December 19, 2008

Two Smart Women Update Oddfellows

Linda%20Derschang.JPG Ericka%20Burke.JPG
Nightlife maven Linda Derschang (left) partners with Ericka Burke for a new, all-day venture.

First, the location, an empty dance studio with 18-foot ceilings in the Oddfellows building at 10th and Pine, at the edge of the Pike-Pine Triangle. Next, lounge developer Linda Derschang, with a 15-year string of successful ventures under her belt: Linda's and Smith on Capitol Hill, King's Hardware in Ballard, Rob Roy (originally Viceroy) in Belltown. Then a celebrated neighborhood chef, Ericka Burke of Volunteer Park Café.

Derschang's signature is spot-on decor. At Oddfellows, everything looks original and some of it really is (wainscoting, portraits), but the benches along the walls are former pews from St. Joseph's on 19th, the classroom chairs were found in Massachusetts, and the tables were custom-built with locally salvaged lumber.

Burke's food isn't as complicated as her classic menus for the denizens of North Capitol Hill's elegant mansions; after all, Oddfellows is a neighborhood café. Starting at 7 AM with coffee (from Stumptown), baked eggs, homemade oatmeal and pastries baked on the premises, moving through lunchtime BLTs to comfort-food dinners like shepherds pie, braised pork shank and rotisserie chicken. "The food will be be great value, delicious and comforting," Burke promises. Simple, rustic, locally sourced.

IOOF, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows originated in early 19th century England, a charitable organization whose members shunned recognition for their good works. Active in the United States, it became the first fraternity to welcome women as members, and in fact named its highest honor the Rebekah Degree. The Seattle chapter built its grand lodge at the turn of the 20th century, leasing space to--among other tenants--the Faurot Academy of Dancing. When developer Ted Schroth finished renovating building this year, he kept the academy's well-used hardwood dance floor and expansive windows overlooking 10th Avenue, the space Derschang and Burke will now infuse with savory new life, starting with dinner service tonight at 5. Full bar, of course.

Oddfellows Cafe, 10th Avenue, 206-325-0807 Oddfellows Cafe & Bar on Urbanspoon

Posted by Ronald Holden at December 19, 2008 10:00 AM | TrackBack

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