Ethan Stowell to Close Union, Open New Resto

Even more breaking food news today! (click here for earlier news about Sitka & Spruce and Flying Fish)

 We'd heard rumors that Ethan Stowell would be closing the doors of Union sometime this year. Today we received news that it's indeed official: Union will close Saturday, May 29.

But foodies, don't fret. This isn' t a sign of grim things to come for Stowell. Ethan Stowell Restaurants is already chipping away at its latest venture: Staple & Fancy Mercantile, located in the Kolstrand Building on the south end of Ballard Ave, right next to the Walrus and the Carpenter.

Check out the press release sent by Kirsten Graham, his PR rep:

SEATTLE, May 21, 2010 – After service on Saturday, May 29, chef Ethan Stowell will close the doors at Union in downtown Seattle. Opened in 2003, Union was the launch pad for Stowell’s career, garnering the young chef tremendous acclaim both locally and nationally for his simple and elegant cooking style.

“My concept of a restaurant has grown and changed over the last seven years,” says Stowell. “I’ve really enjoyed going into neighborhoods and creating an intimate and unique dining experience and that’s the direction that Ethan Stowell Restaurants is going. It’s very bittersweet.”

Since early 2007, Stowell has opened three restaurants that showcase his restrained style of Italian cooking that focuses on clean flavors, stellar products, house-made pastas, and seasonal ingredients. Tavolàta is a modern pasta eatery, How to Cook a Wolf, a small plate experience, and Anchovies & Olives, a seafood and pasta mecca.

Never one to slow down, Stowell, along with his wife and business partner, Angela Stowell, are slated to open Staple & Fancy Mercantile in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood in early July.

“I’ve spent the last few years bouncing around and cooking in all my restaurants,” says Stowell, “and I’m really looking forward to having my own kitchen again. I’ll be cooking five or six nights a week at the new spot, and I can’t wait.”

With the opening of Staple & Fancy Mercantile, Stowell will be taking on more of a restaurateur/executive chef role at the other Ethan Stowell Restaurants. He will be promoting the chef de cuisines, Brandon Kirksey (Tavolàta), Matt Fortner (How to Cook a Wolf), and Charles Walpole (Anchovies & Olives) to chef.

“These guys are all such talented cooks and hard workers,” says Stowell. “It’s time they’re judged on their own accord and receive the accolades for their work at each individual restaurant.”

Built in the early 1900’s and home to Kolstrand Marine Supply Company for nearly 80 years, The Kolstrand Building, located at 4742 Ballard Avenue NW, acts as an historic landmark for the growing neighborhood. With renovations currently in the works, this project has allowed long time friends and colleagues, Stowell and Boat Street Cafe’s Renee Erickson, to create side-by-side restaurants. Staple & Fancy Mercantile will occupy a 1500 square