Wylie Bush won’t have to walk far to do something new.
“I’ve wanted to do something for a really long time,” the longtime owner of E Roy’s Joe Bar tells CHS. “If i could stay in the community and continue to be here — and make more of a living… it’s about the community,” Bush said. And it goes both ways.
“We need each other,” Bush said with a laugh.
In June, after 17 years behind the counter at Joe Bar, Bush plans to add something new to his community a short two-tenths of a mile down Capitol Hill from Broadway and Roy. Barjot is set to take residence on Bellevue Ave in the cafe space built in the Belroy Apartments overhaul for the now-shuttered Chico Madrid. A short-lived Fuel Coffee pop-up from Chico partner Dani Cone will wrap up its stay Thursday. By June, Joe Bar will have its Barjot just a short walk down E Roy.
The new project’s name, like many things Wylie Bush, is a little joke inside a joke inside another. Bush says that he has been teased by a few French-speaking customers over the years about his happily askew cafe’s name being a backward version of one of the French language’s colloquialisms for being crazy — barjot as in nuts or bananas.
For Bush, the palindrome of sorts is really about staying connected to what he has built at Joe Bar. But the new space will also lend itself to new opportunities.
In addition to the coffee, beer and wine offerings of Joe Bar, Bush is planning to introduce fresh juices at Barjot.
“I have such a small budget and the space is so beautifully built out, I won’t make many changes,” he said. “The meat slicer went away — the large juicer is in.”
Other elements are still being worked out. He’s finalizing a food menu — we suggest he includes the excellent Joe Bar crepes. And Bush has hopes of working with the state on a liquor license that will allow him to offer cocktails without making significant changes to the little Bellevue Ave cafe beneath the giant cedar tree. It’s a longshot, Bush admits.
But at this point in his life, he’s more excited about the juice than the liquor, anyhow, he says.
“I don’t know if it’s my age,” he says, “but I crave fresh juice.”
Sounds nice, Old Man Wylie. Enjoy the walk.
Barjot is slated to open in June at 711 Bellevue Ave E.