As busy as the year in food and drink was in 2013 on Capitol Hill, CHS *only* had 20 “coming soon” predictions to share at the start of things last January. But there were some interesting names on that early roster — and a few flimsy rumors.
2014 may not be busier — but we know a little bit more about what is coming to the neighborhood this time around. Below, you’ll find a roster of new bars and restaurants slated to open on and around Capitol Hill in 2014 plus a few more surprises here and there. It’s a roster of dreams, to be sure, but also a lot of time, money, work, blood, sweat and tears. Thanks to all the food and drink entrepreneurs giving it a go in the neighborhood. We’re looking forward to telling your stories through the year and beyond.
Capitol Hill bars and restaurants (and pot shops?) to look forward to in 2014
- Yang and Chirchi Unnamed Project: The chef couple behind Seattle favorites Joule and Revel aren’t just opening a restaurant on Capitol Hill. Rachel Yang and and Seif Chirchi have a complex planned for the overhauled former home of a costume shop at E Pike and Summit. When it debuts later this year, you’ll find the four basic elements of foodie nature: 1) Korean BBQ with table-top grills, 2) noodles, 3) offerings of ice cream, frozen custards and parfaits and 4) a bar “featuring rare, new, and unusual beer.” Target date: “early summer 2014″
- Big Fun: The partners behind this big bar planned for the old bicycle shop below the offices of The Stranger are so Capitol Hill. One, the five are building the venture from the ground up with their own ten hands. Two, the nightspot is already doomed to eventually be swallowed by a planned redevelopment. Target date: “We are full tilt boogie over here trying to finish up.”
- Nacho Borracho: Rachel Marshall and Kate Opatz know what a Capitol Hill belly needs — tequila cocktails on tap and melted cheese. Nacho will bring plenty of both to Broadway. Target date: “We’re expecting to be open the first week in February, as soon as we’re done building a nice long bar and as many booths as we can fit,” Opatz writes. “We’re very excited for late night nachos and avocado margaritas and what is shaping up to be a great staff.”
- Shibumi Izakaya: CHS can’t wait to find out what colorful new player in the neighborhood food and drink scene Eric Stapelman has planned for his new venue bringing “Japanese tavern-style izakaya cooking” to new construction at 13th and Pine. Target date: “early March”
- (Temporary) Bauhaus: The much-loved coffee shop’s owner found a way to keep the cafe on E Pine by taking over the old Capitol Club space. Plan is to eventually return to Melrose and Pine following construction. After that? The old club space will house a Bauhaus sibling. Target date: “End of this month if all goes as planned.”
- Comet (Part Deux): Or is it Return of the Comet? New owners from team Neumos-Lost Lake-Big Mario’s are taking over to return the shuttered dive to functioning and amazingly profitable dive. Target: “Late February”
- Canterbury returns: New owners and a new mission to get back to ye olde ways at the Canterbury — including formerly legendary weekend brunch lines — are slated for 15th and Mercer. Target date: “May 2014”
- Monsoon expansion: Eric Banh isn’t planning to watch the newcomers have all the fun with the changing food and drink scene on 19th Ave E. He’s doubling the size of Monsoon in a major investment that also requires moving a partial hillside — all while keeping the original restaurant space open. That’s dedication. Target date: Seven months from October… so, mid-May!
- Dinette II: It says a lot about Melissa Nyffeler’s confidence and following that she chose to close down the original Dinette before nailing down a new, larger home for the much-loved little restaurant. We hope that new, larger home is on Capitol Hill.
- Revolver: Dinette’s exit from E Olive Way sets up not one but two things to look forward to in 2014. This vinyl-obsessed drink spot filling in the restaurant’s old haunt is part of that anticipation. Target: “We are hoping to open in March.”
- Chico Madrid update: The Bellevue Ave cafe is now powered by team Marination. Coming very soon: cocktails!
- Zhu Dang: A former E Olive Way nightclub will be overhauled and the kitchen expanded for this Northwest Chinese venture from a first-time restaurateur. Target date: “late summer”
- Broadway Grill tenant: The old girl spent the end of 2013 empty and priced out of reach of many food+drink entrepreneurs. Hopefully 2014 is a better year.
Traveler Montlake: Replacing a neighborhood favorite, this sibling to The Leary Traveler will bring “game meat” and draught beer to our neighbors down the Hill. Target date: “early February”
- Nuflours Bakery: Sighs from the news that North Hill Bakery was closing on 15th Ave E were quickly replaced by cheers for a new baking tenant for the street. The farmers market tried and tested gluten-free favorite is now slated to occupy a Capitol Hill space that has been dedicated to baking for more than 80 years. Target date: “spring”
- 15th Ave E replacements: There are vacancies for new ventures in a shuttered bar on 15th Ave E and inside the departed old timer, The Bagel Deli.
- Blue C Pike: News that E Pike’s regional chain restaurant Boom Noodle was changing formats to the more popular sushi belt concept might have been met with a “meh” or two around the neighborhood. But we’re betting you’ll be wowed by the line of small children ready to devour a few Pike/Pine rolls after soccer practice that forms when the update is finished. Target: unknown
Corretto: Travis Rosenthal knows Tango and he knows Rumba but we don’t think there is any way to dance the Corretto, “the classic Italian pairing of a shot of espresso and a shot of liquor.” Cafe by day, bar by night, the new spot will open inside the fancy pants Pike + Minor building just below Melrose Market. Target: “spring 2014”
- Cafe Solstice: Coffee guys with Broadway roots are returning to the street after turning the first Solstice into a U-District cafe legend. Target date: soon!
- Ines Patisserie: Nohra Belaid will expand her Madison Valley pastry shop venture with a new location in new construction at 1111 E Union. Target date: “Valentine’s Day 2014”
- Mezcaleria Oaxaca Capitol Hill: Cousin to Queen Anne’s much loved MO, our own edition is slated to open soon in the former AutoPro garage building on E Pine. Plans call for “a rooftop area for alfresco dining” and “the same extraordinary authentic Oaxacan food that has garnered international praise, paired with the most diverse nationally noted selections of mezcales in the city.” Target date: soon!
- The Central Agency Building: Work to transform a warehouse on the backside of Pike/Pine into a new home for a cluster of restaurants and bars is underway and lead by a man responsible for several pillars of the neighborhood’s entertainment district. Target date: “summer 2014”
- Good Citizen: Plans may have shifted around this first in what could eventually be a family of Capitol Hill bars centered around the original Liberty on 15th Ave E but the man driving to get it done remains the same. Andrew Friedman was hoping to roll out his sequel months ago in the former E Olive Way coffee shop but after plenty of pushing and shoving over permits and licenses, he can finally see the cocktail bar with a guest chef kitchen project headed to the finish line. When it opens, you probably won’t sense the sweat equity that’s gone into it. “It’s designed to look like someone’s house… really comfortable and nice,” Friedman says. Target date: “March”
- The Bud Lady: It’s the ultimate long shot but this pitch to be one of Seattle’s first 21 retail pot shops might be aimed at the one location on the Hill that can squeeze through the multiple layers of restrictions. Target date: We’ll know about the accepted applications later this winter.
By the way, if you want to go way back, here is what we were looking forward to in 2012.