Canal Market

Portage Bay, Seattle

Ericka Burke and Art Wahl

A full-blown adorable mercantile…

Seattle Magazine

The build-out of the Canal Market required an exceptionally dynamic and imaginative approach to to design and fabrication due to to budget constraints.  Fortunately, Ericka Burke has a finely tuned instinct for design and is adept at utilizing found and reclaimed objects to create cohesive and welcoming spaces.  In the case of Canal Market, Ericka found a couple of reclaimed display cabinets, a reclaimed dresser, and an old backyard style table.  Mētis took its cue from the pieces Ericka provided – modifying them, adding to them, and building pieces to match as necessary.  For the deli counter die facing, Jim Graham of Graham Baba Architects found some door jam stock shorts that Mētis utilized as cladding.  Butcher block and carrera counter tops and subway tile in the kitchen brought a clean, light finishing touch to the space.


  • Tom McKnight
  • Brian McCormick
  • Gabe Stern
  • Luther Chatel
  • Sebastian Kimura
  • Collaborators

    The Canal Market Project was completed in collaboration with Ericka Burke, Art Wahl, Jim Graham and Lauren Strang of Graham Baba Architects, and Mike Wright of MA Wright.  Special thanks to Power Solutions Electric, Total Plumbing, B&E Insulation, Tilestone Designs, and Novo Painting.

    Press & Links

    "Ericka Burke spent the better part of a year transforming a run-of-the-mill neighborhood market in Portage Bay into a full-blown adorable mercantile. Which is now officially open. The shelves at Canal Market are stocked with sea salt and jams and olive oil and crackers, plus quotidian details like compost bags and even tampons (made with organic cotton, of course). No worries—there’s plenty of wine. The freezer is full of local ice cream and gelato, the cooler replete with eggs, local cheese, and even sausages and terrine from Rain Shadow Meats. An open kitchen takes up most of the back wall, thus the real draw of the space is the deli counter in the center. Walk in the door and the first thing you see are tiers of pastries and cookies and galettes, an arrangement that should look familiar to fans of Burke’s Volunteer Park Cafe. Days here will start with a spread of pastries, granola, yogurt, fresh fruit, and what just might be Seattle’s first sighting of the toast bar trend (duh, even the jams and marmalades are Burke’s own). Access to this morningtime spread costs $14, and includes Stumptown coffee and a daily house-pressed juice. Later, the deli setup turns to baguette sandwiches plus hearty takeaway vegetable dishes and salads (corona beans and tuna, roasted beets with kale, radishes with zucchini, spring peas, and mint) that should also look familiar to VPC fans. This is by no means a sit-down restaurant, but there are a good amount of stools and counter space along the front window and the island." — Seattle magazine


    It's just as gorgeous as Volunteer Park Cafe fans would expect.

    After nearly a year of anticipation, Volunteer Park Cafe chef/owner Ericka Burke's darling Canal Market opened its doors at 7 this morning — and it sure looks worth the wait. The 2,000 square-foot old-fashioned mercantile stocks breakfast and lunch fare aplenty, as well as local produce, specialty groceries, and a range of household goods.

    First major highlight: The swoon-worthy breakfast bar lining the tall counter each morning. Fourteen dollars gets you your choice of Burke's signature pastries, granola, yogurt, fresh fruit, and toast with Burke's jams and marmalades, plus the fresh-pressed juice du jour and Stumptown coffee.
     As the day marches on, the deli case offerings move center stage: Salads, veggie dishes, dips, and baguette sandwiches (tuna salad, BLT, braised pork panini, and French dip). And finally, covering all bases, Burke also has takeaway offerings for dinner—meatloaf, spaghetti and meatballs, etc—complete with reheating instructions.
    While Canal Market has a plethora for meals, the array of treats and groceries (coolers with bottled beer, cider, wine, and unique soft drinks; a freezer with local ice cream and gelato) offer ample reason to stop in on their own. There is even talk of housemade popsicles come summer (yes, please), and Burke would also like to bring in additional goods from urban farmers and growers. Visually, the Market's vibrant mustard yellow walls showcased above are complimented by vintage dark wood shelving and white subway tiles lining the prep area. The focal point is a large island in the center of the shop, featuring the shop's tall counter.
    " — Seattle Eater