Born on 12th Ave, Eltana ready for Japanese expansion

Eltana's 12th Ave home (Image: Eltana)

Eltana’s 12th Ave home (Image: Eltana)

No fooling, they’re celebrating with wasabi schmear. Capitol Hill-born Eltana is expanding to Japan:

A local favorite, Eltana was approached out of the blue by Fujio Food Systems Ltd. of Osaka, Japan. Traded on the Osaka Securities Exchange, Fujio operates nearly 1,000 food and beverage facilities under several brand names in Japan, China, USA and other Asian countries.

Owner and co-founder Stephen Brown sent us word of the deal this week. “Although customers have been asking us for years to expand to the Eastside, I should have asked them to be more specific,” Brown joked in the announcement.

Japanese partner Fujio is presently evaluating sites in Osaka and Tokyo for a flagship launch later this year. While the approximately 2,000 Jews estimated to currently reside in the country might appreciate Eltana’s arrival, the bagel, of course, has agnostic appeal.

CHS first reported on Brown’s plans for a Montreal-style, wood-fired bagel shop on 12th Ave back in 2010. The concept was a hit with sales of more than 2,000 bagels a day in the first year. There are now four Eltanas across Seattle with plans for more around the region.

Capitol Hill food+drink | Salt and Straw expanding to Seattle in Pike Motorworks

Back in the day before there was such a thing, the lack of Capitol Hill ice cream was a neighborhood meme. In 2017, the situation has changed. While there isn’t yet a scoop shop on every block, Capitol Hill is home to some of the city’s finest — and most interesting — ice creams and frozen treats. And now the you scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream scene is about to get even more interesting.

Portland’s Salt and Straw has been flirting with Seattle since last summer. This year, CHS has learned the culinary-focused ice cream brand known fascinating flavors will continue its expansion beyond PDX and LA with a new shop on Capitol Hill at Pike and Boylston inside the preservation-friendly Pike Motorworks development that stretches a full block in the heart of Pike/Pine. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Last meals at the First Hill McDonald’s

IMG_8968CHS stopped by Tuesday morning for the final breakfast — ever? — at the First Hill McDonald’s. Of course, in 2017, McDonald’s will serve you “All Day Breakfast,” just part of the many strategies and optimizations the global burger chain has made to stay a part of 21st century dining habits and continue its run of “Billions and Billions Served.”

CHS reported in February on the coming demolition for the proletariat dining room and the corner of Madison and Minor’s future as host to a 700-Big Mac-tall apartment tower. You can attend a public pre-construction meeting on the project Thursday.

We never did hear back from franchise owner David Santillanes about the closure. Continue reading

Finishing one story from the Capitol Hill pizza boom — plus A Pizza Mart tale on First Hill

Meltdown tossed it in after less than a year of business at Pine and Minor

Meltdown tossed it in after less than a year of business at Pine and Minor

It’s true, Reddit, we did leave a storyline incomplete from the great Capitol Hill pizza boom of 2016. Let’s finish the story and, yes, start a new one with yet more pizza coming to a VERY TALL building on First Hill.

“If it would have taken off it would have been great,” Josh Carrigan tells CHS about the rise and fall of his Meltdown Pizza which was born and died in the Minor and Pine building during the 2016 boom in pie joints. “I just said, ah fuck it, I’m not happy anymore.”

Carrigan wasn’t new to Capitol Hill food and drink. For seven years, he has been part of building the no frills Still Liquor into a popular place to drink like a grownup beneath Melrose Market. Carrigan said it quickly turned out “the pizza market was saturated” so he pulled the plug early on the project and hit the slopes for a winter of snowboarding. He still holds the lease and says a new project is lined up for the space. More about that soon. It won’t be a pizza joint.

A Pizza Mart pie, coming to First Hill (Image: A Pizza Mart)

A Pizza Mart pie, coming to First Hill (Image: A Pizza Mart)

The next new pizza investment in the area will instead come at the base of a 31-story apartment tower on First Hill.

