Melrose Project update: Who’s in and when will they open?

We have been reporting on Liz Dunn’s Melrose Project (on Melrose between Pine and Pike) in a piecemeal fashion and wanted to provide a comprehensive update this new year.  The marquee tenant we learned about first was Matt Dillon’s Sitka and Spruce.  Herbfarm alumnus Matt Dillon is also the mind behind the celebrated Corson Building.  Dillon closed Sitka and Spruce’s Eastlake location on 12/30/09 and hopes to open on Capitol Hill in March 2010.  Eastlake need not feel bereft, as Dillon will maintain a presence there with Nettletown, which may be the sandwich shop he hinted at last year.  Dillon had also speculated on opening an oyster bar, but we have been unable to confirm whether this is still envisioned.     

What about a sandwich shop for Capitol Hill you ask?  Homegrown Sandwiches announced that they will be opening their second location at the Melrose Project (currently, they have a Fremont outpost).  Homegrown is a purveyor of sustainable sandwiches (mostly organic, mostly local ingredients), that was founded by kindergarten buddies Ben Friedman and Brad Gillis.  Asked whether the Capitol Hill location will differ from the Fremont one, here is Ben’s response:

Homegrown on Capitol Hill will be pretty much the same as Fremont, except with a late night menu (for the weekends, at the very least). Also, we would love to incorporate some of the products from the other businesses in the Melrose Market – so there might be some cool meats and cheeses coming are (sic) way from Rain Shadow meats and Calf & Kid cheeses.

Homegrown hopes to open “before June.”

Homegrown will join cheese shop Calf & Kid in a wall-less part of the project.  We asked Calf and Kid’s owner Sheri LaVigne for an update on her cheese shop.  She now estimates an opening date in April due to delays in Health Department reviews.  Calf and Kid and Homegrown will join a butcher shop called Rain Shadow Meats, and an organic farm and flower shop called Marigold and Mint.

As for Terra Plata, Tamara Murphy of Brasa’s more casual eatery, she had hoped to have the Capitol Hill eatery open by March 2010.  However, due to delays in renovation and build out, we understand that the opening date may get pushed to later in the Spring. 

Correction: According to Dunn & Hobbes, the previous historic photo was of the Booker Building (home to Machiavelli).  Above is the correct historic photo of the Melrose 

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9 thoughts on “Melrose Project update: Who’s in and when will they open?

  1. to see this building getting and overhaul and all these new great places moving in–what an excellent vibrant space it will be. However I am concerned that some of these places will be overly expensive and not being able to maintain their price-points. A lotta restaurants up here on the hill (I work at a newish one that been open for a couple years) are slowly hurting and are splashing lower-cost specials (although not mine) all over the place, extending happy hours left and right..I feel a specialty meat or cheese store has gotta be very special to survive up here…I’ll go to it for certain, but $10+ sandwiches and $20/lb cheeses are not going to fly up here for long. You have to be sustainable and reall need to create a large volume–or have extremely limited hours like some nearby $$$ restaurants do resulting in much lower overhead-to maintain a consistent level of service/operation.

    Its excellent that we are getting these businesses up here, and the heavily monied, eat out every night crowd will support it to a certain extent, but i worry that with all the vacancies up here–and there are still a lot of em–this will be cannabilizing other parts of the hill. (FYI–I do not care for the place I work at that much, good qual food for the price and its now just a job for me after trying hard to improve the joint the first year i was here.)

    All in all tho, this is a truly interesting, historical time to be living up here and watching something new sprout almost every week.

  2. I can’t speak for anyone else in the market, I can assure you that prices at The Calf & Kid will be very similar to those of other gourmet cheese purveyors in the area. Also keep in mind that while $20 per lb. may have some sticker shock value initially, $5 for a lovely hunk of farmstead artisan cheese is an afforable luxury most anyone can swing :)

  3. I think aside from the obvious local impact of having a hood cheese shop (even though within easy walking distance of two QFCs with pretty decent international selections–not to mention Trader Joe’s and the Co-op) will be several….at times you have to buy the whole wedge/block of that french sheep cheese that is totaling $8/3oz..but at someplace like Calf and Kid it sounds like you can purchase in whatever amounts you want, so you don’t have to spend a ton to get a taste…although i fear it may have the same restaurant pricing structure of a “taste” being $4..the markup on cheese is greater than the markup on alcohol/cigarettes, and in a zone where there are 4+ other places to buy gourmet (farmstead=estate grown), (albeit non-local, not including the weekly farmer’s markets) I look foward to meeting Calf-N-Kid and all of its most certainly luxurious offerings!

  4. for cheeses and meats (that go beyond just Boar’s head) you can also take a short walk to the uncomparable George’s Deli on Madison.