B&O, Bauhaus share journey to Ballard and, maybe, both to rise again on Capitol Hill

Sunday, there will be much to celebrate on Capitol Hill. There will also be a funeral — of sorts — as the much loved B&O Espresso closes its doors after 36 years on E Olive Way. But, like a good, soapy opera, our hero is not dead. And to give the story true depth, an equally heroic character is mirroring the action with a cliffhanger funeral of its own. B&O and E Pine at Melrose’s Bauhaus are soon to go to heaven — also known as Ballard — where they shall remain. But there are plots afoot for both to rise again here on the main stage of Capitol Hill.

“We are designing a cafe space and are in deep discussions with them about it,” land owner and developer John Stoner tells CHS about his six-story apartment project at E Olive Way and Belmont and owner Majed Lukatah’s longtime Capitol Hill cafe.

How much faith can we put into the plot twists of the on again, off again relationship between stoner and the B&O. Stoner said it was too early to address rumors that the project will be called the B&O Building. But perhaps the buzz is a positive sign.


Valencia Mochas, originally uploaded by krulich.

What’s for certain is the old cafe is a goner. Stoner said the demolition should come sometime in mid-January. At least 18 months of construction will follow. In the meantime, Lukatah is making plans for a new start in Ballard.

 He’ll be joined in the north by Joel Radin’s Bauhaus destined to open in a new Ballard location by February. CHS reported last May that the coffeeshop had a deal in place to return to its Pine at Melrose location when the seven-story apartment project planned for that corner is complete in early 2015. But like the uncertainty surrounding B&O’s Capitol Hill future following its displacement, Radin said that not everything is certain given the enormity of the project and the time until the new space is complete. In the meantime, Bauhaus Capitol HIll will live on even as its Ballard twin is born. It could be as late as sumer 2013 before the coffee shop closes its Pine location, Radin said.

The shop will host an End of an Era art show this month to mark the change.

Inside Bauhaus (Image: John Feit with permission to CHS)

Before Ballard gets too freaked out by the amount of Hill overlap it is experiencing: Bauhaus Ballard is, indeed, subleasing a portion of its space to Twice Sold Tales but the Ballard TST will share ownership with the University District Store. Harvard Twice Sold’s Jamie Lutton tells CHS she is helping the new Ballard shop out but the business belongs to John Watkins who took his U District operation online only in 2011. It’s splitting (cat?) hairs, we suppose. And, anyhow, we put up with a few Ballard imports around these parts.

So, go ahead and mourn on Sunday. And be ready to mourn again this summer. But also be ready to celebrate. Maybe that whole B&O building thing will come true.

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14 thoughts on “B&O, Bauhaus share journey to Ballard and, maybe, both to rise again on Capitol Hill

  1. @Capitolhillresident I see that complaint on Yelp too but I’ve never had an issue… I’ve never struck up a conversation with the employees (which is fine with me) but they have been far from rude.

    There are a lot of us who spend lots of time (and money) at Bauhaus because it’s one of the most laid back places to do work.. As a freelancer, it’s nice to know that I can go somewhere at 11pm and still get a few hours of work in if needed.. That’ll be the biggest hole for many. Can anyone recommend a late-night bar that doesn’t mind students or “laptopers?”

  2. I certainly will not miss the rude customers that go to the Bauhaus and in the summer block the sidewalk spreading out oblivious to the fact that people need to get by. And thier snatchy looks and comments get so old.

  3. I buy coffee from Bauhaus almost every night of the week and have never experienced anything but high-quality customer service from all of their staff. I’m sad to see them leave (hope they return to the hill soon).

  4. Before Bauhaus that corner was sketchy and dark and mostly a “hurry up and keep walking” corner to get to downtown. Since it opened in 1994 its been an anchor point in the area’s appeal. Yet again, indie businesses create desirable urban living space, then get crushed by out of town or out of neighborhood development that would have had zero interest before the indie space and people made the area desirable. And once the reformation is complete, who will want to sit in a B and O or a Bauhaus that looks and feels like a Starbucks in a shiny shitty new building?

  5. Pingback: Demolition begins for B&O building as six-story apartment project digs in | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

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