Little Oddfellows ready to open inside Elliott Bay Book Company

(Images: Little Oddfellows)

It wasn’t as big a surprise as finding out Atticus Finch is a racist, but Little Oddfellows wasn’t in the plans. This spring, Capitol Hill food and drink veteran Linda Derschang told CHS her decision to take over the cafe space inside Elliott Bay Book Company was too good an opportunity to pass up.

This weekend, Derschang will unveil her version of a literary cafe:

Little Oddfellows will be making its debut this weekend inside of Elliott Bay Book Company on Capitol Hill.  The menu includes baked goods and desserts, coffee and espresso from Caffe Vita, sandwiches, grain salads, and housemade juices and scratch sodas.  Beer and wine will also be available.

Little Oddfellows will be open at 10am on Saturday, August 1st.  It joins Linda’s Tavern, King’s Hardware, Smith, Oddfellows Cafe+Bar, Bait Shop, and Tallulah’s as part of The Derschang Group.

Little Oddfellows is open from 10am to 10pm Sunday through Thursday and from 10am to 11pm on Friday and Saturday.  The Derschang Group has been a long-time admirer of both Elliott Bay Book Company and Caffe Vita and are very excited to partner with both of them.

Following a summer buildout, Little Oddfellows replaces the Elliott Bay Cafe after Tamara Murphy said she decided not to renew her lease for the space to “pursue other interests and projects.” Murphy and her cafe accompanied the legendary and last of its kind Seattle bookstore in its move to Capitol Hill from Pioneer Square in 2010.

From the business side of things, the opening also presents the opportunity to see how Derschang’s managers integrate a counter entity added on to their ongoing operations at Oddfellows. Ericka Burke will unveil a similar set-up on 11th Ave when her “juice and provisions” counter opens at Chop Shop.

Meanwhile, Derschang isn’t the only Capitol Hill food and drink maven taking a bookish turn this summer. The guys behind Lost Lake and the Comet are preparing to open Hemingway-inspired Ernest Loves Agnes “later this summer” in the old Kingfish Cafe space on 19th Ave E.

Full Tilt bringing punk rock ice cream pop shop with a spin to Capitol Hill

Punk rock ice cream arcade purveyor Full Tilt is coming to Capitol Hill. A new shop dedicated to Full Tilt’s nearly legendary, long in the offing ice cream bars is planned to open mid-August in the 15th Ave E space where Capitol Hill Family Arcade has been entertaining Capitol Hill families ever since… a week or so ago.

“I have prepped my best games for this location,” Bobby Conover from 20XX Amusements is quoted as saying in the announcement sent to CHS. Full Tilt says the new space will have a larger arcade section than any of the other Full Tilt shops. The new store will feature about 20 arcade and pinball machines, according to the announcement.

“I wanted to use this location to focus more on our ice cream bars and games,” Full Tilt’s Justin Cline said. “To make it a fun spot for families on the Hill.” Continue reading

Vivre: Veteran chef plans shift from Japanese to French to catch up with Hill’s restaurant boom

In the midst of the Capitol Hill food+drink economy’s boom, one chef/owner is admitting he made the wrong call.

“I’m a fighter,” Eric Stapelman tells CHS. “I could have just given up.”

Instead, Stapelman says that after just over a year of business on E Pine, he is going to turn his troops around and choose a new flag to fight under.

Saturday, August 1st will be the final night for Stapelman’s Shibumi, the Japanese-faithful restaurant concept he brought to Seattle in his move from Santa Fe. By Tuesday, August 4th, Stapelman says the restaurant will become Vivre, his new concept based along classic French bistro lines.

“Some of the first foods that I was cooking were French,” Stapelman, who sprang to a kind of fame as a celebrity chef in New York City, said. “I love simplicity and I love bistro food.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | Portland’s Sizzle Pie bringing Burnside hip and pizza brunch to E Union

(Images: Sizzle Pie)

Straight outta Burnside, a Portland pizza bar known for late hours (including delivery until 3 AM — and 4 AM on the weekends), pizza brunch, and a wide selection including gluten free and vegan pies is coming to Capitol Hill.

Sizzle Pie Capitol Hill will open in the former home of the Auto Battery sports bar and Po Dog hot dogs after the duo shuttered last week.

Sizzle Pie is about to opens its fourth Portland-area location and also has a joint in Eugene. The company was said to be “scouting” Seattle.

