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February 11, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Aloha oe! Luau closed — Pour House takes over

Eater Thomas Hall wasn’t one to pooh-pooh the recent closure of Luau Polynesian Lounge, and wrote to tell me so: “I stopped by one of my neighborhood stops, the Luau Lounge, and the sign in the door indicated that their last day was January 26th. Sorry to see them go. Two good big screens and a `burger and a pint’ on Thursdays was a great deal. The ribs were reliable. Hate to see anyplace close. Have you heard anything about what might be moving in?” Why, yes sir! I have:

Coming soon: The Pour House (across from Eva) on the corner of N. 56th St. and Kirkwood Place.

Luau has seen a series of ownership and management changes in the 15 years since Thomas and Jessica Price opened their popular drinks-stop and pupu parlor near Green Lake. The Price’s former business-partner Tony Boitano — who took the helm in 2005 — turned the keys over to new owners Jay Farias and Erik Knutson two weeks ago.

“We’re deep into a remodel,” says Farias, who expects to re-open as Pour House Bar & Dining by mid-March. Contractors are already hard at it, sandblasting and acid-staining the floor, cutting “windows” into the wall between the bar and the Bora Bora Room. They’ll be pulling out the bar’s rail and making the main space 21-and-over, with the smaller dining area available for families.

Farias owned the Nickerson Street Saloon for a decade and later opened Joe’s on Roosevelt (now the Roosevelt Ale House). His latest venture, Stix, a bastion for billiards and booze on Lake Union, “was a bomb” he said, explaining it was his big brother’s idea. “The rent was too high and we got too big for our britches. That’s what you get from listening to your brother!” Knutson “comes from a more music/nightclub background.”

At the Pour House, “the concept is totally different from what I’ve done before,” says Farias. His chef, as yet unnamed — since he’s still employed elsewhere — has “worked for a major name throughout the country.” The menu will be “upscale casual without the pretension,” and small plates will likely loom large. [Note from Nance: a burger and some reliable ribs would be welcome. Or so I hear.] “We’ll be working owners,” says Farias, who plans bartend while Knutson lends a hand at the door and on the floor, helping out behind the bar as needed. “I’m looking forward to it!”

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