Capitol Hill food+drink | Sun’s Hill-crafted spirits ready, Poco buyer found, Olivar remodel

The goods at Sun Liquor (Image: Suzi Pratt/CHS)

If you’re feeling impulsive — and prepared to have your plans blow up crazy style — the coincidence of Halloween and a Monday probably means you can walk in and get a table anywhere on the Hill tonight that doesn’t serve Jaeger on tap. One fancy pants restauranteur tells CHS that he’s never seen a lighter night for bookings than his reservation book currently holds. Have a yummy treat to share?


  • The number of craft distilleries pumping their housemade Capitol Hill product into the world’s thirsty bellies doubled last week as Sun Liquor joined the club with their own gin and vodka on their shelves — and available in Washington’s state liquor stores. We visited Oola earlier this month for their first tastes of hand crafted spirits. Like Oola, Sun is purely in the clear spirits phase as the whiskey process requires that whole irritating “aging” thing. Oola says to expect their first whiskey in about 6 months, by the way — they’re speeding things up by using puny barrels to increase the amount of surface contact the liquor has with the barrel wood. No such forecast from Sun, yet. Also unlike Oola, Sun is not yet licensed for to-go bottles so no retail opportunities there at this point. You can buy the vodka and gin from Governor Gregoire, though — just ask for product #975506 for the gin or #975507 if vodka is more your speed. We talked to Sun’s Michael Klebeck about his $750,000 distillery here.
  • Poco Wine Room is no longer for sale — but we don’t know who the lucky new owner is yet. All will be revealed later this week, we’re told:

— Poco’s 5-Year Anniversary + Scholarship Fund Benefit + New Owner Announcement
— Tuesday November 1st

Five years ago in late October we were working day and night to get ready for opening night! This Tuesday, November 1st we’ll be at Poco all evening long for a special celebration of our 5-Year Anniversary. Please come by and say hello. We’d love to see you.

And don’t forget that we’re donating 10% of sales that night to the GSBA Scholorship Fund. Come do your part to help strengthen our community and build a better future.

And there’s more! That evening we’ll be introducing the soon-to-be NEW OWNERS for Poco Wine Room. Join us Tuesday to get introduced. You won’t be disappointed! :)

  • Back to Oola, its 14th/Union neighbors Lucky 8 have made a decision on who will lead in the kitchen.
  • Dulces Bistro opens down on Western Ave. Notable here because, for a time, it, too, was set to join Oola.
  • Puget Sound Business Journal says Poquitos is doing well and has some stats to prove it: “Owned by the design team of James Weimann and Deming Maclise, Poquitos opened on March 28. Barely six months later, it already had served 100,000 customers. And that was before the menu expanded to include brunch.”
  • Free sliders Wednesday at Marination Station.
  • Seattle Magazine says only one of their top 10 new restaurants for 2011 is on Capitol Hill.
  • Seattle Mag also visits The Sorrento. ” I don’t know if I’m supposed to let this out of the bag or not, but I did get a bite of his Lamb Jam creation: a savory concoction of coriander, cumin, cinnamon, apricots and shank meat roasted in banana leaves, then braised in veal stock and served on a plantain chip with a garnish of fried parsley.”
  • Apparently Friday night’s Stumbling Skillet Mobile Monk appearance got off to a slow start but still might end up being a regular thing.
  • First look inside Terra Plata — last of the biggies to open. For a while at least.
  • Construction begins at the Social and Q as Capitol HIll nightclub scene prepares for the newcomers.
  • Classy (Image: Bluebird Microcreamery)

