Capitol Hill food+drink | Tom Douglas bellies up to the Hill as part of Starbucks roastery complex

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Top: A sketch of the planned Starbucks roastery complex
Middle: Douglas (Image: Tom Douglas Restaurants)
Here: Inside a Serious Pie (Image: Tom Douglas Restaurants)
Below: The building in its Utrecht days. Starbucks has promised a preservation-friendly renovation of the auto row-era building

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith reporting by Sebastian Garrett-Singh
Seattle’s global coffee giant is teaming up with a giant of the city’s downtown food and drink scene on his first Capitol Hill venture. Tom Douglas Restaurants plans to make its first foray into the neighborhood on the back of Starbucks as part of the company’s planned roastery project at Melrose and Pike.

According to plans for the twin-roaster facility, cafe and showroom, Douglas will open a third location in his Serious Pie format along the Minor side of the building that was most recently home to the Utrecht art supply store. The planned 2,500 to 2,800-square foot restaurant would saddle alongside the two roasters Starbucks is planning for the facility as Starbucks works through the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency permit process.

No such permit is required, by the way, for delicious pizza smells from one of Seattle’s most prolific food and drink entrepreneurs.

We have email out to Tom Douglas to learn more about the early stages of the project which the coffee company has said it would like to have open by August. A Starbucks representative declined to comment on the full project at this time but promised more details will be available soon.

A diagram rendering of the planned roasting facility inside a former Volvo dealership and art supply store

A diagram rendering of the planned roasting facility inside a former Volvo dealership and art supply store

For the man behind Assembly Hall, Brave Horse, Tavern, Cuoco, Dahlia Lounge and Bakery, Etta’s, Home Remedy, Lola, Palace Kitchen, Seatown, Serious Pie Virginia, Serious Pie Westlake and Tanaka San, the move fills in one of those “what is he waiting for?” gaps in Capitol Hill’s booming food and drink economy. As more and more ventures fill the Hill’s streets, a player of Douglas’s stature seemed conspicuously absent from the boom with his only local presence coming in some uninvited critical work about a now shuttered Broadway eatery.

(Image: Tom Douglas Restaurants)

(Image: Tom Douglas Restaurants)

Serious Pie Capitol Hill’s siblings are based around a gourmet, wood-fired pizza concept that features Douglas’s signature use of fresh, seasonal and foodie-favorited ingredients at scale.

The second Westlake location is especially ambitious as it opens during the day as a Serious Biscuit venue and shares its space with a wine shop. We don’t know yet if Serious Pie Capitol Hill will fill its nearly 3,000-square-feet of space with more than pizza.

We do know it will face some stiff competition in the wood-fire end of things with the ovens at Pine Box and Via Tribunali putting out some excellent product. Meanwhile, Capitol Hill’s by-the-slice legends like Hot Mama’s and Big Mario’s won’t have much to fear — though Big Mario’s owner Dave Meinert and Douglas might find some common ground.

As for anybody living downwind, all we can tell you is the combined smells of roasting coffee and pizza is about as Capitol Hill food and drink as you can get. If only there was one point where you could stand and also smell brewing beer at the same time!

You can learn more at tomdouglas.com.

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16 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink | Tom Douglas bellies up to the Hill as part of Starbucks roastery complex

    • The wine shop didn’t go out of business, it moved back their old space in pioneer square. The wine shop rented that space from Tom Douglas anyway, Tom Douglas Restaurants owns that whole spot at Harrison & Westlake.
      And really good chicken & biscuits would be awesome on this part of the hill, hopefully they’ll bring Serious biscuit brunch to Capitol hill!

      • Nope, the wine store went out of business. It was a 2nd store attempt by Michael, the owner of Pike & Western Wine Shop at the Pike Place Market.

        Michael worked hard to capitalize on the new Amazon/etc. work/live community in SLU, but found that the neighborhood couldn’t support a dedicated wine shop.

        Last day in SLU was 9/13/13. He still owns Pike & Western.

  1. I’m glad the air pollution issues being examined I live a block away and during certain types of weather where the air is stagnant it’s hard to breath for those of us with allergies. As it is we have Woodies grill putting out smoke plus other restaurants with grills and I believe the coffee place next to the Eagle roasts so we don’t need to add much more to that before it becomes unbearable at times. Plus we have all the freeway and traffic smog. I don’t think having coffee roasted on sight is that important anyway. The people living nearby being able to breath clean air is what’s most important!

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