The Outtakes: My Review of Bourbon & Bones

By: Julien Perry | Posted July 02, 2014
A taxidermy warthog oversees the down-home scene in Fremont

Reviewing Bourbon & Bones for our July issue was one of the most fun times I've had recently checking out a new restaurant. The barbecue here is mighty fine, but I"ll go back for the atmosphere. The near deafening Van Halen that was burning a whole through the speakers the last time I was there was crazy, in a very good way. I love the attitude this place gives off.

When I sat down with owner and head 'cuer Mike Law to talk about this magazine piece, we chatted at length—not all of it got published. Here's what ended up on the cutting room floor. 

Why did you bring this concept to the masses?
I think with Bourbon & Bones in particular, I wanted a place where — in my opinion, in Seattle there’s really no good barbecue. I wanted to have a place where you could get proper barbecue, like pork shoulder, sausage, bacon. I wanted to have a place that was the staple, where you could come in and—we have what we call our ‘heat merchandiser’ to showcase our fried chicken, our barbecue, our sides. I wanted a place that was simple and where you could get good food.

Before you took on the role of chef at Wandering Goose, where and what were you cooking? 
I was in-and-out of New Orelans for about 10 years (he was the sous chef for John Besh at Artesia). I left when the hurricane [Katrina] hit. Prior to that, I was in Europe for several years cooking. No barbecue, mostly fine-dining experience: New European, German, French, Spanish, Italian. This is Washington state. There aren’t Southerners here. It makes sense to open a place like this in the south because there’s a lot of them there. I was looking to do something here that you don’t see a lot of. Utilize my experience with barbecue.

What do you think this place means to the neighborhood?
We’ve only been open since January 20  and people have been in here like 10 times over. They love it because to them, it feels like—it’s very relaxed, comfortable, the food and drinks are good; they don’t feel weird about being here. It’s like hanging out at THEIR bar. They’re not going to this swanky place where you can only afford to go there once a month.” It’s timeless – the bar could be in any neighborhood. It’s the ultimate neighborhood bar.