Donate & Dine Blood Drive comes to Queen Anne on Monday

Bloodworks Northwest is partnering with our local Umpqua Bank for Donate & Dine, a special blood drive, on Monday, March 27th. All registered blood donors get a $10 gift card to a local restaurant. Participating Queen Anne restaurants include:

  • Starbucks
  • Sushi Samurai
  • Storyville
  • Sully’s
  • Homegrown
  • Cupcake Royale
  • How to Cook a Wolf
  • Eat Local
  • El Diablo
  • 5 Spot
  • Emerald City Smoothie
  • Zaw Pizza
  • Robert Ramsay Cellars

Make an appointment online and head to Umpqua Bank at 1630 Queen Anne Ave N. Current open slots run from 2:35pm to 5:10pm.

If you can’t make Monday, a second blood drive is slated for Uptown on April 12th. That drive will take place near Craftworks Coffee (110 Republican St) and participating restaurants include Starbucks, Agave, Uptown Espresso, Ten Mercer, and more to be announced as the date nears.

Three Queen Anne restaurants to participate in Dining Out for Life this Thursday

Dining Out For LifeThe annual Dining Out for Life is this Thursday, April 28th, and this year, three Queen Anne restaurants are participating to help raise funds for Lifelong.

On Thursday, over 100 restaurants in the Seattle metro area will donate 30-50% of their proceeds to Lifelong’s Chicken Soup Brigade food program that feeds people fighting hunger and illness in the community.

Plan on eating at McMenamins Queen Anne, The Other Coast Café, or Lloyd Martin this Thursday if you want to stick around the neighborhood and help out Lifelong. If you’ll be venturing further afield for lunch or dinner, you can search for participating restaurants online.

This year, McMenamins is repeating its performance as a Golden Fork restaurant, which means that it’s donating 50% of the day’s proceeds to Lifelong.


Dining Out for Life runs all day Thursday, so plan on eating lunch and/or dinner out to help Lifelong.

How to Cook A Wolf Marks 5 Years on Queen Anne With a Celebratory Evening

Photo Credit: Geoffrey Smith

Time has flown! How to Cook a Wolf is celebrating 5 years on Queen Anne on December 2nd. To mark the occasion, Chef Ryan Weed, the restaurant’s original chef, will be back in the kitchen for one night only. Owner/restaurateur Ethan Stowell will also be in the Wolf kitchen that night, but Chef Weed will head up the menu and culinary activities.

I asked Ethan Stowell if he had any thoughts on celebrating 5 years on Queen Anne, and it sounds like How to Cook a Wolf is here to stay for the long-haul:

“Queen Anne has been such a welcoming and supportive neighborhood for How to Cook a Wolf. We’ve enjoyed getting to know the neighbors over the last five years and hope to be around for another 25!”

All proceeds from the anniversary evening will benefit The Fetal Hope Foundation, a national non-profit that serves as a liaison between families affected by fetal syndromes and the medical teams providing care.

Due to How to Cook a Wolf’s small, intimate setting, reservations are recommended.

Le Rêve Bakery & Cafe Celebrates its 2nd Anniversary All Week Long

Monday is Le Rêve’s second anniversary, and to celebrate two years on Queen Anne, the bakery and café has special offers all week. Le Rêve has been a great addition to the neighborhood, and owner Andrea Nakata feels fortunate to be celebrating two years in business.

Le Rêve has secured a large following of loyal customers – they were super-busy this past Saturday at 11am, with patrons spilling out onto the front porch on a cold but sunny weekend morning. Congratulations is in order for Le Rêve – and you can do so in person while partaking of the celebration festivities the bakery and cafe has planned for the week!

I asked Le Rêve owner Andrea Nakata about her learnings from two years in business on Queen Anne, and she emphasized the importance of a loyal customer base – further cementing that patronizing our local merchants is what keep them in business and thriving.

According to Nakata:

“Much of the thanks goes to our loyal customers who have not only supported us since we opened but have taken ownership and pride in our little bakery and community gathering place.  I think one of the most enjoyable part of our job is getting to know all of our wonderful customers and neighbors.  We have customers that come in not only everyday but sometimes two or three times during the day to get their morning cup of coffee and and a pastry, soup and sandwich for lunch and dessert on their way home from work.”

