Chophouse Row centerpiece Chop Shop opens Friday

Chop Shop took time out from construction for Chophouse's opening party in June (Image: CHS)

Chop Shop took time out from construction for Chophouse’s opening party in June (Image: CHS)

IMG_2855The centerpiece of the “open marketplace” at Pike/Pine’s new Chophouse Row development will finally open for business Friday.

Chop Shop from Volunteer Park Cafe’s Ericka Burke will bring an Oddfellows-like player to 11th Ave:

Chop Shop Cafe & Bar is chef Ericka Burke’s restaurant, anchoring the entrance to Chophouse Row from 11th Avenue. Coming from the chef-owner of the beloved Volunteer Park Cafe, ChopShop offers sit-down service and a seasonal menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, while ChopShop Juice & Provisions provides healthy grab-and-go salads, pastries, fresh-pressed juices, and provisions. Chop Shop will have outdoor seating in both the alley and along the front sidewalk.

CHS first reported on the project from Burke way back in March 2014. Burke told CHS at the time that she was originally considered to be part of developer Liz Dunn’s first “marketplace” development at Melrose Market but wasn’t quite ready for the commitment. “Years ago, Liz asked if I was interested in Melrose,” Burke said. “Life is just about timing.”

CHS wrote about the Chophouse roster of food, drink, and retail tenants here including farm-to-ice cream cone champion Kurt Timmermeister who has taken a 300-square-foot patch of space for his dairy-powered cream and cheese ventureKurt Farm Shop which is already open, and a new Upper Bar Ferd’nand that will open later this summer. The new project built out of the shell of the old building that used to be home to Chophouse Studios also brings together Dunn’s 12th Ave Piston Ring building, the Thomas Kundig-designed 1111 E Pike building home to Cupcake Royale, and her E Pike Baker Linen building home to offices and Retrofit Home. The project was designed by Sundberg, Kennedy and Ly-Au Young, and Graham BabaYou can see pictures from the project’s opening party here.

Construction and this summer’s slog over various permits delayed Chop Shop’s planned June opening.

Chop Shop is located in the streetfront main suite of Chophouse Row on 11th Ave between Pike and Pine. You can learn more at chopshopseattle.com.

UPDATE 7/10/2015 9:15 AM: Here’s the big announcement:

Ericka Burke is thrilled to announce the opening of her latest project, the anchor tenant in the new Chophouse Row building. Chop Shop Cafe & Bar officially opens today at 5:30pm at 1424 11th Avenue in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Chop Shop Cafe & Bar is housed in the newest mixed-use project created by Liz Dunn, who also developed Melrose Market. Chop Shop’s main entry faces 11th Avenue, and the original façade has been preserved and updated, with a bank of new windows at street level and the original wooden windows above. The 2,800 square-foot restaurant has 67 seats—a large communal table sits at the center of the dining room, with additional seats at a chef counter, along the front windows, and at the bar, as well as at smaller tables tucked around the space. The highlight of the bar is a re-purposed entryway from the century-old Williamsburg Court building, which adds a feminine touch to the surrounding metal beams and rough woods. Additionally, warm maple wood, swaths of botanical wallpaper, mirrors, and tile all come together to create an intimate experience within the large space.

On the alley side of the space, a sliding glass wall opens to seasonal patio seating. Back inside, behind the main dining room, there’s a table that can be reserved for large parties—there’s also another communal table upstairs on the mezzanine, which will be available for private parties beginning in August. Downstairs, around the corner from the restaurant, is Chop Shop Juice & Provisions, a counter where fresh-pressed juices, espresso, pastries, and grab-and-go lunches will be sold daily from 7am to 7pm. Chop Shop Juice & Provisions will open in a few weeks.

Burke is delighted to have the opportunity to open her doors right in the bustling heart of Capitol Hill. She and her restaurant Volunteer Park Cafe, which she opened in the north end of the neighborhood in 2007, have become known for a warm, welcoming atmosphere with wholesome food, and she plans to carry that on in the new space—using excellent ingredients in new, elevated presentations. The restaurant’s dishes will play masculine and feminine elements against each other—say, a perfectly crisp roast chicken or rare steak, served with bright vegetable-based sauces and bold sides.

Joseph Bollag, most recently of Marjorie, will head the kitchen as the executive chef. Raised by a second-generation French-trained chef, Bollag has worked in kitchens across the west, from Church and State in Los Angeles to How to Cook a Wolf here in Seattle. He brings an array of skills and wonderful creativity with him to Chop Shop.

Soon, Chop Shop will offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner, open Sunday through Thursday from7am to 11pm, and Friday and Saturday from 7am to midnight. For now, they are serving dinner daily at 5:30pm.

“I want Chop Shop to be a gathering place, an urban hub, a ‘third place’,” says Burke. “Home, office…Chop Shop.”

