The little slice of Seattle wedged between South Lake Union and downtown, anchored by Whole Foods beneath the Pan Pacific Hotel, is sometimes referred to as Denny Triangle, but has also been called the Gateway District. (We hereby declare it the South Lake Union Gateway, or SLUG.) Whatever its name, the 'hood is home to a trove of new businesses along Westlake Avenue and a fresh assemblage of urban explorers, thanks in part to Vulcan Real Estate’s new 2201 Westlake building, which houses offices of Amazon.com and global health giant PATH.
EAT + DRINK
Dine finely at chef William Belickis’ MISTRAL KITCHEN (2020 Westlake Ave.; 206.623.1922; mistral-kitchen.com). The urban bistro serves brunch, lunch and dinner à la carte; for a high-end foodie experience, reserve a spot in the Jewel Box wing or at the Chef’s Table.
Eat for a good cause at nonprofit FARESTART (700 Virginia St.; 206.267.7606; farestart.org), which runs a job training program for the homeless, prepares 2,500 meals per day for local shelters and low-income day cares, and (lucky for us) is open for lunch weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
TOUGO COFFEE CO. (2113 Westlake Ave.; 206.628.3518; tougocoffee.com) serves up freshly roasted Stumptown and Ritual coffees. Offspring of Tougo’s original Central District location, this newer, smaller space is also more sophisticated.
Get your fill of more than a dozen different house-made pastas at BAROLO (1940 Westlake Ave.; 206.770.9000; baroloseattle.com) and repair to the bar to sip one of the 300 wines from around the globe. The tasting tour at CLAUDIO CORALLO'S new flagship store (2122 Westlake Ave.; 206.859.3534; claudiocorallochocolate.com) offers world-class chocolates made from African cacao pods.
SHOP + PRIMP
Affordable luxury is the theme at DESIGNTHEORY (2132 Westlake Ave.; 206.682.2975; thedesigntheory.com), which opened in March and sells jewelry, from ancient to vintage and contemporary, as well as handbags, local art, gifts and rare botanicals.
Next door, the petite ELEVEIGHTSALON (2130 Westlake Ave.; 206.623.1786; eleveightsalon.com) features hair products by Pravana Naturceuticals and a loft suite for pedicures.
Bring the kids (or the kid in you) to WESTLAKE WOODWERK (2008 Westlake Ave.; 206.793.6660), where all the handmade wooden toys are crafted on site with repurposed scrap woods.
The boutique space in front of Woodwerk houses EUROSTYLE YOUR LIFE (2002 Westlake Ave.; 206.633.3876; eurostyleyourlife.com), an eco-focused store selling eclectic gifts and accessories—from mobiles to placemats to hand-knit baby clothes—all made by European designers.
The Northwest’s sole source for Italian-designed, urban contemporary home furnishings such as Molteni, Cassina and Poliform, INFORM (2032 Eighth Ave.; 206.622.1608; informseattle.com) sells upscale products (a quartz bathtub goes for $15,236) made of natural materials.
Join chef Chester Gerl from Matt’s in the Market at FareStart on August 19, when he hosts the weekly Guest Chef Night and mentors FareStart students in preparing the evening’s three-course meal ($24.95, reservations recommended).
Originally published in August 2010