You might know Bantam’s owner, Ben Scholtz, for his first business: Bellingham’s beloved Mallard Ice Cream. For years, Scholtz toyed with the idea of starting another local business. When space in the same building as Mallard opened up, the opportunity resurfaced in earnest.
Rather than starting with a business idea, Scholtz worked backwards. He had the space; he had a pool of loyal, talented employees from Mallard; and he had ample connections to local suppliers. All he needed was a concept.
“My criteria for concepts were: What would work with the space? What would work with the audience? What would we enjoy doing?” Scholtz says. The answer? Chicken.
Bantam 46 opened in May and has already seen great success. The interior alone is worth a visit. While the downstairs is family-friendly, the upstairs is reserved for those 21 and older. Large second-story windows produce a tree-house feeling and, above the bar, fiber optic lights create the illusion of a night sky with twinkling stars.
WHAT TO ORDER
The restaurant’s cocktail menu is enough to keep you busy. If you’re looking for something light, fizzy, and refreshing, try the Stick Around Punch ($12). Wine lovers: Go for the delectable Woodline Vine ($13).
When it comes time for food, vegetarians should fear not. The extremely satisfying Root Salad ($16) comes with a generous helping of kale as well as shredded beets and carrots, bleu cheese, and candied walnuts. The Hushpuppies and Remoulade ($12) are another great meat-free starter.
If you’re not hungry enough for a whole rotisserie chicken ($40 with sides), go for the Buttermilk Fried Chicken ($22), which comes with a boneless thigh and breast. The meat is tender and juicy and the breading is thick, crispy, and somehow not greasy. Enjoy with fresh and mild coleslaw, a buttery biscuit with herbal honey, and an additional side of your choice. If you can resist the mac and cheese, go for the Bourbon Baked Black Eyed Peas, which are sweet, smoky, and full of southern goodness.
The restaurant now offers brunch every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come for the Chicken and Waffles ($20), but stay for the Pomegranate Mimosas ($12). Fun fact: all prices at Bantam 46 include gratuity.
1327 Railroad Ave., Bellingham
360.788.4507 | bantambellingham.com
For more content like this, check out our Restaurant Reviews.