Capitol Hill food+drink | Coastal Kitchen’s 20-year makeover, Cupcake Royale PAC, more matchmaking

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  • After 20 years and some 1.5 million customers served on 15th Ave E, it’s time for a sea change at Coastal Kitchen. You might have seen the new paint job. Come this fall, an overhaul on a much larger scale will take place.

“I want to bring the kitchen out,” Coastal owner Jeremy Hardy tells CHS. “I want to make it Coastal Kitchen… only more so.”

Hardy, who says his models for Coastal were old neighborhood fish houses in New England, doesn’t plan to alter what his restaurant has grown to become known for. The rotating menus will continue — though the pace of change will slow down from its current quarterly rollover. The focus on freshness, sustainability and local, responsible sources will still be in place. And the lines for brunch will probably never go away — “Part of the Coastal experience is hanging out with friends while you wait.” Hardy said Coastal will continue to keep it simple when it comes to preparation. ”When you do simple food you operate without a safety net of sauces where you can hide.”


What you will find at the longtime Capitol Hill fish house after a short closure planned for two weeks in September will be a reconfiguration designed to put longtime CHS advertiser Coastal Kitchen’s strongest attributes more fully on display with a new shell bar and fish cutting station front and center, a new, larger bar and the addition of roll-up doors to more firmly connect the restaurant to the street it has called home since the early ’90s.

Jeremy Hardy takes a look at the first coat of Coastal’s new look (Image: CHS)

“We’ve never done a remodel,” Hardy said. “It’s time man.”

After the work this early fall, the new Coastal Kitchen will showcase oysters being shucked at the new shell bar and countermen preparing fish right in the middle of things.

Hardy says the changes will put Coastal in position to be part of the growing and changing Capitol Hill food and drink economy.

“15th Ave has grown more dynamic than its ever been,” he said. “We want to support the nightlife on 15th. The reason we’re doing that is to set Coastal Kitchen up for the next 20 years.”

  • An established Capitol Hill business is looking to change its game by introducing food+drink to its overhauled space and is seeking an expert to be part of the plan. “Do you know of any other, possibly former street food or recently displaced ‘small kitchen’ cooks/chefs looking for a friendly space to set up operations in?” the Pike/Pine business owner asks CHS. Interested? Drop CHS a note and we’ll connect you to the business owner. BTW, Herbivoracious wasn’t a match. Maybe it would be for you?
  • Cupcake Royale and Jody Hall raised so much money for gay marriage that she had to create a PAC.
  • RIP, 14th Ave’s Meza.
  • Nope, we don’t know the story on Harissa Lebanese Cuisine… yet.
  • People’s Republic of Koffee is teaming up with Scratch Deli to make a new delicious space on 12th Ave.
  • Here’s a look at how an independent liquor store is faring on Capitol Hill. Bottom line: It’s a challenging business.
  • In our new Hill Tastes essay series, CHS visits the godfather of the Capitol Hill vintage cocktail sceneKnee High Stocking Co.
  • “It was as if some future pastry chef of Restaurant Zoe, in this high-tech futuristic land, built a dessert time machine and sent some examples of his craft back in time to show us present-day fools the error of our ways.”
  • Josh Henderson“leaves”Skillet.
  • Seattle foodie trend — bee hives in the middle of the city.
  • Rachel’s Ginger Beer among these five things you can only get in Seattle. A Capitol HIll-heavy five, actually.
  • Kinda cute. Broadway’s Americana voted best breakfast… by STAR 101.5 listeners.
  • More good deeds. This from 19th Ave E’s Kingfish Cafe:

Kenyetta Carter of The Kingfish Café was a busy chef on Tuesday, July 10, as she brought the Southern inspired food of the popular Capitol Hill neighborhood restaurant to Coyote Central and raised $2,000 in the process.   Prepping at the Kingfish, she transported a three course meal to the organization’s new teaching kitchen, where she plated dinner for 40 guests, as part of the youth art space’s recently launched monthly Guest Chef Tuesday program.  

Chef Carter’s menu began with a luscious marinated watermelon, tomato and mint salad, followed by an entrée of juicy roasted game hen, grilled corn salad and grilled bok choy.  Kingfish Pastry Chef Violette Tucker’s summer strawberry and peach cobbler topped with whipped cream and fresh berries was greeted with oohs and aahs by the guests.  Presented in individual glass canning jars, one guest proclaimed loudly that she could have eaten all forty servings. 

