Capitol Hill food+drink | Sizzle Pie and Dark Bar open in Pike/Pine

Jacobson, right, and McKennedy (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Skater bros and metalheads finally have a place to drink brews, eat pizza, and be themselves in Pike/Pine. And everybody else can come, too.

“Our whole approach is to have something for everyone,” Matt Jacobson (on the right, above), who founded Sizzle Pie with partner Mikey McKennedy in 2011, tells CHS. “We have a pretty comprehensive menu, vegan, and gluten free.”

The new restaurant and accompanying Dark Bar opens for real Thursday after a few nights of “soft openings” for the heavy metal pizza joint. It will keep some of the latest hours in Pike/Pine — and pretty much never rest.

“At Sizzle Pie, we don’t close,” Jacobson said. “Open on Christmas. Open on Thanksgiving. There are a lot of transplants in cities. We’re happy to be one of those places when everything is closed and you want some place to go.”

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The pizza is described as “classic and unconventional” with en emphasis on variety and some surprising options like, yup, breakfast pizza. “Available all day.” There are “meat,” “vegetarian,” and “vegan” pie menus, as well as a set of special “seasonal” choices. You’ll pay around $25 for a large. A slice and a salad deal runs $7.

Though Sizzle Pie is a sibling to Jacobson’s now 25-year-old Relapse Records, live music isn’t part of the recipe. But late o’clock in the morning hours are. “When we decided to put flag in the ground, we knew we were going to have some slow Mondays and Tuesdays,” Jacobson said. “Now we’re known as the place that is open late.” Sizzle Pie Capitol Hill has transformed the former home of sports bar Auto Battery into a hardworking pizza hangout. The staff will keep rocking from 11:00 AM to 3:00 AM Sundays through Thursdays and until 4 AM on Fridays and Saturdays. The former Po Dog hot dog shop next door is now the Dark Bar, exorcising demons and giving you some new ones every day, 4 PM to 2 in the metal funking morning.

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A pizza joint every two blocks: Meltdown Pizza Co. ready to serve its slice of Capitol Hill

In a Capitol Hill’s pizza economy so strong that even Amante’s is upgrading its game on E Olive Way, there are are two new openings to celebrate this week.

Meltdown Pizza Co., at Pine and Minor in a former therapeutic shoe shop at the base of Capitol Hill, is already up and running. Catch up.



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Capitol Hill food+drink | Financial trouble hits Tavern Law family of businesses

The Seattle Times this week has reported on the “financial trouble” and demise of Belltown’s Spur Gastropub, apparently a weak link in the food+drink chain of pubs, restaurants, and taverns assembled since the late 2000s by the chef duo of Brian McCracken and Dana Tough.

The McCracken-Tough Capitol Hill interests Tavern Law and The Old Sage, both men tell the Times, will not be closing.

That may well be. But Spur’s closure doesn’t mean the financial issues are solved. Court records reveal that earlier this month, King County Superior Court Judge John H. Chun signed a summary judgement detailing more than $1.2 million owed for a loan McCracken took from his father in 2009. Continue reading

Commission recommends designated public drinking areas in Seattle

So many people! #Seattle #Sunny #Park #CapitolHill #Chillin

A photo posted by Andrew Carroll (@andrewnolan92) on

Some 400 citations per year are issued in Seattle for drinking alcohol in public. It only feels like half of them are issued on sunny days at Bobby Morris playfield. The Community Police Commission, says that, like enforcement of marijuana laws, the beer and booze numbers disproportionately target minorities:

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As part of its report on Seattle’s public consumption policy, the CPC is proposing the city create designated areas for public drinking. But before you and your bros get too excited about totally getting wasted on 10th Ave, here is how the CPC is approaching the solution:

The CPC recommends that the City of Seattle adopt an exception to the existing municipal code that would allow public drinking in designated areas. This approach is not unheard of: there are currently 18 cities in the United States that have a similar exception, and last year a bill to allow drinking in certain outdoor areas even passed the Ohio legislature.12 In Seattle, this approach is already used on a small scale on the premises of some social service providers, including some programs of the Downtown Emergency Service Center and the Dutch Shisler Sobering Support Center.

Fun times, right?

