Ballard’s Snoose Junction now has a Greenwood sibling: Snoose Junction Part Dieu. The new pizzeria and lounge got a rousing thumbs-up from Eater Nancy Bryant, who wrote cautioning, “Please don’t review it until I’ve had time to take some friends there!” (Don’t worry, Nance: this isn’t a review, it’s an intro, and an impromptu one at that.) You see, the other day I was driving past the familiar junction where Greenwood Avenue meets Holman Road when an Un Pho Gettable sign caught my eye:
Getting to the bottom of that visual landmark, I thought, “What the Pho! So, that’s where the the new Snoose Junction’s hiding!” — right there behind Jiffy Lube. It wasn’t quite noon when I made my U-turn, but the door was unlocked so I waltzed in to take a look. Just inside the entrance is a blackboard menu that extends beyond Ballard’s pizza-centric card to also include fresh pastas, panini and stromboli:
While nosing around I found Snoose’s regional manager, Mark Ball, entertaining his son Morgan at one of the video-game consoles posted upstairs and down. You can play, too, testing your arcade-loving acumen with over 150 game selections, including classics like Asteroids, Defender and Missile Command:
Ballard’s two-year-old Snoose is known for its commitment to sustainability — and its bicycle delivery-service. Mark explained that they’ve been open for dinner since March 6 and are not yet serving lunch (it’s in the offing). For now, hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 4 p.m. till 12:30 a.m. (note: the kitchen closes at 11 p.m.) As for delivery, it’s been delayed: the bikes are set to get rolling on April 1. Here, they’ll get a gas-assist from the environmentally friendly company Spooky Tooth, whose motorized bikes boast 150 miles to the gallon.
Mark showed me around, proudly introducing me to the second-story bar and cocktail lounge — a 21-and-over venue big enough to host live music, as it did opening weekend, and incorporating the work of many local artists and craftspeople. LA graffiti-artist Sean Barton set the stage with this mural, a wall-sized eye-catcher visible both upstairs and down:
And check out the detail on this bar-back:
He also introduced me to Chris Jolles, a five-year veteran of El Gaucho and the “pseudo-project manager” on the job here since May. He’s since taken the helm as GM. Their bar, thoughtfully stocked with locally distilled spirits, offers eight local brews on tap and 20 bottles of wine for 20 bucks:
Like the Ballard original, the Greenwood version is built with reclaimed materials. Go-Team Builders took on this project for owner Emily Pickering, crafting old-growth fir timbers into stairs leading to the lounge. Accents on the bar, the cabinetry and the lounge floors were built from Brazilian mahogany salvaged from Garfield High School. These LPs (from a vast vinyl collection) are yours for the perusing. Choose one, ask nicely, and they’ll spin it for you in the bar:
And if you’ve ever bowled at the dearly departed Sunset Bowl, you may have had a lucky strike, courtesy of a charmed arm and these table tops:
The new place has a more sophisticated look to it than the bright Ballard store pictured below, whose table tops were salvaged from Leilani Lanes and whose bench seats were formerly the bleachers at Roosevelt High:
Well, sis boom bah for Snoose, says me. Welcome to the neighborhood. And as someone who passes through this junction regularly I expect to be back for pizza, a beer and a rousing game of Donkey Kong. Has anyone else been? So, what do you think?