After two years of battling red tape — and the city’s move to a $15 minimum wage — Andrew Friedman quietly opened his Good Citizen bar Friday night.
“It’s designed to look like someone’s house… really comfortable and nice,” Friedman told CHS about the transformation of the former E Olive Way coffee shop a year ago as he made plans for a March 2014 debut for the bar. Friedman took over the space in 2013. Word back then was the bar was lined up for a summer 2013 debut.
The intervening two years have been busy for Friedman. While he dealt with delays with local government over permits and inspections of his project, Friedman and his 15th Ave E bar Liberty also took on city leaders in the fight against a $15 minimum in Seattle. During the time, Friedman also lost his right-hand man as Liberty co-owner Keith Waldbauer left to work on a book and his consulting business. Finally this January, CHS could include Good Citizen in on our annual New Year’s list of the Capitol Hill bars and restaurants to look forward to.
UPDATE 3/5/2015: What does “open” even mean, anyhow? Engaging in some retroactive ass covering, CHS can report that Good Citizen will be open for good “within the next couple weeks” and will start “coffee only” before opening at night for drinky drinks. So sayeth Friedman in a meeting with 15th Ave E business owners Wednesday night that CHS was lucky enough to attend. Friedman said it was cool to share the update so here you go.
Friedman opened Liberty in spring of 2006 on 15th Ave E. Liberty’s most notable features at the time for many were Friedman’s decision to serve sushi as his bar food staple and a trademark on a revolving cast of interesting bartenders. Liberty expanded its hours into daylight and opened every morning as a coffee shop. Friedman’s place in Pacific Northwest cocktail culture also began to grow as he kept the bar on the forefront of the craft cocktail movement. Friedman is also proud that his bar is open every single day of the year.
We’ll have to see if a similar path awaits Good Citizen. Waldbauer told CHS at one point he envisioned a small family of Liberty neighborhood bars across Capitol Hill. At this rate, you might have a bit of a wait until Friedman opens his new joint on your street.
Good Citizen is located at 1720 E Olive Way. Keep track of its Facebook page for updates on hours, etc.
Thanks, tipster, for the pictures!