Portland’s Sizzle Pie says can’t cut it in Seattle, shutting down Capitol Hill pizzeria and Dark Bar

Burnside-born Sizzle Pie could make its recipe of metal and pizza work in Portland, Eugene and even Reno. But Seattle? Not so much. The pizzeria chain announced Tuesday it is closing its Capitol Hill joint and sister venue Dark Bar at the end of August due to what it says are the rising costs of doing business in Seattle:

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the imminent closure of our Capitol Hill location on August 31, 2019. We are eternally grateful for all of the wonderful years that we were able to be a part of the Capitol Hill community. We’ve worked alongside so many great organizations and local businesses in our time here and we will miss you all dearly.

“Unfortunately, the continually rising overhead and operating costs in Seattle have brought us to the very difficult decision to close this location,” the statement reads. Continue reading

With Poppy’s Broadway days at an end, sibling Lionhead getting new owners

With Poppy now closed after 11 years of Capitol Hill greatness and the northern Broadway restaurant undergoing a transformation into the new Carrello from the Altura restaurant family, the future for Poppy’s little next door sibling is now a bit more clear.

Lionhead, born in August 2015 as chef/owner Jerry Traunfeld’s play space for the flavors of the Sichuan peppercorn, will have new, familiar owners. Continue reading

I drank this on Capitol Hill: The Paulownia at Bar Vacilando

Jack was at the counter of Bar Vacilando as a ray of sunlight streaming in from the skylight, beckoned CHS inside. An avid hiker, backpacker, and long distance cycler, Jack just returned from Vesper Peak in the North Cascades. The chosen drink was the Paulownia, named for the large tree on the patio. Botanical Gin, shaken with Green Chartreuse, muddled lime, and agave is strained into a highball and topped with a touch of soda, a mint leaf, and lime wedge. Refreshing as a vesper breeze. Continue reading

La Dive bar to bring natural wines and frozen wine cocktails to the ‘grown-up’ block of Pike/Pine

Watch out, kids, you newborn legends of Pike/Pine. While you are busy getting your drink and dance on around 10th and Pike, the grown ups are gathering to the west. And they’re bringing natural wines and frozen wine cocktails with them.

La Dive will be the latest edition to E Pike’s maturing nightlife scene when it opens in an art gallery, turned sandwich shop, soon to turn natural wine and frosé bar. But even on the most grown-up block of E Pike, the folks behind La Dive don’t want to be known as a wine bar.

“That term sounds a little too formal for me,” nightlife entrepreneur and La Dive co-owner Kate Opatz tells CHS.” It will be a little dive-y. But you can also get an interesting glass of wine there.”

The new bar’s ownership acquired the Other Coast sandwich shop which had been on the market. Continue reading

More about Carrello, the restaurant set to replace Capitol Hill classic Poppy

(Image: Carrello)

With one more week to enjoy Capitol Hill classic Poppy before it serves its last thali and eggplant fries, CHS caught up with the chef behind the project set to define what comes next in the restaurant space at Broadway and Roy.

Nathan Lockwood says his Carrello and its dim sum-like carts of stuzzichini, antipasti, salumi and seasonal vegetable dishes won’t be aping some rarified dining experience the chef encountered in a far off land.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere that’s going to be like what we do,” Lockwood tells CHS.

CHS broke the news earlier this month on the new project from Nathan and Rebecca Lockwood set to replace 11-year-old Poppy with Jerry Traunfeld saying he is ready to step out of the kitchen and move to Palm Springs.

Carrello will join the Altura family directly across the street from the James Beard nominated favorite. Lockwood says the proximity was a “primary factor” and that any expansion had to be within “walking distance.” Continue reading

Zaika hopes to bring a Capitol Hill happy hour take on Indian food to former Tango space

(Image: CHS)

A departure from date nights and tapas, Zaika hopes to bring Indian food and drinks with a modern twist to Tango’s former space and the rest of Capitol Hill’s happy hour scene.

“I want to introduce more Indian drinks to this area, as other Indian restaurants do not focus as much on drinks,” said Nitin Panchal, the owner of Zaika. “We have a sizable bar, and I want people to come, hang out, and have a nice time in addition to enjoying Indian food.”

