Wiley and PK Frank brought their Seattle Thai food journey to an exciting new place over the weekend — the same block their street-side walk-up counter has been serving up jungle curry and khao soi for more than four years.
Their new restaurant space at 16th and E Madison across from Central Co-op debuted Friday and will serve its first lunch this week. At 24 seats, it’s still small and new marketing is expensive — so you can still call it Little Uncle.
“I have to say it was one of the easiest opening we ever had,” PK tells CHS about their debut weekend. The new Little Uncle is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 AM to 10 PM. In addition to indoor seating away from the soothing roar of E Madison traffic, the new Little Uncle also features beer and cocktails while giving the staff way more kitchen room to roam.
CHS reported last year on the recipe that brought the restaurateurs to give a sit-down a try on E Madison after dropping a previous venture in Pioneer Square. Wiley and PK said the opportunity came about thanks to prolific Capitol Hill microhousing developer Kelten Johnson who approached the couple as they were winding down their two-year run with their first brick and mortar location in Pioneer Square. The expansion to Pioneer Square was a success from a business standpoint but left the couple wanting a smaller space to manage.
As for the walk-up, the counter — an example of some of the more interesting ways space gets put to use on an ever more densely packed Capitol Hill — will live on as the Little Uncle Take Out Window, PK said, and will reopen in a few weeks after a few new people are hired to help carry the load and dish the phad thai.
Little Uncle’s transition continues a happy streak of growth for Capitol Hill walk-ups. In September, Kedai Makan grew out of its E Olive Way counter space and moved around the corner into a full-fledged restaurant space on Bellevue Ave.
While the opening has been smooth, it’s busy times for the Franks as they get ready to run the restaurant and the walk-up while working on the Peeks Pantry (info here) line of condiments. PK says despite the extra work, the couple is feeling grateful.
“The only thing we want to say is thank you,” she said. “We are thrilled to be able to have a real kitchen again.”
Dino’s Tomato Pie
At E Olive Way and Denny, Brandon Pettit’s new contribution to the great Capitol Hill pizza rush of 2016 is set to open Wednesday. Dino’s Tomato Pie replaces the former Money Mart at the corner to create a neighborhood-focused pizza joint and bar. Dino’s signature will be its square pies. “Where I was from they usually called it Sicilian. Baked two or three times with a lot of burnt cheese around the corners — good drinking pizza,” Pettit told us last year.