30+ Capitol Hill bars and restaurants to look forward to in 2017

After a wave of January closures, February brings new hope. Here we celebrate what lies ahead for food and drink on Capitol Hill in 2017. In 2016, we ended up tallying 36 openings across and around Capitol Hill. Below, we forecast 30+ joints to join the curious mix of business+art that produces the Capitol Hill food+drink scene. Some of these won’t make the arbitrary December 31st deadline. Some of these won’t see the light of day at all. And some that should be on the list aren’t because of secrets and changes in plans and who knows what. We live in a robust, fertile area for interesting meals and interesting drinks. Enjoy it. And happy 2017.dsc04805

  • Our first entry on the list also played a part in the 2016 predictions. Clearly, something went off the tracks. “It’s really the Redhook innovation side… they’re just chomping at the bit to put out some really cool beers,” the brewer’s Clint Eatherton told CHS earlier this year about the long-planned, a bit delayed small-batch Redhook Brewery destined to join the Pike Motorworks building on E Pike. CHS first reported on the project to create a 10-barrel brewing system and pub to anchor the retail ground floor of the preservation and development project back in late 2015. Since then, the project has hit a few snags including some issues with electrical systems. “It’s massive in size and some logistics,” Eatherton says.

    With corporate parentage –Redhook is owned by the Craft Beer Alliance, a company partly owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev — a few have wondered if the project might be canned, especially after a round of Redhook layoffs. But Eatherton tells CHS it is all systems go on E Pike. After a series of shifting opening dates, Redhook is now planning on a summer 2017 opening for the project.
  • To keep up, Anheuser-Busch InBev-related Elysian will also be doing some construction this summer to overhaul its E Pike brewpub and create a “brewing amphitheater.”
  • screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-10-46-58-amThe former Lobby Bar on E Pike is being transformed by its neighbor Ikina Sushi into a new bar. The “bar and night spot with booze, music, and dancing” Capitol Lounge will open soon and add to Japanese hot dog king Shinsuke Nikaido’s presence on the block in the very heart of Pike/Pine.
  • Contadino Restaurant and Pizzeria won’t be a surprise. We just reported on the next chapter for the old Kingfish Cafe and Ernest Loves Agnes space earlier this week. We like chef/owner Brian Clevenger’s style. “A neighborhood restaurant, 80% of their business is done by 20% of their guests,” he tells CHS.
  • Another one we can gaur-an-tee. Naka and it caviar and gold flakes are out and Adana’s Japanese comfort food approach is in at 15th and Pine.
  • Another slam dunk. The understated Ghost Note will replace Broadcast Coffee on Bellevue Ave.
  • “Early 2017” will bring the revolutionary ways of Seattle Coffee Works to E Pike.
  • 424190_336299219726477_1421862183_n-1Hey, this is getting too easy. We predict, in the year 2017, the Hula Hula Lounge will replace Clever Dunne’s. And they will “tiki the shit” out of it.
  • Neko Cat Cafe made our 2016 list. It’s still coming at an undisclosed Capitol Hill location in 2017, we’re told. A-choo.
  • img_1441-600x450CHS broke the news on Rapha Clubhouse Seattle coming to E Pine at Melrose in the Excelsior Apartments building — and nobody has had much to say about the secretive project since. We know the high-end cycling brand is moving in with a big project in the former geopositional location of the original Capitol Hill Bauhaus because, well, construction signs and stuff. Opening “early 2017,” the new Rapha will offer “the full selection of Rapha products – including rain jackets – and serves the finest food and espresso.”
  • Grocery stores is food right? Amazon Go might just be coming to E Pike. I dunno. The PR person hasn’t answered the latest round of CHS questions.
  • But we can guarantee a new ramen joint with an “exterior terrace” dining area in the same building. Is Tentenyu open yet?
  • More ramen: 954 E Union’s Betsutenjin didn’t make 2016 but is still moving forward for 2017, we’re told.
  • Starbucks Capitol Hill Station. Kind of. Another Starbucks on Broadway? Shocking, right? This one is destined for the new construction replacing the old post office at Broadway and Denny across from the light rail station. Should be open by the end of the year.
  • Don’t want to count the end of February reopening of Neumos as a food and drink thing to look forward to in 2017? Fine. How about a new concept for the Moe Bar space?
  • Paseo Capitol Hill is coming too, supposedly.
  • screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-1-24-56-pm-600x35412th Ave is set to gain Morfire, a cook-at-your-table Thai hot pot joint in 2017.
  • The project to expand vegan wonderland Plum into a former Capitol Hill steakhouse on 12th Ave is juicy enough. Add a Sugar Plum counter with sweets and soft serve and you have a Capitol Hill food+drink story that is pretty hard to beat.
  • 15th Ave E’s Sur 16 is a goner, after all. Incoming is Mediterranean eatery Olive Tree.
  • On 10th Ave E way down Roanoke Park way, La Santa will pray for success in a space many have tried and failed in.
  • On E Pine, the Raygun Lounge is adding espresso and beer on tap. Don’t call it a barcade, though, or lawyers will send us more email :(
  • We’re going to call the still undergoing permitting project joining Macrina Bakery and Pagliacci Pizza on E Pike a long shot for 2017. But a blog can dream, no?!
  • Also looking dramatically questionable for 2017 are two underground projects. One would add a subterranean level to the Rhino Room
  • img_1985-600x400-1Another would build out the fabled space below the already lovely Dino’s Tomato Pie.
  • Heritage Distilling is rounding into shape in the Central Agency building on the backside of Pike/Pine with a planned “early 2017” debut.
  • An overhaul of the Colman Building on E Pine meant the exit of Area 51 but the entrance of a new restaurant project that will include a ground floor and roof deck component in lower Pike/Pine. More soon.
  • Speaking of leaving you hanging, 206 Burger is coming to First Hill. Some smarty pants will tell you where in the comments.
  • The poke trend will be alive and well in 2017. One unnamed project project is lined up to open this spring next to the post office on Broadway. And another is… well, I can’t find my notes on it. But I *know* another poke joint is coming to 12th Ave. I will find you!
  • Meanwhile, Tam Noodle Box is destined for the Barclay Building on Broadway at Jefferson.
  • Street Treats will have its brick and mortar counter up and running at 24th and Union by this spring.
  • Med Mix coming (back to the Central District) to S Jackson.
  • A new home for Annapurna? With a new development incoming, the “Himalayan Nepalese” classic is in search of a new place to do business after years on Broadway.
  • Empty spaces destined for new faces: Benson’s former corner bodega. The 12th at Pine space that Boom Noodle made work for 10 years. World of Beers, still empty. The former home of Gnocchi Bar at 12th and Pine needs a new project. The old Broadway Dilettante space needs a new tenant. The Harvard Exit overhaul will be complete mid-year with space for a new restaurant and bar. How about Charlie’s III?
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