Block Party guys teaming up on 24-hour Capitol Hill diner

They may have gone their separate ways on Capitol Hill Block Party but David Meinert and Jason Lajuenesse aren’t done tag-teaming on Pike/Pine nightlife. In the home of former sex club Basic Plumbing — later Tribe — the duo has announced plans to open a new 24-hour diner in the heart of the neighborhood:

David Meinert (Big Mario’s, The 5 Point Cafe, Onto Entertainment) and Jason Lajuenesse (Big Mario’s, Neumo’s, Moe Bar, Capitol Hill Block Party) are joining forces again on a new restaurant/ bar project on Capitol Hill,  at 1507 10th Ave, in the former Basic Plumbing space, around the corner from The Comet and next door to Elliott Bay Books.

The yet to be named diner and lounge will be open 24 hours every day and similar in style and vibe to the infamous 5 Point Cafe in Belltown, offering what promises to be the stiffest drinks on the Hill, along with huge portions of home cooked traditional diner fare. No pretentious deconstructed anything, just real food for real people, at great prices. Opening Spring 2013.

In May, CHS reported on the transition of ownership of the Capitol Hill music festival and the rise of Lajuenesse’s role in running the successful summer event. Meinert has added food and drink ventures to his entrepreneurial activities over the years including the opening of Big Mario’s on E Pike and his purchase of the venerable 5 Point  in Belltown in 2009.

In August, we reported that the owners of the building the new diner will call home were improving the space in hopes of attracting a new tenant. Basic Plumbing/Tribe closed suddenly in the location early this year after 17 years on Capitol Hill.

The 24-hour food+drink space on the Hill is, apparently, ripe for the picking. Only Glo’s has waded seriously into the business of middle-of-the-night food and drink thing and even that is restricted to the weekend. Other late night players have come and gone — currently Li’l Woody’s remains dedicated — but stalwart IHOP continues to set the bleary pace.

The changes for 10th Ave continue. Around the corner from the legendary Comet, the street is now symbolic of the new Pike/Pine. Finished as 2008 became 2009Oddfellows has set the standard for the new Capitol Hill casual — note: it’s a high bar. The Odd Fellows building it called home has mostly been transformed from dilapidated — but affordable — artist enclave. April 2010’s arrival of Elliott Bay Book Co. from Pioneer Square has cemented the change. Super upscale design and clothes shop Totokaelo now calls the street home. Even Rancho Bravo, resident since spring 2009 and dirt cheap, is part of the transition in Pike/Pine. And it will likely soon be part of even more change to come.

Last month, CHS reported on the early plans to develop a new apartment building on the parcel Rancho Bravo now calls home. The developer and land owner see the space as a “gateway” opportunity for the new Pike/Pine. It’s probably a few years away. When the seven-story building’s residents move in, they’ll be a stone’s throw away from all the good times and late night hash browns Pike/Pine can offer.

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14 thoughts on “Block Party guys teaming up on 24-hour Capitol Hill diner

  1. loooooooove the 5 point. Can’t wait for this. Would be hilarious if they alluded to the former use of the space – in a way that made me still want to eat there ;)

  2. I was at The Square Knot in Georgetown about a month ago and saw Jason Lajuenesse having breakfast there at the bar next to Jack Endino. Musta been getting ideas. It’s an excellent idea and exactly what the Hill needs. If they do it anything like Square Knot they’ll be doing it right

  3. Come on David and Jason…get the owner to do more than spruce up an old sex joint. This building is an eye sore that has slowly rotted on one of the best corners of a vibrant neighborhood. Imagine what someone like Liz Dunn could do with this property. These guys should try and convince the owner that they’ll invest in his property if he does the same. It’s practically a crime to let that building go to waste.

    As for the diner: I’m all for it. But what about all that basement space from Basic Plumbing? How can that be put to good use? I guess they could always keep the shower ;)

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