What does a 31% rent hike mean? EuroPub loses lease on Broadway

EuroPub owner Witold Szczepaniak knows the answer.

“31? That means fuck off,” the European beer importer and operator of one of Capitol Hill’s more under the radar drink spots tells CHS.

Szczepaniak says his Broadway beer pub will be closing later this month after the management company for the Dick’s-adjacent former quick mart building his joint overhauled in 2015 responded to his attempts to negotiate a lease renewal with the huge proposed jump in rent.

He hopes to find a new spot. In the meantime, expect increasing discounts on the tap and bottle shop as it approaches a planned January 20th closing party.

Jumping rents on Broadway shouldn’t be a surprise. Many merchants along the core of the Capitol Hill artery have been bracing for the end of their leases following the opening of Capitol Hill Station in 2016. But Szczepaniak said he was surprised that the end of construction of the neighboring mixed-use project at Broadway and Denny — where a new Starbucks cafe will soon open — seemed to be the catalyst for the increased ask for EuroPub’s space. “They’ve been waiting for was construction was finished so they can raise rents,” he said. He expects the building might be the next to be sold for redevelopment.

Szczepaniak built EuroPub out of the old Super 97 Cent market into a bottle shop and beer room. “It’s an idea that has been in the back of my head,” Szczepaniak said about his Capitol Hill pub. “We need to educate people about the really good beer and thousands of years of history.”

Now, he says, he feels most sorry for customers and his employees.

The beer man says he hasn’t given up on Capitol Hill and hopes to reopen in the neighborhood. “I love this area,” Szczepaniak said. “This is the best place. This is the place to be.”

 

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10 thoughts on “What does a 31% rent hike mean? EuroPub loses lease on Broadway

  1. Good grief! No wonder there are so many EMPTY storefronts on Broadway. Pretty soon all we’ll have is walk-in doc-in-a-box offices (current count: 5 within 4 blocks) and Sbux.

  2. For anyone keeping an eye on foot traffic on this block, 31% doesn’t feel as crazy as it might sound. Obviously it’s not ideal for the venue, but the light rail station massively increased foot traffic on this block. I don’t have stats (anyone?), but I wouldn’t be surprised if 2x as many people pass by the 2 blocks around Broadway and Denny/John than did, say, 18 months ago. That will continue increasing, and jump a lot more when the large mixed-use development above the light rail station is done.

    While it’s easy to fault the landlord, it may simply be that this space outgrew the amount of visibility EuroPub wants (or at least, can pay for). Arguably this was predictable 2 years ago, and if that’s true, EuroPub had 1-2 years to see whether it could build enough of a business (using that exposure) to justify staying.

    (For anyone else curious, EuroPub opened in September of 2015 “After a longer than expected construction process” that seems to have started in Feb 2015: http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2015/02/capitol-hill-fooddrink-euro-pub-and-bottle-shop-will-bring-the-best-beers-of-europe-to-broadway/. The 31% increase may even be after 2 years, not 1. My comments above assume it was 31% since 1 year ago.)

  3. He shouldn’t worry about the customers. It’s not like nobody can find anywhere to drink, and nobody will exactly suffer from one fewer place to drink beer. (first-world problem?) If he finds another space with affordable rent, customers will find him again. I wasn’t a customer but I worry more for HIM, than for customers who suddenly can’t find anywhere to drink.

  4. I’m sorry to see small places disappear, but right next to a Link station exit is gold. I did, however, recently meet a comedian from my home state who runs comedy there on Wednesdays, so I guess I may not have a chance to see her perform there.

  5. Please edit this sentence for clarity as I get lost in the middle starting with “his joint”. I”m not being nitpicky. I am genuinely confused as to the meaning: “Szczepaniak says his Broadway beer pub will be closing later this month after the management company for the Dick’s-adjacent former quick mart building his joint overhauled in 2015 responded to his attempts to negotiate a lease renewal with the huge proposed jump in rent.”

    • For you, Max? Anything… Szczepaniak says his Broadway beer pub will be closing later this month after the management company (for the Dick’s-adjacent former quick mart building his joint overhauled in 2015) responded to his attempts to negotiate a lease renewal with the huge proposed jump in rent.

  6. The old Broadway Grill property has been a huge vacancy on the street for SO long. It cries out for a new tenant….are high rents keeping this from happening? Or is the property owner waiting for the impending rezone to redevelop and up his/her income?

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