The commission was formed by the 2012 DOJ consent decree to help address SPD’s use of force and biased policing. The report (PDF) also recommends homeless facilities that allow drug and alcohol consumption.

The recommendations must be acted on by City Hall to become law — so no drinking in Cal Anderson tonight but go ahead and Netflix and chill in Volunteer Park.

Authentic Belgian waffle shop Sweet Iron is coming to Pike/Pine


Born downtown, Sweet Iron is expanding to Capitol Hill. (Images: Sweet Iron)

Deciding what to eat on the backside of Pike/Pine is about to get even tougher this summer. Downtown’s authentic Belgian waffle shop Sweet Iron is expanding to 10th and E Union.

Unlike the syrup-drenched American version, real-deal Liege waffles are quite the versatile food, appropriate for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, or dessert. And especially appropriate when paired with beer. “It just depends on what time of day it is and what kind of toppings you have,” said owner Adrienne Jeffrey.

The waffle shop is set to open in the massive Broadstone Infinity development on a block of E Union between 10th and 11th sometime this summer, Jeffrey said. The shop will be squeezed between Renee Erickson’s impressive triumvirate of Melusine, Bateau, and General Porpoise and Soi, which opened as the 19th and easily the most ambitious Thai restaurant in Central Seattle.

Sweet Iron’s freshly made plain waffles can be adorned with any number of toppings, like fresh berry compote with whipped cream, or brie, bacon, and basil. Sweet Iron Capitol Hill will have a waffle menu similar to its downtown location, with the addition of beer, wine, and even a mimosa bar.

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The Dimas Model: Sunset latest in Capitol Hill counter empire

Dimas (Image: Sunset Seattle)

Dimas (Image: Sunset Seattle)

There’s the happiest of partnerships blooming across Capitol Hill — and it is spreading to Portland.

Monica Dimas is putting what she hopes are the final touches for Sunset Fried Chicken Sandwiches this week, her latest symbiotic relationship with the drink-focused culinary creations of Rachel Marshall, creator of Rachel’s Ginger Beer and part of the ownership behind Montana and Nacho Borracho.

“It’s helped us grow together,” Dimas tells CHS. “Rachel’s business has become even more successful. It’s nice to be part of.

With the opening of Sunset — expected soooooon — Dimas will provide the food to Marshall’s drink at each of the three Capitol Hill venues.

Sunset will add a fried chicken sandwich counter inside Rachel’s Ginger Beer at 12th Ave Arts. Continue reading

Spirit and Animal becomes Corvus and Co. following name controversy with soon-to-open bar

12105841_1244887468858894_6998415430795895922_nThe owners behind a forthcoming Capitol Hill bar have once again renamed their venture in response to criticism that their first two takes on a name were offensive to Native Americans.

In a Facebook mea culpa, owners Paul Berryman and business partner Izzy Guymon announced Monday they have renamed Spirit and Animal to Corvus and Co. — a reference to the genus of birds that includes crows and ravens.

It’s the second name change for the bar, slated to open next month at Broadway and Mercer, which had originally been called Spirit Animal. Popular use of the term has been denounced in the past for its problematic appropriation of Native American culture, which was pointed out to the bar owners via social media.

In response, Berryman and Guymon added an ‘and’ to the bar name in an effort to distance themselves from the controversial term and closer align “spirit” to its boozy definition. But when the Spirit and Animal sign went up last month at the longtime home of The Byzantion Greek restaurant, many complained it was still too reminiscent of the controversial term.

“While well intended, we were naive and didn’t comprehend the pain and frustration for people who have long dealt with having their heritage misrepresented and used by non-First Nation people,” said the owners in a Facebook post. “We now understand that this is a form of oppression that we most definitely did not intend or want to be a part of.”

The owners said they will switch out the sign before opening next month, though the raven is likely to stay given the corvus name. The owners also said it is representative of their combined Scandinavian and Celtic heritage.

CHS reported last September on the purchase of The Byzantion after 30 years of business and Berryman and Guymon’s plans for a “mystical” food and drink spot on the north end of Broadway. “I think this end is going to have a little bit of a renaissance,” Berryman said at the time. “It feels more like a neighborhood than an entertainment district.”

