Seattle is known for being an innovative city, there’s no doubt about that. We love coming up with new, funky ideas. Our latest one? Streateries.
You’re probably asking, “What is a streatery?” Don’t worry, they’re not as dangerous as they sound. It’s not a place where you are simultaneously eating and dodging oncoming traffic.
Streateries are the newest version of a parklet, a concept invented by Seattle Department of Transportation. The parklet pilot program launched a few years ago, allowing restaurants to build a patio space on top of a parking space adjacent to their business. (After all, there are probably far more pedestrians than there are vehicles on Capitol Hill.)
Streateries are a ramped-up version of parklets. Unlike parklets, restaurants and bars are allowed to serve alcohol at their streateries as long as they are above a certain height and have fencing.
Businesses are required to find their own funding and neighborhood support before they fill out an application for a streatery. Once their streatery is approved by SDOT, and then actually built, they are required to leave it open to the public during non-business hours.
SDOT will be approving 15 applications from restaurants and bars under the new streatery pilot program they recently launched.
But don’t get too excited—the application and construction processes could take some time. While you’re waiting, here are a few Capitol Hill restaurants and bars that already offer outdoor seating so you can soak up the seldom-seen Seattle sun during spring break.
Street Patios have become a new “in” with restaurants. It will give extra space for seating during the day, then a parking spot at night.
This bar is not in Montana, as the name might suggest—it is actually on East Olive Way in Seattle. But the name is not too misleading: it’s a Montana-themed watering hole that will take you a little bit east of Washington State with its decorations. Since it is in Seattle, of course, it does provide us with a hipster twist (one review even referred to it a “hipster paradise”). Montana was one of the first businesses to construct a parklet under the pilot program back in September 2013. While this unfortunately means that you are not able to consume alcohol in their outdoor seating area, you can still eat their tasty food while enjoying the sunlight—which is now lasting later into the day thanks to daylight saving’s time. (Which helps, as Montana is only open from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m.) As long as you are willing to sit inside to drink it, Montana features cheap picklebacks, ginger beer cocktails on tap and a variety of other delicious libations.
So, the outdoor seating here is scarce, but Café Pettirosso was recently in a Komo News article that highlighted Seattle’s best grilled cheese sandwiches. And while that might seem like not much to brag about, the article didn’t lie: it is a great grilled cheese sandwich. Café Pettirosso serves its grilled cheese sandwiches, made with sourdough bread and Beecher’s Flagship, with a side of their classic tomato soup. They also have a new burger on the menu called the Jodi burger. Trust me, it is worth the money—and calories. The café, just a few blocks away from campus, also has drinks for any time of day. Swing by in the morning for a cup of coffee, latte art and all when it opens at 8 a.m. or swing by at night—it’s open until 2 a.m.—and choose from a large selection of wines, beers and cocktails.
This Chinese restaurant on 12th Avenue translates to “stupid pig” because the owners opened up the restaurant during the recession and everyone called them “stupid pigs” for doing so. They showed the haters. Chungee’s has just about as much outdoor seating as they do indoor seating, so there won’t be a shortage of tables outside, even during the busiest hours. Their dishes are reasonably priced—their most expensive meal is around $13—and their menu has a lot of variety. There are plenty of foods for meat lovers and vegetarians alike. And, this being Capitol Hill, they also offer a few cocktails and beers.
My boyfriend is originally from Mexico and he grew up in San Diego, which more or less qualifies him as a connoisseur of Mexican cuisine. Seattle is known for not having “good” Mexican food, but I had my boyfriend try a Rancho Bravo burrito and it passed the test. So did the horchata. I’ve also had my closest experience to a celebrity encounter there. (Okay, not that big of a deal. It was just one of the guys from Kithkin, a band of Seattle U alums). The indoor seating may look like a Wendy’s, but the outdoor lounging provides views of Cal Anderson Park. You can people-watch while singing that Vampire Weekend song “Horchata” to yourself. Just me? Alright.
This is Bianca Sewake's fourth and final year at The Spectator, where she is the Online Content Editor and Managing Editor. She is equal parts excited and terrified that she is graduating with a BA in Journalism this spring. Unlike her hair color, Bianca's love for ice cream will never change.