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‘Warm and comfortable’ if not downright spicy, Rooster’s opens on Broadway

Campbell and Moshier (Image: CHS)

Campbell and Moshier (Image: CHS)

It doesn’t sound like much a of a compliment to say the newest restaurant on Broadway looks like it could be part of a well thought out, all demographic-friendly chain. But, slickly produced commercial spots aside, what is going on in the kitchen and behind the scenes at Rooster’s Bar and Grill is probably what matters most.

“There’s no polished metal. We wanted something warm and comfortable for everybody,” restaurateur Stan Moshier told CHS as we sat down in the midst of Sunday night’s pre-opening “friends and family” serving as the new Broadway restaurant worked out last minute kinks before Monday night’s planned opening.

Moshier and Lori Campbell created the Tex-Mex themed Rooster’s from the literal ashes of the space left behind after a never-solved arson destroyed the Galerias Mexican restaurant in 2011. Moshier tells CHS he won the bid to work as a contractor on rehabbing the restaurant in preparation for finding a new project to lease the space — it was a real mess by the time work began three years after the fire, Moshier said, with copper pipes and wires stripped by thieves and people using the burned out building as a place to hang out and shoot up — and has he built it back up, the longtime owner of Madison Park’s Bing’s decided it might be time to saddle back up in the restaurant biz.

After a successful sale of their Madison Park restaurant in 2011, Moshier and Campbell decided to turn the new project over to some of the key people they had worked with in the kitchen for so many years at Bing’s. Oscar Arevalo and Jose Luis Ceja not only head the new kitchen at Rooster’s, Moshier said he was able to offer his longtime employees the opportunity to become partners this time around. Moshier said he fused his concept for a BBQ-driven restaurant with Arevalo and Ceja’s Michoacan backgrounds to create the Rooster’s menus. The big “Southern Pride” smoker in the kitchen will get a lot of work.

Dishes include “the Tostada De Ceviche, featuring fresh cod in a lime juice marinade served with pico de gallo and avocado on a crispy tostada,” pozole with “hominy, tender pork, cabbage with avocado topping,” carne asada, fajitas, tacos, or “a Pork Chop Adovo accented with a chipotle pepper sauce.” “The Rooster’s menu embraces it’s Tex-Mex culinary style by highlighting the meats, fish, herbs and spices characteristic of the region,” the press release reads. Weekend breakfast and brunch will be added to the roster in a few weeks. Prices range from $8 to $10 appetizers including nachos and queso fundido to three-taco plates around $10 to $12 to Tex Mex entrees in the teens. There’s a full bar with house margaritas and Mexican beer by the can.

There’s no denying it. Rooster’s looks and feels like somebody — Moshier — created a Chilli’s by hand in the middle of Broadway. But who’s to say it won’t age into the fabric of the indie-leaning neighborhood? Even Charlie’s must have looked new for at least one day.

Moshier’s new restaurant joins a north Broadway dining scene that recently had taken an upswing toward the $$$$$ end of the spectrum. Still, simpler options survive — and thrive. And more choices including Poppy sibling Lionhead, “three ingredient” cocktail joint Herb and Bitter Public House and the overhauled Harvard Exit restaurant and office development are coming soon.

Rooster’s Bar and Grill is located at 611 Broadway E and open Monday through Friday from 4:00 PM to midnight, and will be open 9:00 AM to midnight Saturdays and 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM on Sundays once the breakfast service starts. In the meantime, check out for more information.


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22 thoughts on “‘Warm and comfortable’ if not downright spicy, Rooster’s opens on Broadway

  1. This menu is a mess. It’s all over the place, and none of it is Tex-Mex. Have they ever even been to Texas? Texans BBQ beef not pork. And calamari? Pick one theme and get it right. When I see menu’s like this I can only imagine everything is as half-assed as the thought that went into it.

    • I too feel that menu is all over the place and very little to do with Tex-Mex. I have eaten more Tex-Mex in my life than any other food and I just don’t understand if Seattle restaurateurs have never been to the state or went to some really bad restaurants.

      Regardless, I live close so I will give it a shot at least once and hope for the best.

    • Hey, here’s a thought. Maybe you try a place before you throw them under the “not authentic texmex bus.” Maybe it will become a really popular, moderately priced place with good food enjoyed by many loyal customers who don’t have your well-refined taste.

      • It doesn’t even have a tex-mex menu, it’s prett safe to say it’s not tex-mex. no one is talking about the quality of the food just that the menu has only a few tex-mex items. It’s like naming deluxe bar and grill a Philly cheesesteak bar because they have a cheesesteak on the menu when the rest is unrelated.

  2. Nice, just a couple of blocks from me. I’ve been following this one for awhile. Can’t wait to try it out this week!

  3. It’s very obvious that chain restaurants don’t do well on Broadway/Capitol Hill. Why would restaurant owners want to emulate a Chili’s/Chevy’s “Fresh Mex,” complete with gimmicky slogans and irrelevant menu items?

    I wish the owners the best, but perhaps they might want to rethink their concept.

    • Perhaps you could wait for them to, I dunno, actually OPEN and serve food for a few weeks, and see how their business goes, before you start passing out advice on how to run their restaurant and feed their customers? Maybe they’ll be packed and popular and full just as they are, “authentic” or not? And BTW, in case you don’t remember or weren’t around– both the Taco Bell and the Jack in the Box, skeezy as they were, both did quite well for years on Broadway before their respective buildings were dozed to make way for new construction. So this whole “chains never do well on Broadway” story actually just doesn’t hold water.

  4. Yeah, maybe Matt forgot about the thriving Chipotle and Subway. And Menchie’s. And Panera. And Genki Sushi. And Dick’s, for crying out loud.

    • None of which are north of e john except for subway which is actually a franchise not a corp chain store.

      • Is E John a dividing line which indicates doom for chains? Menchies is also North of E John. There is also Starbucks (2 of them). Don’t forget Pagliacci.

        I’m sure CHS will keep us posted if there concept isn’t a success. I’m also sure the majority of people will judge their concept on the quality of the food, service and prices and not let themselves caught up on “Tex Mex”.

    • And how many chains do you see that aren’t fast food? Do you really think a Chilli’s/Applebees/TGI Fridays/Chevy’s would thrive in this area?

  5. Ate dinner there tonight. It was fine. Everybody calm down. It’s just a restaurant. I hope they do well. Good luck!

  6. With the influx of newer Capitol Hill residents whose money is pushing out long-time residents – they also bring with them a palate for this type of food. It’s all about homogenization, blandness (see the new construction?), mediocrity, in all aspects of life. Asian fusion, Mexican that isn’t really Mexican, etc… and the flavor of the suburbs and malls of America.

  7. Pingback: CHS Year in Review 2015 | Capitol Hill’s food and drink booms again | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle