The problem, many said, with Meat and Bread was that the sandwich shop on the backside of Pike/Pine closed for the day just as the neighborhood’s nightlife district was waking up. The next venture to take over the space inside the Central Agency Building left behind by the M&B closure appears ready to be part of the party.
CHS has learned that Heritage Distilling Co., a Gig Harbor-based maker of craft spirits born in the 2012-era wave of microdistilleries, is bringing a tasting room to Capitol Hill, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. Heritage representatives declined to comment on the project at this time.
The new tasting and sales room will join Heritage’s Gig Harbor main distillery and a tasting room facility on the South Puget Sound city’s waterfront. Heritage is also opening a distillery in Eugene, Oregon. Jennifer and Justin Stiefel founded the company — Justin serves as master distiller and CEO.
Heritage’s creations include vodkas, gins, bourbons, and whiskeys. Earlier this year, Heritage was awarded 25 medals, reportedly the most of any craft distillery by the American Distilling Institute. Heritage also touts its program to allow “spirit enthusiasts” to “work with our distillers to legally craft their own custom small-batch of whiskey, gin, or vodka products.”
Details on the tasting room’s features are still a mystery. In Gig Harbor, Heritage describes its waterfront tasting room as “a small space distillery and tasting room with samples, bottle sales, and gifts available.” One might expect an even livelier experience on the backside of Pike/Pine.
The company takes its tasting rooms seriously. Here’s marketing director Hannah Hanley on the importance of getting “excited when people walk in their doors” —
Most importantly, if you run a distillery with a tasting room and the have the right to sell bottles on site you need to respect your customer. Keep your shop open at hours convenient to the customer, not you. Be engaging and educating when consumers come it. Be excited and passionate about what you are doing. If the consumer made the choice to walk through your doors this is your huge opportunity, because there are no distractions from products that are outside your brand. They are captive to you and it is your chance to shine. I am shocked by how many distilleries don’t get excited when people walk in their doors. Respect the fact that a consumer chose to come to you. If you don’t want to deal with the public or with customers then don’t go into this business.
Given the size of the space, it seems unlikely Heritage will join the ranks of the few distilleries making craft spirits on Capitol Hill. CHS reported earlier this year on Sun Liquor and OOLA, the pioneers of Capitol Hill spirits, still, some five years after Washington loosened its alcohol manufacturing laws. The best part of craft spirits is, of course, the tasting. With Sun and OOLA already doing their thing in the neighborhood, HDC Capitol Hill will likely fit right in.
You can learn more at heritagedistilling.com.
Capitol Hill food+drink notes
- With one hole in Pike/Pine food+drink on its way to be filled, what about the other gap left behind with the closure of Chop Shop? Developer Liz Dunn has heard from a few interested owners looking to take over Chophouse Row‘s empty showcase space. We’ve heard she might chop the big space up and focus on something smaller for what comes next.
- Oh, Dunn also needs to fill her 12th and Pike space after Boom Noodle’s 10-year lease came up and the Blue C sibling shuttered last week.
- Also RIP: Restaurant Marron which closed quietly after two years in the Loveless Building. We never heard back from chef/owner Eric Sakai about the decision and what’s next for him.
- “That they’re not pretentious. They’re just places that you go and get wasted. And nobody is judging you.” — You Can’t ‘Open’ a Dive Bar
- Seattle Met apparently has a big story coming on Caffe Vita and founder Mike McConnell: “If you can get the famously press-shy McConnell talking”… & if you’re @alleciav @seattlemet, you can. Finally the @caffevita story!”
- “We carry an average of 3500 spirits at any one time with over 7000 bottles in house. All for our 32 seats!” says Jamie Boudreau, owner of Canon.
- Optimism Brewing has its first off-Hill tap at Bellevue Brewing.
- Lark’s new cookbook:
— kirsten graham (@kgpr) August 23, 2016
- The Pike/Pine Dessert Map.
- Do with this what you will. Hot Cakes Capitol Hill is now open during the day. Previously, the Capitol Hill shop was closed during weekdays, but they’re excited to open their doors to the afternoon crowd on Olive Way in response to customers asking for daytime coffee hours. Also, having the same hours for both shops will simplify things for guests, and ensure that everyone can get their hands on some Hot Cakes whenever they need.
- “Seattle Is Saturated with New Restaurants But Starving for Cooks.” They said this last year, too.
- Wood Shop BBQ opening in the CD on S Jackson.
- Oprah likes the Wandering Goose’s biscuits.
- The giant Redhook Brewpub project on E Pike might be pushed back a bit but headlines our list of projects still to look forward to in 2016. Hopefully Redhook’s business issues don’t further pressure the plan.
- Another Starbucks on Broadway? Why not?
- Getting the jump on the big guy, Honor Coffee is set to open its second Hill location in the old CrazyCherry fro-yo shop space near Broadway and E Olive Way.
- Important news –>
new hotdog stand by the Crescent! it's soft opening tonight and extremely good
— ⚪ (@3liza) August 13, 2016