CHS Pics | USA! USA! Watching the Women’s World Cup on Capitol Hill

IMG_7726Here is the red, white, and blue scene we found in 12th Ave’s Rhein Haus this week as Team USA defeated Germany to move to the finals of the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Sunday’s 4 PM final in Vancouver BC pits Team USA against Japan so, naturally, you should watch the game at Naka, Hana, Aoki, Shibumi, Momiji… if they have TVs.

Classic soccer viewing venues across the Hill include the Summit Pub and Cafe Presse and sports bars 95 Slide, Kessler’s, and Auto Battery, while watering holes on the Hill’s edges like the Roanoke, and the Bottleneck Lounge are also World Cup final-worthy venues. Meanwhile, new spaces like Stout and the relatively newly overhauled Canterbury have screens every which way you turn. Let us know about any special screenings or where you’re planning to watch the game — and make sure there’s room on the couch if you decide to invite CHS readers over.

Walk-up revolution: Kedai Makan to expand just around the corner from E Olive Way

The Bellevue Ave restaurant during its Spaghetti Western days (Image: CHS)

The Bellevue Ave restaurant during its Spaghetti Western days (Image: CHS)

This Independence Day, Capitol Hill celebrates a pillar of America: farmers-market food carts that grow into walk-up food counters that grow into sit-down restaurants.

Popular E Olive Way walk-up Kedai Makan is lighting off foodie fireworks with its Friday announcement that it will expand into the former La Bete space around the corner on Bellevue Ave.

“This is a game changer for us,” chef and co-owner Kevin Burzell said. “We can finally for the first time, cook; no home stove, no outdoor grills and tents. I’m very excited about cooking some new food. My soul needs it!”

The new Kedai Makan is planned to open on Bellevue Ave by September.

Burzell and Alysson Wilson haven’t said yet what will become of the Kedai walk-up space next to Montana and formerly home to Tacos Gringos but we’re pretty sure a Ramly Burger stand would do well. Continue reading

High 5 Pie says goodbye to Capitol Hill, Mighty-O says hell-O

(Image: Mighty-O)

(Image: Mighty-O)

Mighty-O is bringing its classic Seattle organic and vegan-friendly donuts to Capitol Hill. But first we’ll have to finish our pie.

Capitol Hill food and drink entrepreneur Dani Cone announced Thursday that her five-year-old High 5 Pie has outgrown its original home at 12th and Madison and is “moving into a fantastic commercial production kitchen with our eyes on making even more pies and coming up with places to serve them to you.” The last day for High 5 Pie in the Trace Lofts building is being planned for July 19th.

The move, Cone said, will open the way for Mighty-O to create what will be its third shop in Seattle. Its second shop is planned to open in Ballard later this month. The original Mighty-O stands in Wallingford’s “historic Keystone building” just above Green Lake.

Apparently, Cone and Mighty-O’s Ryan Kellner go way back:

Old pals Ryan Kellner and Dani Cone first met when Ryan started Mighty-O and would deliver the donuts each morning to Caffe Vita on Capitol Hill, where Dani worked for many years. They’ve gotten to work together a lot since then, (Mighty-O even delivered pies to wholesale accounts for High 5 Pie for a while!) and share experiences as they built their businesses. Mighty-O will be an exciting and much anticipated addition to Capitol Hill and a perfect next step for the beautiful space at our little corner of The Hill.

Continue reading

Little Uncle makes plans for Big Uncle on same block of E Madison

The walk-up stays (Image: CHS)

The walk-up stays (Image: CHS)

Capitol Hill’s development boom comes in many flavors — even khrueang kaeng. Born at the farmers market, E Madison walk-up Little Uncle is making plans to be part of the neighborhood’s new construction in a very small way.

Big UncleWiley Frank and Poncharee Kounpungchart tell CHS, will open by winter in the under-construction Mad Flats microhousing development at 1523 E Madison. “Yes, just half a block up Madison from Little Uncle on the same block,” the couple writes.

Wiley and PK tell CHS that the opportunity came about thanks to prolific Capitol Hill (and beyond) microhousing developer Kelten Johnson of Johnson Carr who approached the couple as they were winding down their two-year run with their first brick and mortar location in Pioneer Square.