A fifth location of the A Pizza Mart pizza bar family has been building out its space in the Cielo Apartments at 800 Seneca and is close to opening. The 27-year-old pizza player is known for its liquor and pie combination. As Carrigan notes, it joins a saturated market but, with 30 stories of apartments above it, A Pizza Mart First Hill might come with a built-in customer base.

 

Olive Tree’s new Capitol Hill branch now open on 15th Ave E

The flavors of the Mediterranean — by way of Kent — are now resident on 15th Ave E. Olive Tree opened this week in the space of a short-lived Latin American restaurant and a long-lived Bagel Deli.

CHS talked earlier this year with  Zana Abdulaziz who opened the first Olive Tree in Kent with his brother-in-law Ranj Rebwar in 2009. Abdulaziz told CHS the business partners chose 15th Ave E because it is a community-based neighborhood in the midst of the busy Capitol Hill restaurant scene. “We have an amazing product,” Abdulaziz told CHS last month. “We have an amazing vision of what we’re trying to do. If Olive Tree is to take off, Capitol Hill is the place to make it happen.” Continue reading

Club-focused 1923 Management, food-centered F2T Hospitality locate offices on E Olive Way (But you probably want to know about The Harvard and Olive Delicatessen)

A group specializing in Seattle’s nightclub scene and another working to bring farm-to-table food concepts to the city have located their shared office on E Olive Way between Broadway and Harvard Ave. There aren’t any plans for them to open another Capitol Hill nightclub, yet, but the two-headed set of businesses will bring a new menswear shop to the neighborhood — and an E Olive Way deli.

Signs went up for the Harvard and Olive Delicatessen earlier this week.

Matt Mead, marketing director for both 1923 Management and F2T Hospitality — two separate ventures aside from the connective element in Mead — said the groups have called Capitol Hill home to their management offices from about two months.

1923 Management’s management team has more than doubled from about four to five people to around 12 and working out of the company’s Aston Manor nightclub wasn’t functioning for the growing business. The former Liberty Tax Service location has provided them with enough room to sublet to friends at F2T Hospitality, which is in the process of opening three drinking and eating establishments — two in West Seattle and one on the Hill, conveniently enough, just down the street. Continue reading

With the push of a button, nuanced Ghost Note Coffee opens on Capitol Hill

Christos Andrews’ quest to do “every little small thing we can to make it better” when it comes to a cup of coffee was celebrated in a grand opening on Bellevue Ave with a Tuesday of demonstrations and a showcase of its fancy pants coffee machine.

Ghost Note Coffee, named for a silent beat with rhythmic value “but no discernible pitch,” is about nuances and raising the bar with custom mugs from a local ceramics maker, collared shirts and uniformed employees, no tipping, fresh herb and citrus garnishes, and “an emphasis on housemade elements borrowed from craft bartending.” Continue reading

Seattle Central culinary student launches gardening program in the middle of Pike/Pine

IMG_0951Trey Philpot is wearing overalls. He is also merging the gap between biology and culinary students and inviting anybody else who wants to learn about urban gardening to join him at the Seattle Central’s Plant Sciences Lab on Boylston Ave.

Philpot, who grew up gardening in his hometown of Greenville, Alabama, began culinary school at Seattle Central in January. Shortly after starting, he launched Green Thumbs Up as a way to bridge the gap between growing food and cooking it.

“I found out that a lot of culinary students have no gardening experience at all,” Philpot said. “They’re from the city, from a place where that wasn’t something that they did.” Continue reading

First look: the new Neumos and The Runaway

Some 25 years after its birth as Moe’s Mo’Roc’N Café in an old Salvation Army at the corner of 10th and Pike, Neumos showed off the results of its 2017 overhaul with a party Wednesday night.

There is an upgraded sound system and new lighting to keep the club rocking. There is a new life for the old Moe Bar next door. And there are smaller changes — yes, the bathrooms have been redone — and new details like a plaque to honor longtime friend of the club, Jon “Gash” Sanders, who died in 2016 and is remembered as the “Pope of Capitol Hill.”

“Our new sound system will blow you away and possibly is the best in the city,” Neumos talent buyer Steven Severin said in a message to friends about the reopening. Continue reading