Dinner showcases the best produce and proteins available, combined in winning dishes that often utilize the products from the juice bar. Small plates include Beet Cavatelli with morels, poppy seeds, ricotta salata, and hazelnut gremolata or Gioia Burrata served with heirloom tomatoes, oregano, brown butter, and pine nuts. A significant portion of the menu will always be dedicated to vegetable dishes like Purple Kohlrabi served with broccoli rabe, Fresno chili, basil, and peanut, or a Melon Gazpacho with kaffir lime panna cotta, padrón peppers, Arbequina olive oil, and verbena. Mains include a Roasted Game Hen with succotash, miatake mushrooms, salsa verde, and grilled lemon and a Bavette Steak with heirloom tomato, smoked potato, marrow onion toast, soft herbs, and balsamic. There will always be a signature “chop” on the menu—the inaugural dish will be a Double Pork Chop with poppy seed spaetzle, turnips, freestone peaches, and honey gastrique.

Opening soon, the juice bar will offer fresh-pressed juices, Stumptown coffee, house made pastries, and grab-and-go lunches. A large selection of pastries will be available at the juice bar, like figgy maple scones, chocolate chip beet muffins, coffee cake crumble bars, bundt cakes, and the signature Chop cookie, made with orange zest, candied ginger, milk chocolate chunks, and walnuts.

The Provisions area will showcases a thoughtful selection of culinary and tabletop items, like San Juan Island sea salts, Big Spoon Roasters’ nut butters, Wildflower Honey from Idaho, and Turnco’s handmade wood items.

Emily Crain has been the head baker at Volunteer Park Cafe since 2011, and has moved over to Chop Shop to provide pastries and desserts for the new locations. Volunteer Park Cafe has become synonymous with excellent pastries—Emily’s signature buns, seasonal bundt cakes, airy scones, and savory stratas—and Crain is excited to bring her treats to another part of Capitol Hill. She’ll also be running the dessert program at Chop Shop, creating treats like Cherry Pie with house made anise hyssop ice cream.

Anna Wallace runs the bar program, and has created a cocktail list comprised of seasonal plays on classic cocktails, all named for songs or bands, as a nod to Chophouse’s history as a band rehearsal space. There’s “A Love Supreme,” with Dolin Dry, Green Chartreuse, cucumber, ginger, pineapple, and egg white, or “Built to Spill,” a take on the classic gin and tonic with with Citizen Gin and grapefruit East India tonic. Wallace, previously of Walrus & The Carpenter, founded Seattle Seltzer Company in 2013, and her all-natural carbonated sodas are also on offer at the bar.

Opened in July of 2015, Chop Shop Cafe & Bar is the anchor tenant of Chophouse Row, a mixed-use building situated in the heart of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood at 1424 11th Avenue. The restaurant comes from local chef Ericka Burke, owner of the beloved Volunteer Park Cafe and Canal Market. Chop Shop caters to neighborhood locals and visitors alike with a seasonal dinner menu full of bright flavors and, coming soon, a European-style breakfast bar and a lunch menu comprised of salads and sandwiches. Chop Shop is open from5:30pm to 11pm Sunday through Thursday and Friday and Saturday from 5:30pm to midnight. Once breakfast and lunch begin, Chop will open daily at 7am. For more information and to make reservations, call 206.535.8541 or visit chopshopseattle.com.

Chop Shop Juice & Provisions is the casual sibling spot to Chop Shop Cafe & Bar, located at 1424 11th Avenue in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Set to be open daily from 7am to7pm, the small spot serves fresh-pressed juices, Stumptown espresso, and house made baked goods. Grab-and-go salads and sandwiches are also available, alongside a selection of kitchen provisions and gifts. For more information, visit chopshopseattle.com.

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9 thoughts on “Chophouse Row centerpiece Chop Shop opens Friday

  1. Thanks for adding a beautiful new dining option to the neighborhood. Volunteer Park Cafe is amazing. If this is anything like that, I expect it will be a huge success.

  2. Thanks for sharing information about another overpriced dining experience on the hill for the new tech elite. A decent rehearsal space was destroyed for this garbage?

    • You’ve lost the battle with the “tech elite”. Things aren’t going back to how they were. I’d recommend you come to grips with that or move to another neighborhood. Complaining about it on the internet will not change anything.

    • I’m definitely not one of the “tech elite,” but I think this is a fantastic addition to the neighborhood!

    • What is the “tech elite”, exactly? I’m a programmer and technical consultant, but I’m actually quite price-conscious and don’t really patronize places like this more than once a month or longer. I’m also very conscious about the changes to the neighborhood and of the consequences.

      “Tech” has become the new derogatory name for “businesspeople”. And that’s really what we are — problem solvers, engineers, entrepreneurs, challengers to the status quo. Sure, some of the “tech community” are egotistical assholes who don’t care about their neighborhood. But they’ve existed across the entire socioeconomic continuum for generations.

      That’s not to discount the very real problem of housing inequality that’s plaguing every desirable city in the country. But don’t place the blame on people who move in to your neighborhood with the same non-confrontational aspirations as you have.

    • Thanks Bob! It’s great to be here. I think most transplants only want to make it a great place for everyone.

  3. Having experienced the terrible pompous service at Volunteer Park Cafe on several occasions, I really hope she goes out of her way to prevent that at Chophouse.