CHS has been a little rough with Broadway’s Joule building even using it recently as the poster child for “why Capitol Hill’s big mixed-use developments look, um, the way they do.” But a Broadway food and drink favorite likes the building just fine, thank you very much, and is about to show that, if you don’t love the first generation of new retail that pops up in some of Capitol Hill’s developments, maybe you just need to wait for the second.
“We are very excited to move to new location, nicer, brighter, more windows and open kitchen,” Chi Dang tells CHS about the plan for Broadway’s Than Brothers to make a very Capitol Hill-style, less-than-two-block move — across the street.
Dang said Capitol Hill’s outlet of the local pho chain will be ready to dole out the complimentary cream puffs and steamy bowls of broth and noodles by June. The exact logistics of the move’s impact on business as Than Brothers shuts down on the east side of the street and re-opens on the west in the massive apartment building are still being worked out.
We don’t have any clues about what is to become of Than Brothers former home at 516 Broadway E. Owned by a real estate investor, the 1923 masonry restaurant is part of a line of odd little parcels with different landowners now semi-surrounded by the large Brix condo development to the north. Local businesses like The Vajra and India Express remain. Broadway Video abruptly shuttered in March. The single-story buildings neighboring All Pilgrims Church remain mostly unimproved following the Brix-led wave of development and the construction of the Joule, built in the late 2000s where the old Broadway QFC used to stand.
Than Brothers will take over the space in the Joule left vacant by national chain Qdoba’s 2013 closure amid continued challenges for Broadway “limited service” restaurants. While recent new Capitol Hill restaurant projects tend to gravitate toward concepts and cocktails, Than Brothers represents a moderately priced, good bang for your buck option and, thus far, has apparently been able to buck the street’s downward trends for “limited service.” Also, Capitol Hill children may have staged a mini-revolt should another kid-favorited restaurant have left the Hill. With the move, it looks like Than Brothers is here to stay on Broadway.
Thanks to tipster Andrés for the pictures and vigilance!