  • Also in that write-up on the latest happenings at the Social, was a tasty piece of Capitol Hill restaurant news. Todd Nordahl, late of the blow-up around the end of the Rosebud, is partnering with the Social crew to run the restaurant part of the club.
  • And, yes, we owe an update on what’s next for the Rosebud.
  • Bluebird has an ice cream truck now, too. Editorial note: We like these ice cream trucks but will admit to some naive disappointment. When we first heard about Molly Moon’s truck, we envisioned the ice cream man or lady making the rounds of Seattle’s streets, laying down sweet jams, serving up scoops to kids running outside with dollar bills in their sweaty, sticky, grubby little hands. Not how it works. Oh well.
  • For all the haters who freak out that CHS has given Volunteer Park Cafe a pass in the long-running zoning battle, don’t read this piece in the PSBJ. ‘Volunteer Park Café feels the love in North Capitol Hill’ — reporter doesn’t mention neighbors who threatened lawsuits. VPC’s benefit dinner to help recoup costs from the “love” period is November 7th.
  • Speaking of the love, VPC’s official change of use was finally approved and the permit issued last week.
  • 8oz Burger Seattle planning November opening. We told you about the burger bar’s background, here.
  • Sustainable sushi chain coming to South Lake Union.
  • Bako waxes on its love for braised peanut salad.
  • Momiji has a happy hour.
  • Regent Bakery Seattle is hustling toward a November opening. We told you about the bakery and cafe coming to 14th and Pine here. The DPD permits are flying fast and furiously so looks like they are on track for their pre-Thanksgiving debut.
  • The Loveless Building’s Olivar is planning a special November dinner — and a remodel:

Fall is upon us, and it’s this time of the year when  I feel like sharing my kitchen with another chef.  Joseba de Jimenez and Jacob Wiegner were guests chefs for the past two years.  But do you know who is coming this November?  I’m bringing my dear friend Wayne Johnson, recent candidate on Iron Chef America this summer, and Executive Head Chef at the Mayflower Park Hotel for over 10 years.

The 5 course set menu will consist of duo, with our own interpretation of the same ingredient, paired with wine.  Dinner starts at 6:30pm, Thursday November 17th. Price is $125 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. You can find the menu online.

 One more thing to share with you: my kitchen will undergo a long awaited remodel, to make it more spacious and ready to offer cooking classes next year.  I will also be exposing more of the murals in the restaurant.  During the remodel, Olivar will be closed for 10-days between November 20-30th.

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10 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink | Sun’s Hill-crafted spirits ready, Poco buyer found, Olivar remodel

  1. Is Restaurant Zoe no longer moving in next to Oola? Or are both Zoe and Lucky 8 going to be located there? Zoe’s site currently reads “Opening January 2012, Corner of 14th and Union.”

  2. Justin, you’ll need to cite a source demonstrating that the neighbor’ threatened a lawsuit. I am one of the neighbors. We never threatened a lawsuit. On CHS, you’ve mentioned lawsuits twice before.

    1. In an article posted 8/31/10, you wrote ” … possibility that the neighbor who originally made the complaint to DPD will get litigious and bring an expensive lawyer to the table.”

    You neglected to cite a source then, as well. You certainly didn’t call any of us for corroboration, either then or now. You need to run an errata.

    2. On 6/2710, you wrote that “Seattle Met reports that Burke told the magazine she may have to resort to a lawsuit but is considering buying the building …” Ericka appears to be the one threatening lawsuits.

    It would be appropriate to run an additional errata.

    As a side note, you should have reported that none of the neighbors appealed the DPD decision to grant VPC’s change of use. Perhaps this fact will enable you to let go of the fallacy that we are or were trying to shut down VPC. If we wanted to shut it down, we would be appealing the decision.

  3. My name is written above. And it is not every time. It is only when CHS gets the facts wrong. As you can see, I am interested in accuracy.

    Justin, I am prevented from logging into CHS report this comment as “abuse.”

    I am concerned because it is this sort of language in CHS comments that preceded directly the worse instance of vandalism against one of the neighbors.
    Feel free to contact me directly.


  4. Justin just wants traffic to his site so he will say whatever to do that. Don’t forget this site doesn’t need to be accurate because it isn’t a news site.

  5. Zack,

    You’ll need to cite a source demonstrating that this annoying lady is actually crazy. There’s been no indication or evidence of a clinical diagnosis–only flashes of narcissistic, passive-aggressive, and obsessive comment posting. You need to run an erratum.

    As you can see, I’m interested in accuracy.

  6. Zack,

    She never denied being crazy. She asked you to produce evidence of your claim because she doesn’t have a diagnoses to support what you have said.

    Are you done being a prick today?