Once in a great while a restaurant becomes more than some place where you eat, drink, or gather with friends. Sometimes, a restaurant becomes your third place. That elusive locale where you feel at home, a place that comes to feel as natural to spend time in as your living room. My living room is closing this weekend. Union in Seattle has been my home away from home, a special place, a place where I have felt utterly comfortable and one of the family.
Union cemented a love of food and added to that a perfect storm of a really well chosen wine list, beer list, and a cocktail program that I watched grow in front of my eyes. My friend Keith Waldbauer – the barman at Union, and I instigated in each other an appreciation and desire for well made classics, new carefully balanced drinks, and a desire for rum. Sitting at the bar and in the dining room planted the seed of the idea that maybe I needed to switch over to the other side. It was the beginning of a path that would change my life.
The dining room and bar were the scenes of many great meals and memories. Wonderful parties took place, friendships were formed and cemented, great experiences shared, guests feted, milestones celebrated, all to the accompaniment of great food and drink. Shenanigans took place, lots of late nights were spent talking, laughing, sometimes drinking way too much, always in good company. We watched the show as people walked up and down the street and dubbed it Union TV. I don’t think I can ever adequately describe everything that happened but I want to say thank you for a great ride. To Ethan, Hans, Mark, Tyler, Elwood, Jason, Angela, Keith, Chris, Manu, Manuel, Jesus, Jimmy, Shawn, Sennen, Ethan, Kurt, Vira, Amber, and countless others who made it such a great place, thank you, and let’s get a drink soon.