CHS Pics | Capitol Hill fast food nostalgia

Red Robin once roosted where E Olive Way’s Starbucks stands today (Image: Courtesy Starbucks)

Last week’s post about the probability of a McDonald’s opening on Broadway — and not in Pike/Pine — cracked open the love/hate relationship we all have with fast food chains. Often unhealthy, usually 100% business optimized, we’ve noted that chains seem to, eventually, die on Capitol Hill. We’ve also noted the tide of nostalgia that sweeps in whenever we write about the chains — especially those dearly departed locations of yesteryear including but not limited to Taco TimeTaco Bell, KFC, a Jack in the Box and two Burger Kings, Boston Market, plus a Sizzler and a Skipper’s.

Here are a few pictures we’ve managed to collect of fast food restaurants Capitol Hill past. Thanks for sharing with us. If you have something more to share, let us know in comments or on Facebook.


Boston Market, apparently, came next (Image: Courtesy Starbucks)

Visiting the Broadway Jack in the Box was like visiting another planet. Thanks to Davey Jones for the picture.

Now buried beneath the Joule, Broadway’s Taco Bell. Thanks to Ella Li for the picture.


Fast Food Lloyd Wright
, originally uploaded by rutlo.
The Madison Taco Time, above, is not long departed. The location was lined up for a new apartment building but that plan is apparently in limbo.
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22 thoughts on “CHS Pics | Capitol Hill fast food nostalgia

  1. The KFC on Pine was the only one I’ve ever been to that sold spicy chicken (like Ezell’s or Popeye’s) and even had collard greens. I miss it, but I’m glad that Rancho Bravo is there now.

  2. No – Eddie Cotton’s Soul Food was on the east side of 15th and Madison. It became Thumpers in 1985, now Healeo. Across the street, The Cottage become Mikes on Madison in 1986, CC Slaughters North, CC’attle’s, now the the Bullet Center. Oscars became The Cuff in 1993.

  3. I don’t know if I’m unique in that I sort of miss what Capitol Hill was before we got the cookie-cutter five floors of apartments/condos over street level retail, but I miss that everything in the neighborhood didn’t have the same feel to it. Yeah, know maximizing people per square foot, but the neighborhood is getting to feel less and less unique with no projects that make me excited about my neighborhood. In my heart I know the real reasons. For one thing a land owner will get lots more dollar$ for their land investment. Getting rid of a one floor business (like the garage that was on Madison and 13th) in favor of a 5 over 1 was a more efficient land use, but I’m sort of tired of this stuff going up all over the neighborhood.

  4. Me, too. My first memory of Capitol Hill was back in the mid-90s when I was wandering down Broadway. In one block there was a woman playing the cello on her fire escape, a guy with a leash around his neck connected to a normal looking guy in khakis and a sweater vest and a dog dyed purple (which now doesn’t seem that outrageous). That was the day I decided to move here. Now, finding character like that is rare… Sadly.

  5. The only one I really miss is the Taco Time, but I can’t imagine ever setting foot in a McDonald’s if one does open. More and more reasons to leave the hill…

  6. There’s already a ‘methdonalds’ right downtown and also over on first hill… That’s good enough.
    We did good getting rid of the fast food on the hill. We don’t need the worst one of all, centralizing all the riff-raff…

  7. I appreciate that OUR Dick’s has a bar for eating outside, recently lowered in height but missing the earlier water fountain which was also a very nice thing. OF COURSE I eat there sometimes.

    I miss the Baskin-Robbins ice cream on Broadway — which looks about the same but isn’t.

    I’m glad to have Pagliacci.

  8. This is an absolutely wonderful post j. Such a fun way to consider the recent past of our neighborhood. And the dramatic shift in preferences for dining ;)

    My nostalgic moment: my first experience on Capitol Hill was a journey from the U-District in 2003 to hit up the Taco Bell on a late night munchie run. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t too inclined to stroll along Broadway alone back then.

  9. That Taco Bell was so foul! I know I’m not the only one that remembers that. It always smelled like urine walking by it. The Taco Time, however, was glorious.

  10. That Boston Market was a blight. The balloon was inflated using exhaust from the restaurant itself. The smell was something like rotten old macaroni, fryer grease, and boiling water all mixed. It could be smelled easily from any of the surrounding buildings on most days.

    Was very glad to see it go.

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