Chef Brendan McGill and partners Lex Petras and Ward Van Allen have teamed up to create Altstadt, an authentic German Beer Hall in Pioneer Square, Seattle.
In a sweet 3000 sq. ft. space wrapped in brick and old wood, Lex and Ward have been hand-building a gorgeous space entirely from reclaimed materials sourced right close to home.
The centerpiece of the interior will be a series of massive communal tables at which diners can eat and drink with new and old friends alike.
Front and center to the seating will be an open kitchen with a large grill, upon which brats hand-made in house from heritage breed pork will sizzle, to be served with crispy pommes frites, house-made sweet mustard, and house-fermented sauerkraut, served raw or prepared classically with goose fat (sourced locally and organically from our friends) and spices. The goal is a simple and classical beer hall; what will make it unique is the craft nature and quality of everything being served. We'll use whole hogs from our farming friends across the Puget Sound area and source our vegetables locally and organically, including food from Chef Brendan's burgeoning farm on Bainbridge Island.
Going "whole hog" is a huge financial commitment. We are commit to purchasing these before the farmers begin to raise them, and stay involved with them throughout their lives. Blemished produce and kitchen vegetable trim, as well as spent grain from local breweries and distilleries, are used to feed the hogs. Committing to these programs takes time and investment, but strengthens our ties to our farming community and results in simply spectacular products.
However, charcuterie is expensive to produce. Our fundraising goal will help us procure a brand-new powerful 2 horsepower meat grinder, specialized sinks and tables for whole hog butchery, as well as higher-capacity refrigeration. This will result in the ability to stuff sausages, cure hams and pound shnitzel from the same beautiful, hand-raised, heritage-breed hogs.
Another aspect of our fundraising goal is to afford Polish hand-turned crockware to ferment our sauerkraut. Organic cabbage is pressed in salt in these 20 qt. enamel-coated crocks, creating a brine which, thanks to the miraculous beneficial bacterium lactobacillus, ferments the raw cabbage into crunchy, acidic, pro-biotic cabbage that boasts remarkable flavor as well as numerous health benefits. It is also the starting point for our classically-prepared sauerkraut, which is simmered with onions and/or apples in goose fat, seasoned with a sachet of spices and aromatics.
Situated nicely on First Ave in Pioneer Square, we look forward to serving a diverse crowd of Seattlites and visitors, as well as throngs of sports fans from the nearby stadiums. Consider the power of high-quality sausage & beer on gamedays; we want to be the choice for Seahawks, Sounders & Mariners fans, not to mention concert crowds for stadium shows and the WaMu theater. Equally attractive is our proximity to the new streetcar running through the International District and Capitol Hill, connecting us to Seattle's most diversely populated and vibrant neighborhood.
Hitchcock and Hitchcock Deli, the other restaurants in the group, have enjoyed critical acclaim and hopping business. We are excited to add a new brand to this group of independent, local and sustainable businesses.
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges we will face are inherent to the restaurant business: permitting delays, production and service issues, never-ending quality control. Fortunately our crew has owned and/or operated restaurants in the Seattle area for a decade, and has a clear picture of the market and cultural landscape.
Pioneer Square is undergoing a renaissance that is currently at the forefront. Architecturally Seattle's most beautiful neighborhood, restaurateurs and artists have started inhabiting the expansive and historic spaces, re-creating the viability of this central Seattle location. Unprecedented residential development is under way (some completed) in the neighborhood, coinciding with the removal of the Alaskan Way viaduct and an incredible re-envisioning of the waterfront. All of this will bode very well for the future of the neighborhood, and subsequently this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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