D’ La Santa taking a family approach to great Mexican food on 10th Ave E

With reporting and photos by Alex Garland

Maybe a higher power will help. Mom’s recipes and a family approach to business will, for sure.

Angelica Villasenor and her family have opened D’ La Santa on 10th Ave E down toward Roanoke in a Capitol Hill restaurant space that has been empty for years and that has challenged many a restaurateur. The recipe to making things work on this part of the Hill? From Guadalajara, Jalisco, Villasenor has turned to the dishes from her mother’s kitchen.

“All my mom’s recipes,” Villasenor said. “My mom is not a chef, when she cooks, she never follows recipes, just by taste. In the beginning, she was helping me with the seasoning.” Continue reading

Happy Grillmore joins the family at 13th and Jefferson

(Images: Alex Garland)

Darren McGill and Kryse Martin-McGill are raising a growing family food+drink businesses in the Central District. Little Happy Grillmore now joins the family at 13th and Jefferson.

The burger joint born as a McGill food truck now neighbors big brother Nate’s CD, the Seattle University-approximate expansion of the waffle and wings brand that came to the neighborhood in 2015. The McGills, meanwhile, are also raising the Central District Ice Cream Company which opened on E Union in late 2016. Continue reading

Intrigue Chocolate and Coffeehouse coming to 15th and Madison

Aaron Barthel, right, and Karl Mueller (Images: Intrigue Chocolate)

No, you can’t get coffee on every corner of Capitol Hill. But just about. Pioneer Square’s Intrigue Chocolate Co. will be putting another key Capitol Hill corner to use, creating a “chocolate and coffeehouse” at 15th and Madison.

Owners Aaron Barthel and Karl Mueller broke their own news on the project Friday with a detailed blog post:

Imagine walking through the front doors of our new chocolate and coffeehouse and being greeted by the delicious smell fresh coffee, warm quick breads, and cacao beans in the mill. Imagine ordering a cup of coffee from a knowledgeable and friendly barista that suggests you try this origin chocolate from Ghana after you take your first sip, so you can experience the chocolatey and plum notes of the coffee without distraction. Imagine sitting comfortably in a tall window with your cozy mug and small chocolate next to a warm slice of banana bread, enjoying the grey Seattle light and soft rain on the skyline.

OK, we’re intrigued.

Intrigue’s chocolate philosophy should fit nicely with Capitol Hill. The focus isn’t on mastery and repetition. Mueller says of his chocolatier business partner’s cocoa genius.

“Aaron likes to use chocolate a as medium to express what he knows about flavor,” Mueller said. Continue reading

Community market stand small part of patching big hole with 23rd and Jackson Red Apple closure

(Image: Clean Greens)

When the Central District Red Apple closed this month as Vulcan readies plans to redevelop the store’s corner of 23rd and Jackson, residents of the CD lost a community resource and one of the only big grocery markets in the area. Lottie Cross, the director of Clean Greens, a nonprofit market stand and CSA, and 55-year resident of the Central District, came to the rescue. Providing no-pesticide, herbicide-free collard greens, potatoes, tomatoes, cantaloupe, pumpkins, sweet corn, and many other vegetables, Clean Greens is filling a small part of the big hole left by Red Apple’s closure.

“They (Vulcan) came to me,” Cross tells CHS. “Last Saturday was our first day in the new location — we sold way more than usual. At least 50 people stopped by and almost bought us out.”

Formerly located at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church on Saturdays, the Clean Green market stand now pops up across the parking lot from the old Red Apple, near the Walgreens. According to Cross, Vulcan partnered with Clean Greens to provide access to healthy food “for as long as possible.” It’s up to the weather to decide how long the stand is there, but Cross expects to have a presence through December, and maybe after.

Cross tells CHS that any leftover vegetables go to Operation Sack Lunch, a nonprofit that provides free vegetarian meals throughout Seattle. Vulcan supplies a tent, and funding for one person to run the market stand, but other than that, it’s a purely volunteer organization. The purchase of seeds, the lease, and payment for their farm manager, Tommie Willis, comes from money raised through the CSA program, which runs from July to October. Continue reading

Broadway’s newest restaurant makes opening plans despite looming demolition

Though demolition and redevelopment loom in its future, a new restaurant is set to take over a long empty space on Broadway in a move that should also be good news for another longtime Capitol Hill favorite.

Capitol Hill’s food and drink boom years have sent the neighborhood veering from high concepts to ramen noodle-soaked herd mentality. But the ongoing wave of openings still has a few small surprises to throw our way. Sometimes the ideas are as simple as filling a space.

