Sorry to bore you. But, yeah, another ambitious food and drink project is debuting this week on Capitol Hill. I know. We’ll try to have something different for you next week. Send hate mail to email@example.com.
- Like the other food and drink venues opening up this spring on the Hill, 12th Ave’s Varro is highly designed, crafted and concepted. Unlike the others, general manager Rich Troiani will come right out and say it. He sees the new space — with a soft Monday opening today — in the Packard Building as what he hopes is the first of many Varros. But first, Troiani says, his team needs to make things work on Capitol Hill. “We hope to get this right and then open more,” Troiani said last week as workers hustled to put the new Italian-inspired lounge together and staff trained on the espresso machine.
The investment in the new space is significant with a $160,000 construction budget according to city records. A look at Troiani’s crew also gives you a sense that this is a big concept about to hit the ground. There’s a social media person already on staff and a full-time music director who will spin live mixes throughout Varro’s open hours. And then there are the backers. Troiani is an industry vet formerly behind downtown’s Troiani steakhouse. Partner Glenn Walker is described as a “hospitality entrepreneur.” His Cherry Tree Management, LLC invests in “hospitality, restaurant and entertainment” spaces. It sounds like Varro will be a little of all three.
Troiani says Varro is designed in the spirit of an “all day” Italian bar with 11 AM to 2 AM Tuesday through Saturday and 11 AM to midnight on Sundays and Mondays. There will be sit-down coffee service for those with time to linger. Seemingly with some reluctance, management has added a “to-go” area for Seattleites accustomed to getting their coffee on the run. Chef Giles Van Der Bogert says the menu will emphasize pizzas and pannini.
The back wall of Varro is a massive black and white mural celebrating icons of Italian pop culture — and some headier symbols like Varro, himself. To their credit, there’s no nod to Capitol Hill incorporated into the design. Varro, it seems, will be about getting the Italian bar concept very, very right. Someday, you can say it started on 12th Ave.
After its soft opening, Varro celebrates in a big way on Friday, April 8. Details here via their Facebook page.
- Also on 12th Ave, High 5 Pie is beginning afternoon happy hour. Last week, High 5 sister Fuel Coffee celebrated its 6th year of business.
- A sad ending for Seattle restaurant legend Scott Simpson is told by Nancy Leson of the Seattle Times. The Lunchbox Laboratory creator at one time ran one of the biggest buzz restaurants on the HIll when he opened and closed Fork in all of six months. Today, Olivar lives in the space.
- Marination Station details on CHS, last week.
- Roy Street Coffee still not a Starbucks but cutting back on choices, staff.
- Northwest Film Forum, a CHS partner, now has booze.
- Local flooding could affect local food.
- Doughnuts (and booze) can make you really, really rich.
- Elysian gearing up for 15th anniversary celebration in May.
- Cap to the Hill talks smack about Mod Pizza, gives love to Pagliacci.
- It’s not a parrot. It’s a cockatoo, no?
- Cheese and wine party pairing CHS advertiser Poco with Calf & Kid next week.
- April CHS happy hour at First Hill’s Primo on Wednesday.
- Rock Box Sing for Japan event raised $3,600 for Peace Winds America.
- Easter brunch? We know Hunt Club and TidBit are making plans. Others?