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Bastille Restaurant’s Rooftop Garden


{via Bastille’s website}

A couple of weeks ago I found myself standing on the roof of Bastille—an exquisite new restaurant in Seattle’s historic Ballard neighborhood. A blue sky was overhead, a sea of salad greens were at my feet, and the smell of freshly fried frites was in the air.


Colin McCrate, who owns Seattle Urban Farm Company, invited me up to check out the 4500 square foot kitchen garden that Bastille’s owners, Deming Maclise and James Weimann, hired him to install and maintain.


Colin custom-built a series of wooden raised beds fitted with pitched panels covered in shade cloth. To make harvesting easy, the panels hinge open. They are also interchangeable, so when the weather cools this fall, Colin plans on switching the shade cloth panels out with ones covered in plastic, effectively turning the beds into mini-greenhouses.



Each bed also has it’s own drip irrigation system and heating cables to keep the soil warm and productive during the winter!


The garden also features several kiddie pools repurposed into round raised beds—an idea McCrate borrowed from Rocket, a restaurant in Portland that installed a rooftop kitchen garden in 2007. Currently both the wooden beds and the pools are filled with salad greens and herbs, which the chefs harvest for the Salade du Toit, a green salad tossed with a hazelnut vinaigrette, a beet and arugula salad, and the herb incrusted salmon.


The roof—which was retrofitted during the building’s remodel to withstand the weight of the garden—still has plenty of spare real estate and Colin mentioned the possibility of expanding the garden next year to include space for tomatoes and other crops.



{via Bastille’s website}

Downstairs, the restaurant is full of lovely details—a huge zinc bar, vintage light fixtures, and custom tables. Shannon Galusha, who started his career off with a 3 year residency at French Laundry, is heading up the kitchen. With so much inspiration growing right above his head, I can’t wait to try what he dreams up!

Bastille is located at 5307 Ballard Ave NW in Seattle. It is open for dinner Sunday-Thursday from 5:30 to 10:00 pm and on Friday & Saturday until 11:00 pm. Brunch is served from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on Sundays. Reservations can be made online or by calling 206.453.5014.

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14 Responses to “Bastille Restaurant’s Rooftop Garden”

  1. 1
    gardenmentor Says:

    ah….so this is the restaurant with roof garden. They called about a year ago when developing the concept (on the dl)…so glad Colin is doing this project w/them. Much more up his alley than mine!

    Also, friends keep raving about how much they love the restaurant. I can’t wait to try it out. Menu looks fantastic!

  2. 2
    Mrs. Buck Says:

    This is so cool! I’m definitely going to check out this restaurant. Thanks for sharing!

  3. 3
    Emily Says:

    This is so cool! I love the wooden raised beds/planters. Cute, cute.

  4. 4
    Rebecca Says:

    How do you think Honeybees would do on a roof top? To hot, or to much of a liability for the customers? Fresh honey would be delicious however.

  5. 5
    Penny Says:

    My son is the Sous Chef at Bastille and says they have been VERY busy. We ate there a month or so ago and it was great! Thanks for the publicity Willi!

  6. 6
    Sunshine+Design Says:

    Any place named Bastille is ok in my book! I get a kick out of the basil in the kiddie pool.

  7. 7
    Flower Says:

    Speaking of honey bees….I love these guys from Brooklyn. I make beeswax candles (Big Dipper Waxworks) so I love seeking out the urban bee farmers in other towns!

  8. 8
    Willi Says:

    Rebecca–I think honeybees would do awesome on the roof! And it would be so cool to have honey for the restaurant.

    Penny–How lucky you are to have a chef in the family! I’m jealous! I have a small favor–can you ask your son how to make crispy homemade frites? Mine are always kind of limp and oily and it’s such a letdown!

    Sunshine+Design–I too am partial to the name Bastille because my birthday is Bastille Day!

    Flower–Thanks so much for sharing the video on the Brooklyn Beekeepers. I’m going to post it later today so everyone can see it. Way cool!

  9. 9
    Rooftop Bees in Brooklyn | DigginFood Says:

    [...] the folks over at Bastille, these guys are all in the restaurant business and they understand that roofs are a vastly [...]

  10. 10
    Herb Garden Restaurant Seattle Says:

    [...] [...]

  11. 11
    : Seattle Foodies | Bastille’s Rooftop Garden Says:

    [...] across this post on Willi Galloway’s (West Coast Editor of Organic Gardening magazine) blog “Diggin Food.” It has some really neat pictures of the rooftop garden at Bastille restaurant in Ballard. Bastille [...]

  12. 12
    Giveaway: Food Grown Right, In Your Backyard plus The Three Rules Small Space Gardeners Must Follow Says:

    [...] Urban Farm Company, and under that moniker set-up and maintain edible gardens in backyards and on restaurant rooftops around the city and teach countless workshops for beginning new [...]

  13. 13
    Episode 107: The Importance of Bees in the Urban Landscape | Growing A Greener World Says:

    [...] Article about Bastille’s rooftop garden [...]

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