Poquitos team making plans to lift a mug in new 12th Ave Austrian beer hall

Dixon’s Cap Hill location will be closing in two weeks (Image: CHS)

As Block Party rages on this weekend, some big changes are quietly happening on 12th Ave. While Dixon’s Used Furniture prepares for its last two weeks on the street, the lease is already being signed to convert the space into a sizable Austrian themed beer hall. 

The operational team at Poquitos is behind the new hall, and are preparing to renovate the 10,000 square-foot warehouse space at 912 12th Avenue with a new mezzanine, kitchen, and outdoor dining additions.

“We are all really excited about it,” Dustin Watson of Poquitos said. “The idea is to make it really causal, turn it into a community spot in the neighborhood.”

People can expect 24 beers on tap, 8 bocce ball tables courts (6 inside, 2 outside), and in-house Austrian sausage, which the pub will make on its own. Construction budget is listed as nearly $400,000 with plans for a mezzanine and outdoor dining and with Strata Architects listed as the lead on the project. The Poquitos team is keeping quiet on details for now as they are in the first week of signing the lease — but they were able to say that the new pub will hopefully be open by the end of the year. 

The 1930 masonry building is owned by real estate investor Chi Tsung Pong who purchased the property in 2005 for $2.8 million, according to county records.


An Austrian beer hall will occupy Dixon’s 10,000 square-foot space (Image: CHS)

Beyond the opportunity presented by the new restaurant venture, slow business is behind Dixon’s exit from the street. “The store was never as busy as it needed to be,” said manager Shawn Mason. “Nobody’s coming in anymore. It’s been hard in this economy.” Dixon’s other location on 1915 Rainier Ave South will remain open in wake of the 12th closure so those looking for used furniture still have that option. The furniture store is having a large sale in the meantime to try to move stock before the closure.

The location has also been home to hookah bar Majles Cafe. CHS has not confirmed the status of the cafe but if it is also a goner, the Capitol Hill area hookah bar population is taking a significant hit this summer. Last week, CHS reported that the Cobra Lounge would be closing to make way for a long-awaited demolition in advance of a new apartment project at the site of the old Undre Arms apartments.

CHS first reported on the first venture by the food and drink team including Watson, Deming Maclise, James Weimann, and Rich Fox as they kicked the tires on being part of Melrose Market. Maclise and Weimann had successfully launched Bastille in Ballard and were looking for a home for a new concept to capture inspiration from travels in Mexico. CHS soon learned Poquitos was destined for E Pike where it has settled in nicely offering mid to upscale Mexican food and craft-focused cocktails. Poquitos is also a long-time CHS advertiser.

The addition of the project — we can’t share the name yet — will further transform 12th Ave’s food and drink offerings south of Madison. Cafe Presse has established itself as a longterm neighborhood presence while Lark has focused and made space for the ascension of Canon to the top of Seattle’s craft cocktail heap. Down the street, Ba Bar is extending the stretch into the Central District. Meanwhile, The Chieftain happily serves the needs of the thirsty Seattle University population.

The Capitol Hill beer hall trend, started in the 15th century, was given a solid kick in the ass with the emergence of the Pine Box  earlier this year in the old Chapel space. It’s a good concept for a community that seems to enjoy a frothy crowd of people having a good time and plays solidly into some of the values of connoisseurship the Hill apparently holds dear.

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22 thoughts on “Poquitos team making plans to lift a mug in new 12th Ave Austrian beer hall

  1. I love that more businesses are moving to 12th Avenue! I, for one, can’t wait to learn how to play bocce ball on a table. And I know I’m being a stickler—but this address isn’t Capitol Hill. We’ve been proud to be Squire Park/Central District residents long before any businesses were in this neighborhood, and we hope the new tenants embrace the SQ!

  2. I consider this part of 12th avenue an extension of Capitol Hill and I am sure most business owners on 12th would too.

    I’m never one to be a stickler when it doesn’t matter.

  3. But it does matter. Whenever anything bad happens in that 12th ave area by SU (which has a lot of crime), it’s reported as the CD.

    whenever anything positive happens like a restaurant opening or if a property is being sold, it’s called Cap Hill.

  4. I agree with spiffy d. Whenever something shitty happens in the CD everyone’s all over reporting it. When something good happens……… Don’t believe it? Go check out the Central District News blog: http://www.centraldistrictnews.com/

    It does make sense, Dpt…the fact that crime is reported all over CapHill too is a red herring– it’s irrelevant.

