Almost a year has gone by since we first reported on the plan to turn the former tanning salon next to Kenyon Hall into Locöl. But the waiting is almost over, co-owner Kyle Duce told WSB at his almost-open establishment (7902 35th SW) two nights ago. They hope to be in business by month’s end.
A lot’s changed in that year. He and wife Kristi are now parents. They’re about to have to renew their liquor license – granted so early in the process, they’ve had it almost a year without even being open! And with painstaking work from floor to ceiling to siding, they have lovingly transformed the space – once a market, as evidenced by the sign atop this story, found buried on the site along with other items such as old bottles. While Kyle didn’t want it extensively photographed, saying he’s hoping to surprise patrons with the “wow factor” when they enter for the first time, we can tell you the decor is warm, rustic, cozy – lots of wood, for example, like this crosssection on the wall behind the bar:
Locöl’s capacity will be 44 (in an 800 square-foot space, but it doesn’t look crowded), including several spots to stand along a ledge-like bar toward the back; a patio’s in the works out back, too. Every interior touch is deliberately Northwest, as are the beverages and food they will offer, the art they plan to display, and even the scenes from West Seattle history they plan to project onto the southwest interior wall (from a disc copy of the definitive West Seattle history book West Side Story)
Kyle, who has long worked in the restaurant/bar business, says the menu has turned out to be more extensive than they first planned, though nothing requiring a range hood. A few dishes visible on a sample menu – and mentioned by Kyle – include butternut-squash soup, crostini, a shaved-fennel salad, chard chips, roasted chickpeas. He says soups, sandwiches, and desserts will be among the mainstays. In the harvest season, much of the produce will come, Kyle hopes, from the High Point Market Garden, not far from where he and his family live.
Beverages will be – as planned, since “barley and vine” has been part of their name – beer and wine, with a local emphasis there too: The half-dozen or so draft beers will include locals like Schooner Exact and Big Al; wines will be mostly from Washington. (They’re planning beer-and-wine dinners, too; the tables in their seating area can be pushed together to create one big table seating 10-12 for the occasion.) Hours will likely be noon to midnight. And it’s a 21+ establishment.
The only thing between Locöl and its future clients, Kyle says, is the final round of inspections, and he’s not foreseeing trouble.
He’s also vowing that he and his staff will be ready – though he knows some slack can be cut for the early days of a new establishment, he doesn’t plan to count on that: “You’ve got one chance to get it right.”