Capitol Hill food + drink notes: Secrets of the Bleu Grotto, CC’s delay, Izilla cafe?

Here’s your Monday cocktail of Capitol Hill food and drink comings and goings, openings and closings, rumors and brutally cold, hard facts. Have something to put into the mix?

  • It’s been weeks since we first told you about this new magical place joining a wave of East Olive Way nightlife but we’ve finally got the story on the Bleu Grotto, a sibling to Ross McCartney’s Bleu Bistro planned to open only 331 feet down the street. We told you about the project in October and McCartney confirmed the Grotto’s existence in early January in the CHS comments. Considering the proximity of the Bistro and the Grotto, McCartney said his new project was not inspired by Starbucks. Instead, McCartney says the Grotto was born out of a concern about the future of Bleu Bistro as he looks ahead to the end of his lease at 202 Broadway East in 2012.

    “I started contacting my landlord in 2010 about the new lease but he’s not interested in extending it,” McCartney said. “He won’t tell me why.”

    We’ve spoken with the owner of Bleu’s Broadway building before and he was quick to respond when we checked in on the talks with McCartney. “As owners, we will continue to bring the best tenant to Broadway community,” Franklin Tseng told CHS. “As of the present moment, Bleu Bistro’s lease expiration date is still some time away.  There is no urgent need for a lease renewal.”

    One rumor making its way up Broadway is that Starbucks has the space lined up for another store to augment its somewhat faded 434 Broadway East shop. A Starbucks company spokesperson tells CHS that the company currently has nothing planned for Broadway.

    Back at Bleu, McCartney, who also ran Chez Gaudy and currently also operates East Olive Way’s The Buck, says he plans to run Bleu Bistro and the new Bleu Grotto “congruently.” “Bleu is not so large,” McCartney said. “We could use the space anyway.”

    McCartney said the Grotto will be a much bigger and open space as the former Quizno’s sandwich shop is transformed. When the Grotto opens this spring and the weather cooperates, McCartney said the windows of the new place will articulate fully open — “They don’t just open. They open all the way!” — so the Grotto will (hopefully) enjoy a summer of open air service. In the winter, McCartney expects to drape the interior to be more like his snug space inside the Bistro.

    And he’s not giving up on being part of Broadway beyond 2012 and working with Tseng to stay in the space Bleu Bistro has called home for 11 years . “You could put anything in the building,” McCartney said. “It’s to his advantage to have the neighborhood back him.”

  • Meanwhile, Bleu Grotto might beat the new East Olive Way CC Attle’s to the starting line. Original hopes of a holiday 2010 opening became hopes of a Valentine’s Day 2011 opening — now we’re talking Easter, according to a message sent out by CC’s Chris Daw via Facebook:

Well were two thirds of the way thru January and still waiting for permits to begin construction. Rest assured, we are doing everything that we can to complete all of the tasks that don’t require them in the meantime. The new target for opening is now early to mid March :-(


I know that you guys (and Girls) are wanting for a “real” CC’s Cocktail and a warm friendly place to drink it with friends. And we will have that for you… Just hang in there a little longer. It will so be worth the wait! You all are missed very much!

Much love, Stay Warm!


Cozy Cocktail Lounge
Seattle, Washington

Asking Price:    Gross:    Cash Flow:
$149,000    $280,000    $35,000

Furniture and Fixtures Value:
$125,000 (included in the asking price)

Inventory Value:
$7,500 ( not included in the asking price)

Business Summary:

Well located Capitol Hill Cocktail Lounge. Small and inviting space that can be run with 1 – 2 people. 36 seats with excellent décor package. Good rental term and rate that includes all utilities except electric.

Year Business was Established: 2007

Number of Employees: 3    

Facilities / Terms of Lease: Amazing ambiance and decor. Built out in 2007      

Owner willing to finance: Seller financing for qualified purchaser.    

Owner willing to train: training to be provided                              

  • Barrio has started featuring a “Weekly Special Sheet” that pairs food with wine, beer or cocktails. First week featured “Heat Week” including “Habanero Brisket Enchiladas.”
  • Looking for a Capitol Hill bar to watch Tuesday’s State of the Union speech? So is this person.
  • Kick em while they’re getting back up? Fresh off news that 18th Ave’s Tougo Coffee was back in the game after problems stemming from unpaid city taxes had them shut down, we find details of a break-in at an unnamed business on 18th Ave the same weekend the shop re-opened. We’ve asked Tougo for details but haven’t heard back.
  • Also haven’t heard from north Broadway’s Kanape but we’re told the new place on the front-side of the building that houses Roy Street Coffee will be open for business soon.
  • Get your fill of Noah’s Bagels. Now that the B of A building is certifiably not a landmark, the shop will be shutting down in the next couple weeks to make way for demolition and construction of the 230 Broadway project.
  • Want to support CHS when you head out for Hill food and drink? Here’s our current food and drink advertiser roster. Enjoy and tell them you read/comment/download/upload/facebook/twitter/troll/love CHS: Auto Battery, Bimbo’s, Chungee’s, Coastal Kitchen, Easy Joe’s, Fuel Coffee/High 5 Pie, Monsoon, Pagliacci, Patty Pan Cafe, Podog, Poco Wine Room, Primo and The Lookout.
Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

4 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food + drink notes: Secrets of the Bleu Grotto, CC’s delay, Izilla cafe?

  1. It sounds from the story that the move would entail completely changing the atmosphere of Blue. Although their food is a draw, so is the quirky, private way the restaurant is set up. It really would suck to have the new location abandon one of the things that makes Blue special if it turns out to be the only Blue, .

    As far as Noah’s, every one of their bagels has high fructose corn syrup in them. Good riddance! I hope they never come back.

  2. I saw yesterday that Presse is broadcasting the State of the Union. Not a bad place to watch. I watched the DNC in ’08 there. Lots of fun.

  3. I did see Perkins Glass installing new glass to the storefront near the door .. but can’t confirm it was to replace glass broken in a robbery

    It’s nice when people/businesses that have been burgled let neighbors know, we might have seen something and/or we should all be aware of the crime that is happening around us.