Marx Foods Opens First Brick-and-Mortar Specialty Store on Western Ave

Owner Justin Marx with
first customer Marco

Marx Foods, an online retailer of a large, eclectic collection of specialty foods, has opened its first brick and mortar store in the Lower Queen Anne/Uptown neighborhood. Owner Justin Marx, recently profiled in Food & Wine, aims to serve as the “culinary concierge” for both Queen Anne residents and Seattle at large. The store will serve as a shop where you can get unique food and condiments, as well as advice, suggestions, and in-house tested recipes of how to best enjoy and make use of them. Some of the items offered, such as fine charcuterie, cheeses, balsamic vinegars, and olive oils will be familiar to most, but with some of the less common items, a knowledgeable staff and test kitchen are sure to come in handy.

I spoke with Justin Marx about the new retail venture, and asked him why he decided on Lower Queen Anne/Uptown – he said he hopes to bring something to Queen Anne that is unique to Seattle, something that doesn’t exist today… well, almost today, as Marx Foods opened its doors yesterday morning at the corner of Western and John Streets. (note: the signs are going up in the next couple of weeks, but it’s easy to find, as it’s directly across from the PI globe at 144 Western Ave with street parking available and free after 6pm)

Marx has run the online business from his Lower Queen Anne office for just shy of five years, all the while watching the neighborhood evolve with new housing developments, the Thomas St Pedestrian Bridge, and new and varied local vendors and restaurants. As the neighborhood evolved, he decided his business should too, and made the jump to a retail storefront. Marx finds the items he offers for sale by traveling the country, visiting farmer’s markets, and running culinary question marks by his tasting panel of local food bloggers and chefs to see if they pass muster. With only about 20% meeting the tasting panel’s standards, you should expect the items to be as good as they are unique. While the online store has over 1,200 items, the retail shop will have 300-400 products, but for the extraordinarily adventurous, special orders are welcomed and encouraged.

A liquor license is in the works and for summer, Marx is planning to offer ready-to-go picnics with items such as sliced charcuterie and cheese. Future events, some co-hosted with their neighbor Fat Cork, a boutique champagne purveyor, are also planned, so stay tuned for more as the new year ticks over.

So what will you find when you visit? They carry a range of game meats and birds; meats you see on menus but not in stores – boar, elk, pheasant, and even more unusual meats such as antelope and kangaroo. Other items include edible flowers, a wide variety of dried mushrooms and peppers, chili sauces, pastas, snacks both savory and sweet, and probably more than a few things you’ve not had the chance to try before.

I asked Marx to narrow down a list of his personal favorites – a tough task, but here are the essentials: Chicaogi Chipotle Chili Sauce, butternut squash seed oil, aged balsamic vinegars, Pistachio Cream, Denver Vegetable Leathers, Cocomels coconut milk caramels, Ramp Vinaigrette, and local marshmallows that are cup-size – perfect for hot cocoa.

“We’ve curated a selection of products that we feel is very special – the majority of products on the shelf are direct from the producer, with only one or two items from the producer. What I’d love is for people in the neighborhood to visit, get recipes ideas, gift ideas. Building a relationship with customers is key, we want to be their culinary concierge.” – Justin Marx, owner Marx Foods

If you’re looking for specialty food items, gifts, and treats that you can’t find anywhere else, stop by Marx Foods and welcome them to the neighborhood!

New York Pizza & Bar coming to Lower Queen Anne

A New York style pizza place is going into the Lumen building in Lower Queen Anne, in the same complex as QFC and Genki Sushi.

According to a notice on the door, New York Pizza & Bar is renting the space at 500 Mercer Street, Suites 2-4, and is currently doing construction in preparation for opening.

New York Pizza & Bar currently has two locations in Washington State – one in Bellingham and another in Lynden. We’re waiting to hear back from the owners on when they plan to open the new Seattle location.

* Thanks to Patrick and Jenn for the tip!

Pottery Northwest presents exhibition of alumnae

Pottery Northwest will hold an exhibition of new works by several recent artists-in-residence alumnae beginning Saturday, April 9 in their studio just south of the KeyArena. The exhibition, called Flashback, will feature work by John Ellefson, Bill Evans, Jamie Kirkpatrick, Julie Lindell, Stephen Sullivan and Tami Rubin.

The show will run until April 29 in the South Gallery of Pottery Northwest at 226 First Ave. N. A public opening reception will be held on Saturday, April 9 from 6 to 8 p.m.

From Pottery Northwest:

Founded in 1966 as a non-profits arts organization, Pottery Northwest is a long time and vibrant source of programming in the Seattle arts community. World class professional artist residencies,  exhibitions featuring traditional and contemporary work, community classes and an engaging lecture series spanning many years are all features of this fixture at Seattle Center. Artists from around the world come to Pottery Northwest in the spirit of artistic dialog and as a formative step in their professional career.

Queen Anne wins new Molly Moon’s shop in July

Yes, you read that right – Queen Anne is going to have a brand new ice cream shop come this summer, a la organic, seasonal, locally sourced, hand-made ice creamery Molly Moon’s.

Back in December Molly Moon’s launched a competition between three neighborhoods – Queen Anne, Ballard and Madrona – to determine which ‘hood to open its third shop in. The local ice cream chain, which already has bustling locations in Wallingford and Capitol Hill, named Queen Anne as the winner of the competition Monday.

The competition was run through Facebook page campaigns, to gauge community interest in a new shop in each neighborhood. As of Monday evening the Queen Anne page had 462 ‘likes’. Madrona came in second place, with 163 ‘likes’.

