Free bananas and taco trucks may appear to be the primary food source for tech workers who take the time to actually step out from behind a computer screen. But is there more to it than that when it comes to the culinary pursuits of Seattle’s growing workforce?
A new piece in Seattle Met magazine takes a look at the downtown Seattle restaurant scene, notably fine dining establishments, and offers insight, anecdotally, about whether Amazon employees and others are driving business or driving it away.
Longtime restaurateur Tom Douglas, with 30-plus years in the kitchen and 18-plus properties, told the magazine that increased traffic in the downtown core, and an increase in online shopping, has changed the dynamic when it comes to who might be walking into a restaurant for a sit-down dinner.
But all those cranes spinning around are building high-rise apartments full of hungry tech workers, aren’t they? Where, what and how are they eating?
Jake Kosseff is co-founder of Miller’s Guild and the fancier new Circadia — billed as a joyful combination of “old-school glamour and quintessential Northwest sensibilities” in a GeekWire post last year. He told Seattle Met that Amazonians and other tech workers dine at unusual times and they like to sit in the bar or lounge area. That distinction led Kosseff and his partners to tweak what they learned at Miller’s Guild and allow for a “giant amount” of bar/lounge space at Circadia.
Douglas, who runs TanakaSan and other eateries out of Via6, a Sixth Avenue apartment building that looks out at Amazon’s high-rise towers and glass-encased domes, can sit in the lobby and watch “50 deliveries of food pull up a night,” he told Seattle Met.
“I think having food delivered to your home is essentially the new going out,” Douglas said. “I think it’s thought of in the same way. I mean, when you’re paying $2,000 a month for your apartment, you want to spend time there.”
Douglas said he does more business in a night from customers in the 100-room Hotel Andra on Fourth Avenue than he does from the 700 apartments in Via6.
Seattle Met also caught up with Matt Dillon, owner of Sitka & Spruce and other Seattle eateries. Dillon said young tech workers who stare at a computer all day aren’t used to being rewarded with conversation or something that’s actually worth touching. Going to a restaurant is all about just that, he said.
That might seem like a bit of a dig at anyone who has ever enjoyed the smooth touch of a free banana, or the idle banter of a Postmates delivery guy.