The Amber Den

The Amber Den: A Place Where Everyone Can Fall in Love With Northwest Wines and Beers.

Part wine bar, part restaurant and part retail store, the Amber Den is a comfortable neighborhood spot set to open in February a block off Market and 15th.


Seattle, WA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/20/2012 --The Amber Den started with a simple concept: great wine, craft beer and artisanal food at prices anyone can afford, offered in a warm, welcoming environment.

Wine enthusiast Nick Simonton got the idea while touring Pacific Northwest tasting rooms with his mother in 2005. “She was intimidated,” he said. “The tasting room environment made her apprehensive, with paragraphs of tasting notes and posh rituals. I thought, ‘wine is older than civilization. It shouldn’t be so exclusive.’”

Later that evening, Nick and his mother relaxed at a local Ballard hangout when another thought occurred to him. “We were comfortable there, laughing together, but the place only had one overchilled white wine in the fridge,” Nick said. “It seemed artificial that these two worlds should be so culturally separated, the local watering hole from the local producers of great wines and beers,” he said.

The Amber Den, Ballard’s cozy newcomer, showcases a relaxed ambiance that blends a love of wine and craft beers with an appreciation for fine food in a neighborhood corner hangout. On the corner of NW 56th St. and 17th Ave NW, The Amber Den is slated for its grand opening celebration in early February.

The Space

“My goal is to provide a space where everyone feels comfortable,” Nick said, “whether you’re in jeans and a T-shirt or headed home after work. I want everyone to feel free to be themselves and to enjoy the most amazing beer and wine the Northwest has to offer.”

The Amber Den’s décor blends casual elements with sophistication. Instead of a traditional bar structure, patrons are presented with a range of seating options: a leather easy chair in the reading nook, the dining table bench on the mezzanine, a bar stool at a high-top round in the ground floor ‘cove.’

“There’s a place for everyone,” Nick said. “If you’re talking business, browsing the web, reading a book or watching the game, there’s a nice place to settle in.”

The space will also feature the work of local Seattle artists. “The Ballard Artwalk is one of the best in town,” Nick said. “We’ve got a great space to display local art, and we’re looking forward to becoming a part of that event.”

The Food

Chef Ryan Boehler has a passion for fresh, local and seasonal bites. The evening menu will feature seasonal rotations as well as regular offerings of artisan meats and cheeses and Mediterranean-influenced small plates such as albondigas (Spanish-style meat balls), seared garlic shrimp with chorizo and peppers, stuffed mushrooms and more.

Although it will initially open as an evening destination, The Amber Den is planning to add a lunch menu that will feature traditional Panini sandwiches, homemade soups and seasonal salads.

The Opening

“I’m very excited that opening day is fast approaching,” Nick said. “Ballard is my favorite neighborhood, and I hope I can delight my neighbors with something really special, something they can’t get anywhere else.”

The Amber Den is located at 1556 NW 56th St at 17th Ave NW. Watch for grand opening information online at

For more information, call The Amber Den at (206) 783-0131.