New appetite at Oddfellow’s: Music venue hopes to turn spotlight on food, too

Gabriel Spiel

Gabriel Spiel

Since its opening last fall, Oddfellow’s Grill has mostly been known for “striving to keep live music alive in Redmond.”

Most nights, you can catch a pop, rock or blues band in the former dance hall and there’s a never a cover charge.

With a new chef, new menu and lunch and dinner specials, this ambitious bar and grill in one of Redmond’s oldest buildings is now seeking a spotlight on its food, too.

Actually, Chef Gabriel Spiel isn’t entirely new, explained Oddfellow’s owner John Comstock.

“He’s been here from the beginning, helping out, and is now at the top in the kitchen,” after the departure of a former business partner, said Comstock. “I put him in charge of a new menu. We didn’t know what we had. He’s really risen to the occasion — and he’s a local guy who lives in Redmond.”

Spiel grew up in Seattle and has lived in Redmond for a year-and-a-half. He said he loves that he can walk to work and is excited about the downtown building boom.

“We’ve still got the old town feel and new stuff, too. It’s nice to see all the new condos, going against the economic grain. It gives me a lot of hope — and people have got to eat,” he pointed out.

When challenged to revamp the “ho-hum” menu at Oddfellow’s, “I started thinking about customer feedback,” said Spiel. “I said, ‘We’ve got burgers, salads and soups.’ But dinner options were fairly limited.”

Now, beyond the usual bar food, there are options such as char-grilled asparagus with a smoked aioli glaze, Caprese salad, bacon-wrapped prawns, steaks, salmon and hand-battered cod.

“My cooking style is not super-complicated, but it’s all fresh, from scratch. That’s how my folks raised me,” said Spiel, who started his on-the-job training when his dad was the kitchen manager at Deluxe Bar and Grill on Capitol Hill.

“I grew up in the kitchen, started cooking scrambled eggs when I was three,” he proudly remarked. He also worked at Louisa’s Bakery and Cafe on Eastlake and at The Pike Brewing Company in Seattle “to learn how all the restaurant stuff works.”

After a few months at Oddfellow’s, Spiel observed, “People wanted more creative dinner entrees. And now the burgers are bigger and come with fries, while the prices are the same or lower.”

The burgers feature a half-pound of 100 percent Angus beef, served with lettuce, tomato and onion as well as fries. Cheese and other toppings are also available. A portobello burger and other veggie sandwiches, grilled chicken sandwiches and turkey with avocado and Havarti are also on the menu.

From 11 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, burger or sandwich combos cost between $6.50-$8.95.

Happy Hours with food and drink discounts follow from 4-6 p.m.

And on your birthday, you can show your ID to get a free lunch or dinner at Oddfellow’s.

“I like using seasonal ingredients,” Spiel added. “You get better quality and better value. I’m very big on that. It’s a little frustrating when you have to serve a tomato in the middle of February. We try to pay attention to the farmers and what is at its peak.”

Both Comstock and Spiel feel optimistic that restaurants will bounce back from a recent slump.

“During the downtime,” especially right around Christmas and the New Year, “people were really frugal with their money,” said Spiel.

“But people are loosening up more. They want to go out and have fun again.”

Working with the Greater Redmond Chamber of Commerce, joining the Microsoft Prime Card program, offering dining deals and handing out new “Born 2B Odd” bumper stickers are ways they’re connecting with new friends and customers.

Oddfellow’s Grill is located at 7979 Leary Way NE in Redmond.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@redmond-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.redmond-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Business

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
How financial planners address plan uncertainty | Guest column

One of the key challenges we face as financial planners is dealing… Continue reading

Mixologist and general manager of Civility & Unrest, Joe Dietrich (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
If you want a regular cocktail, go somewhere else

Master mixologist Joe Dietrich is elevating cocktail culture at Bellevue’s Civility & Unrest.

Robert Toomey, CFA/CFP, is Vice President of Research for S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.
Is cryptocurrency really an investment? | Guest column

Undoubtedly you have heard about the new form of money known as… Continue reading

Front bar at Bellevue’s Civility & Unrest (courtesy of Civility & Unrest)
Two of James Beard Award-winning chef Jason Wilson’s restaurants to reopen in October

The Lakehouse plans to reopen Oct. 12 and Civility & Unrest reopens Oct. 14.

Stock photo
Grocery store workers have right to wear Black Lives Matter buttons

National Labor Relations Board ruling against ban by Kroger-owned QFC, Fred Meyer

Big Island Poke in Renton (courtesy of The Intentionalist Facebook page)
Small-business advocacy group wants you to try minority-owned businesses and put it on their tab

The Intentionalist is opening up $400 tabs for folks to use this weekend at select businesses.

Eastside King County restaurant owners discuss challenges with U.S. Rep Suzan DelBene at Pomegranate Bistro in Redmond. (Photo credit: Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing)
Restaurant owners discuss labor difficulties with U.S Rep. Suzan DelBene

Experienced service and kitchen staff are reportedly hard to hire as food service reopens.

Dave and Buster's restaurant and entertainment venue looks to hire 130 people to staff its Bellevue venue, set to open in August. Photo courtesy Dave and Busters.
Dave and Buster’s hiring 130 for August opening in Bellevue

Dave and Buster’s restaurant and entertainment venue opens in downtown Bellevue on… Continue reading

Images of dishes from Issaquah’s Umi Cafe posted on the SMORS page. (Photo courtesy of Kristen Ho)
Facebook page promotes minority-owned restaurants across Puget Sound region

Miya Nazzaro used to be a member of Facebook pages that were… Continue reading

The Moe Vegan food truck serves meals at the city of Kent’s annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Nov. 21, 2020. Sound Publishing file photo
King County fire marshals offer regulatory relief to food trucks

39 fire authorities have reportedly agreed to standardize fire codes and inspections.

Cash Cards Unlimited partners, left: Nick Nugwynne, right: Cassius Marsh (photo credit: Cash Cards Unlimited)
Former Seahawks player Cassius Marsh cashes in on trading cards

Marsh and his friend open physical and online trading card store as collectibles boom amid pandemic.

Teaser
First large-scale, human composting facility in the world will open in Auburn

“It’s what nature meant us to do. We just do it faster.”