Meet Toppy the Octopus, mascot of the new Tankard & Tun

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When Pike Brewery owners Charles & Rose Ann Finkel needed to expand their production facilities, the only way to go was up. So they added a second brew pub on top of the first.

Last week, the Pike Place Market kicked off its first major modernization with the inauguration of its new Market Front space across the Joe Desimone bridge along Western Avenue. (Desimone was the Neapolitan immigrant farmer who took over the market, one stall at a time, from its original owners, the Goodwin family; his farmland along the Duwamish became Boeing Field.)

Along with that, the Pike Brewery just finished its biggest expansion in two decades. They were at capacity, had been for years, 12,000 barrels a year (fourth or fifth biggest brewery in the state) with 17 fermentation tanks plus a 300-seat brew pub. Now they've added six more tanks, increasing production capacity by 30 percent. And another 150 seats in the new restaurant.

The name is Tankard & Tun, "a toast to the timeless drinking tankard" as well as Pike's brewing vessel (known as a mash tun), which is on display from the restaurant and adjacent brew deck. If you've never had oysters and beer, that's because you've been brought up on sauv blanc and pinot gris and the notion of "oyster wines." Thanks, Jon Rowley, oyster-wine guru, but beer predated wine when it came to pairing with oysters. Porter in particular. Try it at happy hour, weekdays from 4 to 6, when the bivalves are only two bucks apiece.

Tankard & Tun's menu emphasizes Northwest seafood, with a focus on pairing Pike's handcrafted beers with small plates, including a $17 surf & turf plate of short ribs and octopus. (Pike long ago outgrew the "craft" designation, as you can imagine.) The restaurant's design includes an oyster bar and a brew deck. Bumgardner was the architectural design firm.

Leading Tankard & Tun's culinary team is chef Gabe Spiel, a local kid who's been promoted from the ranks of Pike Brewery cooks just down the stairs.

Toppy, by the way, is my own name for the octopus, which holds a tankard in the logo. I could have called him Topper, a TV show from the 50s (based on a movie from the 30s) with a lead character called Cosmo Topper.

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This page contains a single entry by Cornichon published on July 6, 2017 2:00 PM.

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