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Old Stove Brewing Co.

The restaurant

People expect a certain type of food in a taproom. We're talking pub food, mostly fried, often quick things to make. When Chef Emily Oleyer (photo) took over the Old Stove Kitchen at the MarketFront in June 2020, she had some specific things in mind.

"We wanted to offer elevated pub food," explains co-founder Brian Stan. "Yet people expect certain items at a taproom, like fish and chips, and burgers. We wanted to take it up a notch." They hired Chef Emily who had been a Sous Chef at Seatown, a Tom Douglas restaurant at Pike Place Market.

"I'm from Unalaska. Most people know it as Dutch Harbor," says Emily. "It's the biggest fishing port in North America, tons of crab. I'm Unangan(Aleut)-Alaskan Native and Filipino from Hawaii mix and we were a subsistence family. We caught salmon in the summer so we could eat it all winter. We foraged berries so we could have jam all winter. That's my relationship with food. When I came here, I started over on the menu. Using local food is so important. Almost everything we serve is from the Pacific Northwest. And if I can't find an ingredient from the Northwest, I buy it from a company owned by someone in Washington, like Merlino, a family-owned company since the early 1900s. We get produce from Frank's Produce in the Market, oysters from Hama Hama, buns from Grand Central Bakery, and protein from Preservation Meat Collective in Moses Lake (but the company is based a little north of Seattle). Beef is grass fed and hormone free. The food history is so amazing here!"

"The four things I want for our food is that it be sustainable, local, affordable, and unpretentious. There's nothing on the menu over $25. We don't charge extra for gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan items. No one should have to pay more when they're taking care of their health. Being in the Market, there are a lot of tourists and sometimes people think places here are tourist traps. We want to be ambassadors for Northwest food. I look at things people might find familiar and then introduce them to something they might not know about. Shrimp on a Stick is a great example. It's shrimp, it's fried, it's on a stick. That we do. But we put the shrimp in egg white batter and roll it in chicarron, and let people dip in nuoc cham, a Vietnamese sauce. I hope that people will be open to trying these things, or at the least, become familiar with the name and maybe later they'll try it somewhere else.

"We only use wild Alaskan salmon. The standards are higher in Alaska in terms of what is taken and when. And I always want to support the Bristol Bay area and the people who live there." Bristol Bay is home to the world's largest source of sockeye salmon. There's been a long fight between those who want to put Pebble Mine there and those who live and make their living there. "Our cod for fish and chips comes from Blue North in Ballard. It is line caught and the company treats the fishermen well. I'm against trolling because it pulls everything up. What isn't used is thrown back, generally dead.

"I've wanted to do chicken wings but didn't want to buy commodity chicken. These birds are treated so badly. Sean, co-owner of Preservation Meats, recently found a small farm that could meet my wish list. Now we have chicken wings! The menu will continue to change and grow. Another thing I want to do is use mash in food production, like making dog treats. This won't be possible until Old Stove Ship Canal on Nickerson is up and running."

At the edge of the kitchen is a giant flat-top beer can which is actually the pizza oven. It's worth wandering over to view.

Old Stove is committed to keeping space open for walk-ins and regular guests, so they don't do many buy-outs of the space. "Summer is so happening, we don't want to close off any space," says Brian. "We've closed off sections for Christmas events. We'll be in a better position to accommodate large parties when Nickerson is open."

With the 80 foot windows overlooking the Sound, the attention given to the quality and sustainability of food, and the fun of being at a craft brewery in the Pike Place Market, Old Stove is a place you'll want to try.

Connie Adams/April 2022

Click here to read last month's story about Old Stove Brewing Co.

Old Stove Brewing Co.
1901 Western Ave, Suite A
Seattle, WA 98101

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