Founded by Portland food and drink entrepreneurs Matt Jacobson and Mikey McKennedy, Sizzle Pie will look to bring its brand of Portland-style hip and “Voodoo pizza” to the backside of Pike/Pine in an area poised for a massive shift in a wave of major restaurant, bar, and brewery investments. Last week, CHS showed you inside one of the ambitious projects involved in Pike/Pine’s southern march as Chop Shop opened on 11th Ave. Continue reading

Refresh Frozen Desserts and Espresso to restore Broadway’s fro-yo balance

Menchie’s can’t do it alone. Somehow, Broadway has survived the hottest summer in recorded CHS history with only one frozen yogurt provider. By August, forecasters say the Broadway frozen yogurt supply should be back to full strength — but this time with an independent provider in the mix.

In December, the Broadway location of the national Yogurtland shuttered. The space left behind by the chain will soon be home to Refresh Frozen Desserts and Espresso.

Bobby Gaon co-owns the new business with his wife and family members. He told CHS they snatched the space up as soon as it hit the market after another franchise player backed out, attracted by its close proximity to Seattle Central College.

The Broadway Building will see a summer of change for its tenant mix. Zpizza, another national franchise, is also planned to shutter and make way for something new in August.

Like Yogurtland, Refresh will serve frozen yogurt. The menu will also include “Italian ice, sorbets, soft serve custard and soft serve gelato” according to Gaon. Coffee sold at the store will be sourced from Kuma Coffee, a local direct trade roastery. The yogurt comes from Arkansas-based Honey Hills Farms. CHS pulled back the curtain on the inner workings of the frozen yogurt industry here when we talked to the owners behind the Broadway Menchie’s about their decision to work with a franchise.

The Refresh space is currently undergoing a $25,000 remodel. After it is completed, it will have an extended service counter, bar seating, and a graphic mural by a local artist.

Refresh is scheduled to open “early to mid” August.

You can learn more at

UPDATE: Oopsy! Forgot. There is anotherCrazyCherry still doing its thing just north of Dick’s.

Capitol Hill food+drink | Inside Chop Shop’s Pike/Pine ambitions


Burke (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

Burke (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

The current level of investment and years of work creating new food and drink venues in the southward spread of Pike/Pine is unprecedented. After opening Friday, Chop Shop, the signature street level tenant inside Liz Dunn’s new Chophouse Row development, is case in point.

Chef Ericka Burke spent more than two years opening her 2,000-square-foot, 67-seat vision of Northwest casual. It comes after Burke faced down massive challenges with the growth of Volunteer Park Cafe (nine years old this January) meshing with its single-family, North Capitol Hill neighbors. And it goes back further to when a first run in Pike/Pine was cut short in 2009 when Burke’s partnership with Linda Derschang in starting Oddfellows did not work out.

After these challenges, 2015 has been a year of triumph for Burke. Earlier this year, her Canal Market project finally opened in Portage Bay. And now, Chop Shop joins the Chophouse Row as the centerpiece in the mixed-use office+open marketplace project.

IMG_4764Looking out on 11th Ave, the big front window of Chop Shop remains wide open these warm summer days. The front section of the restaurant near the open kitchen is filled with a long communal table and densely surrounded by sets of smaller tables and chairs. Things open up behind the central bar with another cove of more loosely spaced tables and the Chop Shop Juice and Provisions counter that will serve fresh juice, espresso, pastries, and “grab-and-go-lunches” when it opens later this summer. Exit out a back-alley breezeway that leads to the other food and drink players open and opening soon in the Sundberg, Kennedy and Ly-Au Young, and Graham Baba designed Chophouse Row project or climb the stairs to what will eventually be a loft dining area above the bustle. Meanwhile, Chop Shop gently spills out into the mews with a row of patio seating along the building’s alley-like entry from 11th. Continue reading

Vino Verite, vintage 2008 Capitol Hill wine shop, moving to Columbia City

Dave Egan, right, and Tom "Haj" Hajduk in a vintage photo (Image: CHS)

Dave Egan, right, and Tom “Haj” Hajduk in a vintage photo (Image: CHS)

It’s not often CHS gets scooped by Columbia City Source:

In an announcement on Facebook today, Capitol Hill wine shop Vino Verite confirmed that it is in fact moving to Columbia City. Further discussion on the post clarified/suggests that Baol African imports is closing (they’ve had “clearance” signs up for a few weeks now), Andaluz is moving next door to Baol’s spot (not yet confirmed by Andaluz), and Verite is moving in to the Andaluz space.

But Dave Egan and Tom “Haj” Hajduk say it’s true. Some of the most prolific users of the CHS Calendar… ever! are moving their wine shop from the Boylston Ave E shop where it opened in fall 2008 a few stops south on the light rail line.

