Since the economy turned sour, nationally renowned chef John Howie has opened two new Seattle-area restaurants—a branch of his hit seafood eatery Seastar in the up-and-coming South Lake Union neighborhood, as well as a new concept, John Howie Steak, at brand-new luxury-goods mall The Bravern in the Eastside neighborhood of Bellevue, Wash. Opening two restaurants in a year when Seattle’s King County has an unemployment rate topping 8 percent may seem crazy, but Howie is ...

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