Yard House may not have invented craft beer, but it certainly helped fuel the craze when it opened its flagship restaurant on December 7, 1996, in Long Beach, California, with an astounding 250 taps. More than 16 years and 42 locations later Yard House will open its very first Pacific Northwest location on Sunday, February 10 at 11am at Downtown Seattle’s Century Square Building.
With less than a month to go, the company just finished hiring 200 new employees who are in the midst of intense training.
Shortly the ovens in the exhibition kitchen will be fired up, hundreds of full kegs will be stacked atop one another in the glass-enclosed keg room, and 130 taps handles encircling the island bar fully operable as Yard House welcomes the residents of Seattle to its 43rd location.
“Seattle has been on our radar for a very long time,” said Harald Herrmann, president of Yard House Restaurants. “It’s a vibrant city that has a lot to offer, and we’re extremely excited to be part of the community.”
The new Seattle location will be the only Yard House to boast its own totem pole. Serving as a beacon to the restaurant’s entrance, the Yard House totem pole pays homage to the city’s early heritage when Seattle positioned itself as the “Gateway to Alaska.” The totem pole, which first appeared on city streets during the 1909 Alaska-Yukon Pacific Exposition, came to symbolize the connection between the city and what would eventually become the 50th state. The Yard House totem pole is best described as an urban work of art assembled from various motorcycle parts, from handlebars and gas tanks to pedals and wheel wells, and measures 14 feet high and spans seven feet wide topping the scales at more than a ton.
Yard House is one of the fastest growing casual restaurant chains in the nation with a concept that seems to resonate with guests. The American fusion menu features more than 100 items, 100-250 taps of draft beer depending on the location, and a continuous playlist of classic and contemporary rock. The new location at Century Square will be the company’s first-ever Washington location and will reserve nearly two-dozen taps for Seattle breweries, including craft beers from Pike, Georgetown and Pyramid, just to name a few. Several Pacific Northwest breweries will also be represented at the signature oval bar.
Yard House at Century Square will spans nearly 13,000 square feet with a guest capacity of 467. The floor plan is open and airy with a mix of warm woods and cool stainless steel accents. Guests can seating among a selection of ample-size booths, low and high-top tables with additional seating encircling the island bar. An original collection of striking abstract works of art has been commissioned by California artist Jerome Gastaldi creating a gallery of sorts within the space.
The American fusion menu features more than 100 items including soups, salads, sandwiches, street tacos, fresh seafood, pasta and rice dishes, steak and poultry as well as a selection of fresh fish. Guests can also enjoy an array of gluten-sensitive options as well as vegetarian dishes made with gardein™, a blend of garden vegetables and protein that have the look, taste and texture of beef and poultry. Yard House also offers a selection of small, shareable plates from its Snacks menu along with a popular Happy Hour where select, full-serving appetizers are offered at half-price and specials on wine, beer and signature drinks are also featured. Happy Hour takes place weekdays Monday-Friday from 3-6pm and late-night Sunday-Wednesday from 10pm until close. The restaurant’s Kids Klub menu includes an entrée, side dish, beverage and frozen fruit bar for just $6.95.
The Yard House’s calling card is its unique beer system featuring a glass-enclosed Keg Room housing hundreds of steel barrels. The beer is transported from this location through miles of overhead steel and nylon tubing, which feeds into the 130 taps at the center island bar. Yard House recently introduced its Chalkboard Beer Series, which features a selection of small, limited releases from mostly craft brewers that rotate frequently keeping the selection both innovative and fresh. These featured beers are listed on a digital chalkboard prominently displayed above the island bar.
Yard House also boasts a full bar featuring a list of creative martinis, sake, Crafted Cocktails inspired by classic drinks only with a modern twist, and a Fresh & Skinny™ menu with a calorie range of 115 to 176 per cocktail.
Known for its state-of-the-art sound system, Yard House features an extensive and eclectic mix of classic and contemporary rock. The playlist, created daily and programmed according to the time of day, can be changed in an instant to reflect the restaurant’s real-time demographics. A fleet of flat screen televisions, tuned to the latest sporting event, are strategically placed throughout and are visible from nearly every seat in the house.