Zakia will replace Tango Restaurant and Lounge on the corner of Pike and Boren, as the tapas joint closed after its 19-year tenure at the base of the Hill. Panchal plans to get creative, knowing Zaika has big shoes to fill. “This will be an American restaurant serving Indian food,” Panchal said, hoping to adapt a variety of traditional Indian dishes and drinks to happy hour tastes of today.

According to Panchal, introducing Indian food to happy hour will require a significant departure from a typical Indian restaurant’s aesthetic and menu, incorporating traditional recipes and popular spices into cocktails and happy hour bites. Continue reading

With an homage — or three — to the past, new restaurant coming to old Broadway Grill space

The Broadway Grill (Image: CHS)

For the first time in six years, 314 Broadway E has plans to host a Halloween costume contest. The Broadway Grill will remain only a ghost but a new project from a Broadway restaurant owner teaming up in a partnership with his longtime chef will put the venue back into motion this fall.

Witness owner Gregg Holcomb and the southern-influenced restaurant and bar’s chef Jesse Elliott are teaming up on the as of yet unnamed project set to take over the long-empty Broadway Grill with a new restaurant hoped to evoke much of the spirit of the long gone old joint.

“We will bring back some of the old Grill feel, working on an homage to the old menu and some throwbacks,” Holcomb said;

The plan for the project — tentatively titled Olmstead to evoke Capitol Hill’s shadowy bootlegger history — is a cleaning-up of seven years of disuse and an overhaul of the old, huge restaurant. Holcomb said the old Grill’s sections — the open front, the atrium, and the warrened-awar back room will be utilized to give the new project separate components including a back “Sportsball Room” planned as a space for people to gather to watch games and special events together.

The new joint will also make space for trivia, karaoke, and, maybe just maybe, “light dancing.”

It will not be a total gutting of the past. “The space has a tremendous layout as it is,” Holcomb said. Continue reading

In a sea of Capitol Hill poke joints, Aloha Cup Bap’s Hawaiian approach stands out

(Image: Aloha Cup Bap)

Its founders hope Aloha Cup Bap’s traditional Hawaiian poke will separate the shop from the sea of poke joints around Capitol Hill. The poke spot now has two locations around the Hill after it opened its second shop on Broadway this spring.

“Opening our first location a year and a half ago was a difficult job because customers didn’t really know what poke was. Now we have returning customers and wanted to open a second location,” said Tony O, one of Aloha Cup Bap’s owners along with Madelene Phung and Yuree Chong.

With locations on 12th Ave and now Broadway, Aloha Cup Bap is creating an island chain of fresh fish spots through the neighborhood. Continue reading

A Prime Day visit to Amazon’s coming soon Capitol Hill grocery store — UPDATE

In March, CHS showed Amazon was, indeed, a “Go” on E Pike. In July, Seattle-based tech news site Geekwire gave us the best look yet at what is to come in the 500-block, 10,000-square-foot retail project in the ground floor of the seven-story AVA development built on the auto row bones of the block’s Mercedes Benz dealership: “an unusually large space for a potential new Amazon Go store… the first in a residential area.”

For Prime Day, CHS is giving you the first peek inside. Yup, looks like an Amazon grocery store. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Beloved Seattle restaurant to close

From Poppy

Today, James Beard Award–winning chef Jerry Traunfeld announced he will be closing Poppy after 11 years of service as a staple of the Seattle restaurant scene.

After 17 trailblazing years winning awards and making headlines as the executive chef of The Herbfarm in Woodinville, Jerry Traunfeld left in 2007 to open his own restaurant. Poppy opened in 2008 featuring a reinvention of the thali, a tray of 10 harmonious dishes served at once, infused with Traunfeld’s signature seasonal, herb-inspired culinary style. Over the next decade, Poppy went on to garner numerous awards and accolades, including James Beard semifinalist nominations for Best New Restaurant and Best Chef of the Year (nationally) and 1 of 50 Top New Restaurants in the World by Condé Nast Traveler.

Traunfeld and his husband Stephen, who just celebrated their 39th anniversary, have worked together at Poppy since opening day. As a couple, they have decided to make a lifestyle change. Stephen will be retiring, while Jerry plans to take a step back from the demands of being a restaurant owner but will continue to do some of the things he loves most: cooking, food writing, teaching and gardening. They are also planning a move to Palm Springs, California.

