Unique Partnership Forming On The Eastside
There are various partnerships in the restaurant & bar world. Some are often financial, while others are quite familial. In the early 1990s, Marc & Bret Chatalas formed the latter in Madison Park with their first restaurant, Cactus. What began as a humble tapas joint near the park eventually grew into a very successful restaurant group, with locations in Kirkland, Alki Beach, South Lake Union and most recently Bellevue Square. Cactus Restaurants have always delivered on both exceptional service and a truly innovative and inspired menu, featuring cuisine from Mexico and the American Southwest.
James Weimann and Deming Maclise are also no strangers to what a burgeoning partnership can foment. The two (restaurant veterans) met around 2008 and decided to come together on a Parisian café & bar which opened in Ballard in 2009. Bastillewas a huge success and led to several other collaborations. Poquito’s, Macleod’s, Von Trapp’s, and Stoneburner will give you and idea of what these two have developed since they made the decision to join forces. While they are very successful owner/operators, their uncanny ability to source obscure materials and create unique dining environments really sets them apart in the industry.
So what happens when two of the best restaurant operators team up with two of the best restaurant designers? A brand-new partnership. The brothers Chatalas have teamed up with James & Deming to create something very special on the Eastside.Introducing Tavern Hall.
Tavern Hall will be located just off the sky bridge between Lincoln Square and Bellevue Square surrounded by a sea of free parking. Tavern Hall is going to be casual and fun—a place to hang out with friends, play some shuffleboard, watch the game, and order up the best burger on the Eastside. And yes, you can actually “hang out” there—they want you to.
“This is exactly the kind of restaurant I’ve always thought was missing from downtown Bellevue. This one-off entertainment driven concept will appeal to those looking for something casual, fun, and different. The space itself is going to be really distinctive and unlike anything that has ever been on the Eastside. This will be a Seattle dining experience tailored for a clientele on the Eastside.”
Tavern Hall will offer 20 beers on tap with plenty of your local favorites, as well as a complete cocktail program. The menu itself will be standard tavern fare—think wings, pretzels, flatbreads, and a custom-grind burger program that will be the showcase of the offering. Add to that beer tastings, weekend brunch, and special dinner gatherings throughout the month—here think Sunday Supper and Spaghetti Night.
“Creatively, this project is really interesting because there really isn’t anything like Tavern Hall on the Eastside. It will fill a void with approachable, upscale comfort food; a great burger, lots of delicious shareable appetizers, and a brick oven for flatbreads and pretzels. Personally, I couldn’t be more excited to place this kind of food in the context of such a large, lively environment.”
—BRENT NOVOTNY, CULINARY DIRECTOR
While Tavern Hall will be a huge draw for singles and couples looking for a way to relax and have fun, the space is also designed to be the premier private dining space on the Eastside. It will offer three separate spaces each suitable for groups of up to 50 and can be combined into one large space perfect for groups of up to 200 people.
“We are hoping Tavern Hall becomes a great place for groups to gather, eat, drink, play, and catch some games.”
Regarding the space, if you’ve seen anything James & Deming have designed in the past you might have an idea of what they can (literally) bring to the table. The two have become quite adept at sourcing arcane material from all over the globe and Tavern Hall will continue this tradition. Collected thus far are some original lanterns from Coney Island, Church windows from Portland, Oregon, a giant clock from Buenos Aires, and an entire facade from a former psychiatric hospital in upstate New York. There will be several fire places, shuffle board tables, televisions for game day, and enough seating for 300 people.
“Our goal is to create an honest tavern with a comfortable, casual, and communal warmth where everyone is welcome.”
It’s natural to assume that the two groups behind this new endeavor might actually consider themselves rivals—after all, they both run wildly popular Mexican joints with outdoor patios where the margaritas flow freely—but that thought didn’t really occur to any of them at first.
“Days after signing a lease for the expansive space, we lost our architect/designer and we needed to quickly evaluate our options. We knew we had to create a space that would be incredibly compelling—reaching for iconic—and we’ve long thought that James and Deming were creating the most interesting restaurant spaces in Seattle, period. These guys are designers without equal, and should be getting national attention for their process and results. And so, despite “competing” with them in the Mexican arena, we knew bringing them into this project was our best chance at creating something special.”
Tavern Hall is going to be an eclectic gathering place with a little something for everybody. And it’s also going to be an exciting partnership between two local restaurant groups hoping to bring something unique and vital to the Eastside. Tavern Hall is opening this summer.
See you in Bellevue!
Opening Date: Summer 2014
Location: Bellevue Square (Formerly Munchbar)
Square Footage: 9500
Food: Tavern Fare, Exceptional Burger, Flatbreads, Sharable Appetizers
Drink: 20 taps, Full Cocktail Program
Activities: 5 Shuffleboard Tables, Darts, Foosball, Live DJ Fridays & Saturdays
Age Restrictions: Minors allowed in dining room until 8PM
Contact: Marc Chatalas
Hearth Baked Pretzel
Smoked white cheddar sauce, peanut butter, bacon dip.
Blistered Shishito Peppers
Charred lemon, sea salt.
Hand-Cut Ahi Nachos
Spicy ahi tuna, avocado, habanero aioli, chimichurri.
Portuguese sausage, cherry peppers.
Tomato & Ricotta
Oven roasted tomatoes, basil.
Tavern Hall Burger
Classic Chuck and Sirloin grind on a potato bun with Iceberg lettuce, tomato, and our own burger sauce.
Braised Brisket Sandwich
Ale braised brisket, red onion jam, roasted onion aioli, poppy seed bun.
Oven Roasted Wild Salmon
Roasted lemon butter, tomato-corn salad.