Oh how time flies! Twenty years ago construction began on a restaurant in Belltown, on the site of the former Sailors of the Pacific Union hall. El Gaucho founder and my dad, Paul Mackay’s vision to bring back El Gaucho was finally being reborn. In those days, Belltown wasn’t the upscale condo-living neighborhood that it is today, but was instead a rough area with its share of urban color.
People thought my dad was off his rocker when he wanted to build a high-end restaurant in the middle of the mess. He always told them the same story: “It’ll be exciting when people arrive all dressed up and ready for a night out. They’ll pull up to the valet and be whisked inside.” People would ask, a restaurant with no windows? There was nothing to see outside anyway. The stage was set, and the show began when guests walked through the doors, to be transported to another time of service, elegance, and a tableside show.
As we celebrate our past, we are focused on continuing to build on that legacy of quality, exceptional service and dedication to our guests. This timeline gives a brief glimpse into these last 20 years, as we grew from one restaurant to five and added a boutique inn above El Gaucho Seattle. It is fitting that 20 years later, we are starting some new projects at our flagship restaurant in Belltown with an outdoor dining area, remodeled restrooms and foyer with wine lockers for guests.
Starting this month through the end of the year, we are planning a company-wide celebration with promotions and activities including a special anniversary wine, throwback menu items and cocktails, social media contest, and more. The celebration will culminate with a fundraising event at El Gaucho Seattle held on Veteran’s Day – 11.11.16 – to provide the funds needed for USO Northwest to help build the Camp Lewis Center, a hospitality center at Joint Base Lewis McChord. These centers are fundamental to the mission of USO Northwest as they provide a place of community building and connections for our military personnel and their families. Having just recognized the sacrifices made by those in our Armed Forces through Memorial Day events, we are honored to be part of this community and are inspired to serve those who serve us.
Please join us for the celebrations and share your El Gaucho memories with us!
Until Next Time,
Chad Mackay | President & COO