The Broadway location formerly home to the Zpizza chain stands empty this summer, pundits say, because of Seattle’s new minimum wage law. We don’t know what pundits will say about this. Come October, a new pizza chain will have moved into the same space. And the new owners seem way more into this whole $15 per hour thing.
“My friends and family brought it up more than people in the business,” Brandon Stottler tells CHS. “It feels more like the right thing to do to respect service workers and what they do.”
This fall, Stottler and business partner Ryan Flohr will open Ian’s Pizza on the Hill in the Broadway Building just north of Pine in the same space vacated by the minimum wage-challenged chain. Part of a small chain of Madison, Wisconsin-based pizza joints that proudly offers health insurance to its employees, the Ian’s philosophy is much more sympatico with Seattle’s pro-labor movement.
Its pizza is pretty out there, too. “We try to get really weird with our pizza,” Stottler said.
Since starting in 2001, Ian’s has made its name with a focus on by-the-slice insanity including “all-time bestseller” Mac n’ Cheese. You’ll also find creations like Smoked Brisket and Tots or Cheesy Potato with Ranch. Ian’s is also planning to bring its old school salad bar concept with new school fixings and farmers market produce to Broadway. “Hopefully we can get something going with the farmers there,” Stottler said of the Sunday market that will take place across the street every weekend.
With only four shops in Wisconsin, Colorado, and soon Seattle, Ian’s is a much smaller player than the Zpizza. Under Seattle’s minimum wage implementation schedule, it won’t be on the hook for a $15 minimum until 2019. Zpizza franchisee Ritu Shah-Burnham told CHS in April that the city’s categorization of her business as a “schedule A” large employer was forcing her to shutter on Broadway. “When I saw what I had to do — if I had seven years, it was doable,” Shah-Burnham told CHS. “But to do it in 24 months, it was going to be too much.”
Stottler, who has lived in the Central District for six months after moving to Seattle to open the new Ian’s, says he is looking forward to eventually opening more locations in the area. And, yup, they’ll probably serve Ian’s Seattle Dog pizza complete with a layer of cream cheese.
Ian’s Pizza on the Hill will offer pizza by the slice, whole pies, delivery, and beer and wine and is planned to open in October at 1620 Broadway. You can learn more at ianspizza.com.
- While Ian’s might make a great place to throw a pizza party for the $15 Now crowd come 2017 (or 2019, depending on which schedule you want to throw your party on), Lionhead can host the Chinese party. Jerry Traunfeld’s Sichuan-flavored sibling to Poppy will open up — soon! — in the adjacent space left open when The Confectional, a minimum wage-fighting cheesecake concern shuttered on Broadway.
- Capitol Hill pizza news just won’t quit. Portland’s Sizzle Pie is lined up for the former Auto Battery/Po Dog space on E Union. 19th Ave E’s Ernest Loves Agnes will include pizza in its rustic Italian offerings. Dino’s Tomato Pie is coming to E Olive Way at Denny while the folks at Still are opening an unnamed (last we checked) pizza joint at Pine and Minor. And, yes, Bill’s Off Broadway returns next month after a 20-month timeout at Harvard and Pine.
- Meanwhile, the under construction Ian’s will soon have a new neighbor with Refresh Frozen Desserts and Espresso set to open in the former Yogurtland space.
- And, speaking of pizza. Happy fifth birthday to E Pike’s Big Mario’s.
- Meanwhile Big Mario’s brother Lost Lake is bravely mixing Groupon and 3 AM dining.
- Speaking of the minimum wage, Capitol Hill-bound Renee Erickson and partners have adjusted the service charge at her tip-less restaurants: “After about eight weeks in, it became clear that 18.5% wasn’t quite adequate.”
- The Madrona Ale House has closed. Owner Burke Shethar posted that he was unable to come to an agreement to renew the lease on the 20-year-old restaurant:
I have mixed emotions as I will miss you loyal patrons, miss the fun and being a part of a great business community–I am nonetheless proud of my current and past staffers for the hard, but rewarding, work that we have done.
The owners behind 12th Ave The Chieftain and two other Irish pub-themed concerns in the area plan to reopen the Madrona restaurant.
- Full Tilt Capitol Hill, finally.
- The Highline serving food every day again.
- There’s a “new” French bistro coming to E Pine: Vivre.
- When the Seattle Times reported last week on 16 diners suffering salmonella poisoning at a Tallulah’s Fathers Day brunch, we were interested to find out more about how the paper got the story as no bulletins were issued by the usually bulletin-friendly King County Public Health. Turns out, the story came from a tip from a diner sent to the Times. We’re also told Tallulah’s initiated the investigation when the restaurant reported the issue to the county as required after hearing from some of the sickened patrons.
Naka too pricey for you? How about “Naka hour?”
The bar at Naka will offer their rendition of happy hour beginning Saturday, August 1. From 5-6 pm and 9-11pm, guests will find specially-priced choices for both beverages and bites. Jason Lock, the restaurant’s Director of Operations and Wine Director will select a notable red and white wine that will be available by the glass for $6. Cocktail expert, Nik Virrey, will be shaking two drinks from Naka’s current cocktail list: the “Sundress”- house made lavender soda, marionberry vodka, lemon juice for $7 and the “Vieux Carre”- Cognac, Rye, sweet vermouth, Angostura Bitters and Peychaud’s Bitters for $10.
Virrey’s mastery of liquid libations includes the opportunity to have him pour from the bar’s 50 +whiskies on hand, including a collection from Japan. Several of the Japanese whiskies are hard to obtain, among them the bar’s one and only bottle of Hibiki, the 30-year Japanese whiskey that the Naka bar sells for $375 a pour. During Naka Hour, a rotating whiskey flight of (3) ½ oz pours will be available. The opening flight will feature the Yamazaki 12-year, Yoichi 15-year, and Hibiki-17-year for $25 (a $35 value).From the kitchen during Naka Hour, Chef Shota Nakajima will be cooking Chicken Mabusi Rice Bowl- chicken sautéed in sharp soy with an egg blanket- $10, Seafood Tartare- seasonal seafood tossed in yuzu aioli and served with vegetable chips-$11 and Sweet Yam Chips- $5.
- It was Stevie Wonder season again at Plum.
- Following his resignation in wake of takeover, Elysian co-founder Dick Cantwell has a new job as quality ambassador for the Brewers Association.
- “As Seattle’s Craft Breweries Grow, Will More of Them Be Gobbled Up by Big Corporations?“
- Li’l Woody’s featuring the Big Kahuna Burger, Pulp Fiction playing Central Cinema.
- “WHEN YOU STUMBLE ON THE BEST TZATZIKI you’ve ever had, as I did at the Capitol Hill Greek taverna Omega Ouzeri, you ask your waiter to box up what you can’t finish.”
- Rest in peace, Tyler Moritz:
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