Gyro Cafe coming to 15th Ave East

Work is underway to transform a former 15th Ave East yoga studio into a new cafe that should please Hill residents and workers looking for affordable food from something besides ‘another Thai restaurant.”

The Gyro Cafe is coming.

The space at 109 15th Ave E is emptied and the large FOR LEASE sign that has been up since Yoga Arts moved down the street to the Pearl this spring has been taken down. City permits indicate a $20,000 buildout is underway to create the new restaurant which will nestle in next to the rather boisterously named but always serviceable Teriyaki Madness. Group Health workers from the campus across the street must be counting their blessings.

The business is being created by Burien-based Hassan Izem, described as an “experienced chef and business owner,” and his wife Jessica Izem, an IT manager at Goodwill Industries. CHS has reached out to the Izems to learn more about their venture and look forward to speaking with them about their plans and to find out when they plan to open.

Its Web site at is part promotion, part business plan and filled with plenty of tidbits to get lovers of a good gyro sandwich excited. Still, there are some signs they don’t quite know their market yet with no promise of menu items for vegetarian or other alternative diets (see, we said it up here so you don’t need to mention it in comments and the trolls don’t need to mention you mentioning it.)

The Gyro Experience

Gyros are a delicious sandwich made with fluffy pita bread, fresh onion, tomato, cucumber, and a tangy cucumber sauce.

Strategically located in densely populated Seattle, WA, Gyro Café is working to become the premier lunch destination in the quaint, hip area of capital hill serving locals, the nearby work force and students.

Keys to Success

    * Gyros and Middle Eastern food is one of the fastest growing popular food segments with many individuals preferring a more healthy and tasty Gyro to a modern day cheeseburger and fries.

    * The café itself will be modeled after the most successful examples of “place-making” with free Wi-Fi for laptop computers, popular music, flat screen TV’s w/ adventure sports and a warm atmosphere with top quality fresh ingredients.

    * There are already existing model Gyro shops with very high gross sales. This provides proof and some good ideas to build from with regard to the Mediterranean Restaurant.

    * Mediterranean Restaurant will have effective, targeted marketing as well as a strategic location to support the opening of the store and to ensure on-going business. The owners Hassan and Jessica are passionate about providing top quality food with Hassan already having the experience and background required. Hassan also draws a vast family history cooking experience from his native region of Agadir, Morocco.

    * Mediterranean Restaurant’s location and focus on customer service and satisfaction will ultimately prove its long-term success.

It surely won’t be the only provider of gyro on Capitol Hill. At the top of the list in the category, Gyro World in the Broadway Market turns out a pretty good sandwich itself but even its purveyors would probably admit — especially as Broadways. Ali Baba was recently replaced by Pinto Thai’s sushi — that the Hill needs more gyro shop density.

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9 thoughts on “Gyro Cafe coming to 15th Ave East

  1. This is me plus I live just a few block away; my prayers have definitely been answered. Hopefully they’ll serve beer and if the TV’s are up to snuff I’ll just call it my living room.

  2. yes, because there are no vegetarian (or vegan) options on the hill.

    not every food purveyor needs to provide non-meat eaters an oasis. if you can’t find vegetarian options at a gyro place i’m sure there’s somewhere just around the block from you on the hill that will.

  3. I just hope people keep going to Byzantion on Broadway. Not that a Quickie Gyro place is anything like authentic sit-down greek but Byzantion ROCKS yet is always empty. What’s up people? Afraid of a little *AWESOME*?

  4. actually, E.M., Byzantion has always had LOUSY service anytime I’ve ever gone in there. I should be able to go get lunch with a friend in an almost empty restaurant and get out in less than an hour. I have yet to set foot in that place and get away with less than a 90 minute investment. It would be sad for them to go away, but I’m willing to bet the service is still as lousy as last time I went in.

    I hope the gyro place on 15th is good when it opens. I miss Ali Baba on Broadway. I wonder where the brothers who cooked are? I would love to have seen them before they went away.