Shuttered By the Pound deli speakeasy evicted over thousands in unpaid rent

There’s a bigger mess than the construction reportedly underway at the shuttered By the Pound deli and bar.

A King County Sheriff’s eviction notice has gone up on the venue’s locked E Olive Way door. Court records show the companies behind the project owe more than $75,000 in unpaid rent — plus daily rent of $317.24 for every day after Halloween they didn’t vacate the premise, and more than $1,600 in attorney’s fees and hundreds more in costs.

It’s a pricey menu.

CHS has reached out to Jayme Stocker of Allied Global Marketing who has been representing the ownership with media but haven’t yet heard back.

The King County Superior Court judgment adds to the issues behind the short-lived deli plus speakeasy venture as its ownership has said it intends to reopen as a straightforward bar.

According to state corporation records, BTP Seattle is registered to business partners Rodney Wang, Shervin Roohparvar, and Katherine Benjamin.

In September, CHS reported on the surprise shuttering of By the Pound after less than a year of business at the ambitious venture that created a secret bar behind its front counter deli. We noted around $11,000 in unpaid state taxes at the time but the issues with landlord Equity Residential Management were going on outside of the public record.

According to an agreement included in the court records from the lawsuit, the parties agreed on a payment plan that would have the business paying $2,196 in owed rent on a weekly basis starting in September. The defendants failed to make the required payments and the dispute landed in court.

CHS visited By the Pound in its first weeks in late 2017 as the high aspirations for a deli-fronted, modern-day speakeasy took shape in a long-empty space formerly home to Bleu Bistro’s Grotto.

The club and bar-focused F2T Hospitality management company owned by Ali Olyaie behind the By the Pound project has also been maintaining an office on E Olive Way just up the block from the deli and bar. That company also opened the Alchemy cocktail bar and its restaurant sibling Vine and Spoon in West Seattle. A second company registered to Olyaie’s wife Jennifer Perry is also a defendant in the case.

In September after CHS reported on the abrupt closure, By the Pound ownership said the plan was to reopen this fall. “Because of demand, the team has chosen to physically expand our bar concept and utilize more of the space to facilitate more guests being able to experience our product and couldn’t remain open while doing it,” the company said in a statement. The plan then was to open in a few weeks.


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16 thoughts on “Shuttered By the Pound deli speakeasy evicted over thousands in unpaid rent

  1. Well, it seems pretty fitting for a speakeasy to be shut down via fines for tax and rent evasion, at least.

    It’s a shame they couldn’t make this work out, though. It was an interesting idea, at least.

  2. I’ve said this 100 times, their menu wouldn’t have had to be expensive if they would’ve dropped the bar.

    An open late deli would’ve been an excellent idea by itself. Renovating the bar and adding a liquor license killed this project. Now we’ll be stuck with an developed unprofitable space for an extremely high cost.

  3. Both By the Pound and Bleu’s Bistro were horrible overpriced.

    Hopefully the next tenants are an affordable diner where you can get a burger and steak fries for less than $8.00

    • Not likely given that monthly rent is $9,500. Add electric, gas (if needed), taxes, insurance, employee payroll, and groceries to that and I doubt many places will be able to give you a sub-$10 meal there.

  4. I wanna say that everything in Capitol Hill and Seattle is expensive. That’s just a fact. One of the things people said they wanted was for the Min. Wage increase. We made it clear that we would have to raise prices to do it, but y’all said you were cool with it. These increases have started taking place, and I do hear people complaining about it. I knew it would happen, but still frustrating as a business owner, I voted for the $15 an hour knowing it would cost me $ but it was the right thing to do.

    I don’t have anything to do with this place, but an $8 Burger and Fries, well you can go to Dick’s and that’s about it. Lil Woody’s is probably close to that price, but rent is EXPENSIVE on the hill.

    • True, but there’s a whole lot of daylight between a $20 sandwich (if that’s true) and an $8 burger and fries. I agree that an $8 burger & fries in a nice environment is a pretty unreasonable ask. But so is the other extreme.

      • True. Didn’t realize they had a $20 sandwich. Don’t other spots have that too? A big Rajun Cajun at Other Coast is about $18? I heard that new Jewish Deli has a $30 sandwich? Haven’t been there. Was it a good sandwich? I had been thinking more about the bar than the deli part.

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