Seattle’s The Masonry already was arguably the best place for pizza and top notch beer in Seattle–even with a tiny 39 seat restaurant–but the recently opened new Fremont location is world-class. Matt Storm opened tiny pizza, pasta, meatball and beer joint in the lower Queene Anne neighborhood of Seattle in 2013, where it has earned a reputation for great pizza, amazing meatballs and an eccentric beer geek taplist that leans towards farmhouse and wild ales. Storm has developed such a reputation and relationship with brewers like Gabe Fletcher of Anchorage Brewing in Alaska and Ron Jeffries of Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales that they send him out specialty products and tribute beers and make regular visits themselves. With his Seattle Farmhouse Festival, Storm draws beer geeks and brewers alike from across the country. With the new Fremont location of The Masonry, Storm now has a playground for himself and chef Lucas Neve to do things both food- and beer-wise that they could never do before in such a small space. The new Masonry Fremont is such a monumental sized modern space with seemingly no expense spared, it’s hard to image it’s related to the bare bones and tiny original location, with its fourteen draft lines compared to the new spots twenty-four, plus two different temperature controlled bottle coolers. The new pub/restaurant is jumping to 150 seats inside and another 60 outside as compared to the old pubs total of 39 seats, managing this huge step up is industry veteran and now GM Melissa Twist, formerly of Victory Brewing.
Put The Masonry Fremont on your must-visit list in Seattle now, because for some reason the local press has not been all over the recent grand opening on December 2nd. Maybe that’s because owner Matt Storm likes to do his own thing and doesn’t make a big deal about it. He shies away from the press and media, though he is neither shy or low-key himself. An eccentric, enthusiastic dude himself, you can recognize him shaking hands, pouring beers at either of his locations with a smile and an enthusiasm about the latest farmhouse ale that’s blown his mind or the freshest ingredient in a new menu item he just picked up at Pike Place Market, and he is most likely wearing a colorful custom made and black or pink colored trucker hat or shirt. Storm has been a big early supporter of such hot Seattle brands as Holy Mountain Brewing, while also singing the praises of Michigan based Jolly Pumpkin Ales that really don’t get much if any play in the Pacific Northwest. In fact Jolly Pumpkin’s brettanomyces farmhouse table beer “Bam Biere” is Storm’s favorite and JP owner Ron Jeffries made a special version called “Turbo Bam” and sent bottles of it to Seattle just for The Masonry. Similarly, Storm has driven up an entire brick pizza oven he had built onto the back of a truck all the way up to Anchorage Brewing’s annual Culmination Festival to sling pies, and in return Gabe Fletcher brewed a series of IPAs for The Masonry called Patchwork; version two, a double IPA, was just released in cans.
If you are not at all familiar with The Masonry and its food, the kitchen make swood-fired Neapolitan-style pies. The menu is simple so that the crew can master those pies. The original location was known for pizza, but had pasta and a plate of housemade meatballs that’s a favorite among regulars and connoisseurs. Some people may not even realize that The Masonry is a beer bar, full of rotating Belgian imports and the best of U.S. farmhouse ales, as well as local love to places like Engine House No. 9, Cloudburst Brewing, and Holy Mountain. With the upgrade to twenty-four draft lines at the Fremont pub, the bar also now has bottle coolers, one closer to cellar temps and another a colder drink fresh. Storm has again worked his magic on this list to have stuff from breweries like Monkish Brewing that you can’t get anywhere else in town. Helping out on this well-curated endeavor is bar manager Robin Warma and wine manager Jonathan Werth. With the addition of limited spirits but a serious wine program, the new Masonry has a more clear bar atmosphere that’s welcoming for anyone wishing to head in and hang out just for a drink. Adding to that atmosphere, a handful of pinball machines and a back room for events/parties and tons of outdoor seating that is partially covered and heated with a gas firepit out front.
Built into the bottom floor of a modern new development with floor to ceiling glass windows, the new Masonry has a modern style capitalized by wall to ceiling art, warm glowing orb light fixtures and hanging bulbs inside repurposed large format beer bottles. The front area has large communal seating and more intimate tables, plus a huge chef’s counter out front of an impressive butcher’s block and with a clear view into the impressive pizza oven and wood fired stove. Where the old locatione shined in pizza and meatballs, wood-fired sandwiches take center stage in Fremont with a Cubano earning early top bragging rights. They still have pies and the famous meatballs but the addition of sandwiches, more salads and shareables great for groups that could never have found seats in the Queene Anne location.
The Masonry Fremont is located just a block off of Fremont Ave. N. and perfectly located for a pub crawl about five blocks from Brouwers Cafe, just two doors down from Schilling Cider Taphouse and two blocks from Fremont Brewing. Make it a destination for your next visit or plan to travel up for the Seattle Farmhouse Fest which will be held there
The Masonry – Fremont
730 N 34th St, Seattle, WA 98103