“Closing Poppy and leaving our beloved Seattle community was not an easy decision,” said Traunfeld. “Stevie and I came to this decision together. We always thought we would move to Palm Springs at some point, and we intuitively felt like this was the right time. A restaurant is a dynamic entity with a distinct lifespan, and we felt like this was the time to appreciate the run we’ve had with Poppy and end on a good note. Now is the time for us to say goodbye to our Poppy family and explore what’s next.”

Rebecca and Nathan Lockwood, who own Altura Restaurant across the street, will open a new restaurant in the Poppy space in the fall of 2019. “We are very excited for the opportunity to step into the space at Poppy,” said Nathan Lockwood. “Chef Traunfeld has been an inspiration to so many cooks over the years, and we hope to continue to honor that legacy for years to come.”

Jerry and Stephen would like to recognize the talented and dedicated employees who have helped create a strong community at Poppy and the many loyal customers who have become their friends over the years. In particular, they would like to thank Kate Johnson, Poppy’s dining room manager, who has been with the restaurant for all 11 years and made so many close connections with guests since the day it opened; and Sydney Clark, who started in Poppy’s kitchen as a line cook six years ago and progressed through all the stations until she became sous chef and then chef.

“I owe so much to my employees over the last 11 years,” said Traunfeld. “They have helped make Poppy a home away from home for us and have helped my concept for this restaurant thrive for over a decade.”

Poppy has served as the springboard for some of Seattle’s most talented culinary professionals, including:

  • Jason Stratton, Poppy’s first chef and now executive chef at Mamnoon
  • Dana Cree, Poppy’s first pastry chef, who went on to Alinea and Spago (Beverly Hills) and earned two James Beard nominations for Outstanding Pastry Chef
  • Kevin Burzell, who started as opening cook at Poppy and went on to found Kedai Makan
  • Matt Bumpas, former Poppy pastry chef, who went on to found Sweet Bumpas ice cream
  • Dionne Himmelfarb, former Poppy pastry chef, who is now executive pastry chef of Ethan Stowell Restaurants
  • Joe Ritchie, former Poppy chef, who went on to be executive chef of Goldfinch Tavern
  • Madeline Puckett, who worked front of house at Poppy and went on to found Wine Folly

“Thank you to our customers and our regulars who have been so supportive of Stevie and me since the beginning,” added Traunfeld.

Poppy’s last day of service will be Sunday, August 4. The last Thali Tuesday will be July 16, and happy hour will end on July 18. Jerry and Stephen will be moving to Palm Springs later in the year.

Accolades & Awards for Chef Jerry Traunfeld:

  • James Beard Foundation
    • 1996, 1997: Nominee, Best Chef: Northwest/Hawaii, The Herbfarm
    • 2000: Winner, Best Chef: Northwest/Hawaii, The Herbfarm
    • 2001: Nominee, Single-Subject Book, The Herbfarm Cookbook
    • 2009: Semifinalist, Best New Restaurant, Poppy
    • 2010, 2011, 2016: Semifinalist, Outstanding Chef, Poppy
  • 2008: 1 of 50 Top New Restaurants in the World, Condé Nast Traveler Hot List
  • 2008: 1 of 50 Best New Restaurants in the US, Travel and Leisure
  • 2008: Hottest Table in Town, Seattle Magazine
  • 2009: 10 Best Restaurants of the Year, Seattle Met
  • 2011: Best Restaurants of the Year, Seattle Met
  • 2012: Best Northwest Cuisine, Seattle Magazine
  • 2015: Best Chef of the Year, Seattle Met

About Poppy
In a warm, modern dining room overlooking North Capitol Hill’s streetscape, Poppy serves James Beard Award–winning chef Jerry Traunfeld’s seasonal cuisine, highlighting herbs from its extensive urban herb garden and spices from around the globe. The always-changing menu offers small and large plates, creative cocktails and killer desserts, and features a daily thali, a tray of 10 small, harmonious dishes served at once. For more information go to www.poppyseattle.com orwww.facebook.com/PoppySeattle.