Seattle-based restaurateur Tom Douglas announced his first Eastside project in early 2018 — a partnership with Nordstrom at Bellevue Square called Department Bento. The Japanese-inspired quick-service restaurant will replace the Nordstrom Grill, slated to close on March 4 for retrofitting to the new concept. Customers will have their choice of proteins, rice, and pickled vegetables available for customization as well as alcohol and non alcoholic beverages.
“For many years I have been a customer and fan of the ‘Nordstrom Way’ — taking care of customers and employees and working hard in the community as part of our village are values that we share. I’m looking forward to creating an exciting, thoughtful, and delicious new brand with the best department store group on the planet,” said Douglas.
Q: Why are you closing the Grill?
A: “We wanted to evolve the customer dining experience at our Bellevue store to remain modern and relevant in our customers’ eyes. Department Bento will create a new, high-energy dining experience that allows our customers to personalize their meals and to dine at their own pace,” said Vincent Rossetti, vice president of Nordstrom restaurant operations.
Q: Why is Tom Douglas interested in having an Eastside presence?
A: “We have a lot of Tom Douglas fans and customers on the Eastside, and we’re eager to reconnect with them. Seattle traffic can be a deterrent for Eastsiders to dine at our downtown restaurants, so we’re excited to offer them something new and different within Nordstrom Bellevue,” said Pamela Hinckley, CEO of Tom Douglas Seattle Kitchen.
Q: Does this indicate an interest in possible future projects on the Eastside?
A: “We have been and will continue to be interested in future projects on the Eastside. The Puget Sound region is booming with growth, so we’re always keeping an eye out,” Hinckley added.