Photo by Jessica Keller: Eden Hill Provisions owners Jennifer and Max Petty stand in front of their restaurant Eden Hill Provisions, at the top of Queen Anne. While the Pettys initially intended for Eden Hill Provisions to be a family friendly bistro, at the start of the pandemic, they pivoted to become a successful takeout restaurant featuring hamburgers.
Photo by Jessica Keller: Eden Hill Provisions owners Jennifer and Max Petty stand in front of their restaurant Eden Hill Provisions, at the top of Queen Anne. While the Pettys initially intended for Eden Hill Provisions to be a family friendly bistro, at the start of the pandemic, they pivoted to become a successful takeout restaurant featuring hamburgers.

When Gov. Jay Inslee announced indoor restaurant dining was prohibited to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in Washington during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Queen Anne restaurant owners Jennifer and Max Petty had some serious decisions to make.

Their new venture, Eden Hill Provisions, 1935 Queen Anne Ave. N., had only just opened in September of 2019, and the Pettys, who also own Eden Hill Restaurant, had a lot on the line.

“It’s been quite the run,” Jennifer Petty said. “We’d only been open six months before the pandemic hit.”

While the Pettys did shut their doors at first, a few days later they were back up and running, after her husband and chef, Max, met with the Eden Hill Provisions management team and discussed their options.

Closing their new restaurant for long and risking their investment wasn’t one of them.

“Our futures were so uncertain at that moment,” Jennifer Petty said. “It was never really an option not to try.”

With some determination, creativity and initiative, however, the Pettys and their staff  reopened Eden Hill Provisions in less than a week and has stayed steadily busy since.

“We’ve been a pandemic restaurant longer than we’ve been a real restaurant, which is sort of mind-blowing,” Jennifer Petty said.

Granted, they couldn’t open Eden Hill Provisions as they initially intended, which was supposed to be a family friendly French bistro with a focus on lunch and lighter fare.

The Pettys and their team, however, were up for the challenge and quickly pivoted to a new restaurant model.

“My team knows me well,” Max Petty said. “So we were able to channel all of these food challenges into production ideas.”

After much discussion, they agreed they could base a menu around one item: a hamburger they had debuted the previous summer at the Queen Anne Farmers Market, which was received with popularity.

“We sort of rallied around the burger,” Max Petty said.

With the menu taken care of, they then had to figure out how to turn the bistro’s indoor set up into a walk-up arrangement with order and pick up lines. Max Petty said they had not even had a chance to use the entire space for their bistro before having to redesign the space entirely into a floor plan that centered around a customer counter that opened up to the street.

Once they were open for business again and service steady, the Pettys and their restaurant team made another big decision: to invest in a public seating area.

When the city of Seattle announced last summer it would allow portions of streets to close and be used for outdoor dining, Jennifer applied for the program, and they received permission to close off a section of Crockett for their outdoor seating area.

They purchased $10,000 to buy seating and tables and rent a fence to enclose the area, and the Pettys and their staff took time to paint and prime the chairs and tables and set up the fence.

Not only has the seating area been popular among diners, other residents have taken advantage of the outdoor gathering area since it has gone up, only being taken down on Farmers Market Days, when that area is used for vendor booths.

Jennifer Petty said the outdoor seating area became another good business decision for Eden Hill Provisions — not only did it make sense financially because the restaurant wants to cater to as many people as possible, providing an outdoor space for everybody to enjoy is all part of being a good neighbor.

“I would love to see this become a more permanent fixture in Queen Anne,” Max Petty said.

With a new restaurant model in place, a menu that appeals to Queen Anne customers and an outdoor seating area rounding out their investment, both Max and Jennifer agree they were able to take a scary situation and turn it into something positive and sustainable.

Both Max and Jennifer also agree that the whole process was not as difficult as they initially anticipated. What could have been a really complicated venture actually turned out to be fairly easy to execute, just requiring commitment and hard work, which are necessary in the restaurant business, anyway, Max Petty said.

“It was never a question for us of giving up,” Max Petty said. “We needed to work together, and we did.”

They agree, however, they were fortunate in their team and that, together, they had the imagination and the motivation to take an idea from scratch and turn it into a fully-baked restaurant concept, one that has been successful, so quickly.

With Eden Hill Restaurant, their fine dining location further down the hill, they unfortunately, could not figure out a concept that worked for take out, Max Petty said.

“If we didn’t have Provisions, I don’t know what we’d do,” he said.

With Eden Hill Provisions on more solid footing a year and a half in, Max and Jennifer Petty are feeling more comfortable but still do not know what their long-term plans are for the restaurant, or what model they will pursue.

“We want to pay respects for what we enacted, and run with it,” Max Petty said.

For now, the Pettys are still adjusting as things come up, adding where they can, and waiting to see what happens. They said they are so happy the neighborhood has supported them throughout the pandemic.

“I feel they want us to be here,” Max Petty said. “They want us to survive.”

Eden Hill Provisions is open for take out or delivery from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Sunday.

While still offering a modified menu, items feature four beef hamburger options, including the Little Thomas and Little Sammy burgers, named after their children; the Hot Mama Ranchero, a fried chicken sandwich; a veggie burger; fries; and a variety of non-sandwich offerings; sweets; and ready-to-drink beverages, both alcoholic and non.

People can also purchase other items for sale off the website, including sauces, pickled products, preserves and bottles of wine.

To place an order or for more information, go to https://www.edenhillprovisions.com/.