"I threw fish at Pike Place Fish for almost 10 years," says Dan Bugge, who always wanted his own restaurant.
"I told everybody that I would own a restaurant; I told all of the customers at the fish market that I'd own a restaurant; so when I'd see them periodically throughout the year they'd be like, 'Why are you still here? I thought you were going to buy a restaurant?' So, I kind of had to."
One of his favorite restaurants just happened to be across the street: "I was a big patron of Matt's In the Market. I ate lunch here everyday for eight years."
So, in 2006, when Matt Janke, the original owner of Matt's in the Market, offered Dan his restaurant, he took the bait.
"Matt came to me and he said, 'What kind of restaurant are you looking for?' And I said, 'Well, one like yours, of course. Who doesn't want a restaurant like yours?' And he said, 'Well, why don't you buy my restaurant?'"
Dan chose Chester Gerle, formerly of Place Pigalle, as his new chef.
"Seven or eight years ago I said, 'I'm going to open a restaurant one day, and when I do, I would like you to be my head chef.' He gave me the eye roll and said, 'You bet. I'll do it.'"
The two still offer the same great, local seafood.
"Our menu reflects all of the local ingredients that come through the market and also worldwide ingredients. We know the Northwest does a great job of what they do, but we also know that great product comes from all over the world, so, we try and really do a market-driven world cuisine, is what we call it."
Places Dan likes to Go Eat!: Stumbling Goat Bistro, Restaurant Zoe, Quinn's, Harvest Vine.
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