Modern Steep, born Remedy Teas, to close after decade on 15th Ave E

15th Ave E is about to lose a longtime part of its cafe scene. Modern Steep, born a decade ago as Remedy Teas, will close its 15th Ave E cafe and tea chop later this month to focus on its online business.

Changing Capitol Hill demographics, expensive equipment upgrades, and a long building construction project that left many customers wondering if the cafe was open all contributed. But the opportunity to grown the company’s online business is at the core of the decision to leave Capitol Hill, owner Christopher Glenn tells CHS.

“With rising labor costs, we’re not growing fast enough,” Glenn said, “All that said, we have been seeing an increase in traffic on our website. We have grown that side of our business. These are changing times, of course.”

The 15th Ave cafe is slated to wrap up business on August 26th, the company announced:

Thanks again for your love and support. We look forward to seeing and hearing from you as we move forward, albeit in a slightly different fashion. From now through August 26th, our physical shop will be open 11am – 6pm, Monday through Saturday. We hope to see you for a cup of tea, a smile and a hug.

Glenn took over the Remedy business in the summer of 2014 — though CHS didn’t get wise to the new ownership until a year later —  after founders Anthony and Andrea Arnold put the company up for sale. We talked with Remedy here in 2012 about its business and time on 15th Ave E. “We built Remedy on the idea that the first one on Harrison was a prototype,” Arnold told CHS.

The expansion plans never materialized. Glenn and his business partner took over Remedy and began embarking on a campaign to establish a new brand this year to emphasize “the much broader line of organic pure leaf teas and custom blends that the company represents.”

The cafe business struggled through an overhaul of its 15th and Harrison building through what has typically been its busiest months. The extra costs around expensive equipment upgrades also took their toll, said Glenn.

He said he is thankful for the core of 15th Ave business owners who helped welcome him to the street but also said he has seen signs that the street’s longtime merchant community isn’t keeping up with the changes.

“It feels like the community around 15th has diminished,” Glenn said. “With a lot of business turnover, it’s difficult.”

Now Glenn said the company will continue its operations for online sales out of a Seattle warehouse while beginning a search for a possible new community to call home — likely outside the city.

You can learn more and shop online at


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10 thoughts on “Modern Steep, born Remedy Teas, to close after decade on 15th Ave E

  1. When I lived on the hill I used to frequent Remedy. But as I moved off the hill and I wanted to stop by, it was mostly impossible to find a parking spot so I gave up. Perhaps I will find their teas online. I wish them well.

    • “Free” is the word you left out. You found it difficult to find a free parking spot. Within two blocks of the cafe are several places where you can store your car for a few dollars.

    • L,
      There’s a hint of bitter superiority in your comments. Does it surprise you that people who have a car, and the option open to them, would instead make a short drive to somewhere else they won’t pay for parking? Why on earth wouldn’t they? If they drove there to begin with, they probably didn’t live close enough to walk. And if you’re driving anyway, why wouldn’t you just drive somewhere else you won’t pay to park? This was hardly the only tea store in town, and (shocking) plenty of the other places that sell tea have (*gasp*) free parking.

  2. After it’s recent sale, the atmosphere of the place changed. They stopped most of their food offerings and it just didn’t feel as welcoming. I used to stop by every day in the summer for an iced tea on my was home from work, and I just stopped.

    I don’t think the community changed around them, I think they removed subtle but important distinctions that endeared them to the neighborhood.

    • Indeed. It sounds like the much-praised rise in the minimum wage is at least partially responsible for the demise of this small, local business. How many others have been, or will be, shuttered because of this legislation?

  3. I had a similar experience with the place. I used to bring the family there once or twice a month but when they changed their food service it sort of lost its appeal.

  4. It’s funny that people are talking about food options when this was a tea shop. From a tea perspective, those guys are awesome. We’ll miss the place and sad to see another local business close doors. Glad to know they’re still online.

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