In the end, the business partners say their shop just off E Olive Way just didn’t get enough walk-in customers:

We tried a number of changes but the walk-in traffic has not achieved a level that supports the business enough. Meanwhile, outside sales to non-profit and business accounts have increased, making our business successful in ways that allows us to move forward.

You can read a more complete explanation and what comes next from the Vino Verite guys here. The partners haven’t ruled out an eventual return to Capitol Hill. In the meantime, they last day of business on Boylston will be July 25th — there are a few more Thursday night tastings for you to stop by and say goodbye (for now?).

The planned shuttering leaves 15th Ave E’s EVS and its extended, one-of-a-kind partnership as the only dedicated wine shop on Capitol Hill in a neighborhood currently focused an entirely different kind of intoxication.

Capitol Hill affordable night noshing update: RIP Po Dog, viva ‘Neon Sandwich’

Affordable housing is all well and good but what about affordable drunk food? We have two important pieces of breaking late-night noshing news to start the week.

  • (Images: CHS)

    (Images: CHS)

    RIP Po Dogs: A wiener empire that at one time stretched from E Union to Ballard to the University District has come to an end. Po Dogs announced over the weekend that it will close its original and last-standing brick-and-mortar location later this month:
    How amazing of a wiener life we’ve had since opening our doors 6 years ago. Developing some amazing friendships and a great regular customer base has made our everyday work life so amazingly enjoyable and we can’t thank you enough for sharing your lunches, dinners, and late night drunken/sober/happy/sad/celebratory hungry stomachs with us. It is with heartfelt love and gratitude for all of you that we are announcing our retirement as Seattle’s favorite brick and mortar wiener shop. We will be serving our last famous Po Dog wiener on Wednesday, July 15th and would love to see you all for a final farewell between now and then! We will be focusing on the catering side of our business and making room in our brick and mortar space for an amazing new concept! Seattle, we can’t THANK YOU enough for your support over the past 6 years. To all the mouths that our wieners have made so happy, maybe one of these days we will pop up for a surprise wienering in your office or at your wedding!
    Founder Laura Olson opened Po Dogs on E Union in fall 2009. By that winter, Olson was already gearing up for expansion in a flurry of activity that included the opening of Manhattan Drugs on 12th Ave. Almost as quickly, pieces of the new ventures began to be taken over or closed. The 2013 business implosion around E Olive Way nightclub The Social was also part of the boom and bust. Other components of the Olson empire including 11th Ave’s Grim’s have since been jettisoned. We don’t know yet what’s next for the Union location of Po Dogs — stay tuned.

  • Dimas (Image: CHS)

    Dimas (Image: CHS)

    Viva Neon Torta: With Montana’s neighboring walk-up counter graduating Kedai Makan to the old La Bete space around the corner, there is now space on E Olive Way for Rachel Marshall’s frequent food collaborator Monica Dimas to do her thing on the street. Neon Sandwich (final name TBD!) is coming later this year:
    Though Dimas is restoring Mexican street food to the one-time home of Tacos Gringos, her second location won’t sell tacos. She’s planning a menu of tortas, Mexico’s oblong sandwiches served on hearty, crusty buns called bolillos. Thus far she’s been too busy plotting her menu to finalize a name, but one possible moniker is Neon Sandwich. Dimas says her tortas won’t necessarily be bound to Mexican tradition. Some of the specials she’s run at Neon Taco will migrate over here, like a lamb torta with smoked poblanos, a pork belly and kimchi number, and one stuffed with smoked fish. The menu will be a concise list of about a half-dozen sandwiches, horchata with cold brew, and some agua frescas.
    Are you sure you wouldn’t rather call it Neon Torta, Monica? CHS talked with Dimas about Broadway’s Neon Taco earlier this year.

    (Image: Brandon Patoc)

    (Image: Brandon Patoc)

Capitol Hill food+drink | Sugar Plum a sweet new direction for eating vegan in Seattle


By the end of July, Makini Howell will have taken eating vegan in Seattle in yet another new direction: to the sweet shop.

“It will show that there is a lot to being vegan,” Howell said in a chat with CHS following her weekend of red, white, and blue vegan BBQ, an annual tradition at her 15th Ave E cafe that didn’t get put aside despite a busy schedule and construction to prepare for the opening of Sugar Plum planned for the end of the month. “It will be a sweet little sweet shop.” And, yup, it will be vegan.

