Capitol Hill food+drink | Meet the man creating homes for Hill’s indie bars and restaurants — Plus, Capitol Club rumors

IMG_8014If there’s such a thing as the “Capitol Hill look” for bars, restaurants, and shops in Seattle, then developer Jerry Everard is at least partially responsible for it. The allure of a preserved space can be hard to pin down — is it the exposed heavy timber and brick, vaulted ceilings, a metropolitan shine to lots old-world charm?

“It’s not that complicated, it’s simply finding the beauty in what’s there,” Everard told CHS while sitting inside Oddfellows Cafe. “New construction is all clean lines … the basic structural elements in old buildings have a lot of natural beauty.”

Everard is behind some of the most successful preservation projects on and off the Hill. At the most basic level, that means Everard buys up old buildings and finds tenants that will create cool “gathering places” to fill them.

Everard's latest project will transform this former warehouse on the backside of Pike/Pine

Everard’s latest project will transform this former warehouse on the backside of Pike/Pine

After taking a break from development in the mid-2000s, he’s back looking for tenants in two Capitol Hill buildings. Everard is working to secure tenants for his Central Agency building at 10th and Seneca and for the newly open space next to Six Arms at 300 E Pike (he calls the project the 6 Legs building). Both projects are in prime Pike/Pine territory that will likely be defining neighborhood spaces in years to come.

So what characteristics make for a prime Jerry Everard project? Everard said he’s partial to corner buildings built in the early teens and early twenties. “Places with great bones,” he said. “There’s no substitute, you can’t really recreate it.”

Everard’s latest project, The Central Agency building, is right up his alley. Built in 1917, Everard said the warehouse had been mostly overlooked in the development community, due in part to its blah-inducing corrugated aluminum facade. CHS recently toured the former File Box warehouse, and reported on Everard’s plans for 3 to 4 tenants that will feature some mix of restaurant, bar, and retail.

The 2,500 square foot space next to Six Arms was recently vacated by longtime Seattle architect David Fukui. Everard said he’s still looking for a food+drink tenant there as well. He told CHS the space would be ideal for retail or “a really cute bar.” He said he’s aware how important it is for landlords to make conscious choices about tenants.

“I take a long term perspective. It’s finding  the right mix of businesses who will create a better neighborhood,” he said. “I hope they’re in there for 20 years.”

What makes Everard stand out among other developers is his success with local, independent tenants. As a young lawyer he struck gold on his first project, opening the Crocodile Cafe in 1989. Everard sold eventually his stake in the revered music venue, but the Crocodile remains a staple in the Seattle music scene.

The Neumos corner as it looked in the early 20th Century

The Neumos corner as it looked in the early 20th Century

As if owning one iconic music venue wouldn’t be enough, Everard opened Moe’s Mo’ Rockin’ Cafe in 1993. The club lasted four glorious years and shut down. Everard ran through a series of tenants until 2003 when he decided to partner up and re-open the club under a new name: Neumos. Along with Moe Bar and the Pike Street Fish Fry, the rock club development has been one of the most successful and recognizable preservation projects in Seattle.

“I realized what excites me is being able to take a diamond in the rough and polish it up,” Everard said. “I’ve always done what I think will make financial sense, but I love bringing things back to life.”

After the original Moe’s shuttered in 1997, Everard left the Hill for a series of preservation developments in Belltown. He eventually came back to Capitol Hill with the 300 E Pine building, which houses the Pine Box and his law firm, Groff Murphy. Next came the Sole Repair building at 1001 E Pike, which now houses Quinn’s. In 2005 Everard joined together with fellow neighborhood developer and Garage owner Alex Rosenast to develop the Six Arms building.

Outside of development, Everard said he spends about one third of his time supporting non-profits, especially those focused on the arts. His latest project has been working with One Reel to get Bumbershoot back on sound financial footing. Everard was also integral in getting 12th Avenue Arts off the ground, sitting on the board for several years.

Amid his development projects and community engagement, Everard still maintains a limited number of arts and development-focused clients at his law firm Groff Murphy.

