Downtown Kenmore took off with multiple business additions throughout 2017 and looks ahead to fall 2018 when Seaplane Restaurant and Bar plans to open its doors.
Seaplane broke ground in January and will eventually serve a diverse menu adjacent to the Hangar Cafe, across the street from Kenmore City Hall. Deming Maclise, one of the two restaurateurs behind Seaplane, said his team chose the location in part because Kenmore holds a special place in his heart.
“I actually went to Bastyr years ago, so I was going through Kenmore on a daily basis for about four years,” he said. “I just loved it out there…(but) had wished that there were more choices for me to eat.”
Maclise and his counterpart James Weimann are Seattle-based restaurateurs who aim to create unique and welcoming interior spaces for their patrons. The duo have opened multiple restaurants throughout Seattle including Bastille Cafe and Bar, Poquitos, Stoneburner and now Seaplane.
“Seattle is very competitive,” Maclise said. “There’s a lot of choices here and we feel very fortunate to be part of the restaurant environment here, but at the same time we’ve been thinking that areas outside of Seattle might need more choices.”
Kenmore has been accumulating land for its downtown over the past 15 years and has been developing multiple projects including City Hall (completed in 2010), the Kenmore Library (completed in 2011) and the Hangar (completed summer 2017).
The downtown area has also seen private development, such as the LINQ building, which features apartments and an EvergreenHealth urgent care clinic. MainStreet Property Group is behind most of the downtown development, including Seaplane, and initially contacted Maclise and Weimann to discuss ideas for a restaurant.
“As the City of Kenmore’s primary development partner, we’ve been working closely with the city on their Town Square project to implement the community’s vision of downtown Kenmore as a walkable place with a public square where residents and workers can meet their daily needs and see one another face-to-face,” Kelly Price, MainStreet president, said.
Maclise added that he hopes Seaplane will become one of Kenmore’s neighborhood hubs.
“We’ve had our eye on different areas in the metropolitan Seattle area just outside the city limits,” he said. “We’re looking at the whole area as a potential opportunity for us to bring our current teams that we have in Seattle and give them more opportunities to have more ownership and more opportunities outside of Seattle.”
The restaurant itself will is a 5,000-square-foot, family friendly dining area and bar that will primarily serve American fare. There will also be a 3,000-square-foot office space adjacent to restaurant available to lease.
Maclise said he expects the restaurant to add 70-80 jobs that they’ll be hiring for once construction is further along.
Seaplane will feature Jason Stoneburner, formerly of Stoneburner in Seattle, as the head chef. Stoneburner is creating a menu that aims to be a premium experience while appealing to a wide audience.
“A very approachable menu executed at a high level is our goal” Maclise said. “We put a lot of focus, time and energy into the environments we create in our restaurant, so we’re hoping to do that again,”
Maclise added that he and his team are open to feedback from the community. Whether it’s the design or the menu, Maclise said the community ultimately shapes what the restaurant will become.
“We think this building will have a wonderful, positive impact on the community,” Price added. “In addition to all the other restaurants in Kenmore’s growing Town Square and surrounding area, Seaplane will provide a great new dining option for the local families and the community as a whole. Their proposed dining format is approachable for everyone — and just what the community has wanted to further enhance their choices in Kenmore.”