Photo by Ryan Murray

The interesting and diverse charcuterie plates at The Shambles are a highlight of an already exciting menu. People around the city are responding, and the restaurant remains packed nearly every night,
Photo by Ryan Murray The interesting and diverse charcuterie plates at The Shambles are a highlight of an already exciting menu. People around the city are responding, and the restaurant remains packed nearly every night,


Meat’s on the menu at Maple Leaf’s instant hit The Shambles.

Named after a historic street in York, England famous for its butcher shops, The Shambles invokes many of the same Victorian vibes as the pubs of northern England. It bills itself as “Seattle’s neighborhood bar and butcher,” and hopes to become a comfortable place for Maple Leaf to relax and enjoy cured meats and an excellent beer list.

Owners Joel Klemenhagen and Matthew Brady built the gorgeous back bar with some friends and strive to keep that level of personal touch. Reclaimed wood from Chehalis brings some rustic charm to the bar counter and chairs.

“We’re trying to have some of the best beer in town,” Klemenhagen said. “We think about current trends, so we have overhazed IPAs.”

The hazy IPA crazy and some pastry stouts fill out the taplist at The Shambles, generally avoiding the more esoteric beers you might find at other Seattle beer bar/fine restaurant combinations (but still hosting a few funky barrel-aged goodness and farmhouse/Belgian styles to keep it fresh).

There is also a fully stocked bar, complete with absinthe service for those not inclined toward the hoppier method of inebriation.

Klemenhagen spent 16 years at Whole Foods, finding the best beer in Washington and making sure it got onto the grocery store’s shelves.

The Shambles is a relatively tight space with limited seating. Add that to the tapestry of charcuterie and amazing food coming out of the kitchen, it’s little surprise that there’s a wait for dinner every night (and from noon to 9:30 p.m. on the restaurant’s opening day, Jan. 20).

And while the menu is higher-end, small plates run from $4-10 with entrees and large plates coming in around $14-15.

The charcuterie plate changes daily, featuring a variety of cured meats, select cheeses and interesting pickled fruits and vegetables.

On a typical board you can find lomo, or cured pork tenderloin, pork jowl, duck breast prosciutto, a chicken and pork pate, chouriço, sopressata as the meaty base, with Pecorino Romano sheep’s milk cheese and a goat’s milk gouda as the dairy. Pair those with pickled kumquat and kimchee radishes and some whole grain crackers for an earthly wonder of a plate.

The smoked chicken sandwich was a deceptively simple dish, with the meat brined and cold smoked with skin on, keeping it tremendously moist and tender atop a firm

It was served with was a side of smoked and braised kale with bacon and apple cider vinegar.

Chef Seamus Platt turns out an impressive curated selection of meats, and soon The Shambles will have a miniature butcher front for to-go orders.

Vegetarians are not out of luck, as a goat cheese and curried fig sandwich and a beautiful selection of salads (Persian beet, lacinato kale) and seasonal soups feature on the changing menu.


The Shambles is located at 7777 15th Ave NE. Open noon to 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and noon to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Happy hour runs from 4 to 5 p.m.