Capitol Hill food+drink| Bombay Bistro, Von Trapps, Pike Pine Diner, Speckled & Drake, to name a few

What? You’re opening a new bar and restaurant in Pike/Pine, too? Drop us a line.

  • The ‘Raja of old (Image: CHS)

    By the time E Pike’s Maharaja was shut down to start the New Year in 2011, it had attained legendary Hillebrity status as the neighborhood’s most wretched hive of scum and villainy. But long ago, before it was sold to new buyers, it was simply a pretty decent Indian restaurant. The restauranteurs who founded the ‘Raja back in the day are back again on Capitol Hill.

The Bombay Bistro is slated to open at 12th and Pike later this month in the space shuttered Chao Bistro left behind when it suddenly closed this summer. Satinder Virk continues to operate the West Seattle Maharaja. The ‘Raja name, however, was apparently too sullied here on the Hill. So Bombay Bistro, it is.


CHS talked to manager George about the new space and the ownership’s plans. “So, what was Chao Bistro?” he asked. The Bombay Bistro, it seems, will be a straight-up, honest-to-goodness Indian restaurant on the edge of the still “hot” E Pike food+drink+nightlife entertainment district. George promised excellent food, reasonable prices and affordable drinks. Are there Indian cocktails? “Most definitely.” Apparently somebody in West Seattle can vouch for their “watermelon shots,” by the way.

George of Bombay Bistro (Image: CHS)

The challenge for Bombay will be surviving in a competitive food and drink landscape where it is up against so many financed, business-planned, socially-connected concepts. We’ve written about the challenges faced by a place like Ayutthaya — its solution included expanding its bar in its most recent upgrades. Another E Pike ethnic restaurant, Ballet, continues to survive if not thrive in the midst of it all despite watching the clock with their landlord. Pho Le, by the way, continues to serve in the old Maharaja home even as a massive, multi-million dollar development comes together next door.

With a gene pool including backers from Cowgirls, Inc., Venom and Amber, it’s not surprising Chao Bistro went the entertainment and bar route. George said Bombay has ripped all of the televisions down. “This is a restaurant,” he said. Chao’s left-behind big bar, on the other hand, is staying.

  • Speaking of Ballet, CHS checked in with much-loved E Pike eatery to find out its status after more than a year since word first spread that it was on month-to-month status in its current location. The word from Ballet is that things are still good and that they’ll know what comes next in coming months. Their contingency plan new space — “within minutes” — remains available, CHS was told.
  • The Pike Pine Diner? That’s the name on the liquor license application, at least. The 24-hour diner in the old Basic Plumbing space is slated for a spring 2013 opening.
  • OK, then, how does Speckled & Drake grab you? That’ll be the appellation hung on the former Living Room when it reopens soon on E Olive Way.
  • You’re tough to please. You like Von Trapps? Because that’s how you say 12th Ave beer hall in Poquitos-ese.
  • First pictures from inside 15th Ave E’s new bakery and cafe, The Wandering Goose. More than 200 biscuits sold on Day One, if you’re counting.
  • Chino’s finally found a buyer and is closed. CHS met the man. We’ll introduce you to him shortly. We think you’ll find his plan for the space intriguing.
  • We suppose it’s time to start counting the days until Bauhaus is in Ballard and not on Capitol Hill.
  • Apparently Bethany Jean Clement was listening to your conversation the last time you went to Skillet.
  • She’s also way on top of the everchanging chef position at Smith.
  • How about a Calf & Kid Super Cheeseburger?
  • For reals? Blue Moon Burgers free birthday burger?
  • Bait Shop has a Facebook page. “Boats, like whiskey, are all good.”
  • Take a field trip. “New places to eat and drink in University Village”
  • Marination’s West Seattle cousin Ma Kai is open.
  • High 5/Fuel are gearing up for an October of “Fuel for the Cure” — 

The team behind High 5 Pie and Fuel Coffee announced today that it will donate a portion of all proceeds for the month of October to Gilda’s Club Seattle as part of High 5 Pie and Fuel Coffee’s “Fuel the Cure” campaign to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. High 5 Pie’s Capitol Hill location will feature pink-framed storefront windows to commemorate the occasion.

  • PR sez: “8oz. Burger Bar has introduced a new lunch offer: Classic 8oz. Burger with American cheese and fries is just $8.95 Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.”

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9 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink| Bombay Bistro, Von Trapps, Pike Pine Diner, Speckled & Drake, to name a few

  1. Sorry, George, but that spot is pure restaurant death. I hope he beats the curse because the hill needs a great Indian place. (Mirch Masala is ok but not exceptional…)

  2. is getting close. Yuki toured me though the space yesterday, it’s looking good! Can’t wait to have my morning cofee place back now with full restaurant, bakery and bar.

  3. I’m certain that you meant to read Basic Plumbing, not Steamworks

    The Pike Pine Diner? That’s the name on the liquor license application, at least. The 24-hour diner in the old Steamworks space is slated for a spring 2013 opening.

  4. Yes, I can’t even remember all the names of the failed restaurants in that location. But I wish Bombay Bistro well….it will prosper if it serves authentic Indian food, and hopefully they will be able to break the “curse.”

  5. Still no news on Black Coffee setting up in the old Traveller’s store front? There’s been some evening activity inside and now colored panels are up in the windows.