Chad Waldher & Jessi Pricco of Bottle & Bull
In Kirkland since November 2014
105 Lake Street South, Kirkland, WA 98033
Tell us about yourself!
We started in the restaurant business in Chad's hometown of Walla Walla in 2009. After a few years of operating Marcy's Bar & Lounge in Downtown Walla Walla, we decided it was time to open something closer to our other home in Bellevue. We scouted a number of neighborhoods in the greater Seattle area and determined the community of Kirkland was a great fit for our second venture. Prior to meeting and opening Marcy's, Chad attended WA State University, and Jessi, born and raised in Enumclaw, attended the University of Washington. Despite the fact that we are a house divided, we were married in Whistler, BC in 2011.
What inspired you to open your restaurant?
After opening Marcy's, a bar and cafe in Walla Walla, we always wanted to open a second business in Western WA—which is where we've always considered our home base to be. Our plan was to open the second business two–five years after Marcy's, and we opened Bottle & Bull just as we were celebrating our fifth anniversary in Walla Walla. We were excited to not be novices this time around; though we've still learned so much with this new venture being that it's an entirely new concept.
Describe your restaurant:
Experience the travels of Ernest Hemingway through your palette; eating and drinking your way through the cities that Hemingway loved to frequent: Havana, Paris, Florence and Pamplona (where he discovered his love for bull fighting!) to name a few. We're committed to scratch cooking and hand crafted cocktails that are as fluid as the seasons.
Tell us about your customers:
We feel very lucky to have a diverse demographic at Bottle & Bull. With the exception that B&B is 21 and older, we get a wide range of age groups coming through our doors. We can be an intimate setting for two for date night, however, being that we're a bar, we also often host parties of 10, 20 or 30 for various events. I believe our customers come to B&B for an experience that's unique to the Eastside. Perhaps something that they were driving to Seattle to find before we opened our doors. One of the tag lines we often use at B&B, is why cross a bridge when you can cross the street?
What is your favorite thing about being a small business owner?
Seeing and/or hearing about satisfied customers; knowing that what we're striving towards and working hard for each day was successful when the feedback about a particular drink and/or dish is praised. We have a tight bond with our employees in Walla Walla and many of our patrons; we've really been enjoying seeing that start to take shape in Kirkland, too.
Why did you choose to open in Kirkland?
We love the community feel that Kirkland has; plus you can't beat the beach town feel during the warmer months. Even though from a population standpoint Kirkland is much bigger than the respective towns we grew up in, it reminded us both of where we come from. When we signed our lease we felt very lucky to have been given the opportunity to open a business in downtown Kirkland, and almost one year later, we couldn't be happier that this is where we opened our second business.
What advice would you give to aspiring business owners?
Do your due diligence before opening any new business—if you think you're done—do some more. From there, you have to be persistent, put in the hard work and always being willing to adapt to your customer and/or market.
Tell us about a current dish you are really excited about right now:
We recently added a scallop entree to our dinner menu. They are pan seared and served with tarragon, speck, orange segments, shaved breakfast and watermelon radishes and a candied ginger-citrus aioli.