When last I spoke to Shannon Galusha regarding the vacant restaurant space formerly known as Veil, he acknowledged “nothing’s official yet” — but said it was this-close to being sold and transformed into a taqueria. And when I drove by this week I found the doors open and a guy at work scraping paint off a door frame.
Aloha from the corner of Aloha and Taylor streets.
This your place? I asked. Nope. But he was there to transform Veil’s uber-designed restaurant space — now completely gutted — into a taco-and-tequila joint. ETA? “I’ve got two and a half months,” he said. But who’s counting? According to the liquor license posted in the doorway, that would be B & B Restaurants, Inc.
The buzz on those B’s translates as Jose Betancourt (a name familiar from his association with the BluWater Bistro, where he was the longtime operations manager) and David Brownell (co-owner of Talarico’s Pizza & Lounge in West Seattle). If you’ve been around long enough, you might remember Betancourt from his days at ‘Ohana and/or Toi.
Peeking inside the papered-over lower Queen Anne storefront, I noted the last vestiges of Veil among the construction detritus: a clutch of comfy tush-tuffets where beautiful barflies once sat nibbling fancy bar-food and drinking “Devil’s Bouquets” — among other creative concoctions.
Goodbye to all that — and bring me some tequila, por favor!
(photo: Benjamin Schneider)
As I write, Brownell and Betancourt are in Laredo, TX doing some “southern reconnaissance” says Betancourt’s wife, Elizabeth Williams — a 10-year veteran of the BluWater Bistro franchise where I found her working today. “I’m keeping my job,” she says. “I love it.” But that won’t preclude her from helping with the menu’s design and content at the as-yet-un-named taqueria, where meats will be grilled over an open fire fueled by mesquite, and carved from an upright broiler “like on the beach in Puerto Vallarta,” while the bar will specialize in “some amazing margaritas and beautiful hand-crafted cocktails,” Williams says.
Plans are in place to move the entrance to the front of the building, says Mrs. B, where patrons will enter directly into the bar. Sidewalk seating is also on the docket. Taking the decor “from glam to rustic,” they’ll be exposing brick indoors, purchasing chairs handmade in Laredo and honoring her husband’s Southern Mexican heritage with art and artifacts from south of the border. As for those tiny tuffets? I forgot to ask, but I can already imagine them filled with little misses dressed to chill — with an icy margarita in one hand and a warm taco in the other.