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Café to Café


Walla Walla Steak Co. and Crossbuck Brewing

Opening soon in Walla Walla’s train depot, these two concepts should be staples for years to come. The managing partner is Dan Thiessen, a very familiar name in Seattle: he was executive chef at the Space Needle, Golf Club at Newcastle, Chandler’s Crabhouse, Salty’s Seafood Grills, and his own O/8 Seafood Grill. Most recently, he was the executive director of the Wine Country Culinary Institute at Walla Walla Community College (WCCI). The owner/partner is none other than the ‘retired’ Paul Mackay who managed the original El Gaucho, 13 Coins, Lafitte’s, Elliott’s Oyster House, Metropolitan Grill, and Yarrow Bay Grill & Beach Café. He partnered with Christine Keff to create Flying Fish. He then reopened El Gaucho, and the rest is history. Four years ago, he purchased the train depot building. Clearly, they know what they’re doing. But wait, there’s more.

Steven Brack is the head brewer and partner, bringing more than seven years of brewing experience with him: Ram Restaurant & Brewery, Elliott Bay Brewery, Pacific Brewing and Malting Co., Black Raven Brewing Co. He also has a degree in viticulture. Philip Christofides is a partner and the architect. He has designed numerous residential, restaurant, and mixed-use projects, including all the El Gaucho Hospitality properties. Chad Bostwick is the executive chef for both the Steak Co and Crossbuck Brewing. He graduated from WCCI and has worked at the Marcus Whitman Hotel and The Reserve House at Woodward Canyon. Dan chose Chad to be executive chef after working with him at WCCI. Sharon Martin is the director of events. She has her Associate in Applied Arts & Sciences degree in Enology and Viticulture from Walla Walla Community College and was the viticulturist at Seven Hills for several years. Her company Bella Fortuna Vineyard Services which manages more than 10 vineyards.

Fire & Vine Hospitality (El Gaucho Hospitality and Chef Jason Wilson) is the operating partner and provides operational and marketing support. “We have an awesome army of people who can help when needed,” explains Chad Mackay, Paul’s son. “Plus, we have Eritage just outside of Walla Walla and those teams are working together. Chef Chad Bostwick will train at El Gaucho as well.”

Chef Chad and team offer updated steakhouse classics (baked oysters, Dungeness crab cakes, a signature 34 oz. Prime bone-in rib eye for two, along with other steak options) and beer-friendly taproom items (Prime burger, brown ale marinated steak bites, beer-braised brats) from the open kitchen using a charcoal grill and wood-fired stone oven. “We’ll use more local beef,” says Chad. “It will be high level yet at a price point to make it accessible for the market.” There will be 40 wines by the glass, all from wineries that don’t have tasting rooms in downtown Walla Walla. Taproom guests can see the entire brewing process and craft beers being tapped from the tanks in view. An outdoor patio will contain a fire pit. Private dining and events can take place in the dining room, taproom, historic rail car, or offsite mobile kitchen.

Beers will include a blonde ale, Bavarian white wheat hefeweizen, toasted imperial red ale, Baltic chocolate rye porter, honey nut brown ale, farmhouse saison, and an abundance of IPA’s. There will also be rotating guest beers and ciders, as well as wine-beer hybrids aged with local wine barrels, and small batch barrel specific recipes aged in tequila, rum, and bourbon barrels.

Walla Walla Steak Co. and Crossbuck Brewing
416 2nd Ave
Walla Walla, WA 99362

Connie Adams/April 2018

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