Capitol Hill food+drink | Pike/Pine partners behind Lost Lake, Comet plan Italian restaurant and bar to replace Kingfish Cafe

By June, the Capitol Hill Block Party will extend all the way to 19th Ave E.

CHS has learned that the acquisitive partnership behind Lost Lake, the Comet, and Big Mario’s is the lucky winner in the bid to take over the former home of the Kingfish Cafe after the legendary soul food restaurant closed amid a wave of nostalgia and long lines to start 2015.

The new project on the northeast corner of 19th Ave E and E Mercer from Jason LaJeunesse, David Meinert, and Joey Burgess is planned to transform the longtime home of the Kingfish into an Italian restaurant and bar serving “pizza, panini sandwiches and handmade pastas” and open for lunch and dinner. A “full brunch menu” will be available on weekends.

“We aim to be a comfortable neighborhood hangout, and hope to complement the existing neighborhood restaurants,” said LaJeunesse in an announcement of the new project. “The goal is to be a spot diners and drinkers frequent often, and when they come, they want to stay a while.” Continue reading

Derschangigan’s brings Blooming’ Onions, Appletinis to Broadway

(Image: Derschanigan's)

(Image: Derschanigan’s)

Derschangigan’s, an overhauled concept designed to better monetize the space where her Bait Shop “dive bar” apparently failed to take off after only 28 months of business, will open Wednesday on Broadway in a surprising change of pace for one of Capitol Hill’s leading figures in food and drink, CHS has learned.

After a secret buildout, the new venture is planned to debut on Broadway Wednesday.

“I’ve lived in this neighborhood for the last 30 years, and I’ve never been afraid of trying new things,” Linda Derschang said in announcement of the change-up. The full press release is below. Continue reading

Zaw chain ready to give Capitol Hill location a new spin — This time, they’ll cook your pizza

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(Image: Zaw)

Give Zaw credit. It wouldn’t have been the first regional chain to flame out on Capitol Hill. But the new era pizza concept has persevered through years of slower than expected business at 15th and Pine and is moving forward with a new spin on things.

Zaw Baked quietly reopened at the top of Pike/Pine earlier this month:

We’re back! – but with a bit of a twist on our concept. In our new space, still on 15th and Pine, we have created a place to sit down, relax, and try a baked pizza (along with your favorite beer or wine).

With its Capitol Hill location opening back in 2008, the u-bake pizza start-up created by entrepreneurs Greg Waring and Greg Scott grew to 11 locations but never really caught on at the level the investors expected. An attempt to defray costs and jazz things up with an ice cream partner didn’t fly, either.

Now they’re giving it another go with Zaw Baked.

“Particularly in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, we had a lot of requests for a baked product on site,” a company spokesperson tells CHS. “And that particular space was so large that at one point we debated not renewing our lease, but we worked with the landlord to utilize the space for the new ‘Baked’ concept.”

You can now walk out of the 15th/Pine Zaw with a $12 whole or $7 half already baked pizza. Capitol Hill’s Zaw has also added seating including a 16-seat “community table” to provide “a sort of ‘third place’ for the neighborhood to sit down, enjoy a baked pizza with a cold beer or glass of wine and enjoy time with their friends.” You willl also find a TV just in case your friends alone won’t cut it. Meanwhile, u-bake-style pizzas will still be part of the offerings going back to the original Zaw concept.

The overhaul joins a project from the Still Liquor folks down on the other end of Pike/Pine in the CHS Capitol Hill pizza news file.

We’ll see if the changes can help Zaw stick around on not necessarily chain friendly Capitol Hill. You can learn more at

Spaghetti Western — Hill’s first and possibly last pasta and BBQ joint — is closing

Just a little more than four months after reopening his Capitol Hill restaurant, Aleks Dimitrijevich has tapped out another classic goodbye message — this time in honor of his Spaghetti Western, the first and possibly last pasta and BBQ joint on Capitol Hill. Here’s his note posted Friday afternoon via Facebook:

And a good day to everyone :) i guess i’ll just make this short and sweet, maybe a touch of bitter to round things out, but such things are to be expected when things just dont seem to go the way you want them to.
i’m going to be closing this space down as Spaghetti Western so to speak. Tonight, tomorrow night and sunday brunch are going to be my last three official services here at the restaurant. five years of exhausting work, no vacations and no free time will suffice as reason enough…

a heartfelt thanks to all the friends and folks who came in and enjoyed round 2, hope you enjoyed everything! Continue reading

CHS Pics | A-Maze Balls — inside Smash Putt 23rd and Union

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Put your ball in the start point and turn the maze to guide your ball and achieve your score.

Like so many great games, this is a game of finesse.

Those are the “special rules” for A-maze Balls, hole #8 at the 2015 season of Smash Putt mini-golf at 23 and Union.

They are also words to live by.

CHS told you last week about the opening tee-off at the pop-up of the “MEGA Miniature Golf Apocalypse” in the old post office space at 23rd and Union. Here’s a look inside.

Tickets for the coming Friday and Saturday night are mostly sold out but you’ll find plenty of tee times on Sunday. Or, if you like, you can just hang out in the clubhouse sipping your Arnold Palmer.

Smash Putt is a CHS advertiser and is 21+ only. You can learn more at More pictures, below.IMG_7927 Continue reading

A decade of coffee for Fuel, just the start for one of Capitol Hill’s busiest food+drink entrepreneurs

IMG_8951It was a tough sell for Dani Cone ten years ago when she planned to open a coffee shop in a city already flooded with them.

