ISSUE 17  |  Seattle Market

Restaurant Visit: The Corson Building in Seattle

April 29, 2011 8:30 PM

BY Sarah Lonsdale

There is something ethereal about Seattle chef Matt Dillon's restaurant, The Corson Building. Set in the mostly industrial neighborhood of Georgetown (off a freeway and beside a baseball park and freight rail tracks), the 1910 Italianate building is surrounded by vegetable and flower gardens. When Dillon first bought the property, the interior was reminiscent of a seventies ski lodge, replete with faux wood paneling. With the help of family and friends, he spent many hours gutting and carefully peeling back the layers of the building to reveal the original brick structure. He did the same with the surrounding garden, which he described as a "heavy mixture of blackberry bushes and car parts"; it's now home to a wide array of produce as well as chickens, bees, and a large brick oven.

This is not your typical fine dining restaurant: while the food might be award winning, the vibe is communal, with meals served family style and a continually evolving schedule of events and workshops drawing people together in their shared appreciation of food. Go to The Corson Building for more information.

Above: The Corson Building was built by an Italian stonemason in 1910. Image via Flickr.

Above: The original fireplace anchors the dining room, which features three long wooden communal tables. Dillon repurposed a bird cage as a chandelier.

Above: A repurposed wine barrel as table.

Above: Local furniture maker Steve Withycombe of Swithy & Co. used repurposed materials to create the tables and chairs.

Above: Special event dinners are a frequent occurrance.

Above: One of four original lion gargoyles in the building; reclaimed wood from a Seattle church was used throughout.

Above: All of the original arched windows have been restored.

Above: Dillon found the bathroom's wallpaper on a German website.

Above: The building' entrance, and a stag head door knocker.