We get our name from the historic 1907 event — the City of Ballard’s annexation to the City of Seattle.

The former City of Ballard was the seventh largest city in Washington with a population of 4,568 in 1900. The city found difficulty accommodating its growing number of residents, without a proper clean water supply.

By 1907, the lumber and fishing industries grew and so did the population, now about 17,000 people. This continued problems for their lack of water supply and sewage system. In 1905, the question of Ballard annexing to Seattle was put to vote, with an opposing outcome. After the Supreme Court ruled that Seattle could not share its water with neighboring cities in July of 1906, Ballard was forced to vote again.

With their water source depleted, the desperate City of Ballard voted in agreement to join the City of Seattle. The final decision was close with only 996 in favor, and 874 opposed and met with mixed reaction from the community, who let their flag hang at half-mast.

On May 29th, 1907 the City of Ballard was no more, and officially became part of the City of Seattle.

History of the Building

Ballard Annex Oyster House is located at 5410 Ballard Ave NW in historical downtown Ballard, located next door to the Centennial Bell Tower, the former site of Ballard City Hall. The building was originally built for Fitzgerald and Hynes Department Store for a total of $15,000 in 1908. The top floor was home to the Aerie of Eagles for twenty years. In the 1930’s the building housed Willy’s New Car Sales & Dealership. During the 1950’s it was home to the printing press for The Ballard News Tribune, and later several restaurants.


General Manager





Zak offers the creative inspiration for Opper Melang Restaurants and is responsible for the design and décor of each concept. Originally from North Carolina, Zak moved to Seattle in the early 90’s for the music scene and spent time managing and tending bar in lower Queen Anne hotspots. A talented artist and craftsman, Zak creates each restaurant’s alluring rustic style and builds its furniture.


Nathan, drives the culinary development of Opper Melang Restaurants. A Michigan native and restaurant industry veteran, Nathan managed several landmark Seattle establishments in the 90’s before partnering with Zak Melang to open The Matador in Ballard in 2004. His passions include hunting, fishing, cooking, and travelling.