Rita Dixson and Trevor Garand are the owners and operators of The Bridge the new bar and restaurant on 35th Ave. s.w. With a completely new interior remodel, and a focus on high quality beverages and food the new establishment wants to be, "The first place you stop after you come off the bridge."
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SLIDESHOW: 'The Bridge' is a dream made real for West Seattle friends
New bar Grand Opening set for Thursday, Feb. 24
As a dream held in more than one mind, The Bridge, at 4439 35th Ave. s.w. is set to become West Seattle's newest bar/ restaurant next week when they celebrate their grand opening on Thursday, Feb. 24. at 4:00 pm.
The owners Rita Dixson and Trevor Garand are long time West Seattleites and bring an extensive background in the business to the new venture. Dixson has experience in Los Angeles at some well known bars including the Whiskey Bar, The Sky Bar, and the Avalon in Beverly Hills but moved to Seattle worked steadily in the bar business and eventually came to work at Talaricos five years ago in the Junction. She and her husband have known Garand for 13 years. He's worked at Fox Sports Grill downtown as a corporate trainer, Elysian Fields near Qwest Field and at Feedback Lounge at the Morgan Street Junction. Over the time they've known each other they would always tell each other if an opportunity came up to own their own bar they would go for it.
Dixson showed tremendous dedication to the dream by saving all her paychecks for the last ten years. "I've always been a saver, and I've always known I wanted to be my own boss (…) I lived off my tips, but I am a married woman so there was a dual income.(…) The paychecks in this industry, because they allocate tips from servers, are small checks. So if you can learn to pretend it doesn't exist and just keep saving then you've got it."
Where does the name come from? "You've heard the phrase, 'West Seattle Island'?," asked Dixson, "People always say 'Oh I'm not going over the bridge, I never go over the bridge. So our whole thing was 'Go to the bridge not over it.' We're the first stop on and off the bridge."
The name lends itself to a theme carried out on their drink menu too, "We have a drink called The Bridge Jumper," said Dixson, " and another one called Water Under the Bridge plus one called Bridge To Nowhere," all tolled they have seven named this way.
The pair describe the food menu as "Casual, comfortable, fun and unique." The 19 items can be in small amounts or large depending on your appetite with five entrees, but this isn't tavern food. They will offer a variety of small plates, starters and entrees. They will feature dishes like Drunken Ahi Tuna with mustard-beer sauce with pickled cucumbers and Bacon Wrapped Dates and Bacon Wrapped Tenderloins.
Also on the menu will be Chicken Caprese Sliders and French Dip Sliders. Many of the other menu items will have a liquor infused flavor such as a Jack Daniels Berries and Cream dessert. The Chef is Ephraim Gallor who was the Executive Chef for Fox Sports and also worked at Ruth Chris Steakhouse.
"We know our crowd," said Dixson, "It's the after work crowd. We're the first stop off the bridge so whether you want to stop for a pint before they go home or maybe a quick snack, so none of our portions are big unless you want them to be."
Those pints can be one of 18 beers on draft (eight of them local) including Guinness.
The location has been many things over the years going back to being a pizza restaurant for several owners but most recently it was called Legends and subsequently Redline Music and Sports which closed in Sept. of last year. The building required extensive cleaning and has been given a classy, understated, warm and inviting remodel with some internal walls removed, new lighting added, booths added, four large flat screen televisions (one of them 50 inches) installed, and a new sound system by American Music. The bathrooms have been totally rebuilt with slate tiles and all new fixtures.
The vision for the bar was based on what Dixson called the "Womb Theory" of drinking. "Warm comfortable walls, with arched sections of the ceiling and booths because people are automatically drawn to booth seating."
The TV's will be tuned to sports but the game sound will only come up for special events. There are no pool tables but a shuffleboard is there along one wall.
The resulting space can seat 99 people but they have also added a fence around the 1800 square foot outdoor patio which, weather permitting will seat an additional 48.
The Bridge will occasionally feature live music both indoors and out, largely acoustic (they want to nice to the neighbors) but they are set up to pump up the volume indoors if required. The patio will feature a new music stage too. Music volume matters to Dixson, "I find I can't talk to the person I'm with if it's too loud." Garand said, "There won't be any death metal."
The parking is free and in a thoughtful gesture, if guests can't drive, they can leave their car overnight in the lot with 24 hours to come and get it.
Once they open their hours will be 4:00 pm to 2:00 am Monday through Friday and weekends for lunch at mid day (12:00 or 1:00) for games. You can call The Bridge (206) 402-4606 visit them on the web at thebridgeseattle.com or Facebook.
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