Capitol Hill food+drink | Sizzle Pie and Dark Bar open in Pike/Pine

Jacobson, right, and McKennedy (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Skater bros and metalheads finally have a place to drink brews, eat pizza, and be themselves in Pike/Pine. And everybody else can come, too.

“Our whole approach is to have something for everyone,” Matt Jacobson (on the right, above), who founded Sizzle Pie with partner Mikey McKennedy in 2011, tells CHS. “We have a pretty comprehensive menu, vegan, and gluten free.”

The new restaurant and accompanying Dark Bar opens for real Thursday after a few nights of “soft openings” for the heavy metal pizza joint. It will keep some of the latest hours in Pike/Pine — and pretty much never rest.

“At Sizzle Pie, we don’t close,” Jacobson said. “Open on Christmas. Open on Thanksgiving. There are a lot of transplants in cities. We’re happy to be one of those places when everything is closed and you want some place to go.”

Sizzle Pie - 11 of 19

The pizza is described as “classic and unconventional” with en emphasis on variety and some surprising options like, yup, breakfast pizza. “Available all day.” There are “meat,” “vegetarian,” and “vegan” pie menus, as well as a set of special “seasonal” choices. You’ll pay around $25 for a large. A slice and a salad deal runs $7.

Though Sizzle Pie is a sibling to Jacobson’s now 25-year-old Relapse Records, live music isn’t part of the recipe. But late o’clock in the morning hours are. “When we decided to put flag in the ground, we knew we were going to have some slow Mondays and Tuesdays,” Jacobson said. “Now we’re known as the place that is open late.” Sizzle Pie Capitol Hill has transformed the former home of sports bar Auto Battery into a hardworking pizza hangout. The staff will keep rocking from 11:00 AM to 3:00 AM Sundays through Thursdays and until 4 AM on Fridays and Saturdays. The former Po Dog hot dog shop next door is now the Dark Bar, exorcising demons and giving you some new ones every day, 4 PM to 2 in the metal funking morning.

And while there won’t be any metal performances in the new place, Jacobson very much wants Sizzle Pie to become part of the Capitol Hill nightlife and music scene even as development, growth, and change disrupts and, sometimes, destroys it. “We kind of look at when we opened in downtown Portland as an example,” Jacobson said. “When we took over Rocco’s, we were proud to be able to keep that spirit alive.”

Born in Portland and now grown to “more than 200 employees” across six locations and one record label, Sizzle Pie’s first Seattle location provides an irresistible opportunity to compare and contrast with our southern sister.
“Clearly there’s a kinship between the cities,” Jacobson said. Culturally, the gap seems small. But Jacobson concedes that while both cities are undergoing economic and development booms, he’s never seen anything quite like what he went through to build a new restaurant in Seattle.

“It’s been that long?,” Jacobson asked when CHS reminded him of our first report on Sizzle Pie coming to E Union way back in July of 2015. “Are you fucking kidding me?”

“We’ve experienced things being slower than we want elsewhere, but Seattle has been the slowest,” Jacobson said of the Sizzle Pie buildout. He said the city’s “gigantic boom” has the city’s planning departments overwhelmed. “It is a real impact on business,” Jacobson said. “One thing after the other.”

More positive for the Sizzle Pie folks is Portland’s shared love for a higher minimum wage. “We always try to pay more than minimum wage anyhow,” Jacobson tells CHS.IMG_3103

In the meantime, the now-Pacific Northwest Pizza mogul will have to get used to the commute between his outposts. Fortunately, he has plenty of music to listen to on his commute.

“Music and art and pizza. I just fucking love pizza,” Jacobson said, making the sign of the horns, we’re sure, even though he was driving north on I-5 as we talked.

Sizzle Pie is now open at 1009 E Union. You can learn more at sizzlepie.com.

Capitol Hill food+drink notes

  • IMG_2606Capitol Hill’s destiny: a pizza joint every two blocks. Meltdown Pizza Co., from the good people at Still Liquor, now open at Pine and Minor.
  • Thursday is Dining Out for Life 2016 benefiting Lifelong:
    On Thursday, April 28th, over 100 restaurants throughout the Seattle metropolitan area will donate 30% or more of their proceeds to Lifelong. Thank you in advance for joining thousands in your community to help fight hunger and illnesses such as HIV/AIDS. By dining out, you made a huge difference.
    The Seattle restaurant roster is here.
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 4.00.19 PMSaint John’s adds lunch:
    Lunch has arrived at Saint John‘s! Beginning this Thursday, April 28th we’ll be offering neighborhood favorites like the Golden Girl Chicken Sandwich and Braised Short Rib Tacos alongside new delights like our Olive Oil Poached Tuna Salad and the new vegan Gimme A Beet Burger (a subtle nod from Chef Joe Randazzo to his childhood hero Miss Janet Jackson).Lunch will be served Monday through Friday from 11AM to 2PM, followed as always by Happy Hour from 2PM to 6PM and Dinner from 6PM to late.
    To celebrate we’re offering 1/2 off everything during lunch this Thursday 4/28 and Friday 4/29 from 11AM to 2PM!
    After four years in the neighborhood we’re excited to further expand our hours and offer more Saint Johns everyday. Thanks for making us one of your hangs, we love you right back.
  • There’s a new food truck pod forming at 10th and Yesler

  • The Stranger follows our report on the personal bankruptcy of Joel Radin with a look at the reopening of Bauhaus Ballard — and employees who say they were financially burned in the process.
  • CHS told you about plans for the Seattle Ice Cream Festival back in March. The roster of participants is now out including Sweet Bumpas, Molly Moon’s, Pink’s, Bluebird, Cupcake Royale, Half Pin, Trove, Parfait, Gelatiamo, Full Tilt, Balleywood Creamery, and, of course, festival organizer Kurt Timmermeister’s own Kurt Farm Shop. You can learn more here.
  • During this panel we’ll pick the brains of some of the visionaries behind the region’s most innovative restaurant and hospitality design projects…”
  • Bamboo Garden: Vegan?
  • We asked the folks at Vaca Loca what was with all those phones…

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5 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink | Sizzle Pie and Dark Bar open in Pike/Pine

    • Guessing this dude works at or possibly owns Dino’s…

      Most typical pizza places have very few vegetarian options and rarely any vegan options. Most pizza places aren’t open until 4. And most pizza places don’t play awesome music and do benefits for skateparks, etc.

    • At least try it before you knock it. I’m looking forward to trying it and all the other new pizza places on the hill.

  1. Not vegan, but but cheese flares up a disease I have so I tried the vegan pizza and can confirm it’s decent. It’s nice to know I have pizza options.