Team Behind Marination to Open 'Good Bar' in Pioneer Square This Summer

By: 
Julien Perry

If the stars align, Pioneer Square will be getting a pair of awesome neighbors right around June.

Last December, Il Corvo's Mike Easton announced he's opening a Roman-style pizzeria in the old Pacific Commercial Bank building on 2nd and Main and now, Kamala Saxton (right) and Roz Edison (left) of Marination give Seattle Magazine first word that they will be moving in right next door, opening a food and cocktail concept called Good Bar.

“We heard he might be going in [next door] and then we crossed our fingers and prayed that he was," says Saxton. "I think we’re going to be complementary businesses. I’m sure I’m going to gain the Mike Easton 20-pounds being his neighbor!" She describes Good Bar as occupying the kind of space that when you pass by, you want to be a patron. “It’s gorgeous, it’s special, it’s historic, it’s elegant. It’s the kind of place you just want to visit.”

Inside, large white columns and original vaults that date back about 100 years. Both are staying put — the focal point of the bar. 

“The bar is going to look at the two vault doors. There’s a mezzanine for private parties, private beer dinners. It’s 2,000-square-feet and it’s actually hard to design because you don’t want to mess with any elements of the place. You want to pick out the right color, the right artwork — it’s been challenging because you don’t want to mess up the beauty of this space or it’s historical bones.”

Saxton says Good Bar will be the type of unfussy friendly hub perfect for a first date, for celebrating anniversaries, or just hanging out and having happy hour. “For pit stops or long stays, for twenty-somethings, their parents, their parents' parents, and the neighbors, too." Everyone needs a good bar and according to team Marination, this is it in Pioneer Square.

The ladies are partnering with Marination alum Josh Kelly and his wife Nancy. “This is their brain child, it’s their name, it’s their concept, but we saw the space and this is a good bar.”

Josh is developing the menu, which will be strikingly different from the Hawaiian-Korean fusion Marination is known for and, according to Saxton, it’s going to have one of the best Sloppy Joes you’ve ever had in your whole life.

“It’s going to be really unpretentious, food that’s going to be $3, $6, $9, $12. It will be the same hospitality and warmth of Marination, but completely different. There will not be a kalbi taco on this menu!”

Also in the mix: former Marination cicerone, Robyn Schumacher, who is now a partner in Stoup Brewing. She and Josh are working to put together a beer program. 

This is a pretty big step for the Marination crew, as it’s their first bar. “Given that,” says Saxton, “we’re working with Quentin Ertel (owner of Havana and The Saint), who has been in the bar industry for years; we’ve tapped into his expertise and he’s been a great sounding board for us." It's a part of the industry that isn't as new for Josh or Nancy, who combined have helped open Wild Ginger, Talarico’s and Palace Kitchen.

Current plans call for Good Bar to be open nightly from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., with lunch as a possible option down the road, since there are so many businesses moving into Pioneer Square and people do need to eat.

“I hope that we are incredible stewards of the history of the space and the history that Pioneer Square has had in Seattle. Our hope is that in addition to everyone else going into Pioneer Square, we can deepen our roots within the area.”