“We immediately found common ground with [Johnson] in wanting to find exceptions to the traditions in order to make our respective businesses thrive, succeed and to contribute something unique to this great city,” Wiley and PK said. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | The romance of Ernest Loves Agnes coming to 19th Ave E

unnamed (41)Love, that great mixture of what is real and what is fiction, is at the center — liter-ature-allly — of the newly announced name for the project set to open the next chapter in the former home of the Kingfish Cafe.

When it opens in “late summer” 2015, Ernest Loves Agnes will be different than the other restaurants and bars in their Seattle Guild constellation, Joey Burgess and Jason Lajuenesse tell CHS. For one, the guys behind some of the quintessential hangouts of Pike/Pine are opening a project on the sleepier eastern edge of the Hill. But there will be more to the story.

“It will also be romantic,” Lajuenesse said, acknowledging that he, too, has grown a little old to go on a date to Big Mario’s.

CHS broke the news on the project this spring as Burgess, Lajuenesse, and partner Dave Meinert stepped in and ended speculation about what would come next after the closure of the Kingfish following 18 years in the location.

The newly announced name is a tribute to the romance — real and imagined — of young Ernest Hemingway and nurse Agnes von Kurowsky that grew during the author’s stay as a soldier in an American Red Cross hospital in Milan during World War I. “It’s about falling in love with Italy as much as anything,” Lajuenesse said. “It’s a sweet… bittersweet story.” Continue reading

CHS Crow | Goodbye Charlie’s, ‘The Cheers of Capitol Hill,’ edition

By Jacob Olson and Tim Durkan/Images by Tim Durkan

We’re told there might be time for one last party: if supplies last, Charlie’s will host a blowout this coming Sunday of Pride weekend, the 28th, and you can expect to see a lot of faces from the recent and more distant past there if it happens. In the meantime, many have already been making the rounds at Charlie’s to say their goodbyes, keeping things quite a bit busier than usual, staff tell us. And regulars have been sitting in familiar booths and on well-worn stools, waiting for the swift changes afoot with some sense of uncertainty about the future.

This weekend, after 39 years on Capitol Hill, owner Ken Bauer will close Charlie’s. “The time had come,” Bauer told CHS earlier this month. “I think my business partner is looking down and saying ‘Hey, it was a good run.’”

Last Thursday night, the CHS Crow stopped by the old Capitol Hill hangout to talk with some regulars and long-time staff members. Memories flowed, names etched in to the annals of Charlie’s history were checked and the word “family” was heard more than once. And while no tears were shed during the interviews, some promised they would be coming. Change and loss is certainly never easy.

  Hal and Dr. Brenner

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What does this place Charlie’s mean to you?
Dr. Brenner: Well, when we moved up here to take over the management of the Sylvan Apartments in 1991, we walked up and down the street a lot and dropped in and we liked it. … And when we got transferred to different parts of town we always kept coming back. We like the atmosphere. And the prices are fair. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | Naka, with details in place, ready to open at 15th and Pine

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Shota Nakajima (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Shota Nakajima (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Naka, the upscale Japanese kaiseki restaurant from first-time chef/owner Shota Nakajima, will serve its first meticulously sourced, highly crafted, fully detailed meals starting Wednesday night at 15th and Pine.

“I don’t care if 999 people don’t — as long as one person notices, that’s what matters,” Nakajima told CHS this week as the final pre-opening touches were being added in the second-generation restaurant venture in the space.

Nakajima’s acquisition of the former home of French restaurant space was fortuitous for the young owner with deep chops from his training at the Suji Culinary Arts School in Osaka. In a summer when several projects from Seattle restaurant veterans are delayed and pushed back to fall because of the backlog of permits and construction work in the area, the rookie at Naka was fortunate to be upgrading and transforming, not building out from scratch. Inside the new Naka, you will find the old zinc bar and the basic restaurant layout from Le Zinc — but instead of Pernod and Absinthe, there’s now a wall of Japanese whiskeys including many hard to find bottles and special pours. Continue reading

Just a short climb from Capitol Hill’s Annapurna, introducing the Yeti Bar

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Shrestha (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

Shrestha (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

How about a Hot Night in Kathmandu to start your June weekend? Broadway’s Annapurna Cafe has unveiled its new addition. The new, surface-level Yeti Bar is open and ready to serve one of its saffron infusions or a cold bottle of Khukuri — the essence of Nepal.

