Cafe Juanita Pop-Up at Lark

Chef Holly Smith to Cook in the 12th Ave Space

Just when chef John Sundstrom heard that his old friend Holly Smith was temporarily closing her beloved Cafe Juanita for renovations at the beginning of 2015, he was right in the midst of thinking about what would become of Lark’s original home on 12th Ave. It seemed serendipitous—an intimate space opening up just as a great chef was looking for a temporary home—and Sundstrom offered the restaurant as a place for a Cafe Juanita pop-up.

Chef Holly Smith is excited to bring her thoughtful Northern Italian fare to the west side. She’ll be cooking dinner in the 12th Ave space fromWednesday, February 4, through early April. The pop-up will be open Wednesday through Saturday from 5pm to 10pm.

Reservations can be made through OpenTable as of January 1. Dinner is $135/person and reservations will require a credit card, which will be charged with the base cost—there will be a seven-day cancellation policy. Supplements to the menu will be available for an additional charge, as well as two levels of wine pairings, at $65 and $95, and a non-alcoholic pairing.

“I’ve known Holly for more than twenty years,” says Sundstrom. “We cooked together way back when, and now that we both have our own restaurants, we’ve shared countless great sous chefs and cooks.” Sundstrom and the Lark team are glad to see a dear friend setting up camp in their beloved home of 11 years. Both chefs were thrilled at the opportunity to collaborate, and know that Seattleites will be delighted to have Smith’s wonderful food a bit closer than Kirkland for a few months.

“I’m proud and excited to bring a version of the Cafe Juanita experience to Seattle proper,” says Smith. “I’m glad my team and I will be able to keep cooking and serving while our home gets updated.” Naturally, the menus at the pop-up will be a little different than those regularly offered, due to working out of a different kitchen, but Smith looks forward to working with the changes. She and her staff are happy to accommodate dietary restrictions, and can offer gluten- and dairy-free meals as well as vegan meals—guests should note any special needs when they book their dinner.

Meanwhile, Sundstrom and the Lark team are settling into their new home in the Central Agency Building. The larger kitchen and dining space have been a delight, as has welcoming in old Lark fans and new visitors alike.

The 12th Ave space has morphed into a private event space—and is available when the pop-up is dark. For more information about booking private events at Lark, call 206.323.5275.

Opened in 2003, and relocated to The Central Agency building in December of 2014, Lark is an artisan-focused restaurant in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Chef John Sundstrom, a James Beard Award-winner, is known for his intimate knowledge and deft use of the Northwest’s unique ingredients and has created the perfect place to celebrate the bounty of the region. The menu changes with the seasons, highlighting the best tastes available. Dinner is served daily from 5pm to 11pm. Bitter/Raw, an amaro- and crudo-focused bar, is lofted above the dining room and Off The Record, a private event space, is located below. For more information and reservations, please call 206.323.5275 or visit

Lark is located at 952 East Seneca Street in Seattle, Washington.

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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