Next new Junction restaurant: Q & A with Spring Hill owner


More than a year in the making, Spring Hill Restaurant and Bar in The Junction — west side of California, north of Oregon, next to Seattle Fish Company — is getting closer to opening. We got a bit of new info earlier :this month when Spring Hill advertised for a maitre d’; since then, its proprietor, Chef Mark Fuller, agreed to answer some quick questions by e-mail, such as whether his establishment will follow the recent adults-only trend in West Seattle and what kind of food it’ll serve:

West Seattle Blog Q: Will Spring Hill be an adults-only restaurant/bar, or will families be welcome?

Mark Fuller, Spring Hill, A: Spring Hill will not be 21 and over.

Q: What can you tell us about the cuisine you plan to present?

A: Spring Hill is going to be a modern bistro, serving food that has been raised/cultivated in the Pacific Northwest. The menu will offer “small dishes” and “main courses.” The heart of the menu will offer “local shellfish.” Manila clams, mussels, razor clams, king clams, spot prawns, Dungeness crab, and oysters of all sorts, including the Olympia oyster when available. Some of the shellfish dishes will be served hot and others ice-cold, all prepared simply. We will be working with farms in Oregon (mostly) and Washington for naturally raised livestock; many Washington farmers and foragers for fruits, vegetables, and mushrooms; fish and shellfish caught/cultivated in Alaska, Washington and Canada. We are a bistro, so besides all of the fresh local seafood, we will have a juicy burger and other meats cooked over a real fire on our applewood-burning grill — also, house handmade pasta. The wine menu will be small, smart, reasonably priced, and Northwest (except Champagne).

Q: What currently unfilled niche in West Seattle do you plan to fill?

A: I think we will be another good option for a casual evening of good food and wine, in an environment that is relaxing, social, and fun. We are not sure of our exact hours right now, but I will say that we will be serving a full menu until midnight.

Q: How’s the construction work going – do you have a target month for opening?

A: Construction is really moving along nicely now. Mid-April.

Q: Have you operated your own restaurant(s) before, or is this a first?

A: First one.

Q: For those who know of your work with Tom Douglas and may be drawing conclusions about Spring Hill based on that – where will there be similarities, and where will there be differences?

A: Yes, there will be similarities. I worked with Tom Douglas and Tom Douglas restaurants for seven years, six of those as the chef for the Dahlia Lounge. I was mentored by Tom Douglas & Eric Tanaka in many ways. I have learned a lot from these guys and not just about food. Differences may be that I get to call all the shots now. I guess we will see how that turns out.

Q: How long have you lived in West Seattle, and how have you seen its food scene evolve over those years?

A: Marjorie and I have lived in West Seattle now for seven years. The food scene is becoming more sophisticated and fun.

We expect to talk more with Mark Fuller when his restaurant gets closer to opening. Meantime, he’s set up the beginnings of a Spring Hill website (find it here).

4 Replies to "Next new Junction restaurant: Q & A with Spring Hill owner"

  • BB January 31, 2008 (8:59 pm)

    cool! good job WSB!

  • Erin January 31, 2008 (9:04 pm)

    Can’t wait to try it! Thanks for the update – and welcome!

  • merih February 1, 2008 (8:51 am)

    Anyone with experience with Douglas and Tanaka gets my vote!
    Nice addition to the neighborhood!

  • VB February 1, 2008 (10:37 am)

    Waiting with baited taste buds.

Sorry, comment time is over.