Coyote Central recruits professionals from creative fields to share their talents and workplaces with adolescents, opening up a world of possibility to young minds.  Founded in 1986 and headquartered at 2300 East Cherry, Coyote Central helps build kid’s confidence and competence through the arts. All of the evening’s proceeds benefit Coyote’s programs and scholarships.  The monthly dinners which each feature a different chef are open to the public and can be purchased online at www.coyotecentral.com or by calling (206) 323-7276.  The suggested donation for the dinner which includes wine is $50 or four for $190.

  • Food porn from the CHS Flickr pool:

 

This week’s CHS food+drink advertiser directory

23 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink | Coastal Kitchen’s 20-year makeover, Cupcake Royale PAC, more matchmaking

  1. Coastal? Me neither. Just not that good.

    Kingfish though? Never had a bad meal there. Service can drag when they’re busy like any small popular spot, but the food is always great, the staff always pleasant, and prices are reasonable. Love the mint juleps too.

  2. I’ve only been to Kingfish once and it was about 10 years ago, but I remember liking it. We only live three blocks away, but every time we consider going there we get turned off by the ridiculous wait. Coastal, on the other hand, has never disappointed me, and I love the ever-changing menu.

  3. Coastal is great, never disappoints. I wanted to also thank the Coastal for hosting so many school fundraisers, both Meany and Stevens. They have been very generous and I’ve never forgotten that! Thanks Coastal Kitchen!

  4. Who couldn’t understand the appeal? Who wouldn’t wait in line for a weekend brunch? Not only can they cook eggs and hashed brown potatoes but, damn, they even boil water like pros!

  5. I think both are just meh. I’m sure Coastal Kitchen is revamping because they know the 2 new restaurants opening up the street from them are going to suck major business away from them. The added competition will work out well for diners and put existing restaurants on their toes on both 15th and 19th (when the new development is up across from Kingfish).

  6. I’ve eaten at both and found them to be good, but for me it’s the wait. There’s just nowhere that’s worth an hour wait, sorry. I’m convinced some people build the standing in line thing into their whole “dining experience”, and actually get off on the wait.

  7. I have had the breakfast (hash browns too) and I still don’t get it. Community support does not make for good food. Good food makes good food.

    The people I hear rave about Coastal Kitchen are always from Kirkland or Bellevue. Coastal Kitchen is destination dining for the Eastside. I think it reminds them of home and that is why thy love it. Or it makes them feel cool because they had a meal on Capitol Hill that they can tell their friends about.

  8. I’m always amused when someone spins an obvious negative into a positive, as Mr. Hardy does by asserting that the long wait at Coastal Kitchen is “part of the experience.” Give me a break! No one really likes to wait, especially when they are hungry.

  9. Those of you complaining about the wait at CC, how is that their fault? Go early! There’s a huge wait at Glo’s every weekend too… and that place REALLY sucks.
    CC has a great breakfast. I’ve lived a couple blocks away from them for a few years now and have gone there too many times to count!
    Still havent made it there for dinner. Too expensive.

  10. Before you bitch about other people bitching…

    Talking about Glo’s is deflecting so we will ignore that part of your comment.

    The complaint isn’t about the wait. The question is whether the food is worth the wait. Clearly, the answer to that question is a no. Now, if you are from the suburbs and you want to take a “cool” trip to Capitol Hill then standing outside of Coastal Kitchen might be appealing.

    You have to admit (even if the food was good), that somebody claiming their food is “delish” means you don’t really know what you are talking about.

  11. Maybe I am old fashioned … but I don’t see the allure of the noise, smell and view of an open kitchen in a restaurant. I go to a restaurant to eat and to socialize, not to watch my dinner being prepared. It detracts from the meal itself and from the company with whom I am eating.

    But for those narcissistic, wannabe celebrity chefs I guess it’s a way to be seen.

  12. Oh yes, the reason for the long lines isn’t the good food, it’s people from the suburbs that are only there because they think its “cool” to drive all the way and stand on the sidewalk in a “cool” neighborhood.

  13. If there are better options without lines, vegetarian options, and options for people with tummy problems what else could it be but people from the suburbs.

  14. I’m among those who don’t “get” the Coastal Kitchen thing. I’ve not had breakfast there – which apparently is the major attraction. And yes, it’s because there is NO way I will stand on a sidewalk an hour for hashbrowns. I’ve had dinner there, and my companion & I both agreed it was at best mediocre. But – hey – to each his/her own. It appears the business at Rione XIII is going gangbusters, and I applaud that. I live 3 blocks away, I’m waiting for the crowds to die down a bit. In the meantime, Olivar on Roy is STILL the best food and value and service on Capitol Hill, but gets precious little print. Maybe Chef Philippe doesn’t advertise on the right blogs.

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