First look inside The Lounge by AT&T and Ada’s Discovery Cafe

(Images: CHS)

Company executives were on Capitol Hill Friday for the telecommunication giant’s unveiling of its glossy new retail experiment, The Lounge by AT&T.

Morgan Collins, vice president for AT&T’s Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and Hawaii markets, tells CHS the company took the risk of trying to launch the new retail concept in an area like Capitol Hill because the neighborhood is home to “creative innovators.”

“I want us to be part of the community,” she said.

Another AT&T rep on hand put it more succinctly. “We are meeting people where they are.” Continue reading

‘Change of Corporate Officer’ — the paperwork of the Meinert misconduct accusations

Pike/Pine changes in the wake of sexual misconduct and rape allegations against a prominent neighborhood business owner have boiled down to the paperwork.

Monday, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board approved a raft of liquor license changes for three Pike/Pine nightlife venues after David Meinert was removed from the corporations operating the businesses. Continue reading

The Lounge by AT&T will have a local guide in its Capitol Hill retail experiment — Ada’s Discovery Cafe

(Image: Ada’s Discover Cafe via Instagram)

For most of us, getting an email out of the blue from AT&T probably means that our bill is due. For Danielle Hulton of Capitol Hill’s Ada’s Technical Books, an email from the telecommunications giant this spring was an invitation to talk about a life and business changing opportunity.

“They’re evolving and want to be considered more of a tech company,” Hulton said of the conversations that started with that email. “In order to reach customers in places like Capitol Hill, a traditional retail store isn’t going to work.”

So, in the rare case of a corporate giant making a mutually beneficial pact with a locally focused neighborhood merchant, Hulton, her husband and business partner David Hulton, and the growing crew at Ada’s joined up with AT&T and a champion barista for a coffee-focused adventure in small business that pretty much only could play out here on Capitol Hill. Continue reading

Created by a chef at the top of his game, Poppy marks 10 years on Capitol Hill

(Image: Poppy)

Capitol Hill was a very different place when Jerry Traunfeld opened his restaurant, Poppy, a decade ago on Broadway. As he and his staff prepare to celebrate the restaurant’s 10-year anniversary on Sunday, Traunfeld said it was a quest for independence that led to his choice to open a business on Capitol Hill.

“I wanted to do something on my own. And I wanted to do it in the city and I wanted to do something that was more accessible,” Traunfeld said. “Something that was more of my own personality.”

Before Poppy, Traunfeld worked as the chef at the Herbfarm for 17 years where he says he reached the top of his game. He had built a reputation for himself, won the James Beard Award and published a few cookbooks. Despite his success, he still felt that he wanted to create something he could call his own.

But independence has its price. Traunfeld opened the restaurant on September 18th, 2008 — just as the global economy fell to pieces. Continue reading

With a spin of the zodiac wheel, East Trading Co. now open on Capitol Hill

I-Miun Liu

E Pike’s East Trading Co. is ready to be a drinking spot for all Capitol Hill communities: rats, oxen, tigers, rabbits, dragons, snakes, horses, sheep, monkeys, roosters, dogs, and, yes, even you pigs.

The new bar in the old Sun Liquor space is now open with Chinese, Korean, and Filipino flavors and themes of Sheng Xiao, the Chinese zodiac. And, if you can’t decide on which sign to associate with, you can always spin the big zodiac wheel to let fate choose a cocktail for you.

“When I first bought this place, it already had a lot of Sun Liquor soul to it,” I-Miun Liu tells CHS about the makeover of the E Pike venue. “I wanted to get back to the bones of it.” Continue reading

More openings and closings: Fogon returns, ‘A Pizza’ bar you might have missed, and Capitol Hill now down one ramen joint

(Image: A Pizza Mart)

Monday’s update on a more unusual example of a papered over Capitol Hill food+drink window reminded us — and a few readers — of a few more updates to add to our roster of is it open/is it closed ponderings. Below, we’ve tallied a few more new places to check out and marked a passing or two we missed along the way.

  • Fogon is nearly ready to return to action after being shut down since a July kitchen fire. Neighborhood tipsters Blair and Richard report that the E Pine Mexican favorite hopes to reopen Friday if everything goes well with the inspector. Fogon missed its own August birthday — it debuted the corner of Pine and Belmont six years ago. UPDATE 9/13/2018: Co-owner Noel Cortez tells CHS it might take a few more days to get the doors reopened. He’s shooting for a Sunday opening and tells CHS a silver lining to the situation has been time to do more work around the restaurant like redoing floors and sanding tables. Though the staff and ownership have also had a bit of a break as contractors worked to repair a damaged exhaust fan and finish up other repairs from the fire, Cortez says they’re also ready to get back to work. “They’re a little board. And they’re ready to make some money.” Cortez says the closure caused Fogon to miss what has typically been a strong month of business but he’s also grateful to be reopening after what could have been a major fire. “It could have been worse,” Cortez said. The closure has also been a reminder of the support of the neighborhood for the popular restaurant. “They brought card over from across the street,” Cortez said. “It’s been great.” Continue reading

Surprise closure adds to the secrets at Capitol Hill’s By the Pound — UPDATE

Capitol Hill’s By the Pound with its hidden warren of bars behind a deli counter was created with secrets in mind. The biggest one right now after only eight months of business at the E Olive Way food + drink venture is why it suddenly shut down this summer for what ownership says is a temporary closure.

“They aren’t closed permanently, just making some updates to the venue based on feedback from the community of local customers to better serve,” a rep tells CHS about the shutdown. “They are excited to reopen as quickly as possible with some new aspects to the venue.” Continue reading

Consulate of Mexico in Seattle and its Mexican Cultural Institute celebrate nation’s arts — plus, Mexican wine and mezcal

Capitol Hill’s Harvard Exit didn’t just become the new home Consulate of Mexico in Seattle when the diplomatic facility moved in this summer.

The Mexican Cultural Institute also now calls the building home.

You can join the effort to embrace and growth Mexican culture and arts in the Northwest this month with El Festival MEX AM Northwest events across the neighborhood including a reception on Thursday along with the monthly Capitol Hill Art Walk showcasing the work of sculptor Adrian Gomez in the institute’s gallery inside the consulate:

NosotrUS: Adrían Gómez

Meanwhile, you can enjoy some more of the nation’s creations with a Mexican wine tasting event at Capitol Hill’s Aluel Cellars and a night of mexcal at Mezcaleria Oaxaca on E Pine.


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Channeling the spirit of E Aloha and the legendary Surrogate Hostess, Macrina now open on Capitol Hill

Macrina Bakery and Cafe is celebrating 25 years of business in Seattle with the opening of its fifth cafe Thursday morning.

The new Macrina at 19th and Aloha is hoped to channel the spirit of the Surrogate Hostess that used to be housed in the 1925-built building overhauled by contractors over the past five months. That Capitol Hill legend was known for its communal tables — and warm cinnamon rolls.

New legends are set to be made at the new bakery with exposed beams and a sleek white and grey palette. Continue reading