CHS has chronicled the news, big and small, of the boom of the food+drink economy of Capitol Hill. In 2011, we told the stories of a rapid explosion of big investments in the neighborhood’s bars and restaurants coinciding with a wave of new development across the Hill. In 2012, the neighborhood’s biggest players strengthened their hands and put even more on the table.
- CHS Year in Review 2011 | The year Capitol Hill food+drink broke
- CHS Year in Review 2012 | Capitol Hill food+drink doubles down
2013, then, saw a year filled with new neighbors as the growing bar and restaurant scene attracted big talent and encouraged the Hill’s biggest players to further invest. Meanwhile, smaller plays in smaller spaces made by smaller — but growing — names also changed the game. Through it all, there were the dramas and sad passings of a neighborhood experiencing ongoing change and an entertainment business landscape that has never been described as forgiving. Below, you’ll find some of the biggest, most important and most interesting restaurant and bar stories we covered in 2013.
Pros move in
A burgeoning restaurant and bar economy attracted big talent and bigger investments.
- Bakery Nouveau didn’t skip a beat in bringing William Leaman’s perfect croissants to Capitol Hill in a retail space that had stood empty for years.
- Not all the food+drink titans busy in 2013 were new to the neighborhood. Pike/Pine nightlife kings David Meinert and Jason Lajuenesse teamed up to create 24-hour diner Lost Lake. Oh, they’re also overhauling the Comet. And The Canterb… well, more on that soon.
- Another big player with deep Hill roots readied her new investment in a 2013 story that hasn’t exactly happened yet. Linda Derschang’s new Tallulah’s is set to open before the end of the year.
- Team Poquitos launched the German bier hall amusement park that is Von Trapp’s.
- The McCracken Tough boys were at it again as The Old Sage finally opened on 12th Ave.
Freddy Rivas could easily fit in the “smaller ideas” section but dude’s a mini-titan. The Rancho Bravo front-man got into the burger business with Broadway’s Freddy Junior’s.
- Willy Boutillier, the man behind Seattle’s much-loved French classic Maximilien, brought Le Zinc to 15th and Pine.
- A longtime Madrona favorite, Dulces finally found a home on Capitol Hill.
- It might be the first place the team has created all on their lonesome, but the Big Fun project at 11th/Pine definitely isn’t a rookie operation. Slated to open in the New Year.
- More big fun — Rachel Marshall and Kate Opatz of Montana fame announced they were opening margaritas and chips and cheese purveyor Nacho Borracho on Broadway.
- Word spread that Team Liberty was prepping plans for a sequel on E Olive Way.
- Eric Stapelman, a provocative and pretty damn interesting chef, announced he was bringing Shibumi Ramenya to Capitol Hill.
- Ethan Stowell opened Bar Cotto, his third joint on 15th Ave.
- World of Beer, a massive national franchise, opened on E Pine.
- Sam’s Tavern started the year with a New Year’s Eve debut.
Smaller ideas in smaller spaces
2013 was dotted by new investments by first-timers and the occasional larger player as the neighborhood squeezed in new restaurants and bars wherever it could find space.
- Kevin Burzell and Alysson Wilson squeezed Kedai Makan onto E Olive Way — and it was good… so good!
- Born at the Broadway Farmers Market, Juicebox debuted its first cafe on 12th Ave.
- A longtime Capitol Hill barman opened his own joint and brought craft cocktails to Broadway with Witness. Mini-trend: Bar Sue also went Southern on Capitol Hill.
- Vostok Dumpling House intrigued diners with a promise of to-go Russian dumplings worthy of the homeland.
- Twin sisters Lyss Lewis and Natalie Delucchi created sweet little Pie Bar in the former home of Saley Crepes.
- ‘Experimental’-natured Cafe ABoDegas opened on 15th Ave.
- Montreal-inspired Resto took a spin in a restaurant space with an infamous past.
- Moti Mahal squeezes an Indian buffet into a former Taco del Mar on Broadway.
- Chico Madrid brought the bocadillo to the Belroy – though small, its backers are hardly small names.
- It wasn’t all openings and closings. We asked Capitol Hill food and drink owners how Seattle can best move toward a $15 minimum wage. This is what they said.
- A contingent of Capitol Hill entertainment royalty turned their loyalties to eventual mayoral victor Ed Murray.
- Capitol Cider made folks wait before its 2013 debut.
- Ethiopian restaurant Abay attempted to make a go of it in a challenged North Capitol Hill space.
- Torteria Barriga Llena and La Cocina de Oaxaca brought even more Mexican food to the Hill.
- CHS predicted Broadway’s glut of “limited-service” restaurants would lead to a shuttering or two.
- Some made news by *not* doing something. The man behind Havana opted to pull out of his plans for a Roman trattoria on E Pike.
- E Pike coffee culture braced for a massive new neighbor.
- Following some neighborhood turmoil and change, Volunteer Park Cafe settled in for the long haul.
- A rare upscale player, Olivar turned five.
- Dick’s Broadway has an eventful year. First, this guy showed up. Then, the legendary drive-in turned 60.
- Ada’s included a stylish cafe in its transformation of a 15th Ave E house into its new store.
Here are some of the places we said goodbye to in 2013. *Note: A few of them will be back.
- Bauhaus completed its first chapter after 20 years at Melrose and Pine.
- Bill’s Off Broadway started a 20-month timeout following one last Seahawks Monday Night Football game.
- The Canterbury will get an overhaul — and new owners — in 2014.
- North Hill Bakery passed — Nuflours vegan bakery will replace it.
- Dinette announced it was leaving E Olive Way and searching for a new, larger home.
- “Vegan bar” The Highline stopped serving food.
- The Social couldn’t keep its liquor license — and, therefore, couldn’t stay in business on E Olive Way.
- The Capitol Club is gone after 17 years.
- The Bus Stop made its last, um, stop.
- The Grill on Broadway ended a 22-year run. Now, nobody can afford the lease.