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July 24, 2017
Pike Brewing Co. has opened a seafood restaurant and expanded the brewery above its pub near Pike Place Market.
Tankard & Tun restaurant has an oyster bar, dining mezzanine and an indoor brew deck. They have views of the brewing equipment and a fermentation cellar that almost doubles the amount of beer that can be produced on site in the gravity-flow, steam-powered brewery.
Pike Brewing Co. was founded in 1989 by craft beer pioneers Charles and Rose Ann Finkel. A glass and steel wall in front of Tankard & Tun's kitchen displays historic tankards and mugs that Charles Finkel has collected over the years.
The Seattle company owns The Pike Pub and the brewery. Since the 1990s, they been located at 1415 First Ave., on the lower levels of a mixed-use high-rise.
Bumgardner principal Mark Simpson designed the pub and brewery. His son, Nicholas Bower Simpson, an associate with Bumgardner, designed Tankard & Tun and the brewery expansion. KPFF Consulting Engineers was the structural engineer and MRJ Constructors was the contractor.
The project is located in what were four retail spaces that flank a multilevel common area. Nicholas Simpson said it was a challenge to create a cohesive feel, given that the former retail spaces are terraced, and the common area has a series of ramps and bridges with many elevation changes.
“Effectively the entire building is following the slope of First Avenue,” he said. “So the challenge (was) finding large enough areas that are flat and level to put a dining room or a kitchen.”
To create the 1,480-square-foot restaurant, the team used foam and concrete to build up floor slabs to make two of the retail spaces level with each other. “It was kind of like regrading your backyard, almost,” Simpson said.
The kitchen and cellar are on different levels from the restaurant, and from each other. Given the grade change, all the spaces have different ceiling heights — ranging from 10 to 18 feet.
Simpson said the restaurant couldn't hold enough seating because of the terracing, “which is why we have the brew deck and the dining mezzanine.”
Putting all the spaces on one level would — given the occupancy load — have required many exits separated by a certain distance. “And while you could put one of those exits at the high point of the indoor ramping, the other exit would have to be so far away that you couldn't literally put it in the (expansion) space and be able to exit at grade,” he said.
The restaurant's facade facing the atrium is steel and glass, and framed by heavy timber posts.
The expansion is connected to Pike Place Market and Post Alley.
Pike Brewing Co. said the name Tankard & Tun refers to drinking tankards and Pike Brewery's mash tun brewing vessel.
Simpson said the expansion allows the Finkels and Drew Gillespie, vice president of operations and an owner in Pike Brewing Co., to produce more beer on-site and offer pairings of craft beer and local food.
The culinary team is led by Chef Gabe Spiel, who began his career 16 years ago as a line cook in The Pike Pub.
Simpson said he enjoyed working on the project. “It was a ton of fun.”
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Lynn Porter can be reached by email or by phone at (206) 622-8272.