And, looking forward, Nakata plans to continue its focus on great customer service while leveraging the heritage of Le Rêve’s new pastry chef:

“We strive to provide the best customer service possible and to offer the best pastries and desserts. With our new pastry chef who is originally from France and has worked all over the world, we would like to go back to our French roots and offer more traditional French desserts and expand our cake selection.  We are excited for this holiday season to be able to showcase all of our new and delectable desserts.”

To celebrate its anniversary and thank customers for their support, Le Rêve has celebration activities planned all week, starting tomorrow, Monday, November 12 – the day that marks 2 years – and continuing through Friday, November 16:

  • Monday, Nov 12: free cake 1-3pm
  • Tuesday, Nov 13: Meet and Greet (plus try new desserts) with Chef Rogerio, Le Rêve’s new Pastry Chef, 10-11am and also meet Antoaneta, Le Rêve’s featured artist of the month
  • Wednesday, Nov 14: Coffee Cupping with award winning Micro-Roaster of the Year, Olympia Coffee Roasting Company, to try Le Rêve’s latest blends of coffee, 10-11am
  • Thursday, Nov 15: Afternoon Tea with a French-inspired menu from 1-3pm (reservations required)
  • Friday, Nov 16: Happy Hour and Live Music, 4-6pm
  • So, stop by Le Rêve this week and pass along your congratulations to Andrea and her staff, and join them in the celebration. Best of luck to Le Rêve for many more years on Queen Anne!

5 Spot Locks the Blue Door Today-Only in Prep for Election Night (Red Door Still Open)

Throughout the Presidential campaign, the 5 Spot has hosted debate parties, offering special menu items and partnering with broVo Spirits for election-themed cocktails. Patrons can participate in the “vote with your liver” campaign and the 5 Spot has also been tallying “votes” cast via entry through either the red or blue door. Today only (Friday), however, the blue door has been locked to “give Mitt a chance” as the blue door has had heavy usage up to now. (you can vote via the blue door again tomorrow!)

Here were the counts as of the second Presidential debate:

Voting continues via cocktails and door entries through Election Day – and that night, there will be a special menu with items like “Little Big Bird Bites” and “Pro or Anti Pasto Plate”. Then, after the polls close, all broVo election cocktails will drop in price to $5 and draft beers will be $3 – so, regardless of the election results, you win!

Add to Your Halloween Fun with Mezcaleria Oaxaca’s Día de Muertos Celebration

Día de Muertos, Day of the Dead, is celebrated November 1st and 2nd, in connection with All Saints’ Day (November 1) and All Souls’ Day (November 2) – but for Mezcaleria Oaxaca, the celebration starts early, with events planned for Halloween that run all day!

Mezcaleria Oaxaca’s Día de Muertos begins at 11:30am on Wednesday, October 31 and runs until 11pm. The all-day party includes special Día de Muertos lunch and dinner menus, mezcal cocktails, a costume party, and dulces for trick-or-treaters. It’ll be a vibrant day with the Queen Anne Ave trick-or-treating and Mezcaleria Oxaca’s special all-day festivities.

There’ll also be a live Mariachi band from 5:30-6:30pm to energize the celebration!

emmer&rye to Close This Sunday, October 28

More sad news about a local Queen Anne business – emmer&rye has announced that they are closing after dinner service this Sunday, October 28. It’s just a few days away, and follows on the heels of closing announcements from Queen Anne Books and Pinkabella Cupcakes.

emmer&rye has been in its Queen Anne Ave N location for almost 3 three years, but rising costs have forced chef Seth Caswell to shutter the Queen Anne location. In the statement from emmer&rye, there’s a vision for another venture in the future in a “neighborhood near you” – so, we’ve likely lost another local, independent Queen Anne business for good.

And, for this particular loss, we do have some insight as to why – rising costs and a space that doesn’t quite fit with the restaurant’s vision. The email from emmer&rye reads as follows:

“With restaurants operating on such tight profit margins, it is very difficult to deal with the increasing cost of goods and services today. My bills are 150% higher than they were when emmer&rye opened, but the check averages are the same.

Initially, I was attracted to the large, beautiful house in this quaint neighborhood, but I have seen repeatedly that Seattle diners really want to be supporting small, intimate spaces where they can be more attached to the stories that the food has to tell. So, with an awesome private dining room, two outdoor seating areas and a large dining room, the house proved to be much too large for the needs it was trying to fill. Despite the immense pleasure I receive from cooking for each and every guest, I felt too distanced from many of the diners and became uncertain if my message was being transferred through the plates of food.”

