FOOD MATTERS | Giving thanks for booze, brunch

America’s most food-centric holiday is here, and this year, there’s much to report and recommend to readers who may want to throw up their hands at the whole notion of preparing a family feast.

At Local 360, for example, everything is sourced within 360 miles of Seattle (admittedly a pretty big radius, but give ’em credit). The thing is, you can order this at the table in the Belltown restaurant (2234 First Ave.) or swing by to pick it up.

North of the Ship Canal, you’re in luck: Several spots in Ballard alone are willing to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for takeout. To name a couple: Skillet Diner (2034 N.W. 56th St.)  — and don’t forget to stop at Parfait, next door, for some dessert — and Smokin’ Pete’s BBQ (1918 N.W. 65th St.) will do the trick nicely if you’re determined not to have turkey.

Alas, this is also the last Thanksgiving you can order anything from A&J Meats (2401 Queen Anne Ave. N.). Venerable and much-loved, A&J opened its doors 63 years ago. Third-generation owners Rick & Julia Friar retired at the end of November.

Another closure, in the South Lake Union neighborhood: John Howie’s 5-year-old Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar (2121 Terry Ave.) won’t renew its lease. Howie will retain Sport Restaurant & Bar (140 Fourth Ave. N., across from the Space Needle), the original Seastar in Bellevue and John Howie Steak in the Bravern shopping complex; he and his beverage director Erik Liedholm are also mere weeks away from opening Beardslee Public House and neighboring Wildwood Spirits Co. in Bothell.

And speaking of Seattle places expanding to the north, a longtime Pike Place Market favorite, Il Bistro (93 Pike St.) has announced plans to open a second spot in, yup, Bothell.

Drinks to your door

Of course, the biggest concern about bringing Thanksgiving dinner home is (or could be) running out of booze. Fear not: There’s now an app for that — for home delivery of wine, beer and spirits. It’s called Drizly (careful, only one “z”), and Seattle will be its ninth market.

“Seattle gave us the jet age, desktop computing and free two-day shipping on almost anything,” said Drizly CEO Nick Rellas. “It deserves an innovation like alcohol delivery. Seattleites are sophisticated, tech-savvy consumers who love wine and craft beer and value convenience. It’s a perfect fit.”

Until the end of November, Drizly will waive the normal $5 delivery charge. It operates through Downtown Wine & Spirits (2300 Seventh Ave.) in Belltown. “We’re family-owned in a world of national chain stores, so we have to offer services that are different,” said Downtown’s owner Marcus Warren.

I suppose so, but at this writing, the national liquor chains (Total, BevMo) were posting prices online that were considerably lower. Then again, that requires getting dressed and leaving the house.

By the way, not only will there soon be a new Total Wine & Beverage in Interbay behind the Whole Foods complex, there will be a new Whole Foods as well, up on Capitol Hill at Broadway and East Madison Street. 

More assorted expansion notes

The space next to Tougo Coffee (1408 18th Ave.) on Capitol Hill has been transformed into Bannister (oysters and charcuterie).

Fans of Gaba Sushi (220 First Ave. S.) in Pioneer Square will welcome the news that a second outpost of the gluten-free spot has opened in the University District at 4507 University Way N.E. The name “gaba” refers to a form of sprouted brown rice that’s very popular in Japan.

Coming to South Lake Union by year-end is Naanz (1256 Republican St.), an Indian fast-food concept.

Tap House Grill downtown (1506 Sixth Ave.), long a favorite for conventioneers and sports fans, has a new menu of flatbreads and skewers.

Taking over in the La Bête space (1802 Bellevue Ave.) on Capitol Hill is Spaghetti Western — emphasis on “western” — with barbecued ribs and the like.

Which brings us to brunch at Bell & Whete (206 Bell St.) in Belltown, the (unwritten) transition word being “pork” — specifically a $5 order of pork belly that accompanied the house bloody Mary. It’s part of a brunch renaissance in Belltown: In addition to a half-dozen extravagantly built Marys (all of which come in two sizes), there’s a good selection of egg dishes, crepes and sandwiches. Oh, and cinnamon-sugar doughnuts with sour cream dipping sauce.

Other updates

A quick update on Bill the Butcher, the mini-chain of local meat markets, that went out of business last month: A group of former employees has now sued CEO J’Amy Owens for diverting more than $100,000 from the company’s operating account for her own use (including payments on Owens’s residence, described in some documents as “corporate headquarters”).

Finally, if you’re thinking about opening a restaurant in Seattle, go see this lady at City Hall. Her name is Jennifer Tam, and she works in the Department of Economic Development. She has a handy chart that shows all the hoops (permits, approvals, inspections, etc., from no fewer than 17 agencies) that a would-be restaurateur needs to jump through. Look for the chart online at

RONALD HOLDEN is the author of the recently published “Home Grown Seattle: 101 True Tales of Local Food & Drink.” To comment on this column, write to