North Beacon Hill, a Seattle neighborhood already greatly impacted by gentrification, was once the home of numerous Filipino restaurants, including Kusina Filipina and Inay’s, now all closed. For Melissa “Mel” Miranda, a Seattle chef and restaurateur, her restaurant Musang is a way to bring familiar Filipino flavors back into the neighborhood with a more modern spin.
“I see it [as a] reclaiming of space,” Miranda said. “When my dad first moved to Seattle, he actually moved to Beacon Hill, so I have a lot of memories growing up here. I think there’s a part that’s like, let’s create those memories again for people.”
According to Musang’s website, it started off as a “series of pop up brunch and dinner experiences in 2016,” and officially opened its doors for full service in January 2020.
“I found out that [Musang’s building] used to be a community center for People of Color in this neighborhood who go drop off their kids here, and then go to work, and then pick them up at the end of the day,” Musang chef de cuisine Jonnah Ayala said. “And [it’s] kind of like a full circle, because Musang … is more than just a house or like a place, a location, for a restaurant. It is a movement, it is a lifestyle, it is a dream come true.”
Kyle Bender is a Seattle-based arts and culture columnist, editor, and all-around nerd. He’s written on various topics, including the Seattle music scene, food and culture, tabletop role-playing and video games, and local government. Kyle is passionate about tabletop board games like Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons, and works as a Level 1 MTG judge in his off time.
Joshua Lee is a senior at the University of Washington studying journalism. Lee also serves as Arts + Culture Editor for The Daily of the University of Washington, covering movies, plays, concerts, and more.
📸 Featured Image: Kitchen staff Kyle Ronquillo (left) and Gerald Gutierrez (right) preparing for dinner service at Musang in North Beacon Hill on Tuesday, May 3, 2022. (Photo: Kyle Bender)
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