Memorial Day weekend in Seattle may not be the gateway to summer it is in other parts of the nation. But that doesn’t stop the city from looking forward to summer things like ice cream cookie sandwiches.
You’ll have to wait for October (still summer, no?) to enjoy it but an “ice cream cookie sandwich” of a project is being planned for the new four-story apartment development rising at 19th Ave E and Mercer on the quieter side of Capitol Hill.
Hello Robin will pair ice cream entrepreneur — and new mom — Molly Moon Neitzel with first-time cookie shop owner Robin Wehl Martin.
“They are small and they are cake-y and they’re different from most cookies out there,” Wehl Martin says of the offerings her new shop and cafe will bring to 19th Ave E including flavors exotic — habanero chocolate chip, sweet onion and pecan — and flavors a little more conventional.
The project will join an already hotly-anticipated neighbor in Linda Derschang’s restaurant project Tallulah’s:
According to a representative, Tallulah’s is planned as a restaurant and bar cut from similar cloth to Derschang’s Smith and Oddfellows but with a lighter, brighter take and more of a focus on the simple, rustic food the sister locations have specialized in. It will start as a dinner and brunch restaurant — no lunch — with plans to be open seven days a week in the eastern reaches of Capitol Hill’s leafier, quieter and more wow there are a lot of kids in here-ier end of things. Tallulah’s will have around 75 seats and what is being described as an enormous patio.
Both projects are planning October debuts.
Hello Robin will combine a cookie shop and cafe with a Molly Moon ice cream counter spreading the sweet treat entrepreneur’s reach deeper into Capitol Hill. Capitol Hill resident Moon Neitzel brought her Wallingford-born ice cream start-up to our neck of the woods in April, 2009.
Wehl Martin, who lives a few blocks from the planned shop with her husband and three children, says the Graham Baba-designed space will have plenty of room to sit and enjoy coffee and a baked good — or a cookie and some ice cream. Coffee will be provided by a rotating set of roasters and will be strictly pour-over — but Wehl Martin promises a relatively speedy technique that will let you get a move-on if you’re not in the mood to linger. You’ll also be a block from nearby Fuel if you prefer your caffeine delivered in alternative manner.
The stretch of 19th Ave E is home, of course, to longtime 19th Ave concerns Monsoon and the Kingfish Cafe. The addition of Tallulah’s and Wehl Martin and Moon Neitzel’s project will further extend the Hill’s food and drink economy into the somewhat sleepy northeastern edge. It will also present nearby residents an occasional dilemma — delicious cookies at Hello Robin, North Hill Bakery or the Volunteer Park Cafe? Biscuits at The Wandering Goose? Pastry at Bakery Nouveau? Choices!
For Wehl Martin, the decision to jump into the baking business with both feet was a bit impulsive. An amateur baker with a few local whoopie pie bake-off titles under her belt, Wehl Martin said that her experience helping The Wandering Goose get started on 15th Ave E was amazing — and exhausting. She says she emerged from the opening convinced she didn’t want to run her own bakery.
Friends with Moon Neitzel and her husband thanks to an exchange of backyard chickens — we’re not kidding — Wehl Martin credits a well-timed text message and Moon Neitzel’s support with inspiring her to take a chance on the venture.
“She gave me courage,” Wehl Martin said. “I’ve been making cookies for the neighborhood for the however many years and I’ve never taken money for baked goods.”
Welh Martin said she is happy to be able to learn from Moon Neitzel and, she hopes, continue to pass along the goodness.
“I think people were good to her and I think she takes that and is good to other people,” Wehl Martin said.