Vacant for years (even after an extensive structural remodel which seemed to be prepping it for a restaurant), the Esmay Building has long been the subject of ongoing rumors. With its good bones, exposed beams, great vintage signage, and key location right in the core Columbia City historic business district (directly across from Greenhouse on Hudson), many neighbors have hoped for another business or establishment that could be another major draw and key part of the community. However, it looks like the potential for any brewery or burger joint is gone.
The Seattle Department of Planning and Development is showing new documentation for the space to officially get converted into a commissary kitchen for Marination. For those not familiar with the business, Marination operates two restaurants: Marination Station on Capitol Hill and Marination Ma Kai on Alki. Marination’s original food truck, Marination Mobile (a.k.a: Big Blue), also has a dedicated following, was once voted America’s best food truck (somehow by Good Morning America’s viewers?), and even had a short stint in Columbia City where the new PCC is now going in.
Looking at the initial forms that have been publicly posted (click here…type “3714 S Hudson” in to search), the proposals and permitting do not appear to have any plans at all for using part of the building for a restaurant space.
I’ve got an email in to the owner of Marination to see if there is any hope for tacos in the neighborhood’s future… from the looks of things, I wouldn’t get your hopes up.