The last Capitol Hill pizza joint without a pop-up DJ bar

(Image: Southpaw)

Much of Capitol Hill’s recent food and drink news has been about putting existing spaces to use for new projects.

Add Southpaw to the list — though, in the case of John Sundstrom’s 12th Ave pizza joint, the summer news is about making space to add something new.

Starting Thursday, Southpaw will undergo a nightly, weekends-only transformation with a Pop Up Bar from longtime Lark server Fernando Pacheco:

Pacheco and Mike McNett, opening bar manager of Lark, have come up with a fun cocktail menu that will be the focus of the pop up. Of course, Southpaw’s seasonal slushies, batched cocktails, and beer and wine on tap will also be available—plus pizza by the slice for $1.50 until they run out!

“Fernando has been wanting to host a cocktail night at Southpaw for a while,” Southpaw co-owner Kelly Ronan said in an announcement of the new project. “We figured why not do it for three nights a week and get a cool lounge vibe going.”

Southpaw pizza was born late in the great Capitol Hill pizza rush of 2016 as a casual counterpart to its sibling Lark in that restaurant’s old 12th Ave location.

Though adding stiff drinks isn’t revolutionary and it’s tough to find a joint on Capitol Hill without a DJ night, it’s interesting to see the Lark family add the idea to its brand.

And, while the Southpaw pop-up will be a fully on the up and up affair, there was a long, proud tradition of after hours DJ and booze activity at various Capitol Hill joints back in the days when there were fewer clubs and bars on the Hill — some operated with management’s blessing, others less so. If it’s happening these days, CHS is out of the loop and, please, no snitching. Meanwhile, the Pop Up Bar exists.

The Pop Up Bar runs Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9 PM to 2 AM. Saturdays will be DJ nights with Seattle turntable royalty DJ Riz kicking off the series this weekend.

Southpaw Pizza is located at 926 12th Ave. You can learn more at

Food+drink notes

  • Big news behind the scenes for a couple of Seattle’s main families of food+drink ventures… According to an announcement sent out by Sea Creatures, the company behind Capitol Hill’s Bateau and Bar Melusine, their partnership is growing. Led by chef and co-owner Renee Erickson, Sea Creatures is taking on two of the partners from the Josh Henderson-driven Huxley Wallace Collective and three of that company’s restaurants —  Westward, Saint Helens Cafe, and Great State Burger. Henderson will continue to operate his Kiki Ramen and Quality Athletics projects. Henderson also created the Skillet group of restaurants but left that company in 2013. Sea Creatures, meanwhile, will now include The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Whale Wins, Barnacle, Bateau, Bar Melusine, General Porpoise, Rana E Rospo, Willmottʼs Ghost, plus the new additions Westward, Saint Helens Cafe and Great State Burger,
  • Meanwhile, Ethan Stowell Restaurants has grown into a major part of the city’s food and drink scene under her guidance — including Rione XIII and Tavalota on Capitol Hill — but Angela Stowell is moving on to a new challenge. Stowell has been announced as the new CEO of FareStart.
  • Seven Beef is now Central Smoke:
    Central Smoke Bar & Smokery offers an international menu with smoke as a central theme uniting eclectic flavors from The American South to Southeast Asia. Think slow-smoked ribs, brisket and sausage alongside woodfire-grilled lobster and tea-smoked duck. The entire smoke friendly cocktail program is available during our daily happy hour and you can dine al fresco on the patio during warmer months. Join us and celebrate smoke!
    We’ll have more on the change… soon.


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