Capitol Hill food+drink | Zoe plans February reincarnation at 14th and Union

Every night is industry night at CHS. Got a tip? Lay it on us here.

  • The re-birth of Restaurant Zoe on Capitol Hill is imminent. Scott and Heather Staples, with fingers only a little crossed, tell CHS they expect to be serving diners in their new 14th and Union space in time for Valentine’s. And when we say new, we mean new. It seems that all that is coming along with Zoe from Belltown are most of the employees and the Stapleses’ reputation for creating great Seattle dining experiences.

“When you’re moving a 10+ year-old business, you’re essentially opening a brand new restaurant,” Scott told CHS Monday as he and Heather got ready to rush off to yet another crunch time meeting as the restaurant prepares to open. “We changed everything. The look. The logo. Even the music. Everything has loosened up. As well as the price point.”


Reincarnation cones at the new Zoe (Image: CHS)

The change, according to the married couple behind Zoe as well as E Pike’s Quinn’s and Fremont’s Uneeda Burger, is a function of time, place and personality.

“The thing about the reincarnation of Zoe,” Scott said, “is we’re 12 years older. All of those experiences that we’ve had are going into this as well as being in a new neighborhood.”

Heather says the new space in the old Panzanella Bakery building along with the Oola Distillery at 14th and Union will also shape the new Zoe.

“Both Quinn’s and Zoe have been really land-locked,” Heather said. “With the new Zoe, we had this asphalt parking lot where we’re able to add a four-season deck.” She says the new space is also being prepared for a kitchen garden and there are plans for keeping bees and growing tomatoes on the restaurant’s roof. There is also a plan to grow ivy and hops up the size of the building. “We want that urban garden feel,” Heather said.

It will be a marked change from the glossier days when Zoe first opened in Belltown 12 years ago.

“It’s a really fun change,” Heather said. “We’re not the same people. The city is not the same place. Fine dining is not what it was.”

You can keep track of opening day progress on the Zoe Facebook page.

  • We should note that another space at the Oola complex at 14th and Union is completed — and active. The 10 Degrees event space is hosting dancing and events.
  • The Stranger, by the way, tasted a lot of Washington liquor (twist their arms). Here’s what they liked.
  • No telling what impact the arrival of Eat Local will have on Capitol Hill restaurant revenue. We forecast zilch. There’s always room for pie.
  • Speaking of Broadway retail space, big box liquor providers have their eyes set on Seattle

“We have three leases moving along very quickly, two in Seattle and one in Spokane,” said David Trone, president of Total Wine & More, a Maryland-based company with 78 big-box liquor stores in 11 states. The chain plans to open 10 shops in Washington eventually, including stores in Vancouver and Tacoma.

  • Wine and beer at Starbucks? Shocking.
  • With Super Bowl weekend upcoming, soon time for us to again roll out our annual list of Capitol Hill bars and restaurants with TVs. Or you could just tell us about your favorite place to watch the sports balls on the Hill in comments and we can be done with it.
  • Editors reading this column: Did you note our post last week helping you keep track of all the “coming soon” 2012 Capitol Hill restaurant and bar openings? Feel free to augment your editorial calendars and plan ahead.
  • The mother of the Seattle happy hour has no happy hour (yet) at her new Capitol Hill restaurant. She won’t need one with reviews like this and “an optimism unbent by two difficult years, confidence, and culinary mastery.”
  • Also, this guy ate there.
  • Happy (late) January anniversaries to Unicorn (2010), Still (2010) and Olympia Pizza’s The Bar (2010).
  • The partners behind Tavern Law sound downright diplomatic when discussing the recent exodus.
  • Planning for V-day? Pannevino has a menu posted. Anchovies & Olives, Marjorie and Volunteer Park Cafe have sent out pressers on special menus. Give em a call.
  • Or, hell, really splurge and celebrate early by taking your sweetie for a free 5 ounces of frozen yogurt. Yogurtland is celebrating National Frozen Yogurt day on February 6.
  • Pop-up Savage Cuisine is in full hype mode. You can give them a try tonight at Volunteer Park Cafe.
  • Want to make noodles on Broadway?
  • Montana the bar will be more than a (very comfortable and fun) bar, of course, also planned to be home to headquarters for Rachel’s Ginger Beer.
  • The city wants Neighbours to make improvements or downsize.
  • On a quiet Wednesday morning there were plenty of seats, very few laptops and more than one table of moms enjoying the same quiet morning with their kids that we were.”
  • Henderson, who now also has a diner in the hip Capitol Hill area of Seattle, says he likes to use bacon jam as a “finisher” for dishes.”
  • 8oz Burger Bar boasting it plans to offer best “selection” of draft beers on Capitol Hill. Discuss.
  • The guy behind Madison’s Crush cooks for the geeks behind Google.

This week’s CHS food+drink advertiser directory

Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

One thought on “Capitol Hill food+drink | Zoe plans February reincarnation at 14th and Union