Team Marination ready to bring cocktails and more to Bellevue Ave’s Chico Madrid

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

Here’s the deal. The Internet says pineapples were brought to Hawaii from Spain in 1813. So there’s a connection. Despite Madrid’s distance from Oahu, the folks behind Marination Station are getting behind Chico Madrid, the less-than-year-old Spanish-style cafe inside the modern wing of the Belroy Apartments project on Bellevue Ave E.

“We want it to stay true to its Spanish roots,” Marination mogul Kamala Saxton tells CHS about the opportunity. Saxton said that she and Roz Edison have been planning a venture like Chico Madrid to expand their current empire of island-styled food and drink spots and mobile food truck business. The news that the team behind Chico Madrid was looking for new partners came just in time.

1518500_581385221950674_1497063087_oThe biggest change will be the new Chico Madrid’s plans to feature a full bar. Saxton says you can also expect to see more event dining opportunities at the cafe as well as a ramped-up catering effort.

Chico Madrid opened last March in the redeveloped Belroy featuring Spanish-style sandwiches and Iberian delights like sangria on tap in a cozy 800 or so square-foot space. Outside stands a giant cedar tree dwarfed only by the six-story building. Fuel Coffee and High 5 Pie owner Dani Cone teamed up with Jacob Daley and Franz Gilbertson of Ballard’s Honore Bakery to make it happen. Cone has since also been part of the all-star cast that financed and opened 19th and Mercer’s Cone & Steiner general store.

Marination Station, meanwhile, debuted in spring 2011 above Pike and Broadway and gave the Marination team its first permanent Capitol Hill presence.

Marination Station and High 5 Pie are CHS advertisers.

Saxton says she is joining Chico Madrid’s ownership at a good time to help make the little cafe an even bigger part of the neighborhood.

“We love the space. Dani and Jacob have done the leg work,” Saxton said. “Now we can deepen our roots.”

Chico Madrid is located at 711 Bellevue Ave E. You can learn more at

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4 thoughts on “Team Marination ready to bring cocktails and more to Bellevue Ave’s Chico Madrid

  1. Chico Madrid is a great little café, but I think business must be slow…whenever I walk by there (usually in late morning), it is pretty empty…maybe they get more customers later in the day. But probably its location…really out of the way for most people on Capitol Hill….is part of the problem.

    Perhaps this new partnership with Marination Station will result in more business. I certainly hope so, and wish them well.

  2. I agree with Calhoun that the location in an area without heavy foot traffic is the problem because the food, the sangria, the quaint ambiance, the service, the prices, the cleanliness of the restaurant are all fantastic. There’s so many people who live in Capitol Hill who’ve never heard of this place and that’s a shame. And while I love what the the Marination folks have done to bring the Hawaii style food for those who like that kind of food and seem like wonderful people, I don’t think this is a good pairing. One of the things that made Chico Madrid unique from all the bars and restaurants in Seattle was their small focused casual Spanish style menu and the sangria being at the forefront rather than having a huge bar menu with wines and beers on tap. Because once Chico Madrid turns into a large scale fusion-type restaurant, it’ll lose customers who went there for the kind of experience they’d find in Spain, which I think was their initial intent. But I can only imagine how high the rent price in that building must be so they have to do what they have to do as small business owners. I’d wish these rents – for businesses and home renters – weren’t so damn high.

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