Ivar’s Makes a Splash with Salmon House Bar Remodel in North Lake Union

Whalemaker Lounge at Ivar’s Salmon House reopens with Seattle’s best happy hour menu and shell-ebration event series
Seattle waterfront restaurant Ivar’s Salmon House, located at 401 NE Northlake Way on North Lake Union, announced the o-fish-al reopening of its lounge after a three-month renovation. The Whalemaker Lounge now boasts a splashy new interior with enhanced water views, river rock masonry fireplace, more seating and refreshed décor. The popular bar and happy hour menu also received a makeover with new signature cocktails, non-alcoholic refreshments and tasty seafood dishes.

“The Whalemaker Lounge is an iconic part of our flounder’s legacy and the Seattle dining scene, and with the last renovation more than two decades ago, we wanted to modernize the feel, while also staying true to the Salmon House heritage,” said Chris Gleason, director of operations for Ivar’s full-serve restaurants. “The new décor strikes that balance, and the menu offerings created by our new chef, Steve Anderson, further enhance our tie to the Northwest.”

To usher in the changing tides, now through May 16, the Whalemaker Lounge is hosting Spring Cheers, a rotating series of themed drink specials and events. Each Tuesday will feature local craft brews, Wednesdays will offer up a showcase of Northwest wineries, and Thursdays get a mix of spirits and creative cocktailing. In addition, the revamped bar menu will spotlight Northwest seafood with a global twist, in dishes like Roasted Jalapeño Cured Salmon Poppers and Alder-Grilled Salmon Skewers with peach-currant chutney. For refreshments, diners will have brand new signature beverages to choose from, including the Herbal Berry Bash (rum, sour, strawberry purée and basil), and the non-alcoholic Pom-berry Soda (pomegranate syrup, cranberry juice, mint leaves, lime, mandarin segments and lemon-lime soda). Beyond the menu, the lounge’s redesign – led by CB Anderson Architects – returns to the intended layout of a longhouse replica, with more open spacing, panoramic views and natural lighting. In addition, most of the materials, artisans and designs have deep Northwest roots and an outdoor aesthetic. Key elements include:

  • More than 20 new seats were added among the booths and bar, along with a fresh copper bar top
  • Local woodworker Sam Peterson made new cork and Jatoba tables and collaborated with Sean Aydlott to affix stunning copper tabletops. Aydlott, owner of Cut It For You and former Boeing Engineer, custom routed unique designs into the copper, including David Robert Boxley’s art that was commissioned for the remodel
  • Fresh flooring constructed from regional solid, end-grain Douglas Fir, a sustainable and durable product sourced from the Oregon Lumber Company
  • Alexander Lang, a second-generation art contributor to Ivar’s, created a central fireplace of natural stone. Alexander incorporated signature “KEEP CLAM” etchings on the hearth rocks, as a nod to the company’s flounder and a hidden surprise for patrons to find
  • Visible only to those looking into the mirror at the bar, Jose Martinez of Seattle’s Graphic Display Sign and Awning Company inscribed a reverse image of “So A Whale Walked Into A Bar”
  • Acclaimed Northwest native artist and original Salmon House contributor David Robert Boxley created custom whale designs. The print was incorporated by Martinez throughout the bar area, in framed wall pieces, mirrored bar back etchings and detailed wood carvings

“I have a deep personal connection with the Salmon House, as my father and I worked together to carve the 16-foot ‘Welcoming Man’ in the restaurant’s lobby,” said Boxley. “In creating the new designs, I wanted something that was cohesive with the existing pieces, but also bridged the gap between historical and modern native design.” To keep afloat with all the details, restaurant news and Salmon House events, follow Ivar’s on Facebook (www.facebook.com/IvarsRestaurants) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/IvarsClam) or visit Ivar’s website at www.ivars.com. About Ivar’sIvar’s Seafood Restaurants began on Seattle’s waterfront in 1938. Today, there are 23 Ivar’s fast casual Seafood Bars and three full-service restaurants: Ivar’s Acres of Clams, Ivar’s Salmon House and Ivar’s Mukilteo Landing. Ivar’s Seafood, Soup and Sauce Company markets and sells its award-winning soups, chowders and sauces both nationally and internationally. The company also operates regional stadium concessions including Safeco Field, CenturyLink Field, KeyArena, Bank of America Arena, Husky Stadium and Cheney Stadium. Learn more at www.Ivars.com.

Written by Charles Koh

Founded EatSeattle, and has continued to use his expertise as editor-in-chief to guide the website’s growth over the last five years. Koh’s experience focuses on digital marketing and social media, and has been a part of several companies, some of which he created, specializing in both areas over the course of his career. Koh was previously with Google and Zagat where he helped expand and grow communities worldwide.

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