Covering food and drink on Capitol Hill was a full time job in 2010. If there were any doubts about what sits at the core of our economy, a look at the business wheeling and dealings, the comings and goings, the hirings and firings should give you a pretty good measure of just how much energy, creativity money — and love — flow through this sector of the Hill. We loved being part of it in 2010 and being here to tell the stories.
- The arrival of the Highline on Broadway last winter was perhaps the most interesting Capitol Hill food and drink story. The tale of alternative restaurant and lounge with beyond-the-mainstream culture taking over the space of a failed go-go nightclub on a yet-again-transforming Broadway had more than enough entertainment in it. Add good food and good times, and you end up with one of our favorite stories of the year.
- The biggest Hill food and drink story of 2010 won’t be done at year end. Volunteer Park Cafe’s almost unbelievably acrimonious dispute with its neighbors was easily our most-read, most-commented restaurant news topic of the year. The battle over a restaurant running afoul of City of Seattle zoning and neighbors with an axe or three to grind will play out into 2011 (update soon) but, even so, the story dominated so many others in 2010.
- There were more exciting things to be covering, to be sure. In another story not quite yet complete, CC Attle’s made the bold choice of Cafe Metropolitain’s East Olive Way location for its new home.
- Oh jeez. Here’s ANOTHER incomplete 2010 story. We found secret nobody look wow totally hidden plans for Caffe Vita to open a coffee shop and a pizza joint on 15th Ave East. Coming soon, we swear.
And there were happy times! How’s this for a story? Once an employee, now the man in charge of a legendary Broadway eatery. We told the tale of the new owners behind the Broadway Grill.
- And there were sad times. We had the duty to report what we learned about the Grill’s role in an insanely successful hack of the point-of-sale financial system that left thousands of Hill (and beyond) residents checking their credit card statements as hundreds wondered why they had charges for groceries in Italy or for diapers at a Target in South Carolina.
- Grey Gallery got the landlord’s boot. But Grim’s moved in to fill the space so not all is lost.
- We were also first on the scene to cover the legal battle that broke out between the Melrose Market developers and their star restaurateur, Tamara Murphy. We ultimately reported that Murphy “won” the dispute — yet Terra Plata hasn’t been completed by the end of the year, as planned, and, in fact, the space stands just as empty as it was late this summer.
- Why dwell on that with the amazing story that is Melrose Market playing out in front of our very
eyesmouths? Calf & Kid, Rain Shadow Meats, the relocated Sitka & Spruce, Bar Ferdinand, Homegrown Sandwiches. Did we forget anybody? Oh yeah. 2010 was also the birth year for Still.
- And, heck, we get to enjoy Murphy’s work at the new Elliott Bay Cafe.
- Speaking of triumph of the human spirit, the Eagle’s battle for free speech rights is another 2010 highlight.
- A quirky and original coffee shop opened up on East Olive Way. Cafe Arabica settled in as coffee giant Starbucks threw cash around up the street (and also built a beautiful new hangout spot once the corporate gloss fades).
- The Hill got its first kaiten conveyor belt sushi joint. The Broadway Building also made room for the latest pizza concept to hit Hill, Zpizza. You can also find a 2010 vintage Panera Bread in the Broadway, too.
- The Roanoke lost its lease. Then found it again. Easy Joe’s moved in nearby. The 10th Ave E neighborhood coffee shop made a change, too.
- Marination Mobile announced plans for a permanent Capitol Hill home.
- Via Tribunali and Pike St. Fish Fry eyed a NYC expansion.
- Broadway doesn’t need any more sushi or Thai restaurants. How about a Thai sushi restaurant?
- How about Italian on Broadway? Pasta?
- Goodbye, Cayenne. Hello, Jimmy’s.
- Baltic Room got a redo, added coffee during day.
- The Barista Boyz lasted a matter of months. Here’s hoping Thai Curry Simple lasts many more.
Porchlight Coffee began its long, slow, slouching hipster march toward world domination.in June 2009 (uggh!)
- Legit street food. Summer found fruit sellers penetrating the city all the way to its Capitol Hill core.
- The Hill got a sports bar. Auto Battery was born. The Elite says whatever.
- Eltana Bagels opened and brought Montreal style bagels to Seattle.
- Glo’s changed things up and introduced an all-night schedule for Party Mountain weekends.
- Other Coast Cafe brought a sandwich alternative to the Hill and had Honeyhole upping its game.
- Martin’s off Madison had an identity crisis and went by Greg’s Profanity Hill Grill before finally shutting down.
- Guanaco’s joined Rancho Bravo as the providers of the best ROI for your Capitol Hill dining out dollar.
- Also delivering the flava for a buck a pop, Leilani’s Lumpia Land joined the Hill’s hyperlocal street food landscape.
- Dumpling Dojo also had our attention. For a little while.
- Baguette on Madison introduced a new Hill bargain and is still in the game. Love them with us.
- The Hill accepted refugees from a crumbling Belltown. Welcome, Local Vine.
- No vineyards, no grapes, but 2010 also marked the debut of Capitol Hill’s own “winery” as Cork House popped onto the backside of Pike/Pine.
- Another former Belltown-ite made a home at 14th and Union. Welcome, Marjorie.
- Chez Gaudy abruptly left us. La Bête carried on.
- The Cobra Lounge floated in.
- The War Room was re-booted.
- TidBit moved uphill.
- And darling little Patty Pan made a go of it at 23rd and Madison.
- Chungee’s arrived and helped us celebrate the Moon Festival.
- Next week is still 2010. High 5 Pies will be born. It is prophecy.
- First Hill’s nightlife history was reborn in the shape of an overhauled Vito’s.
- First Hill’s *other * new Italian place, Primo, delivers to Capitol Hill, too.
- We had his name oh so wrong but Big Mario’s eventually showed up to offer rather enormous pizza slices to Pike/Pine.
- The Unicorn started the whole thing off. Born January 28, 2010.
- UPDATE: @RockBoxSeattle rightly protests against end-of-year opening bias!:
Hey CHS @jseattle how about… #47 Rock Box opens its doors — officially solving the mystery on Nagle Place. ? :)