Since word got out about the October closure of the original Lombardi’s in Ballard, there’s been plenty of speculation as to who — and what, exactly — will be moving into the 23-year-old restaurant-space at 2200 NW Market Street. The answer is 5 Corner Market, a 125-seat gastropub whose kitchen, run by chef Sam Crannell, is slated to open for business December 13.
Sam Crannell: ready to corner the Market (street) in Ballard.
A former Chicagoan, Crannell’s now living closer to family in Ferndale (where his folks live on a 15-acre farm), and here in Ballard he’s working closer to his wife Tracey Stoner, who leads the kitchen at Portalis.
Crannell’s resume includes stints at Quinn’s Pub and Oddfellows, and his menu will focus on what he calls “anti-molecular gastronomy”: quality ingredients (say, smoked chicken thighs, barbecue-pork whole hog, wood-roasted mussels) paired with other quality ingredients (say, cornbread salad, beef-fat fries, harissa).
Along with a couple of young guns imported from Bouchon and Spiaggia, he’ll be serving lunch and dinner, making good use of one of the hottest new tools in a chef’s culinary tool-chest, the charcoal-fueled Josper oven by Wood Stone. (To see one in action, look here, or go check-out the newly instaled Josper at Cafe Lago.)
As for who’s fueling the financing for this newcomer? Well, you’ll have to wait for an update on that. “He’s got strong roots in the restaurant community,” Lombardi’s owner Diane Symms told me in September. I’ve since learned where those roots took root, and where they grew (impressive!), but I’ve promised to keep my mouth shut till the owner gives notice at his place of employ.
Ballardites who might quibble, “Just what we need, another bar!” should note that families will be accommodated in an upstairs dining room. Meanwhile, upstairs and down, imbibers can lift a hand-crafted cocktail made with micro-distilled gin and small-batch bourbons.