Celebrate the corner shop as Pike Grocery debuts at the base of Capitol Hill

Williamson on the phone, working on something new (Image: CHS)

As you celebrate the veterans of America’s armed services with free parking and reduced bus service, toss out a huzzah for a new corner shop at the base of Capitol Hill where Boren meets Pike.

Pike Grocery, the latest — and final! — creation of Won Williamson is slated to make its debut this Veterans Day Monday.

“This is my fourth,” Williamson said when CHS visited the about-to-open convenience, grocery, beer, wine, pet food, house goods, etc. store last week. “And my last.”

Earlier this summer when CHS first got word about the coming Pike Grocery, we called Williamson the Master of Mercantile for his string of recent grocery openings including the Thomas Street Market he debuted in 2011. Williamson didn’t say where he was turning his attention next but he did indicate he would hold onto ownership of Pike Grocery — at least for awhile — instead of selling it to relatives like he said the plan had been with Thomas Street.


(Images: CHS)

Pike is the typical Williamson production. A wall of chips, lots of quality beer, some wine, enough fresh vegetables to stave off scurvy and impress your boyfriends and girlfriends and enough other stuff to save a trip up the Hill to QFC or keep you in the game until Amazon Fresh can stop by. There are a few other corner markets within walking distance but we probably wouldn’t really considering buying a block of cheddar cheese at any of them. Call us snobs.

Pike Grocery will also have coffee and offer deli sandwiches. It’s a bodega like the rest — but in birth phase. The opening of this kind of store is your opportunity to witness the formation of a thing that is among those that are “just there” as it becomes so. Enjoy it.

Pike should also be celebrated for putting a seemingly permanently empty retail space into motion. There are a handful of windows around the Hill that have never seen life beyond the stay of a temporary sales or construction office. Some seem doomed to their fate. Here is one that has transcended. Well done, Mr. Williamson. Best of luck on what comes next.

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7 thoughts on “Celebrate the corner shop as Pike Grocery debuts at the base of Capitol Hill

  1. I love Thomas St. they have a great selection of basics as you mentioned to hold me off on my Amazon Fresh order and they make one hell of a Sammie too! Will check out Pike Grocery on my next trek back up the hill.

  2. First off, it’s Benson’s Grocery, not Bensen Grocery. And if this new place is anything like Thomas Street, no, Benson’s Grocery is NOT in the same league. It had nothing to do with being a slob–the inventory just doesn’t compare.

  3. I used to live on Summit and Thomas always hitting up the store which was FANTASTIC! I wish them luck on the new store… I will have to take a stroll in and buy something… Btw the sandwiches are AMAZING!

  4. Friendly clerks. Phenomenal deli sandwiches, with high-quality deli meats individually sliced for each order (rather than pre-sliced sitting there getting dry). Clean, always tidily organized, well lit (it’s amazing to my New York sensibilities that its Capitol Hill competition fails these basic standards.) Right kind of food and wine selection suitable to neighborhood tastes (yeah, yeah, so we’re yuppies and we like yuppy snacks, which Thomas St. Market accommodates — you got a problem with that?). Best of success with the new offspring on Pike Street.

  5. BTW, is this 24 hrs?
    I will be shocked if this doesn’t do really well. Every other day there are thousands of people in the WA State convention center, and this is really convenient for there. Looks very nicely done. Congratulations.