  5. Spiffy D, that’s 100% untrue. Tom and I coordinate coverage and do best we can to draw borders of coverage but the zones are fuzzy. Not sure if everybody is aware but I took over operation of Central District News when Scott wasn’t able to continue more than a year ago. Managing the two sites together a is a challenge. But we keep the spaces distinct — and connected. You’ll see “simulcasts” sometimes — sometimes clear breakdowns. But the thing we’re certain of is specific lines/borders just don’t work. And coverage category separation doesn’t work.

    The restaurants and bars along 12th Ave get more treatment on CHS because 1) I cover food and drink much more heavily than Tom and 2) the businesses and owners tend to identify with the Capitol Hill entertainment district.

  6. But sharing a link to a Central District news blog on a Capitol Hill blog is not a red herring.

    If you love the CD so much stick to that blog, you will be safe from any stickiness.

  7. Sorry, I should have been more clear with my post.

    I haven’t noticed the anti-CD bias on CHS. But I’ve noticed it a lot on other local news sources.

    the one I remember particularly was a shooting at Miller Community center a few years ago that I saw reported as in the CD, despite the fact there’s a nearby sign that says “Welcome to Capitol Hill.”

    I recall that The Capitol Hill massacre was also initially reported as the CD too.

  8. again to echo what spiffy d says…I wasn’t saying there was any anti-CD coverage on the Capitol Hill blog. It would be nice if coverage of food&drink stuff on the CD News was as good as yours on the CapHill blog, though.

  9. Tom does a great job running Central District News. To put it very very briefly, it’s an extremely challenging business to grow on the finance side of things. The CD is a great community (many communities, yes!) but supporting an independent media effort there might require a different model than two dudes working their asses off with the best of intentions and only 24 hours in the day. Yes, a plea for sympathy, perhaps. Maybe empathy. We’re all in this together, right?

  10. Great news! This team has put together some fantastic restaurants already, so I have high hopes for their new venture. The Suppenkueche (Bavarian themed) in San Francisco is one of my favorite restaurants and while the German fare served at Feierabend is good, the atmosphere is a bit sterile in that modern condo building. I have no doubt this will be different!

    If they can get some good Southern German/Austrian cuisine to complement those sausages and beer, I’ll be ridiculously happy. I don’t think anyone else in Seattle serves a Kaiserschmarm! Congratulations Dustin and crew!

  11. First of all, SOMA (south of Madison) is considered by most Seattleites— an extension of Capitol Hill. The Central District begins at SOCH (South of Cherry St.) and is bordered by the Rainier Valley.
    Second, the food at Poquitos is horrible but decent at Bastile, however—both restaurants have lovely atmospheres. That being said, I eagerly await the arrival of this new beer hall knowing their beer standards may not be as high as, say Quinn’s…

  12. Hillebrity, I don’t know where you get these whacked and arbitrary borders, but I’m sure many people would disagree with them, not the least of which the city of Seattle: https://www.seattle.gov/economicdevelopment/support_mapCentr

    Madison St is considered by everyone I’ve ever spoken to (and the City) as the northern border of the Central District. The western border is generally considered Broadway, but for certain 12th Ave is part of it. The eastern border is either MLK if you want to further specify the CD as different from Madison Valley, Madrona, Leschi, and Mt. Baker; or Lake WA if you want to consider those neighborhoods as part of the CD. (they don’t really share a lot in common with what most people consider the CD). The northern border of the CD is most certainly NOT Cherry Street.

    In any case, (almost) nobody considers South of Madison part of Capitol Hill. Not that it amounts to anything more than a “whatever”, of course.

  13. Kaiserschmarm! I’m happy to report that while I can’t promise it will debut on the first menu, we have already done some research in the Kaiserschmarm department and I personally am a HUGE fan!

  14. What the city considers to be the borders is really irrelevant. These precise definitions are just being pedantic.

    Lots of people (since we are all making unsubstantiated claims) consider Cafe Presse, Lark, etc. to be a part of Capitol Hill.

  15. I really like the idea of bocce courts. There is a good size bocce community in the Seattle area that would really utilize a site like this if the courts were of signifcant size, this could be a real bonanza for these folks if they do it correctly.

  16. Germany is known for their excellent beers more than Austria is. I hope they’ll have lots of German beer along with the Austrian brews. Anyhow, yeah! I’m very much looking forward to this place.