Benson’s Grocery shutters on E Pike, prepares for restaurant future

For anybody wanting to preserve the way Capitol Hill used to be, you may want to start a dingy bodega conservation district, ASAP.

Benson’s Grocery — or Benson Grocery, as the sign says — is now closed. CHS confirmed the closure this week with the person signed on to find a new tenant for the nearly 5,000-square-foot market.

CHS reported last spring on a $500,000 construction project to transform the grocery into a market and Japanese restaurant. The building’s owner and operator of Benson’s Hun Lee didn’t want to reveal much at the time. Those permits are still in place, for what it’s worth. Since, Benson’s and its mix of convenience items and more has been periodically shuttered here and there — this week, its life as a market appears to have come to an end.

Broker Bonnie Lindberg said there are already multiple food and drink tenants vying for the space on Pike at the corner of Bellevue. Benson’s seems destined to follow the path of Harry’s Fine Foods where the old Bellevue and Mercer market is being transformed into a new food and drink concept from an up and coming chef.

The lucky new Pike/Pine restaurateur at Pike and Bellevue will neighbor classic leather bar The Eagle as well as Victrola’s Pike location. Just down the Hill is the giant Starbucks roastery. Up Pike, a new Tavolata from Ethan Stowell is set to be resident in one new preservation-minded development and a new brew pub and microbrewery from Redhook will open later this year in another. Meanwhile, the street is also getting some sort of new market — but it will be something different from Benson’s entirely. CHS reported on the relatively giant new retailer being planned for E Pike last summer. So far, its identity remains a mystery.

Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

4 thoughts on “Benson’s Grocery shutters on E Pike, prepares for restaurant future

  1. I’ve lived on the Hill for four decades and was surprised every time I went by to still see it open. This ain’t one of those gentrification stories. This is a “our long national nightmare is over” stories. What a dump!

    • I lived across the street in the New McDermott Apartments in the 90’s. One time I was ridiculously sick with the flu, and made my way over there to get some soup. I got up to the checkout and discovered I had forgotten my wallet, and I literally wanted to cry because it had taken all my energy just to get dressed and get across the street. They lady behind the counter told me not to worry about it, and bring the money in when I felt better. Try getting that sort of service at the QFC.