It’s only mid-January and Capitol Hill has already seen six new ventures — Five Fish Bistro, Manhattan Drugs, Little Uncle, Lucky 8′s, 8oz Burger Bar, a revamped Poco Wine Room – join the area’s burgeoning food and drink economy since the last days of 2011. And there is more to come.
Below, we count down the 2012 Capitol Hill projects to look forward to — and a few mysteries that should play out in coming months. Which ones are you most excited about?
15+ to look forward to in 2012
- Regent Cafe & Bakery: Frankly, we expected Regent by now but that’s the way opening a new place goes. The sister to the Eastside restaurant of the same name, Regent’s 14th at Pine location will serve Chinese dishes as well as sweet treats, tea and their much-loved cakes. With a full bar. Enjoy. Forecast: Any day now.
- The Wandering Goose: With an all-star cast of backers, Heather Earnhardt teams up with Ethan Stowell in a 15th Ave E duet. Forecast: “spring”
- St. John’s: When CHS wrote about this project replacing the venerable Rosebud on E Pike, it didn’t even have a name yet. From the folks who brought you Queen Anne’s Solo. Forecast: Mid-February.
- D’Ambrosio Gelato: There are plenty of stories where the second chapter exceeds the first. In this case, the corner space in the Packard Building will put a failed project behind it as some of the most authentic gelato around gets dished up on Capitol Hill. Forecast: “late February”
- Skelly and the Bean: The community-concepted, mouthful-of-a-name restaurant from foodie favorite Zephyr Paquette is rushing toward its debut. Forecast: “around late January”
- The Pine Box: When one of the main drivers behind Seattle Beer Week opens a new joint, you pretty much shouldn’t be surprised to hear you’re going to get 30 brews on tap just for starters. Replaces the dearly departed Chapel. Forecast: “spring 2012″
- Mamnoon: Part of a super green rehab planned for a former Auto Row building on Melrose, Mamnoon remains mostly mystery. We do know Cobb Architects is designing the space. We’ll have more soon about the project from tech entrepreneurs Wassef and Racha Haroun. Forecast: ???
- Crumble & Flake: The path toward new Capitol Hill patisserie Crumble & Flake hasn’t been a mystery at all. We knew about the project before Neil Robertson had even found his E Olive Way space. Forecast: “sometime in April (though we all know how these things go)”
- The Narwhal: The legend of the Unicorn’s lower level is slated to become reality in 2012. Forecast: ???
- Neumos second stage: Work is underway to create a second stage and subterranean full bar area at 10th and E Pike. Forecast: ???
- The Neighbor Lady: The Central District has something to look forward to, too. Stephan Mollmann, the dude behind the Twilight Exit, is planning the vegetarian-leaning addition to his CD bar empire for the former Thompson’s Point of View space at 23rd and Union. Forecast: “mid-to-late February”
- Zoe Capitol Hill: It won’t be a reinvention but it will be a refresh for the longtime Belltown sibling of Pike/Pine’s Quinn’s. Restaurant Zoe joins the Oola complex with construction wrapping up shortly. Forecast: “January”
- Cafe Pettirosso II: The comfy Pettirosso will really spread its wings when it returns to 11th Ave with new owners and a newly expanded space. Forecast: “early summer”
- El Mestizo II: As the popular restaurant closed its doors at the nexus of Capitol Hill, the Central District and First Hill in late 2011 to make way for planned development, there was talk of finding a new location to re-open in the area. We’ve got nothing new to report but here’s hoping a new El Mestizo could be part of 2012 in the neighborhood. Forecast: ???
- Baguette II: When Vanny Him shuttered the E Madison walk-up and made way for Little Uncle, she expressed hope about finding a new place in the area to open a sit-down restaurant. Forecast: ???
- Kiki II: The E Pine restaurant said it was looking for a buyer in 2011. 2012 could bring a new owner — and a new concept.
- 12th and Olive Wine II: The shop is, too, for sale. Forecast: ???
- The clubs: New Capitol Hill nightclub concepts Q and the Social are still moving forward with 2012 openings. Forecast: We’ll have updates soon!
- The new developments: The mixed-use project at 19th and Madison looks like it will be first to finish construction and could make its 6,600 square feet of retail space available to at least one major restaurant effort. Meanwhile, the project at 13th and Madison should also be seeking retail tenants before the end of the year. The mixed-use project on E Pine isn’t complete yet but the former People’s Parking Lot — and long ago home of the Cha Cha and Manray, to name a few — is already seeking tenants for its two retail units capable of hosting full-bore hooded kitchen operations. Same deal at the soon-to-be-completed Bellevue Terrace which boasts one “type 1″ hooded kitchen for lease. Also, Noah’s will return to Capitol Hill when the 230 Broadway project is complete — but that’s not planned until 2013.
- East Olive Way mystery project: We haven’t pinned it down but we’re all over rumors of yet another nightspot opening on E Olive Way. What do you know? Forecast: spring 2012