CHS Pics | The Wandering Goose lands on 15th Ave E

With a kitchen churning out biscuits and treats run by onetime Volunteer Park Cafe baker Heather Earnhardt, coffee expertise provided by Fuel’s Dani Cone and a location picked by Vita’s Mike McConnell, the debut of The Wandering Goose on 15th Ave E is the product of some deep Capitol Hill cafe love.

CHS stopped by a preview party over the weekend for these shots — and for a biscuit or three. Monday, October 1st, marks the cafe’s first day of business. The Goose will be open every day but Tuesday WEDNESDAY!, 7a-4p. The menu is here.

We’ve documented the journey of the space from a “mystery” restaurant project that emerged way back in 2010 that would have brought a Vita to the street, to the emergence of a two-headed pairing of Earnhardt and restaurant entrepreneur Ethan Stowell, to Earnhardt’s crowdsourced efforts to fund her venture. Before that, the space was a long-time gift and homegoods store — Tilden was, you might remember, difficult for children… for 37 years. Long ago, Piggly Wiggly called the storefront home.


More 15th Ave E Before and After images from octopup.org

The snug Goose has been built as a 30-seat “Southern influence cafe” separated only by a “demising wall” of “vintage leaded glass” from Rione XIII. Sidewalk seating is in the plans — one would expect that should go easier on 15th Ave E than outdoor activity went at 17th and Galer.

Stowell’s adjacent Rione XIII opened a few weeks back and seems on track to help push forward continued changes and growth underway on 15th Ave E as even the street’s elder statesmen are upgrading their offerings. The arrival of the Goose will add to the bustle. With North Hill Bakery already long established, the Bagel Deli holding down the fort, and Liberty, Ladro, Victrola, and Starbucks ready to pull your shots, the addition of The Wandering Goose and its fully manual espresso machine means 15th Ave E is probably not a bad place to wake up in the morning. Especially when Coastal returns from its remodel around October 10th.

You can learn more at thewanderinggoose.com.

Biscuit sandwich (Image: The Wandering Goose)

(Image: The Wandering Goose)

(Images: Alex Crick/CHS unless otherwise noted)

36 thoughts on “CHS Pics | The Wandering Goose lands on 15th Ave E

  1. I am a little confused.

    I see breakfast and lunch stuff on the menu. “Supper” too … but will it be open in the evening (when many of us want to eat)? No indication of opening hours on the web site.

    What is a “demising wall” (yes – looked on Google) – fancy name for a partition?

    Seems a little over-branded & pretentious.

  2. the outdoor bar is in front of the other restaurant. over marketing? really genivieve. you are such a miserable person.
    why can’t we seattlites ever be happy for a new place? bunch o’ negative nellies.
    this place looks pretty cool to me.

  3. Wandering Goose looks great and I will be stopping by soon!

    Yes, the standup bar is part of the adjacent restaurant. I cannot believe that DPD/SDOT approved that structure…it is smack in the middle of the sidewalk, will not be used much if at all, a safety hazard, and an obnoxious appropriation of public space. It needs to go.

  4. Really, friendly frank, you are a miserable passive aggressive person. Why can’t we Seattlites ever provide honest criticism without worrying about what our neighbors would think? The joint IS looking overly pretentious (and twee) and… biscuits?! C’mon, my dead uncle can still bake f’ing biscuits! (Why can’t we Seattlites NOT line up for eggs and hash browns?)

  5. and my biscuit was delicious – along with my americano (they use vita, no surprise there of course) and breakfast for me with tip was ~$5.

    pretentious over-branding? i find the space to be nicely considered and welcoming. how many of you have actually stopped by yet and interacted with the staff or tried the food? perhaps the judgment should be withheld til then? I’m not sure why there’s so much negativity surrounding this place, what gives? so much vitriol lately…

  6. Just one person taking orders at the counter. This morning was a confusing cluster f!ck. And I am not bitching just because you forgot my order but how hard is a biscuit with jam and butter to make…

  7. wow, I had no idea that one comment about a twee restaurant made me such a miserable person! perhaps frank should change his name to “hypersensitive frank”. chill out dude.

  8. 3 cheers for Heather and The Wandering Goose. She puts love into what she does and surely the goose is a labor of love. No one truly knows what it takes to open a restaurant and run it successfully, unless you’ve tackled it yourself. The naysayers should try to be a bit less nasty, talk to Heather, she’ll show you how.

  9. Had to make the trip after all this ranting…Its AMAZING if you don’t like it don’t go thats less wait time for me! Seriously the best biscuits in town! HOT DAMN!

  10. Genevieve,

    Get off your computer, let go of your cats, unlock the four deadbolts and step out of your apartment. While you were so busy bitching, you couldn’t even figure out that the stand up bar belonged to a different restaurant.

