Ever since The Bohemian opened next door earlier this month, we’ve heard the question more frequently: When will Prost West Seattle (first mentioned here in May) be open? Proprietor Chris Navarra gave us a peek inside (photo above is the view looking left, south, from the front; we’ve got the bar view later in the story) during a quick interview today, so we’ve got lots more to tell you now about what he’s planning and when he hopes to be open:
Prost West Seattle – yes, that will be its official name – is only one of two new enterprises on which Navarra is embarking; he got married just a few months ago.
Speaking of time … we’ll get the Big Question out of the way … when does he hope to be open (keeping in mind that permits and inspections and other wrinkles can change even the best-intended business owner’s plans, hopes and dreams)? “End of October, first of November. HOPEFULLY,” he adds with emphasis … “IF we’re lucky.”
He currently operates several taverns. Asked which of those establishments Prost West Seattle will most resemble, he says Prost on Phinney Ridge – but with one big difference. Kids WILL be allowed, though he is careful to explain it’s not going to be geared toward families, simply a situation where it won’t be 21-up-only in recognition of the fact that some parents might want to go have a beer and need to bring their kid(s) along. “No booster chairs, crayons, kids’ menu,” he qualifies. This will be the first establishment of his to allow under-21 patrons; he’s not sure yet what time of night might be the cutoff point for 21-up.
Speaking of hours, those will be 3 pm-2 am, seven days a week; no plans for live music. The food? Not a full restaurant menu, but rather “German pub food” — bratwurst, sauerkraut, pretzels, soups. He says the sausages will all come from Bavarian Meats here in Seattle. But food isn’t the main event — he says “German beer is the focus.” He plans to offer 12 imported German beers on draft, “all served in imported German glassware, as they should be, the way fine wine should be served in the proper glassware.” What he describes as a “limited amount of spirits” also will be offered – “in case someone brings along a friend who’s not interested in the beer, and wants, say, a well drink instead” — but the emphasis remains “all about the German beer.” Speaking of the bar, here’s our other interior photo, looking right from the front door (north):
He’s also planning a beer garden out back, with perhaps eight tables. Inside, though, as you can see from the photos, he’s planning what he fondly calls a “dark” motif. The south wall (photo at top of this report) was at one point intended to have windows, till the huge townhouse complex sprung up on that side – so now, no windows.
By the way, he’s doing a lot of the construction work himself – he says he “enjoys building a bar,” and he has “great managers” who keep the other places humming while he takes time out to do this work. He’s excited about West Seattle because he considers it a “great little spot … I like to focus on little neighborhoods. Prost means ‘cheers,’ so it’s really a place where the neighborhood can go hang out. (At Phinney) Prost is having a debate thing tomorrow night, for example, so neighbors can come watch the (presidential) debate and talk about it. … A bar (like this) is for the neighborhood. In Germany, there are small neighborhood pubs where you go to catch up with friends, talk about the issues. A German pub is not just a bar.”
And he knows this firsthand – his family is from a small town in Germany, and he remembers being a “five-year-old,” running around in his family’s favorite hangout(s). He admits that since his other establishments are 21-up only, this will be something of an experiment, but he wants to see how it goes. Same with other aspects of the operation, such as the menu – he says they might add sandwiches, depending on what kind of reception they get from the neighborhood.
We’ll keep you updating on how those hopes of a late October/early November opening are going, in the weeks ahead.
Prost West Seattle is in the 3400 block of California (map), in the space that was previously Leslie’s Country Store, just south of The Bohemian, two doors south of Spiro’s Pizza and Pasta.