The full note to emmer&rye customers is also online.

As always, we will mourn the loss of another local business. If you’re wondering what you can do to stem the loss of our local, independently-owned businesses – while there’s not much we as residents can do about rising rents and costs, we can patronize these businesses and spend locally.

emmer&rye, we wish the best for the staff and any future endeavors.

Restaurant roundup in Queen Anne

A lot of happenings around the hood in the restaurant business:

As we previewed last month, the new Mexican restaurant Plaza Garibaldi is now open on 1st Ave. in Lower Queen Anne. They’ll be having a formal grand opening celebration on Tuesday, August 28.

Tin Lizzie Lounge has opened in LQA in the MarQueen Hotel (above).  According to their website, they are serving breakfast then light menu options and hand crafted cocktails for the rest of the day.

Our sister site, the Maple Leaf Life, has noted that COA Mexican Eatery owners have purchased La Luna and their plan is to work on La Luna’s “story”.  MLL also notes that Eater Seattle had a Tweet out looking for nominations for Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmare Seattle locations for their show.  COA was nominated.  Time will tell if the newest owners of La Luna will make it the newest jewel on the Hill.

As of August 7th, LloydMartin began serving brunch.  As with their dinner service, they recommend making reservations.  Seattle Weekly has also listed LloydMartin as one of the best new restaurants in 2012.  Their social hour is Tuesday-Saturday from 5pm-6pm featuring small plates, craft beers and wine specials.

Where Ya At Matt, who you can find weekly at the Farmer’s Market on Thursdays, is working towards his goal of opening Roux, a brick & mortar restaurant location in Fremont by the end of September.  The location is the former Buckaroo Tavern at 4201 North Fremont Ave.  You can follow his roll out from Hanna Raskin over at the Seattle Weekly.  Her two interviews with him so far can be found here and here.

A review of Twirl Cafe was also published in the Seattle Weekly.  Twirl serves sandwiches, espresso, beer and wine and kid friendly fare all while offering a pay-to-play area in the back.  For families wanting to try it out, Twirl offers all day free play on the last Monday of each month.

And as we posted earlier today, the new restaurant Grub has just opened at Queen Anne Ave. and Boston. See any restaurant news around the neighborhood? Email us at

New restaurant opening in Jalisco’s old spot

A new restaurant called Plaza Garibaldi will be opening soon in the old Jalisco’s location on 1st Ave. in Lower Queen Anne. “It’s going to be a great Mexican-themed family friendly dining option that hopefully will be as popular as its predecessor during the Sonics era,” said Ewing & Clark’s Blake Taylor, who leased the facility to the restaurant’s owners.

Taylor said they’ve remodeled the kitchen, dining areas and bar and repainted the building. No word on an opening date.

Stell’s closing its doors on Saturday in wake of lawsuit settlement

One of North Queen Anne’s most beloved establishments — and a longtime hangout of SPU students and faculty — will be closing this Saturday. Stell’s Burgers & More is moving out of the neighborhood in the wake of a bitter lawsuit over contamination cleanup costs. “I’m not jumping with joy that I’m leaving, but it is what it is,” owner Stellios Makratzakis told us.

Nearly seven years ago, Makratzakis opened Stell’s in the building across from SPU, which was occupied by a dry cleaning business. A controversy ensued over who would foot the bill for cleanup costs, reported a story in SPU’s student newspaper, The Falcon. It escalated into a lawsuit over tenancy rights, and the suit just settled. “Part of the settlement is I chose to leave,” Makratzakis said, adding he couldn’t elaborate due to a confidentiality clause in the deal.

In April of last year, SPU said it bought the property that houses Stell’s from Lyle Olsen, who continues to lease out the other half of the building. SPU wouldn’t discuss the lawsuit, but it said it’s “considering a number of options for the property, including food formats that can serve both the University students and employees but also the general public,” SPU’s SVP of Business and Planning Don Mortenson told Queen Anne View in an emailed statement.

“The kids and the faculty are absolutely wonderful,” Makratzakis said, gazing out the window at the SPU campus. “It’s a shame it didn’t work out.” He said he’s exploring a location on Market St. in Ballard as well as locations in Northeast Seattle. “I hope we can stay in the vicinity,” he said, noting they have a growing list of customers who want to be notified when he opens again.

“It’s time to move on and get a new venture going,” he said.