Change coming on Broadway: Dick’s will no longer be cash-only

Hungry fans get served at the 60th anniversary party in 2013 (Image: CHS)

Hungry fans get served at the 60th anniversary party in 2013 (Image: CHS)

Come September, you can hand over your credit or debit card when that Broadway gutter punk asks for a few bucks to help “put Dick’s in my mouth.”

The famously all-cash Seattle Dick’s Drive-in chain is set to add the ability to pay by card starting in September:

After 62 years of accepting only cash, Dick’s Drive-In will also be accepting credit and debit cards at all locations by September 2016. soon to accept

CHS talked to a Dick’s rep about the decision and changes at the Broadway outlet of the six location chain. The days of Dick’s cashiers magically tallying your fuzzily delivered order of 5 Deluxes, 4 fries, and 6 chocolate milkshakes have been gone since Dick’s added a new point of sales system so the basic ordering experience won’t change. But Dick’s wants its customers to keep pitching into the drive-in’s Change/Round Up for Charity program which has collected around $1.4 million for local nonprofits since it was started in 1998. “A Deluxe, fries, a shake, and Round Up,” the Dick’s rep suggested for your new standard order in the drive-in’s payment card future. Continue reading

Amante Pizza’s infamous flashing sign re-illuminated on E Olive Way

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Thanks to a CHS reader for the picture.

The Amante Pizza sign has come beaming back to life and at least one Capitol Hill man is making it known he is very unhappy about it.

Long a source of neighborhood grumbling, the video screen that flashes pizza promotions at Denny and E Olive Way has been criticized as an unfitting welcome sign to Capitol Hill. After a complaint was made last year, a city inspector confirmed it was not only a matter of taste, finding a “violation of changing image frequency.” A subsequent inspection found the same issue. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | Ikina Sushi, built with late night hot dog cash, ready for E Pike rush

Michael Suzuki (Image: CHS)

Michael Suzuki (Image: CHS)

If the crowds that filled Ikina Sushi between acts during the 2016 Capitol Hill Block Party last weekend are any indication, the new Japanese restaurant and sushi bar is going to be a hit on E Pike.

“I’m really happy with this location. I think we’ll do quite well,” said Michael Suzuki, general manager and chief chef at Ikina.

Suzuki estimates the Block Party brought in about 500 guests. A soft-opening on July 20 was also a crowded, Pike/Pine-packed affair. The plan is to open for good starting today. Happy grand opening.

A Madison Park resident, Suzuki said he spent time on E Pike and noticed how packed the area is late into the night which changed his perception of how to run the restaurant during the later hours.

Ikina is outfitted with a great sound system, he said, so music and dimmed lighting will set the atmosphere for late-night guests who will be served cocktails and small plates at the sushi bar.

Entrepreneur Shinsuke Nikaido, who has been serving Japanese-style hot dogs from his Gourmet Dog Japon carts since 2010, is the mastermind and the money behind Ikina.

“Basically (Ikina) is built on hot dog business money,” Suzuki said. Continue reading

Tigerly Ox opens on edge of Capitol Hill and Central District

Wallingford-born Vietnamese eatery Tigerly Ox has opened up a restaurant on the border between Capitol Hill and the Central District, at 22nd and E Madison. Owners John Tran and his wife Jodie chose a location on the edge of Capitol Hill because they believe there is already an overabundance of restaurants in the center of the neighborhood. The E Madison location may be just the first wave of expansion for the eatery.

Tran said his aim with the E Madison Tigerly Ox is to serve people for whom getting to the Pike/Pine corridor of restaurants might be a hassle. “We feel as though we can better serve those on the outskirts,” said Tran. Tran said he was attracted to a location in between Capitol Hill and the Central District because he felt the area could use more restaurants and he feels there is an “oversaturation of restaurants” in the central Pike/Pine business district of Capitol Hill. Continue reading

First look: Manu’s Bodegita brings sandwiches, ceviche, and breakfast tacos to E Madison

Manu Alfau is enjoying the view so far on E Madison (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Manu Alfau is enjoying the view so far on E Madison (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

With a bright coat of Latin American colors and plenty of pickled jalapenos, Manu’s Bodegita is now open, softly, in the E Madison walk-up Little Uncle left behind.

“We’re buddies with PK and Wiley who own Little Uncle,” Manu Alfau said. I told them a long time ago, ‘Hey, if you guys ever think about getting rid of the window, give me a call.’”

“Sure enough, a couple months ago, PK called me up and said, ‘OK, dude…’” Continue reading

Big news for tiny 15th Ave E restaurant, Teriyaki Madness expanding

(Image: Patricia via Flickr)

(Image: Patricia via Flickr)

A mighty mite of the Capitol Hill food+drink scene is about to get a little bigger.

Hammers are pounding away at 15th Ave E’s Teriyaki Madness as the longtime takeout joint is expanding.

CHS didn’t learn much about the business behind the busy worker-bee food and drink stop but we did confirm that work is underway to expand the teriyaki shop into the space left empty by the exit of a neighboring pot dispensary as the state’s medical marijuana system was merged into its recreational pot economy. Gyro Cafe will continue to operate next door. We’re told Teriyaki Madness Capitol Hill is no relation to the Teriyaki Madness in Kirkland nor a franchise of Teriyaki Madnesses that operate on the West Coast. We don’t know how long it has been operating on 15th Ave E but we expect you’re about to tell us.

The construction permit calls for our Teriyaki Madness to expand into the retail space to its north to add more seating for the tiny but busy walk-up.

