Tucked away on a side street in North Shoreline is one of the few upscale restaurants in Shoreline which also has live music. Besides the tremendous wine selection and elegantly prepared but reasonably priced food, the Bistro has something else, which no other business has. That’s Ray Bloom. Ray is the newest owner of the bistro. After dozens of years in the wine business, Ray has brought his skills home. First business was a music store in Chelan which also served as a stage for his band. Ray played with Skyboys in the 70’s in Seattle. He played with curly cook, a member of the Steve Miller Band and many other bands around Seattle.
For a few years, he took his music business and went on the road as a rep for Pro Audio. Next, he worked as a national director and sales manager for a Seattle based pro audio company until after 8 years, he finally tired of it and decided it was time for a change.
He bought a 100-year old grocery store in Silvana, WA and remodeled it. “[I] built a deli in it, put in a wine and beer section and that’s what led me into the wine business. I ran that and owned it for another 5 years and then sold it.”
Next, he was a wine buyer for a few different companies in Woodinville which led him to become an importer working for himself. After nearly a decade in wine, Ray and his wife started working at the North City Bistro which is where I ran into him.
Ray says “I’m involving all of my passions here; My music, wine and spirits, the food, and I get to work with my amazing wife, plus some other really stellar friends who have pitched in and are working here now.”
Ray is the quintessential local business owner. He has a strong sales and marketing background plus an obvious love for music and wine. “The way I look at it is competition is a really healthy thing. It draws more people to the neighborhood. It’s a magical place. There’s amazing music, and really good food. “
“We do everything from scratch and everything fresh. It’s a pretty broad menu for a small place. I want to connect with this community because it’s a growing community with a lot of young people moving in. There’s nothing like this around here, so we want to reach out to them and let them know what’s available. “
This place has had a reputation for the last few years for some amazing live music. The best jazz artists in the NW call and ask if they can play here. We have Greta Matassa, Stephanie Porter and Pearl Django playing here 3 and 4 times a year. We’re also bringing in some blues artists and are going to start bringing in singer/songwriters as well. We’re going to be doing music Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.”
The North City Bistro might not be the first you think of when you need to get burgers and fries for your toddler, but if what you’re looking for is an elegant place that’s close to home where you and your sweetie can share some live music and a glass of wine, the Bistro definitely fits the bill. The selection is huge, and Ray obviously knows enough about the wine itself to make sure you’re delighted with your choice. If you see something you want to try, all you do is pay the cork charge and you can buy and drink your own bottle right there in the shop.
I know there are dozens of restaurant chains in Puget Sound which offer a great wine selection and delicious food, but with the North City Bistro being one of the only spots of its kind in Shoreline, I implore you to please stop by and see it for yourself. Ray is a minority partner in the Bistro right now, but over the next few years, he’s going to be taking over all of the responsibilities. He’s an intelligent and easy guy to talk to, and I’m sure, a fabulous musician in his own right.
The North City Bistro can be found online at www.northcitybistro.com
and in real life at:
NORTH CITY BISTRO & WINE SHOP
1520 NE 177th St.
Shoreline, WA 98155.
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