CHS told you in December about plans from Roshita Shrestha and Sujan Sharma to reinvest in their longtime Broadway home after surviving ongoing light rail construction by taking over the empty space left behind by a teriyaki joint to expand to street-level with a new bar area.

Like we told you back then, Annapurna’s building lives in the shadow of future plans for a 50-unit apartment building on the site but that still appears to be a few years off. For now, enjoy a drink and a tensing momo or two off the new Yeti Bar menu.

Annapurna and the Yeti Bar are located at 1833 Broadway. You can learn more at annapurnacafe.com. Check out the menus, below. Continue reading

After 39 years, Charlie’s owner Ken Bauer gives his regards to Broadway

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

IMG_5542If you want to reach Charlie’s owner Ken Bauer, all you have to do is call his Broadway restaurant. He’s there seven days a week, dressed in a shirt and tie, answering phones and greeting customers. He answered right away when CHS phoned Wednesday to set up an interview about the closing of the business he helped open in 1976. After we settled on a time, Bauer signed off saying, “Okeydoke, I’ll have the coffee on for ya.”

The Broadway institution will be closing sometime during Pride weekend, though Bauer hasn’t settled on an exact time. The closure may come as a surprise to some, though it’s actually the culmination of a drawn out exit for Bauer who had been trying to sell the business for several years.

In the early 1970s, Bauer was working as a restaurant manager for a company that’s now called Restaurants Unlimited. Bauer ran restaurants for the company in Seattle, then Hawaii and Reno, until he and his wife decided they wanted to return home. It just so happened that the company’s co-owner Charlie Quinn was about to open his first namesake restaurant on Broadway.IMG_5614 Continue reading

Broadway says goodbye to Charlie’s — UPDATE: Confirmed :(

UPDATE:  After 39 years, Charlie’s owner Ken Bauer gives his regards to Broadway: CHS talks with Charlie's owner about history of the restaurant and why he's closing it this Pride after four decades on Broadway

UPDATE: After 39 years, Charlie’s owner Ken Bauer gives his regards to Broadway: CHS talks with Charlie’s owner about history of the restaurant and why he’s closing it this Pride after four decades on Broadway

All these years, nobody wanted to buy a Broadway legend. Charlie’s, a last of its kind Capitol Hill hangout that had been perpetually on the market in recent years, will close later this month, employees of the 39-year-old restaurant are saying.

Charlie’s owner Ken Bauer said he could not confirm the closure Tuesday afternoon but would be able to say more about the situation later this week. The Hill’s social network has spread the word in the meantime. The Facebook and Twitter lamentations for decades of pool tables, reasonable prices, and unreasonably late nights run thick.

UPDATE 6/17/2015 9:15 AM: The restaurant will close Pride weekend, according to a statement:

Sorry to announce that after 39 years we will be shutting out doors. Our last day will be either Saturday or Sunday pride weekend so please come in and say farewell to our awesome family

Bauer and business partner Charles Quinn opened Charlie’s in 1976 and survived through the changes on Broadway mostly by not changing. Open 9 AM to 2 AM every day, Charlie’s still featured cheap steak nights and “cozy booths” even as Broadway sprouted six-story developments, craft cocktail bars, and a light rail station. Gasp — there are even places to park behind the 217 Broadway E restaurant. Sadly, CHS never tried the Philadelphia Pepper Pot Soup.

After Quinn died and as the end of Charlie’s 10-year lease approached, Bauer and wife Christine had put the “bar and grill” on the market. CHS wrote about the attempt to sell in 2010. At that time, it was listed for just a little more than $385,000. Bauer said he was looking forward to stepping away from the seven-day-a-week schedule but that running Charlie’s had been a labor of love.  “If we don’t sell, I’ve always told friends I hope they carry me out of here feet first,” Bauer told CHS at the time.

CHS also asked Bauer this week if a sale was imminent but he declined to comment, again, and said he would need a few more days before he could say more.

“I’ve always told my employees ‘Everything is for sale,’” Bauer told CHS in 2010.