Matthew Dillon is putting the pioneer back in Pioneer Square. Opening two new places early next year, the local star chef is shoving the neighborhood into contention for the city s new hot spot.

I grew up in Seattle and spent a lot of time in this neighborhood. I want to stop complaining about how it s not what it should be, said this year s winner of the James Beard Foundation Award for the best chef in the Northwest.

He s going to be part of the solution, first by firing up a wood oven and grill at 40-or-so seat Bar Sajor, named for his mother Nina s side of the family. It's currently under construction at Occidental at Jackson, near Caffe Umbria, set to open in January.

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