Go Eat! Seattle's bar belle

Go Eat! Seattle's bar belle
SEATTLE -- Bar belle, tastemaker, Seattle pub maven. Whatever you call her, Linda Derschang is undoubtedly the city's premier go-to gal when it comes to opening a neighborhood pub.

"Each time I open a business, on one hand I feel very confident that it's going to be successful," Derschang says, "but, there's always this doubt of, "Oh no! What if this one doesn't work?"

As the owner of Linda's Tavern, Viceroy, King's Hardware and Smith (and formerly The Capitol Club, The Baltic Room and Chop Suey), Derschang knows a thing or two about turning one's passion into a successful business.

"When I'm thinking about a business I'm thinking about what the room looks like, what neighborhood it's in and then what would be fun for that neighborhood."

Linda opened her first place - Linda's Tavern - on Capitol Hill in 1994 during the height of the grunge movement. In fact, Linda's is rumored to be the last place Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was seen alive.

"It was the booth at the top of the stairs. I wasn't there that night but actually, because he was not seen out-and-about a lot, (my staff) told me the next day that he had been in."

One sure sign of a Linda Derschang venture: taxidermy on the walls.

"I grew up in Colorado and I definitely have childhood memories of taxidermy in the mountains, whether from a ski lodge to a mountain bar with taxidermy. I don't know, I just love it!" she says while laughing.

Linda is now in the process of opening Oddfellows in the Pike/Pine corridor of Capitol Hill.

"It will be a restaurant and bar that's open from seven in the morning until midnight and two in the morning on the weekends; Stumptown coffee; we're baking muffins and scones and cupcakes; we're serving panini sandwiches, salads; and after five we're adding rotisserie chicken and some dishes with braised meats. Very simple and rustic fare."

No doubt about it: Linda Derschang has the golden touch -- and her motivation is simple.

"When I open a new business and people say, "Oh, we are so glad you opened in our neighborhood. Thank you, this is so great," I mean, there's really nothing better."

Places Linda likes to Go Eat!: Sitka & Spruce, The Corson Building, Volunteer Park Cafe, Cafe Presse, Spinasse.

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