The mystery of the new tenant lined up for the longtime Broadway home of Charlie’s appears to have been solved.
According to a person familiar with the deal, The Lodge Sports Grille is in the middle of a refurbishment of the space that was home to Ken Bauer’s legendary Capitol Hill restaurant for nearly 40 years before its closure this summer.
CHS wrote about the speculation surrounding the space as a new tenant was lined up and work began to spruce up the dusty old Charlie’s surroundings. “There will be something good coming out in the next 30 days,” building owner Johnny Limantzakis told CHS.
Limantzakis nor the Lodge has confirmed the deal with CHS. We’ll update if we hear back. UPDATE: General manager Ben Rhodes said his restaurants are happy to be part of what comes next in the Charlie’s space and that the new project will be loyal to the space’s past. The restaurant won’t be a “Lodge Sports Grille,” however. We’ll have to wait to find out what the name will be closer to opening — definitely before the end of the year, Rhodes said.
Other details are also under wraps for now but Rhodes said the hope is to be as true as possible to Charlie’s past. “We’re not going to try to reinvent the wheel,” Rhodes said. “Maybe a spoke or two.”
Original report: A Broadway location will be The Lodge Sports Grille’s seventh in the Seattle area. It will next open a new grille in Greenwood, currently under construction. The small chain has spread rapidly from its start in Mukilteo:
The Lodge Sports Grille is a family run business and all that that implies. It started in early 2007, as cliche as it sounds, on a napkin over cocktails at a waterfront restaurant in Mukilteo, WA. Shawn Roten was a contractor that dreamt up and built high end homes in the greater Seattle area. When the market crashed in 2008, the business had to evolve. He and his wife, Elizabeth Stewart, decided to use their experience in the construction industry to build a bar, under the impression that in a recession, beer sells better than houses.
The first Lodge Sports Grille opened in 2010.
Here’s how the company describes its approach to building out its spaces — Charlie’s sounds like an ideal candidate:
It starts with a space, usually with a previous life and use. We gut it, leaving only the bones. From there it begins. We map out the floorplan on site, taking into careful consideration consumer and staff circulation, comfort, and efficiency. We then bring in truckloads, yes truckloads, of wood from our favorite mill located up north in Oso, WA. We find the rarest solid black walnut slabs, heavy timber beams, raw wide-plank flooring that will be milled later on site, and our favorite, the Alaskan cedar planks.
On the menu, food includes “everything from the classic comfort foods of a hearty burger or hearty beef stew to dishes that rival the finest of fine dining throughout the Pacific NW” while drink focuses on craft beer. “Each location has a different lineup with Mukilteo boasting 41 beers on tap, Downtown & Mill Creek with 48, Kirkland with 56, and Stadium with 70 beers on tap.” By our calculations based on the Lodge’s rate of beer addition, Broadway should be on pace to sport around 230 taps.
Unlike other large commercial spaces on Broadway that have remained without tenants for months and sometimes years as owners apparently speculate in a peculiar form of “high-rent blight,” the former home of Charlie’s will not be sidelined for long.
The large restaurant and bar space sits on a mid-Broadway block that’s poised for plenty of foot traffic when the Capitol Hill light rail station opens down the street in early 2016 along with 418 apartment units, community spaces and new retailers to open in the following years. Meanwhile, for those of you scoring at home (or even if you’re alone), Capitol Hill’s sports bar game is mixed so far in 2015 with the addition of rookie Kessler’s on E Olive Way, the end of regulation for Auto Battery on E Union, and the ticking game clock of planned development for 95 Slide. Meanwhile, hall of famer Bill’s Off Broadway is back on the field, returning to its revamped home inside new, preservation-friendly construction at Harvard and Pine.
Bauer helped open Charlie’s in 1976, taking it over in 2000 after the restaurant’s namesake owner passed away. As the end of the lease agreement approached five years ago, Bauer started looking to sell but found no buyers. CHS broke the bittersweet news of Bauer’s long-awaited retirement and Charlie’s closing in June.
You can learn more at thelodgesportsgrille.com.
Capitol Hill food+drink notes
- Makini Howell’s Sugar Plum is now open — in a soft, pre-launch style — on 15th Ave E. Hours are limited to Wednesdays through Sundays for now. CHS wrote here about the new direction for Howell’s space as a vegan sweet shop. Here are a few images from Sugar Plum to wet your whistle:
- Meanwhile, gluten free cafe Niche is a few weeks away on 12th Ave.
- Soi — “the other ambitious restaurant project coming to 10th and Union” — is now open at 10th and Union.
- Catfish Corner returning to the Central District — at 23rd and Jackson.
- Madrona won’t be without a brew pub for long. The Madrona Arms will take over the space where longtime favorite Madrona Ale House shuttered. The pub from the folks behind The Melting Pot — as well as a small fleet of Seattle pubs including 12th Ave’s The Chieftain — will reopen in coming weeks. So this Crosscut story built around the spot’s closure pretty much makes zero sense.
- Crush closes this week after a decade on E Madison.
- As she prepares to move her home out of the neighborhood whose food and drink scene she helped define, Linda Derschang says she’s hoping to just keep things the same for a little while.
- Here’s what it looks like inside Lionhead.
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