredients as she helms the kitchen on Wednesday through Sunday nights. The rest of the week will be a series of surprises. “I don’t do anything normal,” Paquette said.

She’s also looking for an abnormal compatriot — “I need a sous chef,” she told CHS. If you’d like to join the community growing in a barn on 10th Ave E, this gig is for you.

Learn more at

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9 years ago

That’s a glamour shot if I ever saw one, Z

9 years ago

Nice shoe strings! I’ve been wearing the safety green laces for years now. Glad to see I’m in with the cool crowd! Safety first! I can’t wait for this place to open.