Capitol Hill food+drink | Rancho Bravo enters burger business as Freddy’s to open on Broadway

Nothing is wasted. Was Pita Pit, then Grubwich. Now? Freddy's (Image: CHS)

Nothing is wasted. Was Pita Pit, then Grubwich. Now? Freddy’s (Image: CHS)

Spring of 2009 brought a quintessential moment in Pike/Pine food+drink history. Freddy Rivas — pretty much out of nowhere (OK, Wallingford) — opened Rancho Bravo in the wasted husk of a global fast food conglomerate. This summer, Rivas is about to reveal a similarly stealthy and affordable move — Freddy’s, a hamburger joint, is about to open on Broadway.

The secretive — and busy — Rivas declined to comment for this post but people involved with the plans say the goal is to open Freddy’s this next week. UPDATE: Good things take time. Expect an opening the week of July 8th.

The space where the new Rivas venture is being prepared has been empty since the 2012 shutter of the short-lived Grubwich which, in turn, had replaced the much-loved (by drunk people) Pita Pit. We’re told Rivas has held the lease for much of that time, staking his claim on Broadway as a shuffle of Broadway fast food restaurants took shape. The property’s owner, by the way, is Seattle Central.

Plans for Freddy’s menu are a complete mystery — we only know that this is a hamburger restaurant and will, like Rancho Bravo, appeal to the hungry masses of Pike/Pine and south Broadway with affordable, handmade offerings. Unlike Rancho Bravo as balance to the pricier fare of nearby concepts like Poquitos or Barrio, you can expect Freddy’s to find some middle ground between the upscale Capitol Hill burger universe and perennial penny-pincher favorite, Dick’s. There appears to be no application for a liquor license at the location at this time.

Rivas is the only person listed in the venture’s corporate documents as the entrepreneur continues to bootstrap his way forward. The move to open Freddy’s comes after plans to open another Rancho Bravo elsewhere in the city have apparently been put on hold. Rumors of other possible Rivas projects hit our radar from time to time. The brick and mortar version of his powerhouse of cheap but usually pretty damn good Mexican food, Rancho Bravo, is on property being primed for development as a signature “gateway” apartment building connecting Cal Anderson to Pike/Pine. In 2009, CHS was in disbelief that a place as perfect for the immediate neighborhood’s food and drink needs could possibly last — we were right but only kind of. Back then, Rivas told us he expected Rancho had another four and a half years before he needed to worry about making way for the coming development. According to that clock, it might also be time for Rancho Bravo to consider new plans.

But, for now, there’s no need to fret. You still have Rancho Bravo. Soon, you’ll have Freddy’s.  You’ll probably be able to enjoy it for at least another four and a half years.

Poppy Pride: "Jerry and Stevie's wedding (last week) is made all the more sweet by yesterday's DOMA demise." (via Facebook)

Poppy Pride: “Jerry and Stevie’s wedding (last week) is made all the more sweet by yesterday’s DOMA demise.” (via Facebook)

Capitol Hill food+drink notes

  • Gregg Holcomb, the longtime Capitol Hill barman, behind the under construction Broadway cocktail bar Witness, tells CHS that the project is taking longer than planned but appears on track for late this month.
  • Pick your theme. Capitol Hill’s unique ability to kill chains/mucho mas Mexican restaurants/saturation of “limited service” restaurants on Broadway. All of the above? Qdoba Broadway is RIP. Meanwhile, you can sublease the Mod Pizza space next door.
  • If you missed it, Indian concern Moti Mahal will be putting a failed Taco Del Mar to work across the street from Freddy’s.
  • Seattle looking at “restaurant regulatory reform.” Ostensibly, it would help the little guy.
  • Not sure you can get any of these places to pull a shot after midnight but good list. Who is gonna fill the Bauhaus void?
  • The what? “About a week out from installing the largest draft shot system on the West Coast
  • “Mama Tits and Sylvia O’Stayformore Explore the Intersection of Brunch and Drag
  • Lost Lake launches breakfast happy hour. Come to think of it, maybe launches isn’t the best word to use when it comes to breakfast happy hours. We’ll think about it.
  • CHS advertiser Bimbos now delivers, Seattle Met says. We know, we know. Everybody delivers thanks to new fangled start-up dot com app things etc. But Bimbos is doing it in house (or at least managing the process) so you won’t have one of those things when you pay the middle man to find out the restaurant is closed. Probably. Also, Seattle Met, we note you added an apostrophe to “Bimbo’s.” We’ve done the same but check out the signs, site, etc. It’s Bimbos. Also, Poquitos. We don’t know why.
  • Kenyetta Carter, head chef at the Kingfish Café, talks grilling with KUOW.
  • “The Quarter Lounge is now officially a perfect bar…

  • You’ve probably already heard about the Yelp Wordmap feature, right? Here’s the Seattle heat map for “hipster”
    Screen Shot 2013-07-02 at 11.27.09 AMToo bad it doesn’t workthe way it is supposed to! Broken: yelp.com/wordmap/seattle/jseattleissexy 
  • We get asked about the old, burned out Galerias space all the time. As far as we know, there were never any arrests in the arson investigation following the fire that destroyed a good portion of the restaurant. When we last talked to the property’s management, the goal was to find a new tenant who would be part of rebuilding the space. Apparently, that search continues.
  • While we’re cleaning up old business, we’re told by the state booze board the appeal in the Social’s liquor license case was dropped at the last minute. So that story’s done… for now.
  • The August Seattle Street Food Fest at Cal Anderson is getting hyped up. The producer pops up in the CHS comments to explain the business behind the festival.
  • Also, Pride:

Rainbow Shot, originally uploaded by aaronbrethorst.

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5 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink | Rancho Bravo enters burger business as Freddy’s to open on Broadway

  1. I did have the internal apostrophe debate re: Bimbos/Bimbo’s but went with what’s in our house style guide. Such machinations and lofty decisions are above my pay grade.

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