Molly Moon’s has not yet finalized the location for the Queen Anne store, but they plan to open the shop in July, just in time for the summer heat. The ice creamery will also be opening a “micro-shop” in Madrona. To celebrate Molly Moon’s will be giving out free ice cream scoops to kids out of its truck, which will be parked at 2231 Queen Anne Ave. N., on Sunday, March 20, from noon to 2 p.m. Here is the full press release:

Molly Moon Neitzel today announced that she is expanding her ice cream family this summer with a new scoop shop in Queen Anne and new “micro” concept shop in Madrona.

Neighborhoods for the new locations were selected by Molly Moon’s enthusiasts during the three-month long “Shop 3, where will it be?” campaign that encouraged Seattle’s ice cream lovers to, despite the frosty weather, visit Moon’s ice cream truck while it set-up shop in their respective ‘hoods.

“I’m so excited to be welcoming two new neighborhoods in to our Molly Moon’s family” said Neitzel. “I love that Molly Moon’s is a place where families and friends can create memories and I can’t wait for Queen Anne and Madrona residents to have the opportunity make the new shops a part of their communities.”

Queen Anne, Seattle’s most-devoted ice cream eating neighborhood this winter, will be receiving its well-deserved scoop shop in July of 2011. Stay tuned, as the location is still being solidified and will be announced in the coming weeks.

Madrona, the runner-up in the “Shop 3” campaign, will be awarded a Molly Moon’s micro-shop in May of 2011. This petite version of a Molly Moon’s scoop shop will serve pre-packaged pints and scoops of Moon’s delicious ice cream, sorbet-sicles, and ice cream sandwiches.

In celebration of this exciting news, the Molly Moon’s ice cream truck will give away kids scoops this Saturday, March 19, from Noon to 2 p.m. while parked at Buggy in Madrona. The kids in Queen Anne will receive free scoops on Sunday, March 20, from Noon to 2 p.m. while the truck is parked at 2231 Queen Anne Ave. N.

For additional information about Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream, please log on to

Correction 12:40 p.m.: An earlier version of this story stated that Molly Moon’s is organic, when in fact not all of its ice cream flavors contain organic ingredients. Here is more information from the website:

Are all of your ingredients organic? No. My priority is to purchase locally-grown ingredients from great Northwest suppliers. I try to use local AND organic, but when faced with situations where I have to choose, I choose healthy local options that are not always certified organic. Some of our organic ingredients include organic vanilla, peppermint, maple, ginger, and orange extracts, organic coconut, organic lavender from Sequim, Washington, organic baby beets, carrots, and rosemary from Full Circle Farms, organic Meyer lemons from the Napa Valley (as close to us as they grow), organic mint and cantaloupe from eastern Washington, organic bacon and cherries from Vashon, organic sugar cones and cake cones, and organic sprinkles.

Flame merges with Elliott Bay Pizza Co., new business starts renovations of old Flame spot

If you’ve walked by Flame on Queen Anne Avenue N recently, you may have noticed the paper covering the windows and the sign on the door directing patrons to Elliott Bay Pizza Co. two doors down.

That’s because the two restaurants have merged, according to an Elliott Bay Pizza Co. employee who spoke to us over the phone this morning.

While the sign on the door at Flame says it is only closed for renovations, adding “Y’all kin get yer got juicy delicious flame broiled burgers next door at Elliott Bay Pizza,” in fact the restaurant changed ownership this week, the Elliott Bay Pizza Co. employee confirmed.

The man who owned both Elliott Bay and Flame decided to consolidate the two restaurants – and their vastly different menus – and sell the Flame location. The renovations inside are on the part of the new owner, he said, adding that he does not know what the new owner plans to do with the restaurant.

A call to the new owner has not yet been returned. In the meantime, most of the original Flame menu (burgers, fries and onion rings, chicken tenders, BBQ sandwiches, and salads) can be found at Elliott Bay Pizza Co. alongside its existing pizzas, pastas, salads, calzones and subs. The only items not available in the new merger are Flame’s tacos and shakes.

And as for the fate of Flame’s old homestead, we’ll keep you posted as we learn more about what will be moving in.

Zaw artisan pizza opens today

After a few months of preparation, Zaw artisan pizza is opening its new Upper Queen Anne location, at 1635 Queen Anne Ave. N., at 2 p.m. today, Saturday, April 10.

This it the fourth Seattle store for co-owners Greg Waring and Greg Scott, who decided to open a bake-at-home pizza joint that focused on seasonal, local and organic food and drink after years in the restaurant and consulting business.

“Zaw was our mid-life crisis,” Waring said. “If it doesn’t have a bit of soul, it doesn’t go into a bite of Zaw.”

Greg and Greg opened up the new shop yesterday for training, creating a few practice pizzas for Queen Anne-ers free of charge. They will also be extending their hours for this particular location based on community feedback (2 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 2 to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday).

“We had a lot of Queen Anne residents who were driving to Ballard or South Lake Union,” Waring said. “We got a lot of requests. So when this location became available, we snapped it up.”

Zaw is using the opening of the Queen Anne location to introduce a number of new products, including bake-at-home cookies (in classic chocolate chip or double decadent chocolate), as well as new local drinks, wines and beers.

Every Zaw pizza has the option of whole-wheat or gluten-free crust, and is wrapped in a cardboard circle with plastic wrap and baking instructions (10 minutes to cook), reducing the pizza box waste by 3/4.