Here is Corvus and Co.’s full statement on the name change:

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Seattle’s first kombucha brewery, CommuniTea opens the taps at 21st and Union




CommuniTea’s Joyner (Images: CHS)

“We want to have kombucha that a babushka in Russia would recognize…”

Seattle’s first kombucha brewery and cafe has turned on the taps, albeit just a trickle so far, in the heart of the Central District. While production hums along, CommuniTea Kombucha’s 21st and Union cafe is still in its infancy. Currently, customers can buy bottled kombucha at the shop Monday-Friday (closed weekends) from 10 AM-5 PM. Kombucha is currently served in the cafe from 3 PM-5 PM at $3 per six-ounce glass.

Owner Christopher Joyner said the cafe will soon expand its weekday hours and open on weekends when the cafe will also start offering a small selection of fruits and cheeses. “We’ve had to go slow. This is a realistic schedule,” Joyner said.

CommuniTea showed off its new base of operations during its grand opening on April 2nd. Like its coffee and beer counterparts, CommuniTea’s interior is a mix of industrial and bar vibes. Tables and chairs, buckets and crates.

Kombucha production had already been underway at the brewery before the public-facing component opened. CommuniTea supplies several restaurants and shops with its pro-biotic rich fermented tea. The drink is also slightly alcoholic, coming in around 2% ABV, meaning Joyner had to obtain a liquor license to open the cafe. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | The Bauhaus bankruptcy

(Image: @maggibot via Instagram)

(Image: @maggibot via Instagram)

Ballard is abuzz. Bauhaus is returning. And while it isn’t yet clear whether the Capitol Hill original — in its final years relocated up the Hill on E Pine — will be part of the resurrection, the financial situation around owner Joel Radin is coming into light as the apparent revival plays out.

According to court documents, Radin has declared personal bankruptcy and is currently going through the long process of documenting assets and some $1.6 million in debt the businessman rolled up with friends, family, and banks as he operated a small chain of Bauhaus cafes and popular Ballard pizza joint Zayda Buddy’s. The brutal financial process requires Radin, who lists a home address of “Slip 23″ in a Lake Union marina, to document everything he owns of value — even his dog:

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Good news for the pooch? Radin has included the line item among the property he is declaring exempt from the US Western District Bankruptcy Court process.

Radin closed his Seattle businesses including the E Pine Bauhaus in December 2015 in an abrupt wave that gave customers and employees little or no warning. Radin said at the time the plan for the popular cafe to return to its original corner at Melrose and Pine was also being killed with the closures. The business entities themselves are NOT part of separate corporate bankruptcies and currently remain listed as active corporations in the state.

Today, the E Pine cafe remains dark. Items left behind like soda pop in the counter cooler remain as they were through the winter. CHS receives tips and reports from hopeful neighbors of occasional activity in the space but, so far, nothing has been announced to put the cafe space back into motion.

In Ballard, however, something is afoot. A sign bearing the Bauhaus brand and a hopeful “April 15″ message suddenly appeared this week and messages of excitement have rippled across the Ballard social network. The sign fits in with a puzzle we’ve been working on. So far, Radin has not responded to our questions. Continue reading

CommuniTea Kombucha Brewery celebrating grand opening at 21st and Union

(Image: CommuniTea)

(Image: CommuniTea)

Stop by Saturday night and be part of the community celebration of the new home for CommuniTea Kombucha at the corner of 21st and Union. Here are the party details:

Come join us as we celebrate the opening of our new brewery in the Central District. This event is to thank everyone who has supported us throughout this transition and to invite new people to have a taste of CommuniTea!

We will have kombucha on tap, refreshments and a lively community atmosphere at our brewery Saturday, April 2nd from 5 – 7pm. Join us!12473689_1245063915521941_1760967905313862242_o

CHS talked with owner Christopher Joyner just a little more than a year ago about the company’s plans for its new Central District home. After brewing his tea for a year in a small Ballard kitchen, Joyner moved to 26th and Judkins in 2009. Pushed out by development, Joyner took the opportunity to expand CommuniTea’s production capabilities with the new brewery and tasting room.

Meanwhile, it’s a busy weekend around Central Seattle with the 520 bridge celebrations, a massive pillow fight in Cal Anderson, and the annual Jackson Street Jazz Walk.