What it looks like now that classic Capitol Hill restaurant Charlie’s is an urgent care clinic

(Image: CityMD)

Charlie’s on Broadway was a classic for many reasons, Capitol Hill regulars old and new witnessing its death not once but twice being among them. The cynical might say the fate of the building and bones of Charlie’s might also be a new classic Capitol Hill situation.

CHI Franciscan Health and CityMD have announced the opening of their new urgent care center on Broadway:

This state-of-the-art center meets the growing need for convenient, cost-effective, high quality medical care for local residents. Each location is staffed primarily by board-certified emergency medicine doctors. Together with key clinical support staff, such as X-ray technicians and medical assistants, they have the ability to handle a wide spectrum of common urgent care needs for the Capitol Hill community.

(Image: CityMD)

The 217 Broadway E overhaul of the former restaurant joins a Capitol Hill where minute clinics are outpacing new poke places just barely. Broadway and Capitol Hill Station make up an urgent care core. Zoom Care now operates two clinics on the street after joining the Broadway mix about six years ago. A former Blockbuster now houses an Immediate Clinic. CityMD makes five on Broadway. There are only four Starbucks shops — counting the one coming soon at 101 Broadway.

CityMD is a CHS advertiser.

Urgent care clinics are helping fill the gap left by the sagging system of health care for younger people, often uninsured and typically healthy enough that a visit to the doctor is only one more sign that you are too old to wear shorts to work in November.

CityMD’s expansion to the Puget Sound area has been done in conjunction with Tacoma-based private healthcare provide CHI Franciscan Health. In 2015, the combination opened up the partnership’s first CityMD location in the area in Ravenna. There is also a location in Kent and another was being planned for West Seattle.

Charlie’s on Broadway closed for good in January some 40 years after its birth. Reborn under The Lodge Sports Grille family of restaurants, Charlie’s reopened in December 2015. But the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in federal court in November 2016 listing ten businesses it operated including Charlie’s. The restaurant’s longest run came under longtime owner Ken Bauer who helped open Charlie’s in 1976, and took it over in 2000 after the restaurant’s namesake owner passed away. As the end of the lease agreement approached, Bauer started looking to sell but found no buyers for years. CHS broke the bittersweet news of Bauer’s long-awaited retirement and Charlie’s first closure in June of 2015. “I’ve always told my employees ‘Everything is for sale,’” Bauer told CHS in 2010. If you never got the chance to visit, here’s what Charlie’s looked like back then.

After 39 years, Charlie’s owner Ken Bauer gives his regards to Broadway

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20 thoughts on “What it looks like now that classic Capitol Hill restaurant Charlie’s is an urgent care clinic

    • I agree Mimi. It’s sterile and corporate-looking. I wasn’t a big fan of Charlie’s, but at least it had some character….ugh, another slice of old Seattle….gone.

      Why are so many people still going without health insurance and without establishing a long-term relationship with a primary care provider? With Obamacare, it’s not that expensive and is in their own interest. Some will be in shock when they come down with acute appendicitis and get a bill from the hospital for $32,000 for an overnight stay….that’s what happened to me a few years ago!

    • Bob i expect this will be frequented by folks who recently moved here and haven’t had time, interest or a need to seek a primary care provider.

      I’m like you, those relationships are important. But to those to are transplants, young or don’t see value in primary care are probably those likely to frequent this place.

    • If people can not afford healthcare in the area, the Country Doctor Clinic on 19th provides excellent care and they have a sliding scale and do not turn people away. These strip-mall health clinics just rip people off.

    • @Timmy: I’m sure you’re right. But it’s imprudent to not establish yourself with a primary car provider. Sure, you don’t see the need….until you have a need. All it takes is to identify someone you want to get your health care from over the long run, make an appointment for a general checkup (using the insurance you got inexpensively via Obamacare, or through your job), and then….voila!…you’re all set up when the need arises. It’s not that difficult, and is just a matter of prioritizing what’s important.

  1. This is the same organization that runs St Joseph Hospital in Tacoma.

    The Attorney General of the state of Washington Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit against them for allegedly failing to provide charity care as required by law, aggressively seeking payment before telling patients their options, thus denying many low income charity care.

    • I think they’re fine for *some* things, and I’ve had OK experiences with them; but they’re no substitute for a real doctor who knows you. If you have a non-emergenc, but really can’t wait to see your regular doctor, you’d do much better using the Country Doctor after-hours clinic at Swedish-Cherry Hill:
      https://countrydoctor.org/after-hours-clinic/

  2. Other commenters are addressing the actual use of these types of places. Consumers need to be as informed as possible about healthcare options and make smart choices. Just on an aesthetic front, I get the red and white scheme as it’s associated with medical and they did find a way to stand out as nothing else there is solid white with cheesy brickface. But even in the ugfifying of Broadway pushing standards lower, this is an absolutely repulsive eyesore. Still I was surprised that zoomcare opened a second branch just 3 1/2 blocks away from their other location. Doesn’t seem the neighborhood is that dense but I guess with light rail there is makes sense. Broadway is just officially dead to me now. Literally no interesting businesses. Fuck it all.

  3. Places like this and Zoom Care are the equivalent of the Check Cashing places that popped up in neighborhoods. Taking advantage of people at their most vulnerable.

  4. having worked in the healthcare field for over 40 years I cannot overly state the importance of establishing with a PCP (primary-care physician). It is in your best interest to have one who knows you and your issues. When the chips are on the table, you win. This applies to all ages.

  5. The old Charlie’s gone. Ernie Steels gone, Bill’s Off Broadways will never be the same. The Niko Garden, gone. The Delux will never be the same. The Comet is still kind of the same. Good places replaced by generic, boring, two dimensional, shallow, unfulfilling spaces. That’s it! I’m moving!

    • Yep…this is the what happens when the Catholic church takes over all the healthcare systems in this country. You will find similar policies at Swedish/Providence as well.

      I used to work at Providence in another state about 10 years ago, and I remember when I started, they made us sign an agreement at the new employee orientation stating we were not allowed to talk about/treat/recommend/do anything regarding abortion with any patients/staff we encountered while we worked for the hospital system.

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