  11. Let me start by saying that the food we had was very delicious and that’s half the dining experience.
    That said the other half I look for is comfort and service. Granted it was opening day so some things may need to be ironed out, but some things should have been thought out before hand and as has been over reported, this is not Heather’s first rodeo.
    When we walked in it was very full, but between the seating and the menu, we assumed it was a sit down, table service kinda joint. So we sat down at the one available table that I had to painfully squeeze my skinny ass into past the lovely antique cabinet. After sitting there awhile one of the FOUR people behind the little counter asked if we wanted coffee and explained that we needed to order at the counter which we then did. I had to ask for cream later, at the counter, which was handed to me in the half gallon frigging carton. Our food came and was delicious, although don’t expect a hearty portion of southern breakfast comfort. No one offered to refill our coffee so I assume I would have had to buy another cup? A long line was present from the counter towards the door, which is great if it’s your business, but no so great if you’re a diner in a cramped restaurant who doesn’t care for constant crotch and ass next to your head while you eat. That closeness was magnified by essentially sharing a four top with another couple and their new born who’s smile it was explained, was due to him having one of his first bowel movements. Congratulations! Check please.
    One last thought is how do they sanitize the raw plywood table tops? Not that I saw anyone try after clearing away the dishes from several.
    Again I want to reiterate that the food was really well done and to some it might be worth it. It just seemed like the set up is a coffee joint that they are trying to force a sit down dining menu into.

  12. really? why do americans needs so much f’ing space? with our gas guzzling SUV’s, our constant need for room, room and more room. give me a f’ing break. i stopped by for coffee + a Steen’s cookie of some sort that was freakin’ beyond good…. the space is beyond cool. nothing i’ve seen in seattle. or anywhere around. the staff was friendly and gracious and everyone of the customers looked relax and like they were digging’ it. and genevieve, you complain on CHS blog more than anyone.

  13. friendlyheynowfrank: mea culpa – I’ve been lumping both of the projects in the former Tilden space together. Forgive me if I was confused by the photo of Heather hobnobbing with guests at the offending sidewalk bar in an article about the opening of her restaurant.

    still not sure why I’ve earned such personal attacks. I’d ask if I stomped on your puppy, but that’s not really possible, since I haven’t left my apartment since 1996.

  14. The generosity the Wandering Goose has already displayed is amazing. The owner has been standing outside her space for the past few months on Saturday mornings handing out free pastries and coffee and chatting up the hood. I’m hooked and the food is awesome! She seems super nice and that place is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Yay for us!

  15. This might be the saddest comment section I have seen about a restaurant opening yet. Glad to see Calhoun is back to whine about the standup bar however. That is truly awesome.

    I wanted to like this comment section more, but a baby pooped on my laptop.

  16. Went in to this charming, sweet spot this morning with my mother-in-law. All I can say is wow, wow, and wow! I live in Cali and see a lot of cool spots and could not get over the charm and considerate detailed affection this place offers. The owner was in the back baking/cooking and many customers were coming back to give thanks etceteras to her and everyone seemed genuinely excited, relaxed and happy for this spot. It is truly unique and I think anyone that checks it out will agree.

  17. I want to like you more but you seem like a dumb shit. Really? Points off ’cause a baby took a dump? And where the fuck do you get free refills on coffee? Dennys? Actually you should go to Denny’s, lots of wide open space.

  18. It’s too bad you equate “expressing an opinion” with “whining.” They are not the same thing. I guess you think someone is “whining” when they express an opinion you disagree with.

  19. …but between the seating and the menu, we assumed it was a sit down, table service kinda joint.

    Helpful hint: if there is a counter with a big menu on the wall behind it, and people are standing behind the counter that look like they work there, it is typically pretty safe to assume that you should order at the counter.

  20. I’ve removed a few comments fresh this morning from the oven of “oh yay, let’s be jerks.” CHS is actively moderated — both automated and humanoid flavors. We don’t need things to be 100% rah rah — there’s room for critique and argument and dissent. But there are also limits. If you have things you really really really want to say about The Wandering Goose or 15th Ave or whatever else you are really really really mad about, there are places on the Internet to do it like Facebook etc.

  21. I loved it! The biscuit was amazing! The Mac and cheese…. Even more amazing. The people that work there are all friendly! I will definitely be back here soon!

  22. I had high hopes for this place but now after 3 pastry purchases and 3 samples, plus a look at the meals served while waiting, I don’t need to go back. I don’t understand why everyone thinks the biscuits are anything that special. I make great biscuits at home, as well as better cookies, and as for the bland cardamom bread, what am I missing? I’m happy to have it in the hood however, it’s not another downtrodden sleazy place, but the raves are a bit much. Now if we can just get rid of Canterbury and many others, 15th Ave. East will be a great place to eat.

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