Just got off the phone with Pino Rogano, owner of the much-loved Da Pino cafe and salumi business, which is housed in a tiny ranch house on Rainier. Thanks to good old gentrification, Rogano is moving part of his operations to Everett. "They’re planning on tearing down my building eventually and building retail shops and apartments," he says. Rather than wait for 30 days' notice, he found another location in Everett. Castle Ristorante opened two weeks ago.
If you've ever driven north on 99 you'd probably remember the Castle—once a casino, then a gay disco and lounge, with a distinctive medieval theme. Rogano says Castle Ristorante will continue to be a nightclub; gay or straight isn't so clear. No word on whether it's going to continue hosting Men of Playgirl evenings, but at least the food will be tops.
No need for the gnashing of teeth yet, Seattleites. For now, Da Pino is still open for lunch; the Castle is currently only open for dinner and late night, serving what Rogano calls a "traditional Italian menu."
In other news, Rogano's going to be doing a cooking demo on Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Festa Italiana in the Seattle Center. Plus, he's been convinced to enter Armandino Batali's "Salami Challenge." Though he swears he's a reluctant contestant, the maker of some of the most amazing cured meats in Seattle has decided to bring it—with a pair of salamis he's been curing for four years. "I have stuff that blows everybody's mind," he says.
Castle Ristorante, 11501 Highway 99 South, Everett, 425-438-4111, www.thecastleineverett.com (Web site not live yet).