Our Story

Brimmer [brim-er] n. A cup or glass so full that its contents touch the brim.

Heeltap [heel-tap] n. An amount of liquor left at the bottom of a glass after drinking.

We never tire of talking to our guests about how we got our quirky name. Inspired by two British drinking terms, Brimmer & Heeltap seeks to celebrate the moments that exist between the first sip of one’s libation and the last drops lingering at the bottom of the glass.

Since late 2013 we’ve delighted in creating an environment that is inviting, lively, and comforting. A sense of playfulness is present in everything we do, from the inventive dishes our culinary team prepares, to the friendly, genuine hospitality we provide. We’re a bistro that takes pride in being a neighborhood place – the kind you can escape to at day’s end for a delicious meal shared among friends.  

Our Space

Located in the former Le Gourmand space in beautiful Ballard, Brimmer & Heeltap offers an intimate, cozy atmosphere complete with an open kitchen, full bar, and multiple sections to drink and dine in. Our garden patio is one of the best-kept secrets in the city, offering a dreamy place to dine outdoors during Seattle’s spring and summer months. We also have a tucked-away back studio that offers the perfect setting for special, private gatherings year-round.

Just how many pennies does it take to cover a floor? Just ask Brimmer & Heeltap’s proprietress Jen who collected tens of thousands of them from family, friends, and the community to help execute the vision of a cool gathering placed dubbed, naturally, the “Penny Room.” This dining room, beloved for both its wall of menus and its shining penny floor, is a favorite place to break bread with loved ones, and plays into the restaurant’s blend of nostalgic and contemporary design.

The restaurant was designed in collaboration with Sean Sifagaloa of KRFTWRK and local builder Mike Marian, owner of Marian Built. Light, texture, metal, wood, and floral elements are all at play here. This historic building possesses a playful, familiar charm that we wanted to preserve in its latest incarnation. Come in soon to see for yourself. 

Our Team

Brimmer & Heeltap is spearheaded by Jen Doak, a Seattle local with over two decades of experience in the wine and hospitality industries. She is an avid menu collector, ordained minister, and a collector of new experiences locally and globally. Jen thrives on bringing people together and truly cares about being surrounded by good people and quality interactions.

The kitchen is led by Mike Whisenhunt, a local chef who cut his teeth in the acclaimed kitchens of Barking Frog, Joule, and Revel. Whisenhunt’s Korean-inspired cuisine is celebrated for its ability to be all at once comforting and innovative. With a focus on locally-sourced ingredients, whole-animal butchery, and bold, playful flavors, Chef Whisenhunt works to cultivate an ever-changing menu that delights regulars and new diners alike. 

Our culinary and service teams are rounded out by curious, passionate, and authentic individuals who have helped shape the restaurant into the exceptional place that our neighbors have come to love. At Brimmer & Heeltap, we’re proud to be a team comprised of professional, deeply multifaceted people that possess a shared love for food, libations, and hospitality.  


Under Chef Mike Whisenhunt’s leadership, chefs can expect to be challenged to find inventive ways to approach the bounty of ingredients we have at our fingertips here in the Pacific Northwest. Chef Whisenhunt is committed to in-house whole-animal butchery and an ever-changing menu that is celebrated for its bold, unexpected flavor combinations. We are constantly seeking curious, passionate, driven cooks to join our team. If you are looking for an opportunity to elevate your career, contact us today by emailing info@brimmerandheeltap.com.

Led by industry veteran and hospitality expert Jen Doak, service team members at Brimmer & Heeltap are self-motivated, collaborative, and possess a great passion for food, wine, and spirits. A team-driven environment, an abundance of knowledge sharing, and a commitment to providing excellent service to a clientele of regular guests is what prospective servers can expect to find during a given day at the restaurant. If you are looking for the opportunity to broaden your knowledge of food and wine in a fantastic work environment, contact us today by emailing jen@brimmerandheeltap.com



Eater Seattle | An Eater’s Guide to Seattle

Eater Seattle | Ballard Favorite Brimmer & Heeltap Launches Brunch

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Eater Seattle | The 38 Essential Seattle Restaurants, Summer 2016

Eater Seattle | The Brunch Heatmap: Where to Eat Now, September 2016

Foodable | Seattle’s Brimmer & Heeltap Offers Eclectic, Neighborhood Dining

KCTS9 | Seattle Bartenders Share the Best Drinks You’ve Never Heard Of

Seattle Magazine | A Summery Spin on a Potent Classic at Brimmer & Heeltap  

Seattle Met | Best Seattle Patios for Sun Breaks

Seattle Weekly | Our Favorite Seattle Restaurants

The Hungry Dog Blog | Chef Mike Whisenhunt of Ballard’s Brimmer & Heeltap Talks Meat

Thrillist | The Best Restaurant for Large Groups in Every Seattle ‘Hood

Zagat | The Secrets Behind 14 Restaurant Names Across America


Eater Seattle | Take a Look At The Just-Completed Brimmer & Heeltap Patio and Fire Pit

Nerd Wallet | Best Cities for Foodies

Seattle Magazine | The Best Patio Dining in Seattle

Seattle Weekly | Dining Guide 2015: Our 119 Favorite Places to Eat and Drink

The Seattle Times | This mess of collard greens is a fine mess indeed: cook some up


Eater Seattle | Welcome Brimmer & Heeltap, Ballard’s Pretty New Bistro

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Seattle Magazine | The Top Celebratory Spots in Seattle for Large Groups

Seattle Met | 5 Reasons to Get Excited About Brimmer and Heeltap

Seattle Met | Brimmer & Heeltap’s Unlikely Harmony

Seattle Met | Patio of the Week: Brimmer and Heeltap

Seattle Weekly | Brimmer & Heeltap: The Epitome of a Neighborhood Restaurant

The Seattle Times | Brimmer & Heeltap: What’s in a name?

The Seattle Times | Brimmer & Heeltap: Tantalizing, tangy food in a remade space


Eater Seattle | Le Gourmand to Become Brimmer & Heeltap This Fall

My Ballard Blog | Brimmer & Heeltap to occupy former Le Gourmand Space