Over the weekend we reported on rumors that master chef Holly Smith planned to open a brewpub on Capitol Hill (read it here). Today, we report that those rumors are true. The plans are in the works, at least. Apparently the only part we got wrong was calling it a “gastropub.”
For those who don’t know, Holly Smith is the award-winning chef/owner of Cafe Juanita in Kirkland. She has appeared on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters and the Food Network’s Next Iron Chef. It is not hyperbolic to say that Holly Smith is a rockstar in the culinary world.
Yesterday, May 24th, Nancy Leson, the food and dining authority for the Seattle Times, reported that the rumor is true (read it here). Acting on reports she read in the blogosphere, Leson was inspired to pick up the phone and call the chef.
Chef Smith confirmed through the Seattle Times that she is pursuing a location in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood (1000 E. Pike) where she and her partners will open a “high energy pub.”
Smith told the Times, “And despite what I’m reading, it won’t be a gastropub. That gastropub-thing’s nothing but gas.”
Leson’s article in the times goes into detail about the partners and the plans. Smith told the times, “At this point, there’s no signed deal.” Apparently she and her business partners are “at the mercy of a seismic upgrade” which plays a large part in determining the feasibility of the location.
Hopefully it all comes together. As far as I know, Seattle would be the first city to have a brewpub operated by a chef of Holly Smith’s caliber. As I said in the previous post, that is not a knock on any of the excellent chefs we have working at local brewpubs and beer bars, but chef Smith has won awards from the likes of the James Beard Foundation Awards.
Chef Smith is welcome to contact us directly. We would be thrilled to learn more about the beer part of this equation. We would be honored to be the first to report who will be brewing the beer.