By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
If you wonder whether Chef Brian Clevenger‘s new West Seattle Junction restaurant Haymaker might be too fancy for you, consider this:
One of the menu items he’s most excited about is a burger.
It’ll be on the Haymaker happy-hour menu – a “BIG” happy-hour menu, he notes – with two happy hours every day of the week, 5-6 pm and 9-10 pm.
Haymaker officially opens Monday (after friends-and-family and limited-soft-open nights this weekend), in the 4706 California SW space that briefly held Vine & Spoon. We noted Clevenger’s name on a liquor-license application for the space in May; a month later, details were announced.
Clevenger is not only a West Seattle resident, he already has a presence in the local restaurant scene, having opened Raccolto barely two blocks north in fall 2016.
So what will be the biggest difference between the two?
Raccolto is “heavy on pasta, light on protein,” while Haymaker will be “heavier on protein, lighter on pasta.” Also, it won’t be focused on “Italian-inspired” dishes. (Besides that happy-hour burger, he also mentions steak and fries, and a roasted half-duck.)
But Clevenger stresses that Haymaker will still be strong with “what we know” – vegetables, seafood. It’s his fifth restaurant; his three outside West Seattle are Vendemmia, East Anchor Seafood (a market as well as dine-in venue), and Le Messe.
As we talked in Haymaker’s remodeled space, it bustled with pre-opening activity – ingredient deliveries coming through the door, trays of fresh-made pasta visible near the kitchen entrance. Clevenger admits that getting ready to open a new restaurant can be “terrifying,” as you wait to see “if the neighborhood will support it” – and ultimately, he says, Haymaker is intended to be “a neighborhood restaurant,” for the neighborhood he has long loved.
Starting Monday, Haymaker will be open 5-10 pm for dinner, reservations accepted but not required. (Clevenger notes that the 57-seat restaurant can accommodate “larger parties,” too.) He’s hoping to add weekend brunch after the first month or so.