“This was not my most novel idea,” Cone said sitting in Fuel on 19th Ave E. Novel or not, it worked, the shop is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month.

The milestone also marks a decade of business from one of the busiest food and drink entrepreneurs in the neighborhood. Coffee shops are what she knew, and after 10 years, Cone, whose business interests have expanded to include High 5 Pie and Cone and Steiner general stores, is just grateful for having the chance to work in a business she enjoys.

“Most important to me is really about the community, the customers and the people I get to work with,” she said. “I don’t know how I got so lucky. I really don’t.”

Cone grew up on Mercer Island, and was working at a deli there, since closed, called C’est Cheese. It was the early 90s and the coffee culture was just getting a foothold in many places across the country. While her main job was to make sandwiches, she also got on-the-job barista training when an espresso machine showed up there one day.

“It was like, ‘Oh, yeah, learn how to make these coffees,’” she said. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Standard Brewing celebrates two years of award-winning beer at 25th and Jackson

Justin Gerardy, center holding the mash paddle, with Darren Archer, left, and  Dustin Scott, right (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Justin Gerardy, center holding the mash paddle, with Darren Archer, left, and Dustin Scott, right (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Coffee isn’t the only manufacturing industry left in Central Seattle. We also make fantastic beer. The Central District’s Standard Brewing celebrated its second anniversary at 25th and Jackson last Friday. Sorry, but its batch of 2nd Anniversary Ale is long gone.

In 2013, we talked with founder and CD resident Justin Gerardy as he made the big leap from homebrew to pro in a small-batch brewery. It’s been a busy time since:

It’s been 24 months since quietly opening the door at 25th and Jackson St with 8 taps and about 80 square feet of service area. Since then, we’ve expanded to 13 taps, doubled the space for folks to sit and drink, won a few awards, brewed over 60 different recipes, and shared a lot of good times with the neighborhood.

It’s an orbit newly opened 12th Ave brewery Outer Planet and coming soon E Union project Optimism Brewing would be happy to achieve. Hopefully, Anheuser-Busch InBev doesn’t notice.

In the meantime, watch for Standard beer night dinners at Capitol Hill’s Cafe Barjot.

Standard Brewing is located at 2504 S Jackson. Learn more at


Capitol Hill food+drink | Gnocchi Bar ready to stick at 12th and Pine

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

Lisa Nakamura is ready to make a food and drink venture succeed at 12th and Pine and she’s going to work to make it happen. The prolific restauranteur was already pondering changes before her new Gnocchi Bar served its first dish of fluffy little dumplings on Capitol Hill.

“We’ll see what people want,” Nakamura said as she scooped CHS a dish of the gelato from D’Ambrosio Gelateria Artigianale, the space’s previous tenant that will continue to have a presence — and treat-filled display case — inside Gnocchi Bar. Full disclosure: CHS accepted the gelato as a gift — and to help Nakamura train a new employee. We just want to help.

Nakamura opened the doors officially to her new restaurant Monday night after a weekend rewarding crowdfunding investors, friends, and family. She was also, doubtlessly, tinkering with what she is planning as a seasonal rotation of dishes featuring the hearty dumplings.

Continue reading

Vivace creating Broadway roasting facility

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

Espresso Vivace owner David Schomer knows as well as anyone that Capitol Hill’s upheaval can threaten even the most established neighborhood businesses. In 2008 Vivace had to move into the Brix building when its longtime Broadway home was torn down to make way for Capitol Hill Station.

For years, Vivace has roasted its coffee inside an 11th Ave warehouse in the heart of Pike/Pine. With no retail component to help pay the rent and demand for space at a premium, Schomer told CHS he knew his time on 11th Ave might also be limited.

So when owners of the Garage pool hall and bowling alley told Schomer they had an unused basement space that could accommodate the roasting operation, Schomer jumped on it. Vivace will take over the underground Broadway space in August with plans to start roasting in December. Continue reading

Smash Putt tees off at 23rd and Union

(Image: Smash Putt)

(Image: Smash Putt)

Expect to hear a few golf claps around 23rd and Union starting Friday as Smash Putt mini-golf pops up inside the old post office space for a four-month season.

The boozy “athletic” event (and CHS advertiser!) has given us two sets of passes to give away for its upcoming March 22nd and March 30th industry nights. Add a comment below with your official mini-golf name and we’ll put you in the mix for the passes. We’ll notify the lucky commenters around 5 PM this afternoon (March 20th!). You can call CHS Sandy Wedge when we’re on the links.

Earlier this year, we talked to co-creator Mike McCracken about the ninth incarnation of Smash Putt. “We have to be opportunistic about space,” McCracken said. “We noticed (the Post Office space) because they were doing cool community things, like the Punk Rock Flea Market.” In 2009, Smash Putt first popped-up on 12th Ave where Rhein Haus stands today.

The weekend pop-up will be part of the scene in the Midtown Center strip mall through July. Its presence is part of a series of small changes from longtime property owner Tom Bangasser in an attempt to cut down on crime in the area after gunfire incidents near the center earlier this year.

In addition to the “MEGA Miniature Golf Apocalypse,” Smash Putt is also a bar. It’s free if you’d rather be a spectator, have a drink, and watch the action. Please, no wagering.

You can learn more and buy tickets ($15 to $20 depending on the time of your tee-off) at Sorry, kids. Smash Putt is 21+ only.