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Downtown Park to get a new neighbor | 99 Park Restaurant to offer globally inspired cuisine
Micah Pittman has invested in many real estate ventures around the world, but 99 Park will be his first restaurant in the United States, which he says is designed to reflect the best aspects of his global experiences.
Pittman bought the two-story building under construction at 99 102nd Ave. N.E., in 2007. It was going to be leveled to make way for a 10-story, 110-room boutique hotel, and was shovel-ready in August 2011. But then Abu Dhabi-based developer, Hydra Developments, for which Pittman is its CEO, pulled out of the project due to investors pulling out.
Pittman spent the next two years traveling out of country - mixing business and pleasure along the way - and came back to Bellevue with a desire to blend his experiences into a unique restaurant with the only view of Downtown Park.
"I thought, 'You know, the economy is doing really well and I just felt like the Bellevue market, I would say, was really underrepresented in the international market," Pittman said. "There's not a lot of boutique-like places."
Pittman said he wanted a place where he could take his friends, share his global experiences and in a standalone restaurant.
He describes 99 Park as an upscale joint with a casual dining experience on the first floor of the building - all totaling $2.5 million in renovations. Pittman said 99 Park is most influenced y by his experiences in Copenhagen, Denmark. He considers Noma to be one of the best restaurants in the world.
"I would like to say (99 Park) is an upper-scale farm-to-table type concept," Pittman said. "Similar, but very unique."
A seasonal menu will be provided through foods locally-sourced around the Pacific Northwest. Pittman said his Michelin Star-trained chefs were out at Thursday's Bellevue Farmers Market making purchases for test cooking at his Bellevue home Friday afternoon.
99 Park will serve lunch, dinner and a late-night menu (Thursday through Saturday for late-night) but Pittman is most excited about its brunch menu.
"We'll be the best brunch in the entire city," he said. "I am absolutely confident."
Among its drink offerings will be craft cocktails, but Pittman said the quality of the liquors will be highlighted over the ingredients and preparation.
"People don't really like waiting five minutes to get a drink," he said.
99 Park - the name inspired by one of Pittman's New York favorites, Eleven Madison Park - is slated to open in July and begin taking reservations by late June. The north side of the building will be the entrance, which Pittman said he wanted to feel like it opened into Downtown Park. There will also be a large patio area around the building and 40-stall parking lot
He said the public will have to wait until June to find out details for the second floor of 99 Park, which he hinted will be separate, but required developing a unique "concierge-type software."
"I will tell you it will be very exclusive," Pittman said. "... It will accentuate what we've done downstairs and add value to it."