6 Seattle Restaurants with Designs that Wow

Prettiness on the plate this year is only rivaled by inventive, transporting restaurant design

By Jessica Yadegaran, Chelsea Lin and Allison Scheff April 4, 2016

A group of people sitting at a long table in a restaurant.

This article originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of Seattle magazine.

Capitol Hill, 300 E Pike St.; 206.557.7273; statesideseattle.com
The breezy, tropical feel of Stateside is the work of Callie Meyer (barnardandmeyer.com), a local photo stylist who traveled through Vietnam for a month with co-owner Seth Hammond and chef/co-owner Eric Johnson. Given full control of the interiors, Meyer used places she visited in Hanoi as inspiration. “There is an obvious influence of the historic French aesthetic mixed with the local feel there.…I wanted something breezy and tropical with a bit of that colonial look.” She used Cole & Son’s “Palm Jungle” wallpaper and distressed the 4-foot-tall mirrors herself to achieve an aged look. The effect: sublime. Meyer’s next project: a dark, moody bar adjacent to Stateside, which she says will have a “loungy ’70s vibe.”

Ernest Loves Agnes
Capitol Hill, 600–602 19th Ave. E; 206.535.8723; ernestlovesagnes.com

The bars of Buenos Aires, frequented by Ernest Hemingway, after whom the restaurant was named, inspired Ernest Loves Agnes owner Jason Lajeunesse’s redesign of the former Kingfish Cafe space. The look is antiqued and marvelously lived-in, but very little of the old place remains. “The truth is, we gutted the entire space with the exception of the textured walls and basic framing. The trick was putting it back together to look and feel timeless,” says Lajeunesse, who chose all the materials, finishes and the 70-odd photographs, all of which are by Seattle-based fashion photographer Connie “Coco” Aramaki. “I wanted bright pastels to contrast all the warm, natural tones of the walls and floors,” Lajeunesse says. “Every image in the space is one of hers.”

Chop Shop
Capitol Hill, 1424 11th Ave.; 206.535.8541; chopshopseattle.com

Owner Ericka Burke led the design, working with Capitol Hill–based design firm Graham Baba to build out the Chop Shop space, which was once a rehearsal spot for musicians. “The front portion has 22-foot-high ceilings, and masculine, exposed beams,” Burke says. “It was really important for me to create some intimacy and warmth.” In the back, botanical wallpaper dotted with colorful birds adds that warmth with a feminine touch, as does the blue-legged farmouse table. The back bar, with its arched moldings and leaded glass detail, was reclaimed from a Lower Queen Anne apartment entrance, and was a jumping-off point for the rest of the design.

Bateau and Bar Melusine
Bateau, Capitol Hill, 1040 E Union St., 206.900.8699, restaurantbateau.com; Bar Melusine, 1060 E Union St., 206.900.8808,  barmelusine.com


Bar Melusine

As design duo Price Erickson (priceerickson.com), Sea Creatures restaurant group owners Jeremy Price and Renee Erickson design all their restaurants. The two sourced Bar Melusine’s minty fresh, multi-shaded green floor tile directly from Morocco and salvaged the bell-shaped pendants from a high school on the Kitsap Peninsula. The pendant lights at Bateau, reminiscent of bird cages, were designed by Price, cut by Scott Viloria and fabricated by Four Girls, while slate tables and chalkboard drawings are sentimental nods to Erickson’s late, great Boat Street Cafe. Locally-raised beef hangs inside the dry aging room, visible from your table.

Eden Hill
Queen Anne, 2209 Queen Anne Ave. N; 206.708.6836; edenhillrestaurant.com

“Feminine, comfortable, inviting, timeless.” That’s how Jennifer Petty, co-owner with her husband, Maximillian, of Eden Hill, describes the interior of their Queen Anne modernist restaurant. Petty wallpapered Eden Hill’s walls with House of Hackney “London Rose,” a quiet design of flowers in soft cloud blue, and chose glass pendant shades to keep the space airy and light, while blue upholstery and mid-century modern chairs point toward a modern sensibility. “Often ‘fancy’ restaurants can feel really stuffy or formal,” Petty says, “and both Max and I really wanted to provide a pleasant atmosphere for guests to just be themselves, where they might feel at ease to try something on the menu they wouldn’t normally.”


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