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Slated to open in the first quarter of 2022, Walla Walla Steak Co. and Crossbuck Brewing will soon take over Woodinville’s historic Schoolhouse No. 23 building.

The award-winning steakhouse and taproom will occupy two floors and feature extra space for events and entertainment. As part of the mixed-use Schoolhouse District development, the anchor restaurant will serve as a focal point for the downtown project.

“The space has the same great historic character as our first location and is perfectly set-up to repeat the successful double concept found in Walla Walla with the steakhouse on one side and the more casual taproom on the other,” said Dan Thiessen, managing partner of Walla Walla Steak Co. and Crossbuck Brewing. 

Originally built in 1909, the newly-restored Schoolhouse No. 23 has stood empty for more than a decade. The building is being revitalized and renovated by MainStreet Property Group LLC, a Kirkland-based real estate developer, along with partner HAL Real Estate. 

“Led by a team of hospitality veterans and Pacific Northwest residents with deep local roots, we could not be more excited to welcome Walla Walla Steak Co. and Crossbuck Brewing as anchor tenants,” MainStreet Property Group President Kelly Price said. “I think this team will be a fabulous compliment to the rest of the project and enjoy great success as well.”

According to a press release, Walla Walla Steak Co. will highlight the history of the building through design elements including exposed brick interiors, rustic wood and a shared open kitchen, similar to the aesthetic of the restaurant’s Walla Walla location.

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“The similarities are striking between Woodinville and Walla Walla, not only in the building where we will create our second home, but in the warmth and spirit of the community itself,” Thiessen said. “We can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Beth Silverberg, public relations director for Fire and Vine Hospitality, said the concept of a dual-purpose steakhouse and taproom came to life about two and a half years ago in a historic train depot in downtown Walla Walla. 

“I just walked through the schoolhouse last week, and it just felt like déjà vu,” Silverberg said in an interview. “It felt so much like the first time I walked through the depot.”

In Woodinville, the restaurant will be centered around an open kitchen with a live-fire grill. The steakhouse will offer 20 wines by the glass along with an extensive local and regional list. The Crossbuck Brewing taproom will feature a casual menu while serving a variety of award-winning beers on-tap.

“Saving and restoring the old Woodinville school has been a nearly 20-year effort by those championing this vision and we couldn’t be more excited to see this iconic and beloved piece of Woodinville’s community now coming to a new life,” City Manager Brandon Buchanan said in a press release. “These new leases are the type of local dining opportunities we hoped for and believe will be well-received by the community.” 

Construction on the long-awaited Schoolhouse District began in the summer of 2019. Adjacent to the downtown soccer fields and city hall, the first-of-its kind destination will also feature a Wine Walk Row with up to 11 tasting spaces, 30,000 square feet of public open space, 266 multi-family residential homes and additional retail space across from the schoolhouse building. The project will include 400 stalls of underground parking, with 170 stalls available for public use.

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