Seattle longtime restaurantmaker Mick McHugh says he has always tried to do the same with the city and its sports teams.
For 40 years, his former FX McRory Steak Chop & Oyster House was perfectly located on Pioneer Square to greet football, baseball, basketball and football fans on their way to and from nearby stadiums. When the local NBA Sonics takeover movement began early in the past decade, McHugh’s restaurant became a frequent gathering place for fans, entrepreneur Chris Hansen, partner Wally Walker, and others trying to get an arena project in nearby Sodo. off the ground
So for McHugh, whose restaurant closed in 2017, a surprising turning point came when he recently asked to take over Kraken Bar & Grill, a new restaurant planned for mid-September on the NHL Expansion Team’s $ 80 million Northgate Mall. during the courses. Kraken finally got here after Seattle City Council canceled the Sodo arena project in May 2016 and later approved a $ 1 billion renovation of the former KeyArena, which will soon reopen at the Climate Pledge Arena.
“I mean, I had a 40-year-old Sonics subscription, and of course I wanted them to come back,” McHugh said of his time with Sodo arena bidders, with whom he is still friends. և continues to contact. “And we thought it would happen. “Now it’s happening at Northgate, on the hockey side.”
And although McHugh admits that he would never have imagined this turnaround five years ago, it seems appropriate that he would help launch Kraken. Finally, he added that he still wants what is best for local sports, և as a newcomer to the NHL that is rapidly falling into league history, it includes making Kraken Bar & Grill so popular with hockey fans. as much as FX McRory among other Seattle teams.
“If you want to see that everything is going well, you’s being asked to help, being a Seattle boy, I want to see them do it right,” said McHugh, the team’s official consultant. as well as a low level kitchen that will serve Kraken player food.
“I think (Kraken owner) David Bonderman is investing a hell of a lot of money in downtown Seattle,” McHugh added. “I think he probably saved the center of Seattle because it really has no money, with that new (arena) building, the money that Monorel is going to buy, it will be a first-class investment.
“It simply came to our notice then. We have this rejuvenation. It will be an autumn sport, it will be real. “
Indeed, the private restaurant for 300 visitors և The section for private events for 40 people will be open all year round և will show the games of all the teams of the city on 17 TV screens. But it will be hockey-focused Kraken game nights.
The 4,600-square-foot restaurant overlooks two of the regulated NHL glaciers at the 167,000-square-foot Northgate facility, including the restaurant where Kraken will operate.
The giant video board at the back of the rink, on the front wall of the restaurant,, customers can easily watch it, connected to some game broadcasts, which will be staged with focus-centric events. McHugh is busy with restaurant ideas. For example, live shows hosted by a teammate of KJR-AM (950) remotely և how to keep fans.
“We will bring some spirit to this place,” he said. “It will be lively. And it will be a sport. It will be a hockey feature during the hockey season. I mean, those rides are fast. I saw the schedule և they have kids hockey, they have adult hockey, women և men, they have curly և figure skating. The matter is fixed 365 days a year. ”
Thus, restaurant traffic should not be a problem. McHugh plans “randomly priced” items for hockey fans, saying that some Breaking National stories about the cost of equipping young sportsmen have received a really big response.
“I know the parents will be up there looking after their children,” he said. “And then the children will come և, maybe they will eat with them after that. So, I come up with ideas, and to see them flush it out, it’s really fun. “
This means hockey food such as burgers and Putin, a children’s menu and a wide range of local beers. The second kitchen inside will only serve player meals ordered by Kraken performance consultant Gary Roberts, which includes organic meats, fruits, vegetables and even beetroot juice.
“He is quite organized, the whole program is ready for the team,” said McHugh, who recently called Roberts. “He has a list of all the things he would like us to use.”
At age 70, McHugh retired after retiring from FX McRory’s as his centuries-old building closed due to an earthquake. He surveyed the next 16 sites, but concluded that he could not reopen; he was glad that the COVID-19 epidemic had occurred more than once.
He would volunteer at the St. James Ames Temple Soup Kitchen Center and become its interim director last July.
“It is a great joy for me to get out of there every day,” he said.
But then his wife, Nurse Tracey, introduced him to a colleague whose children played hockey with Rob Lampman, who was hired late last year as the general manager of a Northgate internship and was looking for someone to run his restaurant.
The partner’s husband asked McHugh if he could give his name to Lampman. McHugh agreed, և Lampman called soon after.
“I said, ‘Listen, I do not want to own it, I do not have to be there every day, but I will help find the right people,'” McHugh said.
Last week, Lampman, touring under the Kraken Bar & Grill, said McHugh would be the perfect “ambassador” given his long-standing knowledge of the city’s restaurant and sports scene. “This will be the centerpiece,” Lampman said, pointing to the restaurant area around him. “So we have to understand correctly.”
Lampman said the team is working on the right balance of how many nights Kraken games will be shown on the giant video screen, and what kind of extra-game time events may occur on the rinks below. The team is wary of giant screen broadcasts that interfere with community games, skating events and indoor ice rinks.
For now, he said, the video board could show half of Kraken’s 41 road games. But it is still planned.
The same goes for the restaurant staff, which, according to McHugh, will include former FX McRory employees. Many have struggled with the epidemic.
“I want to find some work for the people in those restaurants who have suffered there, wondering if they have a career, let alone a job,” he said. “All this is new money. This is a new industry in Seattle, and I think it’s great to be able to help run this program. ”
And if that’s going to help bring Sonics back one day, that’s it. But right now, “it’s out of our hands,” until NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s recently opened up to more teams than when the Sodo arena project was planned at McHugh’s.
“I mean, I would love that,” McHugh said. “Of course we want to bring back our Sonics. So I think we just have to wait և to see where the cards will fall here, մենք then we can all get back out of it. ”
At the same time, he will help the start of the newest professional league in the city as much as he can.
And maybe show his ex some of what he’s missing.