A Feel-Good Eastside Story: Dwn Undr Gives Back to First Responders
Bellevue’s growth and development have been the center of discussion for those invested in the area. Despite the notable achievements, the Eastside has seen its fair share of struggles during the pandemic. During a time when bad news became normalized, many businesses like Dwn Undr Neighborhood Kitchen + Bar explored ways to bring hope back to their communities.
While new to Downtown Bellevue, Dwn Undr’s management team has a long history of supporting those in need. Before Tim Larson became the director of marketing and operations for the restaurant, he was running It’s All Good Catering. The catering company donated thousands of dollars to more than 30 local schools and nonprofit organizations. Their most recent sponsorship with Ronald McDonald’s House brought in 5,000 meals to families in the Greater Seattle area.
Larson has continued their giving tradition at Dwn Undr, donating over $91,000 to Bellevue, Redmond, and Kirkland first responders in March this year. James Schmidt, the owner of Dwn Undr, said the donations were a way to show appreciation for the people who ensure the Eastside is safe and well cared for.
“We’re happy to be a part of this great community and wanted to give something back to make lives around us better,” Schmidt said.
Located in Hotel 116, Dwn Undr’s 5000 square feet of space also creates a community connection by offering hand-crafted food, drinks, and a variety of games. We’ve seen it before – other popular Downtown eateries like Lucky Strike and Forum Social House have followed the success of melding entertainment, food, and drinks together. While the quality of meals is still at the forefront of the restaurant industry, the dining experience has become an essential factor over the years. In this new era of business, places like Dwn Undr are bringing more to the table than ever before, especially for those who need some stress relief.
“After seeing the effects COVID-19 had on the hospital staff and Downtown workers, we knew they needed a place where they can just have fun,” Larson said. “We’re hoping our establishment will give people a much-needed break where they can eat tasty food and play some games.”
Beyond the typical game of pool and mini golf, the restaurant has their very own giant adult playground featuring board games, a teeter-totter, bocce ball, swings, and more. Larson said they wanted to stand out from other restaurants by offering games of our youth. They also provide a full menu, including appetizers, small plates, salads, burgers, sandwiches, entrees, and desserts. An extensive bar program features hand-crafted signature cocktails, a selection of local and domestic beers, and a wine list highlighting several Pacific Northwest wineries and favorite varieties.
“I think the pandemic caused an abrupt shift in people’s lives, and that can lead to stress,” Larson said. “We want everyone to feel like Dwn Undr can be a relaxing and comforting place, no matter who you are.”
This blog is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.
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DWN UNDR Neighborhood Kitchen + Bar 625 116th Ave NE Bellevue, WA 98004