When Chef Melissa Miranda was younger and working as a sous-chef at French and Italian restaurants, she never thought an upscale Filipino restaurant would be a possibility. Miranda studied sociology; attended culinary school in Florence, Italy; and worked in restaurants in New York City before coming back home to Seattle, where she had the opportunity she never imagined: She founded Musang, an upscale Filipino restaurant that began as a pop-up in 2016 before becoming a full-fledged restaurant in Beacon Hill in 2020. Today, Musang’s success has earned Miranda major notoriety: She’s a James Beard Award semifinalist for best chef, Northwest and Pacific.
When the husband-and-wife team behind the Columbia City restaurant El Sombrero retired last May after 17 years in business, locals turned out in droves for a tearful goodbye. Now a new tenant is saying hello and hoping to win over stomachs across South Seattle.
Family-owned Beacon Hill restaurants Baja Bistro and Kusina Filipina were known for more than just their delicious, authentic recipes. Their customers and neighbors were welcomed like family when they came to dine. That was partly why the loss of both restaurants was so painful. After a change in building ownership led to a rent hike, the Paraiso family closed Kusina in 2017, and Baja shuttered after 25 years in 2020 due to the pandemic. The closures also reflected the decades-long trend of displacement and gentrification in Seattle. With the support of the Beacon Business Alliance (BBA) and a community-minded developer, these two legacy restaurants are planning to reopen in the same neighborhood they were previously forced out of.
Baja and CheBogz — the latter is owned by Paraiso family sisters Trixia and Paula — are returning to Beacon Hill, splitting a storefront space in the new Colina Apartments.
“It’s almost kind of like a fairy-tale story for People of Color,” Trixia said when reflecting on moving the restaurant back to Beacon Hill. “You don’t really get this opportunity to have a landlord say, ‘We want you guys here so that we can keep this community as diverse as it was before.’”
On Juneteenth, Jackson’s Catfish Corner will celebrate the grand opening of its new Central District location at 2212 South Jackson Street. The new locale is in the Community House Mental Health Agency’s Patricia K Apartments development.
“It means everything to me … to be open on Jackson Street and to come back to the Central District where we belong … where we started at,” said Terrell Jackson, owner of Jackson’s Catfish Corner.
Intentionalist is built on one simple idea: where we spend our money matters. We make it easy to find, learn about, and support small businesses and the diverse people behind them through everyday decisions about where we eat, drink, and shop. #SpendLikeItMatters
The pandemic has taken its toll on small businesses everywhere, but minority-owned and Black-owned businesses have been hit the hardest. That’s why Intentionalist is working with The Central Area Collaborative — an organization dedicated to preserving the cultural and economic vitality of the Central District — to support small businesses in the neighborhood.
The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and whereweconverge.com.
We’ll also post the Morning Update Show here on theEmerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.
Morning Update Show — Friday, Jan. 22
Guest Host Mike Davis of South Seattle Emerald | Biden’s Executive Orders | COVID impacts on the restaurant industry | Vaccine “Pop-Up” locations | Wellspring: Hospitality Workers Grant | Food Fri-Yay! Frelard Tamales
At Tacos Chukis, there’s not really a need for a “what to eat guide” — you can’t really go wrong at this chain of restaurants, including one on Beacon Hill. However, you would be a fool if you didn’t try the pork taco. The slice of pineapple seriously sets this taco off. The nopales taco (grilled prickly pear cactus) is also essential. No, it’s not slimy. It’s pretty good, and something you’ve never tasted before. How often can you say that in a blossoming Seattle food industry?