The expanded teriyaki joint is in the midst of lots of activity on its busy block of 15th Ave E. Earlier this year, architects from Board and Vellum took over and totally redesigned the old credit union to the north for their new office space. Upstairs, Seattle Area Support Groups and Community Center has settled in to continue its long running mission of building communities around specific HIV issues and other recovery assistance like addiction.

And it’s about to get busier. Permits have been issued to begin construction for the four-story, mixed-used development designed to fill in the old credit union building’s parking lot.

Tavolata brings first Stowell sequel — and another tipless joint to Capitol Hill

At work at Tavolata Capitol Hill (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

At work at Tavolata Capitol Hill (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

With the opening Tavolata on E Pike, Ethan and Angela Stowell brought their Belltown-born, modern Italian fare to Capitol Hill — they also brought a continuing to grow, new way of doing business in Seattle as the city transitions to a $15 minimum wage.

“People really love the Uber experience, where you just get out and don’t have to worry about tips,” Angela Stowell tells CHS.

According to the influential and prolific restauranteurs, the new, second Tavolata that opened a few weeks back in the Dunn Motors building at 501 E Pike is their first attempt at recreating one of their original restaurants and is the last Capitol Hill restaurant opening for the foreseeable future. Capitol Hill’s Tavolata has been tipless since it opened in late June. Angela Stowell said that almost all Stowell restaurants switched over to a service charge model on June 1. Tavolata joins a small but growing group of tipless bars and restaurants on Capitol Hill.

“We kind of waited to see how other people did it,” Stowell said.
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Verve Bowls and its healthful smoothies to join Redhook brewpub in Pike Motorworks

Smoothies will join beer on Capitol Hill with the opening of health food restaurant Verve Bowls in the newly opened Pike Motorworks, the same building in which Redhook announced plans to open a brewpub later this year.

Owner Scott Alderson said Verve Bowls is excited to be opening shop in the preservation-friendly Pike Motorworks, particularly because of the proximity to other businesses like Redhook. “There’s quite a few things going on in there,” he said.

The shop is slated to open this month at 715 E Pine. Alderson said he attracted to the location by the “up and coming nature of the area” and the foot traffic in the Pike/Pine corridor, and the proximity to Seattle Central College. Continue reading

Rudy’s E Pine to add beer

Rudy's

If you want to unwind after a long day and get your hair trimmed at the same time, never fear: Rudy’s Barbershop is looking to join the beer and haircut bandwagon.

Rudy’s has applied for a license that would allow the chain to serve beer at its Capitol Hill shop on E Pine, according to a Rudy’s spokesperson. If approved, the Rudy’s at 614 E Pine will be able to serve beer in addition to its current offerings, Stumptown coffee and Jones Soda.

The E Pine shop will not be the only barber on Capitol Hill planning to offer beer in addition to haircuts. Portland based Bishops said it will offer complimentary beer with haircuts when it announced its plans to join the neighborhood, and the Rudy’s that opened in Pioneer Square this summer has been selling beer from the get-go.

“Pioneer Square was our pilot, and so far it’s gone super well,” said the spokesperson. Rudy’s says its decision to add some harder stuff to the menu has nothing to do with keeping up with the competition. “It’s something we’ve always wanted to do,” the spokesperson said.

CHS reported on Monday’s opening of MRoom, yet another hair concept targeting the lucrative male grooming market on Capitol Hill.

If the license is approved, Rudy’s plans to offer a few types of New Belgium beer, plus some local favorites like Rainier and PBR, for around $3.50 per bottle.

Capitol Hill food+drink | Italian Family Pizza makes move from 1st Ave to First Hill

The Calozzi family has moved in on First Hill. Last week, Italian Family Pizza opened in its new home in a space formerly occupied by a check cashing business at the intersection of the neighborhood’s two main arteries at Madison and Boren.

Steve and Jennifer Calozzi moved their popular restaurant from 1st Ave to First Hill to make way for demolition and development downtown. But the change also simplifies the family’s life. The new location for Italian Family puts the Calozzis in business just down the block from O’Dea where their son attends high school. Continue reading

Garage, Capitol Hill’s pool hall and bowling alley, turns 20

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Garage’s original pool hall and 2003 bowling addition on the left. (Images: Garage)

Even before the first rounds of pool and bowling were played at Garage, ball games were essential to start of the Broadway bar and restaurant celebrating its 20th anniversary this month on Capitol Hill.

The first was a 1994 charity softball game where Alex Rosenast met Mike Bitondo. Rosenast, already a successful Seattle club owner, would later ask the inexperienced, recent college graduate to manage the new pool hall he was opening on Capitol Hill.

The second came eight years later with a pair fortunate seats at SafeCo Field. It was 2002 when Bitondo and Rosenast were sitting down at a Mariners game and realized the man sitting directly in front of them was the property owner of the building adjacent to the Garage, then just a restaurant and pool hall. Rumor had it the owner was preparing to sell the auto-row era building — then home to a fish tank wholesaler — to an office supply chain store. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | With room for a Sugar Plum counter, Plum expanding on 12th Ave

Makini Howell’s vegan bistro Plum is expanding on 12th Ave — and adding something sweet in the process.

“We are booking a lot of catering this summer,” Howell said about the new Plum expansion set to take over the empty steakhouse just up the sidewalk. “It shows — more people are vegan but, also, the growth of the city. We’ve managed to stay through a lot of ups and downs.”

Plum Catering will put the expanded kitchen from the departed Manhattan to good use supporting Howell’s booming catering business while also making space for takeout meals, sauces, dips, and sundries. Pioneer Square’s London Plane offers an example of how it might fight together. A sweets counter featuring creations from the reinvigorated Sugar Plum will also be part of the construction underway in the space. Continue reading