Who’s tired of hearing about all the meat-centric, north end restaurants opening? Not us! We’ve got another one to add to the roster, though it’s not exactly a new opening—Brileys BBQ and Grill in Lake Forest Park has gotten a major facelift, though, and debuts its new lake-view dining room when they open for service tomorrow at 11 a.m.
Friends Kyle Brierley and Skyler Riley (Bri-ley, get it?) have run Brileys out of an unassuming lot along Bothell Way since 2015. Brierly spent eight years as the restaurant manager and wine director at Café Juanita; Riley’s the dude who knows his way around a smoker. They’ve built a fan base (in a neighborhood with not a lot of local restaurants) due to some seriously tasty house-made sausages, ribs, pit beef and, my personal favorite, sides like Brunswick stew. Last time I was there I ended up with a basket of beignets the server encouraged me to eat in the car on the way home for optimum deliciousness. She wasn’t wrong.
Anyway, Brileys has been operating out of what can only be described as a glorified tent from day one. There was an indoor kitchen, but the dining room consisted of a series of picnic tables under what looked to be very temporary cover. And as Riley points out, when the rain comes down—as it frequently does in Seattle—folks don’t love to sit in a tent.
On Wednesday, the restaurant team unveils the result of a massive construction project—a 50-seat dining room and another 50 seats outside on the patio. Huge windows look out onto the north end of Lake Washington. Come summer time, this new outdoor dining space is going to be a very big deal.
The new building features rollup garage doors (“to keep that tent vibe,” Riley jokes); plenty of trendy metal, wood and concrete; a jumbo communal table to accommodate the lunch rush of small parties; and massive TVs for watching whatever big game is on. Riley says he’s hoping this’ll make them competition for the likes of Buffalo Wild Wings—the food is, for sure, better here.
You’ll notice the area housing the smoker off to the right is still a little ramshackle—know that that’s in line for phase two. It’s a good sign that these guys put their customers’ comfort ahead of their own.