Double-short latte for me. You? Tip us at here.
- In an early summer of caffeinated news for the Capitol Hill food and drink economy, an established player unveils its new space this week. The new, expanded Kaladi Brothers cafe is open and offering an excellent seat for watching the hustle on E Pike. It is also an illustration of some of the choices building owners face on the booming Hill.
We talked to Chip Ragen earlier this year about the overhaul of his building at E Pike and Belmont to create new spaces for health nonprofit Gay City and Kaladi. Ragen said he considered selling his property for development or investing in an expensive seismic overhaul that would have been required to create a new restaurant space. In the end, he settled on a compromise. Restore and reinforce the 1910 building in an overhaul designed around his existing tenants. It still cost a pretty penny — more than $200,000 — but the transformed space creates an improved business opportunity while — literrally — exposing the building’s auto row past complete with cool old beams and the giant cast-iron central beam looming above.
The debut makes for more coffee news on Capitol Hill. Last month, El Portal cafe and roastery opened at 23rd and Madison. CHS also reported that the Central District’s Broadcast Coffee would be opening a Capitol Hill location later this summer. Meanwhile, collective co-op Black Coffee is also readying for its E Pike debut. Also, btw, happy birthday Analog. Sorry we missed your party.
E Pike’s Kaladi Brothers was the first expansion for the small chain beyond its home state of Alaska. CHS has a major soft spot for Kaladi thanks to our use of the cafe as CHS North HQ on occasional summer travels.
Kaladi’s old space, by the way, is undergoing a similar overhaul. Ragen said its future is probably office space but if an all-star restaurateur came along, you never know.
- Also open on Capitol Hill, 95 Slide — CHS pictures of the new sports bar here
- More pictures? Check out the Narwhal:
- Active north Capitol Hill restaurant space for sale. Remember: Be kind. This was part of somebody’s dream.
- Seattle Times adds to the Crumble & Flake mystique.
- A handy guide to the new Vios brunch menu
- Capitol Hill now has a late-night pie window. We hear — for real — hot wings pie is coming.
- Um, what?
A week before, though, I heard a pesky rumor that the owner hoards all of the tips left for wait staff. I asked my waiter if this were true. He nodded, “Yeah, we don’t really get to keep our tips here.” He assured me that it was all right; I assured him that it was not.
- “One server bullshat responses to my leading questions (‘So is this a celeriac puree?’) with wan acquiescence, leaving me on my own to determine that it was in fact an onion soubise. He later redeemed himself with a correction—the least he could do, but more than many would.“
- CHS advertiser Ba Bar has expanded cocktail menu, expanded bar.
- The Bagel Deli has a new web site.
- First Hill has a new sandwich shop.
This week’s CHS food+drink advertiser directory