Capitol Hill food+drink | Ooink and 12+ new places still to come in 2016

After a ripple of summer closings, here is a reminder that the Capitol Hill food+drink economy (probably) isn’t crashing. There are still a lot of projects slated to come in 2016 — and, we’re pretty sure, several more we don’t know about… yet.

One of the Capitol Hill “coming soons” we haven’t told you about is Ooink, a Japanese-style ramen shop with a Malaysian chef slated to open in coming weeks above Broadway and Pike.

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 10.34.23 AM“This one is our first restaurant,” Jiaxin Wang tells CHS about the project set to showcase the creations of her husband, chef Chong Boon Ooi. “He’s been working for other people but now we can be on our own.”

With pork bone-based broth, chef Ooi’s Ooink will open in the space left empty by the departure of Russian dumpling house Vostok next to Marination Station in the Harvard Market shopping center. Vostok’s demise leaves the couple unfazed. The exit presented them with a relative bargain of a set-up to move into. Marination, on the other hand, provides inspiration with its ongoing success above Broadway and Pike.

Like Marination, Wang says Ooink will present a reasonably priced, fast food-like option but with dishes emphasizing craft and flavor. To begin, Ooink’s ramens will be more like traditional Japanese preparations but Wang said Ooi hopes to eventually weave his Southeast Asian flavors and dishes into the offerings. Ooink will also start as dinner only when it opens in September before transitioning to include lunch as the businesses finds its feet.

“It’s a good opportunity,” first time owner Wang said. “So many people walk by.” She’s especially excited for the return of Seattle’s wet and gray when Ooink’s “white silky broth” will be the perfect accompaniment when “people want something hot.”

“Hot noodle soup is also good drinking food,” Wang adds. Sounds like Ooink has done its neighborhood research.

Ooink will open in September in the Harvard Market shopping center. It is planned to be open six days a week from 4 PM to 9 PM, closed Mondays to start.

There’s one newbie ready to hit the scene. Here are 11 more — and a couple bonus items — to come.

Capitol Hill food+drink 2016 still to come (plus updates!)

  1. Redhook Brewpub: Slated to open by fall in the Pike Motorworks project, we’re hearing the major project creating a 10-barrel brewery and restaurant on E Pike might be pushed back in the year. Recent financial news might not help. UPDATE: The project now lists a February 2017 opening! That’s not 2016! Still, we’re leaving it on the list!
  2. Sugar Hill: This Ayutthaya sibling — a bar-focused eatery featuring Thai street-style food — is slated to open in the former E Pine Bauhaus space.
  3. Honor Coffee Broadway: A second Hill location for this ambitious local chain with its sights on China is coming to former fro-yo space.
  4. Southpaw: Pizza. But this time from the good people behind Lark. Destined for 12th Ave by “fall.”
  5. L’Oursin: “Fruits de mer” in the Central District. October.
  6. Harry’s Fine Foods: Chef owner Julian Hagood is transforming a convenience store at the corner of Bellevue and Mercer into a breakfast, brunch, and lunch focused-cafe before eventually dipping his toes into the dinner and nighttime bar business. “Summer.”
  7. Plum Catering and Sugar Plum counter: Was Manhattan steakhouse. Will soon be a new expansion of Plum including meals to go and a vegan sweets counter featuring Sugar Plum creations.
  8. Frankie and Jo’s: The plant-based ice cream shop project from Autumn Martin of Hot Cakes and Kari Brunson of Juicebox Cafe will be squeezed between Renee Erickson’s impressive triumvirate of Melusine, Bateau, and General Porpoise and Soi. When? Soon?
  9. Feed Co.: The Staples family burger joint is coming to 24th and Union this fall.
  10. Union Coffee: A new Central District cafe from Molly Moon Neitzel’s husband Zack Reinig is nearly ready to open on E Union. We’re told to expect a heavy reverence for the neighborhood’s musical history so expect to hear some tunes.
  11. Squirrel Chops: This hair salon plus cafe plus beer and wine bar is coming together at 23rd and Union and has been planning a “summer” opening.
  12. Neko Cat Cafe: Still no location and timeline announced for this cat cafe. We added it to the list just to tease you.
  13. New and open spaces: With new construction opening like the giant Excelsior building at Melrose and Pine (there’s a cafe lined up, we hear) plus spaces like the already claimed (we’re also told) Meat and Bread location or new places like the transforming Benson’s Grocery, expect a few 2016, early 2017 surprises.
  14. Pagliacci + Macrina: This project on E Pike won’t land until 2017.
  15. UPDATE: Paseo Capitol Hill: Coming to 10th/Pike with October target date.
  16. UPDATE: Cook/Weaver: “Inauthentic Eurasian” coming to the Loveless building “before the end of the year.”
  17. UPDATE: Wanderfish: Sustainable, chef-driven poke coming to Broadway. “Early October.”
  18. UPDATEHeritage Distilling: Opening a tasting room in the space formerly home to Meat & Bread. No announced date.
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7 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink | Ooink and 12+ new places still to come in 2016

  1. Or the big empty restaurant space at 23rd/Union in “The Central” building? I know with the 23rd construction it must be tough to rent…

    • Say huh? You think Union St, especially 23rd and Union, is a “bad location”? Do you, like, never leave Capitol Hill or something?

  2. Any idea what’s going next to the Chase Bank on 23rd and Jackson in the CD? It looks like something is happening in there but can’t tell quite what it will be.