CHS first told you about Howell’s plans to transform her 15th Ave E cafe into a vegan sweet shop last fall. She utilized community financing and her strong reputation to push a brand new concept forward and reinvent her part of the 15th Ave E food and drink scene.

“People like us. They know we offer a quality product. We’ve been vegan an in Seattle for so long,” Howell told CHS this week.

When it opens in, Howell said to expect “that old school feel of a candy shop” with gluten free, vegan, and dietarily sensitive wonders. “I want it to be an exciting spot to come have a treat. Imagine amazing, big chocolate chip cookies,” Howell told us last fall. You’ll find the aforementioned cookies, bars, brownies, donuts, sweets, soft-serve and more. Continue reading

Chophouse Row centerpiece Chop Shop opens Friday

Chop Shop took time out from construction for Chophouse's opening party in June (Image: CHS)

Chop Shop took time out from construction for Chophouse’s opening party in June (Image: CHS)

IMG_2855The centerpiece of the “open marketplace” at Pike/Pine’s new Chophouse Row development will finally open for business Friday.

Chop Shop from Volunteer Park Cafe’s Ericka Burke will bring an Oddfellows-like player to 11th Ave:

Chop Shop Cafe & Bar is chef Ericka Burke’s restaurant, anchoring the entrance to Chophouse Row from 11th Avenue. Coming from the chef-owner of the beloved Volunteer Park Cafe, ChopShop offers sit-down service and a seasonal menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, while ChopShop Juice & Provisions provides healthy grab-and-go salads, pastries, fresh-pressed juices, and provisions. Chop Shop will have outdoor seating in both the alley and along the front sidewalk.

CHS first reported on the project from Burke way back in March 2014. Burke told CHS at the time that she was originally considered to be part of developer Liz Dunn’s first “marketplace” development at Melrose Market but wasn’t quite ready for the commitment. “Years ago, Liz asked if I was interested in Melrose,” Burke said. “Life is just about timing.”

CHS wrote about the Chophouse roster of food, drink, and retail tenants here including farm-to-ice cream cone champion Kurt Timmermeister who has taken a 300-square-foot patch of space for his dairy-powered cream and cheese ventureKurt Farm Shop which is already open, and a new Upper Bar Ferd’nand that will open later this summer. The new project built out of the shell of the old building that used to be home to Chophouse Studios also brings together Dunn’s 12th Ave Piston Ring building, the Thomas Kundig-designed 1111 E Pike building home to Cupcake Royale, and her E Pike Baker Linen building home to offices and Retrofit Home. The project was designed by Sundberg, Kennedy and Ly-Au Young, and Graham BabaYou can see pictures from the project’s opening party here.

Construction and this summer’s slog over various permits delayed Chop Shop’s planned June opening.

Chop Shop is located in the streetfront main suite of Chophouse Row on 11th Ave between Pike and Pine. You can learn more at

UPDATE 7/10/2015 9:15 AM: Here’s the big announcement:

Ericka Burke is thrilled to announce the opening of her latest project, the anchor tenant in the new Chophouse Row building. Chop Shop Cafe & Bar officially opens today at 5:30pm at 1424 11th Avenue in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Chop Shop Cafe & Bar is housed in the newest mixed-use project created by Liz Dunn, who also developed Melrose Market. Chop Shop’s main entry faces 11th Avenue, and the original façade has been preserved and updated, with a bank of new windows at street level and the original wooden windows above. The 2,800 square-foot restaurant has 67 seats—a large communal table sits at the center of the dining room, with additional seats at a chef counter, along the front windows, and at the bar, as well as at smaller tables tucked around the space. The highlight of the bar is a re-purposed entryway from the century-old Williamsburg Court building, which adds a feminine touch to the surrounding metal beams and rough woods. Additionally, warm maple wood, swaths of botanical wallpaper, mirrors, and tile all come together to create an intimate experience within the large space.

On the alley side of the space, a sliding glass wall opens to seasonal patio seating. Back inside, behind the main dining room, there’s a table that can be reserved for large parties—there’s also another communal table upstairs on the mezzanine, which will be available for private parties beginning in August. Downstairs, around the corner from the restaurant, is Chop Shop Juice & Provisions, a counter where fresh-pressed juices, espresso, pastries, and grab-and-go lunches will be sold daily from 7am to 7pm. Chop Shop Juice & Provisions will open in a few weeks.

Burke is delighted to have the opportunity to open her doors right in the bustling heart of Capitol Hill. She and her restaurant Volunteer Park Cafe, which she opened in the north end of the neighborhood in 2007, have become known for a warm, welcoming atmosphere with wholesome food, and she plans to carry that on in the new space—using excellent ingredients in new, elevated presentations. The restaurant’s dishes will play masculine and feminine elements against each other—say, a perfectly crisp roast chicken or rare steak, served with bright vegetable-based sauces and bold sides.

