Anyone who lives in Seattle will tell you that a unique feature of this city is its neighborhoods. Within these neighborhoods a microcosm of businesses are sustained simply by fulfilling a need. To most its the barber, the grocer, the mechanic, or the restaurant who helps check that to-do list. To others its business that provides nourishment to your stomach and mind, the public house.
Living in the Maple Leaf neighborhood we experience those same bar options that all neighborhoods enjoy. Bars that offer pool tables, darts, and the occasional pinball machine sometimes sit alongside bars with just table and chairs. In the end we all want a place that we can escape to when the kitchen or dining room just seem too cold and sterile.
The Jones’ Bistro was one of those spots that wanted to be different in an area not known for artfully presented meals. Started around four years ago with re-financing from their home mortgage Scott Simpson and Michelle Steele started on a venture to provide excellent food without the feeling of being in a fine restaurant. The menu was eclectic featuring everything from scallops to an excellently prepared flank steak sandwich. The interior both in furniture and colors invited you to sit down and relax while the service matched that slow pace. The drinks featured were of the norm with a wide selection of spirits, wines, and a small draft list. Overall it seemed that the Bistro filled a gap that was long needed.
In the end though despite having an experienced chef in Jason Jones(previously two years as a lead line cook at The Herbfarm and was previously a sous chef at Nell's) the business started to collapse around the same time as the economy. Top that off with the recent addition to their (Scott & Michelle) family in a beautiful daughter, Lila, and things started to look bleak. Looking at the balance sheets Scott took one last swing at making his dream of providing the neighborhood a place they could escape from the kitchen to, the Roosevelt Alehouse.
Located at the same address Scott shut down at the end of July (of this year) and after a feverish interior re-decoration and some paint he opened up in late August to eager customers. Where booth seating once lived, now a well lit pool table area. Table and chairs have been elevated to provide a more sports bar experience and decorating the slightly naked walls are the beginnings of beer murals and vintage signs.
The changes aren’t just on what’s on the ground or walls either with the new mission of providing over eleven different ales and lagers based solely on the goal of featuring every beer available in the state at least once. The menu is even been changed to reflect the more ‘every man, woman, & child’ approach to dining, with chicken strips (a carry over from the Bistro), Pizza, Burgers, and other pub fare. Based on the attendance the past two times I have been there, the energy feels like this might the beginning of a neighborhood bar.
Roosevelt Alehouse might be the new name but I have a suspicion that it always be the “pub just down the street” to many of us.
Roosevelt Alehouse through opinions by you (courtesy of Yelp)