Cafe Nordo’s Letter to Pioneer Square

Dear good people of Pioneer Square,

Café Nordo announces that we have found a permanent home.

In the winter of 2013 we were practicing our semi-annual ritual of looking for a space that would allow us to install a theater and a kitchen for eight weeks and present one of our performances to the public. We met Karen True of the Alliance for Pioneer Square who convinced us Pioneer Square was the only place we should consider and walked us through the neighborhood with the kind of infectious fervor we find to be, quite simply, the best quality in a human. She brought us to The Kitchen at Delicatus where Derek and Mike seemed suspiciously willing to let us have our way with their beautiful space.

Have our way we did, and we ran our most successful show to date, Smoked!, an homage to the Spaghetti Western that worked our flavor of food, politics, storytelling, and original music into the perfect location. We were enchanted with the physical beauty of Derek and Mike’s space and the buildings in the neighborhood, (we’ve lived here a long time and have rich memories of Pioneer Square.) We were happy to be there.

What we didn’t anticipate was the outpouring of support from the neighborhood. You poked your heads in to ask what we were up to when we were building and rehearsing. You told us you were glad we were there. So many of you exhibited the same fervor as Mike, Derek, and the Alliance for Pioneer Square. “Pioneer Square needs you. And Pioneer Square is the best place.” And, so many of you came to the performance. We were able to feed you and drink you and entertain you.

And all the while we looked across the street. “It’s iconic. It has a kitchen. It’s huge. It’s empty.” The old Elliot Bay Book Company. The Globe Building. On Nord Alley. (Are you kidding me? We’re Café Nordo!) It seemed so impossible we shouldn’t even dream. After 8 weeks, we closed up and moved on to the Central District, home of our next show.

Karen brought Ilze Jones, owner of the Globe Building, to see that show. These two convinced us the scheme we had concocted to make Café Nordo a year-round venture, one that gives artists and chefs a playground to collaborate with each other, was viable there. That you, the neighborhood, wanted us there.

And here we are. We our public announcement. We are moving into 109 Main Street and building out the kitchen downstairs to house what we’re calling Nordo’s Culinarium. Charming actors, brilliant musicians, and (more!) talented cooks will be peppering your evening landscape.

All the details of what we’re up to will come to you, we just wanted to take a minute before the hullabaloo to say there is something truly special about Pioneer Square well beyond its beauty and history. It’s what infuses everyone we have met in the neighborhood with such passion for the place. The people who believe in the magic of Pioneer Square are our people. We are honored to join your ranks. Thank you for making us feel so truly at home.

We will start building at the end of this month. Please stop in and say hello, we’d love to give you a tour and tell you what we’ve got planned.


Erin Brindley & Terry Podgorski


Cafe Nordo & Nordo Culinarium