The close relationship between a bird and a tree is the inspiration behind Finch and Pine, the seasonal Pacific Northwest cafe set to open soon in the former Cafe Barjot space on Bellevue Ave.
Sara Moran has visions of the crystal finch living in a pine forest, eating pinecones, and spreading seeds for more trees.
“What we would like to be — a symbiotic relationship with the community, the farmers, the fishermen,” Moran says.
Along with partner Paolo Gentile who will handle the beer and wine end of things, Moran is planning a May 6th reopening of the space. CHS reported here on the decision from owner Wylie Bush to sell Barjot and focus his efforts on nearby Joe Bar.
With experience from her own food allergies, Moran wants the menu — centered around locally grown produce, and seafood, and as many locally forged items on the menu as possible — to be gracefully friendly to diners including pescatarian, vegetarian, and items that “just happen to be” vegan or gluten free.
With some of the formative years of her Seattle food and drink career spent in the kitchen at the dearly departed Sitka and Spruce, Moran’s name for her new project is also a nod to the elegant simplicity of the now closed Melrose restaurant.
“I really like how at Sitka and Spruce we focused on local ingredients and preparing them simply and beautifully,” Moran said.
Moran hopes to shape Finch and Pine as a day and night neighborhood cafe gathered around the restaurant space’s unique horseshoe counter. Days will start with fresh baked goods, along with house tartines. For now, Finch will grow as a cafe and brunch spot with plans to “progressively open up” to dinner service — by 2022.
The pandemic is, of course, a big factor in planning a slowly ramped up debut. Moran’s experience in the industry is also a factor. “I want to guarantee job security to the people I hire,” she said.
With the first-time restaurant owners just moving back to the neighborhood, Moran said she is also looking forward to life in the small and open kitchen behind the horseshoe counter and making friends along Bellevue Ave.
Finch and Pine is set to open in May at 711 Bellevue Ave E. Learn more at finchandpine.com.
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