Albacha Restaurant’s planned opening next week on Broadway is one of those one-offs. Albacha is shaped more by the space available on Broadway than foodie trends in the neighborhood. Continue reading

Queer/Bar tries to preserve what’s left of LGBTQIA+ Capitol Hill nightlife

Proud Joey Burgess in front of his newly opened Queer/Bar (Images: Alex Garland)

Plastered in a white, clear, modern font on Pike/Pine glows the generationally controversial word “Queer,” accompanied by “Bar.” It’s intentional. This sleek new space is reserved for the Capitol Hill creators, the spectrum of anything out of the gender dichotomy, the queer. No straights allowed if they’re not allies — despite the clear sign, one only hopes they drunkenly take the hint.

Disclaimer: I am a straight, cisgendered, white female. But I also know how to respect spaces that aren’t meant for me without frustration. The Hill has far more bars I could choose from than the few I shouldn’t.

Roaming in the middle of Queer/Bar with a smile on his face is Joey Burgess.  He runs the place.

“There’s great energy in this place,” Burgess said. “It’s paramount to keep this street queer. For me, for my family, for my friends it’s necessary.”

Dave Meinert, who also is partners with Burgess in a separate company behind Lost Lake, the Comet, and Big Mario’s, said he’s “really just investing in Joey,” who he called awesome, and a great partner with a big vision. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Thursday: Celebrate with Capitol Hill Housing at Omnivorous


From Capitol Hill Housing

Capitol Hill Housing’s annual fine food extravaganza returns this Thursday, and it’s not too late to get a ticket.

The annual fundraiser, now in its seventh year, brings together some of the best bars and restaurants in the city together under one roof to serve an array of food and specialty cocktails. This year’s event will have 29 different bars, restaurants and distilleries serving up dishes like Chavez’s barbacoa-braised pork shoulder with roasted poblano, and cocktails like the Vita Flatliner (Frangelico, Bailey’s Rum and Caffe Vita cold brew).

This year also marks a new venue for Omnivorous, with even more space for food and fun at the newly renovated Washington Hall. Continue reading

Queer/Bar — and its Queer/Hall and LGBTQIA chefs and Robbie Turner — set for Pike/Pine debut

(Image: Alex Garland)

With a TV drag star at the mic, and a series of Seattle LGBTQ chefs set to rotate through its kitchen, Pike/Pine’s Queer/Bar is ready to create a new nightspot and social center on Capitol Hill. And maybe make a buck or two in the process.

Queer/Bar opens Saturday night.

“It’s been 12 years of planning, scrapping, and conceptualizing amongst friends and colleagues,” co-owner Joey Burgess said when the new project was announced this summer. “I’m over the moon to launch in a neighborhood that has felt like home for years.”

Queer/Bar is backed by Burgess and a company that includes Dave Meinert, his partner from the Guild Seattle group that also runs a big chunk of Pike/Pine hangouts including Lost Lake, the Comet, and Big Mario’s. Queer/Bar neighbor Grim’s is also part of the Guild holdings. That bar’s acquisition in 2014 brought a higher profile role in Pike/Pine nightlife for Burgess as Guild’s director of operations and a change in direction toward dance and table service and away from the group’s usual focus on booze and barstools. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Good Weather Bicycle & Cafe is now open

From Good Weather

Good Weather started in 2016 as a quirky second story shop above Purr is expanding into the heart of the Chop House Row. They’re serving simple food, beer, and wine while continuing to build and fix bicycles for people in Seattle. With a love for beautiful, long-lasting frames and the desire to make a place where people can share a slow moment, they’re excited to add something different to the ground floor.

Good Weather Bicycle & Cafe is now open at 1424 11th Ave in the back of The Chophouse Row.  Hours are 11-9:30 (Sundays till 7), Not Open Tuesdays.

It’s a collaboration between original owners Jason Marqusee & Brandon Waterman and Danielle Hammer is running the food side of things.

Now open on 15th Ave E: Aviv Hummus Bar

Providing “hummus where the heart is,” Aviv Hummus Bar is now open on 15th Ave E.

“It’s more than just food to me. Hummus is a way of life. It’s a culture. It’s something that people share together they go out together to go out to enjoy hummus or they will when it comes to my restaurant,” owner David Nussbaum told CHS when we talked to the first time restaurateur about the chickpea and pita-powered project earlier this year. As is typical in these boom times in Seattle, the buildout for the first-time project took a little longer than the expected May opening.

Looking to move beyond “dip,” Aviv features five different hummus pairings plus a variety of add-ons like eggs or tahina. There are also falafel and fries to round out your plate. When you belly up to the hummus bar, you can also enjoy a beer with your pitriot. Prices range from $10 to $12 for the hummus offerings, $11 for falafel.

With an overhaul of the former Gyro Cafe, Aviv’s bright space is now open at 107 15th Ave E for lunch from 11 AM to 3 PM and again from 5 PM to 9 PM for dinner on Tuesdays through Saturdays. It is open 11 AM to 3 PM on Sundays and closed Mondays. You can learn more at avivhummusbar.com.