Lower Fremont has long been a hub for bar hopping, thrift-store shopping and people-watching. Yet in the past year, a slew of bustling restaurants and swanky bars has moved in along 34th and 36th streets near Fremont Avenue, adding fresh credibility to the neighborhood's claim of being the center of the universe.
EAT + DRINK >>
Open since early January, Pie (3515 Fremont Ave. N, Suite B; 206.436.8590; sweetandsavorypie.com) bakes fresh, handheld mini-pies until 2 a.m. on weekends, with flavors ranging from savory, like the popular mac ’n’ cheese, to sweet, like the zesty lemon meringue (see page 41 for more on that). Order one with a side of Victrola coffee or à la mode with locally made Bluebird ice cream. >> Perched above lively Fremont Avenue is Showa (701 N 36th St., Suite 200; 206.388.3913; showafremont.com), chef Taichi Kitamura’s new izakaya, which replaced the much pricier Chiso Kappo in November. Taste your way through superb Japanese-style small plates ($3–$6), and don’t miss the macaroni bacon gratin. >> Husband and wife Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi (masterminds behind Joule in Wallingford) opened Revel (403 N 36th St.; 206.547.2040; revelseattle.com) in December, producing the same bold Korean flavors in a more casual setting. The seasonal menu is divided into street-food basics such as pancakes, dumplings, rice bowls and noodle dishes, while their adjacent bar, Quoin, features house-infused soju (distilled Korean rice wine) cocktails.
SHOP + PLAY >>
Bringing flair to the neighborhood, Salsa con Todo (750 N 34th St.; 206.402.2945; salsacontodo.com) made 34th Street its new home in January after four years in the U District. Led by artistic director Vassili (also lead vocalist of Seattle-based Latin rock band Children of the Revolution), the studio offers six-week series classes ($60-$80) in myriad dance styles, including the bachata and the merengue, as well as drop-in classes and workshops. >> Charming biking-lifestyle shop Hub and Bespoke (513 N 36th St.; 206.547.5730; hubandbespoke.com) opened its doors last spring, displaying an impressive collection of locally made clothing and cycling accessories, including weather-resistant leather bags from CARP Leather Goods. >> Well-known hair stylist Amy Quackenbush opened her new high-end hair salon Adele (4224-A Fremont Ave. N; 206.522.5245; adelesalon.com) in February, debuting her signature “Diamond” cut, which includes a precision cut with glazing treatment. >> Filling in the space of the late ToST lounge is The White Rabbit (513 N 36th St., Suite E; 206.588.0155; fremontwhiterabbit.com), a brand-new establishment touting dinner and drinks to accompany live local music acts.
Insider's Tip: Longtime East Coast deli shop Roxy’s Diner has expanded back into an adjacent space with The Backdoor @ Roxy’s (462 N 36th St.; 206.632.3963; pastramisandwich.com), a distinctly grownup bar with antique chandeliers and artsy décor creating a secretive, speakeasy vibe.