Change can begin with a good haircut. A good cup of coffee can also help. You can now get both at the latest cafe to open along E Union, Squirrel Chops.
CHS spoke with owners Shirley Henderson and Sharon Blyth-Moss about their plans for the hybrid cafe+salon earlier this year just as construction was getting underway on their space at 22nd and Union inside The Central building, the first of what will be a wave of four-story-plus apartment buildings set to rise around 23rd and Union. Squirrel Chops debuted Sunday after they typical “longer than expected” buildout.
“We’re all about community and building community, and I thought why don’t we just do a place that does that. We wanted to start making that our business instead of our hobbies and pastime,” Henderson told us this spring.
Henderson heads up the coffee side of the 800-square-foot operation with Slate Coffee beans and a Slayer espresso machine. You can also grab a bite to eat — toasties! — or beer on tap. On the other side of a clipping-proof sliding door, Blyth-Moss handles the hair. They’re open for bookings.
Hours run 7 AM to noon on Mondays and Tuesdays, 7 to 7 on Wednesdays through Saturdays, and 8 AM to noon on Sundays.
Squirrel Chops currently neighbors electric bike concern and 20/20 Cycle sibling Electric Lady. The building will also eventually be home to a new restaurant project on 23rd Ave.
This area of E Union, meanwhile, is well served on the coffee front. Union Coffee, from the Molly Moon’s ice cream family, just opened down the hill, joining longtimers Cortona, Katy’s Corner, and Tougo.
Henderson and Blyth-Moss have long been involved with Capitol Hill’s LGBTQ community, but as many have moved south chasing cheaper rents, she said the Central District has increasingly felt like home. “The Central District has such an awesome rich history and diversity. That means a lot to us being women starting a business who are LGBTQ,” Henderson told us earlier this year.
Squirrel Chops is located at 2201 E Union. You can learn more at squirrelchops.com.