Everard’s ideas for the future of Capitol Hill also extend beyond buildings. He said he would love to see more green space and pedestrian-only areas around the neighborhood. One idea: a pedestrian only green-way along 10th and 11th that extends south from Cal Anderson into Pike/Pine. Lined with successful restaurants, bars and shops, of course.

As The Central Agency building pushes out into the frontier of Pike/Pine, it’s no overstatement to say Everard’s projects are, and will continue to be, defining features in the neighborhood. As a developer, Everard said he wants to create a better community by allowing indie businesses to flourish, and that’s exactly what preservation development does best.

“As local owners, we can choose to rent to local, independents,” he said. “That kind of space continues to make sense as local, independent space.”

But preservation does not mean Everard is afraid of change — he said it’s just the opposite.

“I don’t want Capitol Hill to stay the same, I want it to grow and change,” he said. “I just hope it continues to be dominated by local independents.”

Capitol Hill food+drink notes by jseattle

  • (Image: Joe Mabel/Wikimedia with permission)

    (Image: Joe Mabel/Wikimedia with permission)

    The Capitol Club has been doing its E Pine thing since Linda Derschang took an old restaurant and created one of her early nightlife ventures in the ’90s but much of its most recent life has seen the E Pine nightspot on the market — they were asking $1.1 million back in winter, 2011. Seattle Gay Scene reports that the club is apparently changing hands. Current ownership Robin Cohen, who took over the club in 2008, and business partner Leihulu Iwi’ula haven’t yet responded to inquiries about the report or confirmed the sale. A check of liquor license applications reveals nothing about what comes next — yet. Also, the rumors about a planned development to replace the building? There are no records on file for the club’s address. Given the multiyear process required, you won’t have to worry about that kind of change for a long time. We’ll update as soon as we hear back from Cohen and Iwi’ula.

  • Vito's business partners Greg Lundgren and Jeff Scott in 2010

    Vito’s business partners Greg Lundgren and Jeff Scott in 2010

    Speaking of 60th anniversaries, the reborn Vito’s celebrates its 1953 birth on First Hill this weekend.

  • 33 Capitol Hill places to eat and drink to support Country Doctor community health clinics. Eat Out on Capitol Hill is today 9/10/13.
  • Cider Week continues on Capitol Hill and beyond.
  • In case you missed it, World of Beer is coming to Capitol Hill.
  • Soon jockeying for leases on 15th Ave E and E Olive Way? Retail marijuana shops.
  • “Seattle’s Most Imaginative Bartender” works on Capitol Hill, naturally.
  • “I would say this one draws more Capitol Hill area and Anchovies & Olives tends to draw more from Madison Park…
  • Abay is undoubtedly one of the best Ethiopian restaurants in Seattle…
  • A freakin’ $9 roll?
  • “Our waiter arrives then and Linda orders a Sapphire Martini with three olives and a sparkling water…
  • Food writing class slated for Richard Hugo House — “This class is designed for aspiring and working food writers, bloggers, and even seasoned culinary professionals who want to take a moment to step back and reconsider the way they approach their craft.”
  • Kinda good idea: E Pine’s Rival Fitness says it’s starting midday discount rates for Capitol Hill food+drink service workers
  • Somebody ate all of the ice cream (and frozen custard) on Capitol Hill.
  • Slightly off Hill, but CHS advertiser the GSBA is hosting a cocktail competition featuring plenty of Hill talent.
  • Von Trapp’s is, of course, celebrating Oktoberfest — starts September 21st:

Von Trapp’s, Seattle’s own slice of Bavaria, is the natural place to celebrate Oktoberfest, Munich’s 200 year-old beer bash. Oktoberfest runs from September 21 to October 6 and Von Trapp’s will have a tented outdoor biergarten with picnic tables galore open until 10pm every night, with regular hours inside. Oktoberfest beers, tastings and classes, giant pretzels, trivia and tunes—The Von Trapp’s gang has got a packed line-up for the fall festival.

Bar Manager Doug Wargo will be bringing on more than 14 Oktoberfest beers over the two plus weeks—and dedicated fans will be rewarded: they’ll have punch cards, and anyone who tries all the beers during Oktoberfest will earn a liter stoneware mug. Prost!

 

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