Buckshot Honey opens with a bang

The restaurant is now serving customers in downtown Snoqualmie.

Neither a pandemic nor supply chain slowdowns have put a damper on Snoqualmie’s newest culinary destination, after experienced chef and North Bend resident David Storm opened Buckshot Honey in late July.

The restaurant sits in the two-story standalone brick building at 38767 SE River St. in Snoqualmie. The historic building is nearly 100 years old, and in a former life, served as a bank. Last Monday, chef Storm was taking a well-deserved day off. He stood in the tidy interior of his new barbecue joint, complete with bold-colored custom art, after a busy opening week.

Storm grew up in restaurants by helping his dad run a catering company. When he landed his first job, he worked in a restaurant. But back in the 1990s, he said culinary school was a rare path to take. Instead, he worked his way up in the industry.

When he turned 18, he started working at The Nautical Inn in Smith River, Calif. After the birth of his two children, he eventually decided to raise them somewhere with more culture, and moved the family to Seattle.

He worked as a chef at Portage Bay Cafe, then one of the first fully organic spots in Seattle. He said he started working there right when customers started thinking more about where their food came from. That attention to food sourcing impacted him, and all the beef and pork at Buckshot Honey comes from a distributor in Moses Lake.

He picked up further business and culinary skills working at the Dahlia Lounge in Seattle, and started working in food trucks and at Westward.

After decades working in some of Seattle’s finest dining restaurants, he decided he wanted to get back into comfort food.

“While my comrades were learning Italian and French cuisine, I was dipping back into the primitive cuisine,” he said.

He’s especially interested in cooking styles from before World War II, when foods were less processed. While traveling through Europe, he noticed recipes had been passed down through generations, and he felt like Americans were losing that kind of cooking.

So he dug around and found a cookbook from his grandmother from 1948. Several recipes were handwritten, and he decided to incorporate some of the tips into his cooking at Buckshot Honey.

And the name of his restaurant was even influenced from family traditions, Storm said. His grandmother was born in West Virginia, and his 83-year-old great aunts still live there. While visiting them, they decided to get some dinner. So they grabbed their shotguns and came back with some squirrels.

After they were cooked, they sat down to eat, and bowls were placed in front of their plates. His aunts told him they were for buckshot.

Storm said his barbecue is influenced from hotspots around the country, but he especially likes Appalachian cooking traditions. He described it as a mix of European, Native American and Black cooking traditions. His menu includes slow-cooked beef brisket served on rye, pulled pork sandwiches, ham and braised greens and hot wings.

“I try not to geographically pinpoint where the barbecue comes from, or where the style comes from. I’m trying to make something new,” he said.

And similar to figuring out a menu, his road to opening during a pandemic hasn’t been a straight one either. He took control of the building in late February, right as the coronavirus was discovered in Kirkland. Permitting took months, and his May start date was pushed back to July.

Now that he’s up and running, he said the community response has been overwhelming. He sold out during a soft opening on the weekend of July 25.

“The community has been just really kind,” he said. “We’ve been really busy, it exceeded all expectations.”

Buckshot Honey is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

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