By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“A good neighborhood joint.”
That’s how Aaron Shepherd explained his future Admiral District restaurant, the Copper Coin, to a passerby who peeked in while he was working today.
We in fact got first word of the Copper Coin via another passerby, WSB Forums member “twobottles,” who started a discussion wondering what was going in at the former Porterhouse space; another member, “Admiral935,” then added a little more info, and we picked up the research from there.
Aaron already owns a successful restaurant north of the city, and says he’d been looking around for a new place for a few years, but even the neighborhood where he lives – Ballard – didn’t offer just the right spot.
West Seattle did.
So here’s his plan:
First, we should mention that the restaurant he co-owns to the north is Hill’s Neighborhood Restaurant in Richmond Beach. And per his online bio, restaurant-running runs in his family – you might have heard of the Shepherd family business, Red Mill Burgers.
Burgers and fish tacos are popular items on the Hill’s menu and will be offered here, he says, though some of the high-end items that are favorites there – the famous lamb shank, for example – will likely only make occasional appearances. The menu will feature “really intelligent recipes” prepared with fresh ingredients.
Beverages will be important, and the space’s 20-plus pre-existing taps are in fact shaping part of his plan. While Hill’s has a strong wine focus, Aaron expects beer to have a higher profile here, and is planning on offering wine on tap – which he says can bring higher quality wine at a lower price, like a Chardonnay offered at Hill’s that goes for $10/glass but if served from the bottle would likely go for double that, and then some.
Right now, it’s time for interior work. A new water heater was being installed in the back while we talked with him in the front of the house. But the space has “good bones,” he says, so he’s not doing a total overhaul of the ex-Porterhouse, though he expects new paint, lighting, and floor grinding/staining to make a big difference.
We asked about his inspiration for the name Copper Coin. Multiple sources, he smiles – including the “Galaxy Gold” retro paint the Space Needle is sporting in this half-century anniversary year – which reminds him of copper – as well as Copper River salmon, plus the fact the “k” sound of Copper Coin is shared by some of the most successful brands in history – like Coca-Cola.
Depending on how fast his liquor-license application moves, he is hoping to open Copper Coin in early October – “we’re shooting for October 1st.” And he’s in it for the long haul, saying he noticed that West Seattle has “large holes dug for apartment buildings” and expecting those future residents, as well as the people here now, to continue to be hungry and thirsty for good food and drink.