Street Level Activity in Pioneer Square

We love the sound of saws and hammers.

The build-out of Bar Sajor (pronounced SYE-your) is underway at the corner of Occidental and South Jackson on the mall. Matt Dillon, the James Beard award-winning chef of Sitka & Spruce and The Corson Building, is installing a wood-fired oven, grill, and rotisserie to prepare foods influenced by the flavors of North Africa, Portugal, and Spain. Bar Sajor will serve lunch and dinner.  There will be outdoor seating and a take-out window on Occidental Mall. Matt and his partners hope to be open by the end of November.

La Bodega, Manuel Alfau’s new sandwich shop at 100 Prefontaine, is also under construction.  Dominican-style sandwiches, featuring the coveted Puerco Asado con Repollo (roast pork), will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

Mike Klotz and Derek Shankland, owners of Delicatus, are working on a new project a couple of blocks south of their restaurant.  The Kitchen by Delicatus will be a commissary kitchen and event space.  Plans are also underway for a winery, Sous Sol Winery, in the front part of that space.

And Gaba Sushi, off the Grand Central Arcade at 220 1st Avenue South, is getting close…

Keith Wilson and his wife, Megan Connors, plan to open the doors of Bon Voyage Vintage at 110 S. Washington later this month.  They may even be able to pull off a “soft opening” in time for October’s First Thursday.  Bon Voyage Vintage will feature retro clothing, house wares, records, and more.  They’ll also sell locally-made skateboards.  Keith said he helped set up Red Light on Broadway 15 years ago and has been eager to open his own shop.  The original plan was to go to San Francisco, but they fell in love with Pioneer Square.  Their vision is big and their energy infectious.

The historic Masin’s Building is a hub of activity as HUB Seattle, the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, and Social Venture Partners prepare to open the Center for Impact & Innovation.  The opening will be a big deal indeed.  Watch for details.

More deals are in the works.  Prospective restaurateurs and retail merchants continue to tour Pioneer Square, peek in windows, and inquire about available spaces in the neighborhood.  The signing of each new lease attracts more interest.  Bringing the right retail to Pioneer Square is a crucial piece of the neighborhood’s future.  Who would you love to see in the neighborhood?

Another source of interest came from the launch of Walk Score’s upgraded iPhone app and website.  Many of Pioneer Square’s “neighborhood gems” were posted during a “walkability audit” conducted by the International Sustainability Institute and Feet First.  Go ahead.  Check out Walk Score and post your favorite Pioneer Square places.