Melrose Market is an indoor open air market tucked away just off Pine in Capitol Hill. Dan and I had walked past a few times (always after stuffing our faces somewhere) and each time he would notice something about it that he wanted to check out. First Homegrown. Then Rain Shadow Meats (Dan always has his eye out for butcher shops). Then Sitka & Spruce. We went to Sitka & Spruce for some snacks and cocktails on my birthday and I gotta say the ambiance in the market is pretty amazing. Each space has its own look and feel, like there would in a normal storefront, but in Melrose Market there are only faux walls separating each shop. Each business opens up right into the next, and it gives a really cool collective, homey feel to the whole place.
As we chilled and snacked and drank at Sitka & Spruce, we couldn’t help but soak up the vibe of the place because we liked it so much. So of course, months later, I was happy to collaborate with Esther of Uncommon Cartography and do a little PR featuring the market itself, and some products from Rain Shadow Meats. The idea was to head down to the market, snap some photos, and explore the market. Then let our creative collaborator/cook Matt Broussard, work his magic on some choice brisket, which we’d pair with whiskey. You can read more about that here.
I’ve enjoyed my trips to Melrose Market, and I encourage you to check it out. Don’t be deterred by all the construction in the area. There is still quality meat, delicious snacks, and locally crafted jewelry, among many other products within Melrose Market.
Rain Shadow Meats
Right when you walk into Melrose Market you’ll see Rain Shadow Meats, a full service butchery. Russ Flint worked as a butcher for five years at Whole Foods before he met chef Renee Erickson, owner of multiple well-known restaurants in the Seattle area including The Walrus and The Carpenter and Boat Street Cafe. Russ became Sous Chef at Boat Street Cafe in 2004 where became interested in the concept of cooking using the whole animal. It was Renee who showed Russ the Melrose Market location (before it became Melrose Market) and he knew then he wanted to open a butcher shop in Capitol Hill.
While talking to Russ it was easy to see both his excitement for the product and his wheels turning with the ideas he has for Rain Shadow Meats. Providing customers with high quality local product and educating them on that very product is important to Russ. As is utilizing the entire animal. Rain Shadow Meats has a small curing room and will be the only local shop that’s certified to cure their own meats. He also hopes to offer classes in meat and butchery soon. If you have any questions about the product, where it comes from, or the best cut of meat to order for the meal you’re planning, don’t be afraid to ask. Everyone at Rain Shadow Meats is knowledgable and ready to help.
One star product is the country-style pork terrine, a product Russ learned from his days working with Renee Erickson. They have an amazing selection of house-made and assorted charcuterie and offer small and large platters for order. But Russ said that if you’re looking to buy something to eat for dinner, go for the California pasture raised chicken. People usually aren’t interested in paying more for chicken but it’s the best deal in the case and you get three meals out of it.
If you work close by, stop in for lunch at Homegrown. You’re probably aware of Homegrown if you’re local as they have ten locations (including one in Redmond) but let me give you a quick rundown. Homegrown is a sustainable sandwich shop that uses all natural meats and cheeses and organic, preferably local produce. They also use recyclable and compostable products. Beyond being focused on the environment, they make yummy sandwiches, salads, and sides. Two of our favorites include the smoked pastrami with caramelized onions and their ham, egg, & cheese breakfast sandwich.
Marigold and Mint
Towards the back of Melrose Market is Marigold and Mint, a small floral and home goods shop. You’re drawn in by all of the flowers in vintage and glass vases that dot the tables right alongside fresh produce and herbs for sale. The flowers are from Floret, and the produce from Oxbow Farm (sold thru June – November). The shop also sell books, vintage and modern ceramics, and paper goods. And if you’re looking for a small or large arrangement they do also deliver flowers.
Sitka & Spruce
One of my favorite spots in Melrose Market is Sitka & Spruce (Dan and I sat at the bar for a little pre-dinner birthday drink and snack which I wrote about here). I’m in love with the aesthetics. From the subway to the hammered metal tiles, the chalkboard sign, and industrial style bar stools. Not to mention the food and drink. It’s a perfect after work happy hour spot (3-6pm). Or a great date night option, especially for those who love small plates. If you have a chance, try the whipped lardo.
Next to Sitka & Spruce is Bar Ferd’nand, a wine bar and bottle shop. It’s a cozy area with a small bar and a booth in back. It was packed when Dan and I came here for my birthday. And it’s not a huge area but it can fit a surprising amount of people. You can enjoy a glass or bottle of wine with some snacks (from Sitka & Spruce) or stop by to pick up a bottle on your way home from work. The staff is more than willing to help you find the right wine for any occasion. And on Tuesday evenings from 5-7pm Bar Ferd’nand has special themed-tastings which are free (with purchase or $5 tasting) and open to the public. Another great after work event to hit up in Capitol Hill. P.S. July is Orange Wine month!
Upstairs you’ll find Butter Home, the sweetest shop full of magical little gifts. They sell housewares, hand printed textiles, paper goods, prints, and jewelry. I loved their jewelry section, filled with handmade pieces, many made by local Seattle artists and small brands across the US. Supporting local businesses is awesome so it’s fun when you happen upon a shop with unique pieces from local artists you haven’t heard of before. Its like finding treasure. Another section I really enjoyed was the paper goods and prints. I’m always down to add to my Thank You card collection. And while Butter Home has an online store, I suggest checking out the cute brick and mortar shop itself.