Joseph Bollag, most recently of Marjorie, will head the kitchen as the executive chef. Raised by a second-generation French-trained chef, Bollag has worked in kitchens across the west, from Church and State in Los Angeles to How to Cook a Wolf here in Seattle. He brings an array of skills and wonderful creativity with him to Chop Shop.

Soon, Chop Shop will offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner, open Sunday through Thursday from7am to 11pm, and Friday and Saturday from 7am to midnight. For now, they are serving dinner daily at 5:30pm.

“I want Chop Shop to be a gathering place, an urban hub, a ‘third place’,” says Burke. “Home, office…Chop Shop.”

Dinner showcases the best produce and proteins available, combined in winning dishes that often utilize the products from the juice bar. Small plates include Beet Cavatelli with morels, poppy seeds, ricotta salata, and hazelnut gremolata or Gioia Burrata served with heirloom tomatoes, oregano, brown butter, and pine nuts. A significant portion of the menu will always be dedicated to vegetable dishes like Purple Kohlrabi served with broccoli rabe, Fresno chili, basil, and peanut, or a Melon Gazpacho with kaffir lime panna cotta, padrón peppers, Arbequina olive oil, and verbena. Mains include a Roasted Game Hen with succotash, miatake mushrooms, salsa verde, and grilled lemon and a Bavette Steak with heirloom tomato, smoked potato, marrow onion toast, soft herbs, and balsamic. There will always be a signature “chop” on the menu—the inaugural dish will be a Double Pork Chop with poppy seed spaetzle, turnips, freestone peaches, and honey gastrique.

Opening soon, the juice bar will offer fresh-pressed juices, Stumptown coffee, house made pastries, and grab-and-go lunches. A large selection of pastries will be available at the juice bar, like figgy maple scones, chocolate chip beet muffins, coffee cake crumble bars, bundt cakes, and the signature Chop cookie, made with orange zest, candied ginger, milk chocolate chunks, and walnuts.

The Provisions area will showcases a thoughtful selection of culinary and tabletop items, like San Juan Island sea salts, Big Spoon Roasters’ nut butters, Wildflower Honey from Idaho, and Turnco’s handmade wood items.

Emily Crain has been the head baker at Volunteer Park Cafe since 2011, and has moved over to Chop Shop to provide pastries and desserts for the new locations. Volunteer Park Cafe has become synonymous with excellent pastries—Emily’s signature buns, seasonal bundt cakes, airy scones, and savory stratas—and Crain is excited to bring her treats to another part of Capitol Hill. She’ll also be running the dessert program at Chop Shop, creating treats like Cherry Pie with house made anise hyssop ice cream.

Anna Wallace runs the bar program, and has created a cocktail list comprised of seasonal plays on classic cocktails, all named for songs or bands, as a nod to Chophouse’s history as a band rehearsal space. There’s “A Love Supreme,” with Dolin Dry, Green Chartreuse, cucumber, ginger, pineapple, and egg white, or “Built to Spill,” a take on the classic gin and tonic with with Citizen Gin and grapefruit East India tonic. Wallace, previously of Walrus & The Carpenter, founded Seattle Seltzer Company in 2013, and her all-natural carbonated sodas are also on offer at the bar.

Opened in July of 2015, Chop Shop Cafe & Bar is the anchor tenant of Chophouse Row, a mixed-use building situated in the heart of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood at 1424 11th Avenue. The restaurant comes from local chef Ericka Burke, owner of the beloved Volunteer Park Cafe and Canal Market. Chop Shop caters to neighborhood locals and visitors alike with a seasonal dinner menu full of bright flavors and, coming soon, a European-style breakfast bar and a lunch menu comprised of salads and sandwiches. Chop Shop is open from5:30pm to 11pm Sunday through Thursday and Friday and Saturday from 5:30pm to midnight. Once breakfast and lunch begin, Chop will open daily at 7am. For more information and to make reservations, call 206.535.8541 or visit

Chop Shop Juice & Provisions is the casual sibling spot to Chop Shop Cafe & Bar, located at 1424 11th Avenue in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Set to be open daily from 7am to7pm, the small spot serves fresh-pressed juices, Stumptown espresso, and house made baked goods. Grab-and-go salads and sandwiches are also available, alongside a selection of kitchen provisions and gifts. For more information, visit