16,000-square-foot H Mart grocery will be at center of Capitol Hill Station mixed-use development

Inside the U District H Mart (Image: CHS)

CHS reported in March on negotiations for Korean grocery chain H Mart to lease the centerpiece retail space in the development under construction atop Broadway’s Capitol Hill Station.

While the company and lead developer Gerding Edlen still won’t talk about the deal, permit activity confirms the plans are a go as the mixed-use affordable and market rate housing, retail, and community development moves toward a 2020 opening.

As CHS reported previously, the plans filed in August show H Mart’s project will take the prime Broadway street frontage near the north entry to the busy light rail station. Plans show a layout with more than 11,000 square feet of store space on the ground level plus a 5,000+ square foot mezzanine. Continue reading

Sitka and Spruce to close after decade in Melrose Market

(Image: Sitka and Spruce)

Capitol Hill never really knew Sitka and Spruce at its most audacious when a talented young chef brought James Beardworthy quality to an Eastlake strip mall. At the end of the year and after a decade at the center of the much celebrated Melrose Market mix of retail, food, and drink, Matt Dillon will close Sitka and Spruce and bring the Capitol Hill chapters of the well-respected restaurant’s lifetime to a close.

Dillon turned to a great philosopher in his goodbye letter to the restaurant’s fans: Continue reading

Vegan sweet shop Sugar Plum has closed on 15th Ave E

(Image: Sugar Plum)

A still new project from a longtime presence in Seattle vegan food and drink has exited 15th Ave E. Vegan sweet shop Sugar Plum closed unexpectedly earlier this month with a paper sign on the door and everything moved out in an overnight shuttering.

Owner Makini Howell confirmed the closure with CHS and said Sugar Plum would be moving but did not provide further details. Her website says Sugar Plum sweets are now available at the 12th Ave complex where her popular Plum Bistro is located. Continue reading

‘An opportunity to ‘buy back the block,’ Pike/Pine’s Poco has new owner

(Image: Poco)

Tiny Poco, born as a Capitol Hill wine bar and then evolved along with the rest of the Hill into a cocktail bar, is coming around to emphasize the grape, again, on upper E Pine near 15th Ave E.

It’s a quiet transition led by a new owner for the 13-year-old venue. Quieter still might be the more important story behind the bar at Poco. One of the few Black-owned businesses on Capitol Hill will remain so.

“In addition to just being on Capitol Hill nearby to where I live, the fact it was a Black-owned business was important to me,” Rashida Burnham tells CHS.

“I’ve lived in the Central District for a while now. I’ve seen gentrification. I thought this was an opportunity to ‘buy back the block.’ I’m proud of that.” Continue reading

In a temporary tribute to Friends, Seattle now has a Central Perk coffee house on Capitol Hill

Thanks to a CHS reader for the pictures!

With big brands joining the carnival of all things weird and wonderful about Broadway and Capitol Hill, there are moments when it is gets harder and harder to believe your eyes. For example, this morning along E Thomas just off Broadway, you will now find the Central Perk coffee house and the famous orange couch that was a central setting for the ultimate saccharine sitcom of the 90s — Friends.

In a promotion for the 25th anniversary of the show’s first episode in what would become a decade-long run of pre-streaming cultural dominance, a work crew spent Monday night transforming The Lounge by AT&T and its Ada’s Discovery Cafe into “a full-size replica of the famous Friends’ coffee shop” that will reportedly be in place for “months.”

“Designed to capture the excitement and nostalgia of the show’s milestone anniversary celebration, visitors will be immediately immersed in a world they had only ever seen through their screens,” AT&T promises. Continue reading

CHS Pics | ‘Hot Guys Serving Hot Coffee’ — Behind the Dreamboyz Espresso counter on Broadway

The boys at Dreamboyz Espresso are feeling like stars these days. Less than a week after CHS broke the news on the Capitol Hill-appropriate switch-up from bikinis to six-pack abs  and short shorts behind the counter at this Broadway drive-thru coffee shack, business is booming and the “baristos” are being asked to appear in selfie videos by coffee fans that want to show off “that I got one with you.”

“Fitness is what my passion is,” Brandon tells CHS. “I worked at Starbucks a couple years back, enjoyed being a barista, however it wasn’t enough money, so when I saw this opportunity, I was like, in a way, I get to bring those things together.” Continue reading

Feed Co.’s new owners read the CHS comments: Central District joint sticking with burgers, adding booze

Don’t read the comments. Unless you’re the new owner of a favorite neighborhood restaurant exploring a concept change. Then, you might want to tune in, and work with the feedback.

“The area loves feed co so much, we can’t change that. :),” new owner Thanh Nguyen tells CHS about the decision to simplify planned changes to the 24th and Union restaurant after a new group of investors got together to take over Central District burger joint Feed Co.
Continue reading

Bauhaus and its ‘strong coffee’ will return to Capitol Hill with Harvard Ave E cafe

After finding its footing in Ballard, Bauhaus ready for Capitol Hill return (Image: Bauhaus)

Older and wiser, a legendary name in Capitol Hill coffee is preparing to return to the neighborhood.

Bauhaus, one of the earliest purveyors of Capitol Hill cafe coffee culture, is set to return to its birth neighborhood with a new project that will open in coming weeks on Harvard Ave E.

Smita Patel says she and significant other, Bauhaus founder Joel Radin will open the new Bauhaus in the 500-block Harvard Ave E cafe location recently left empty with the departure of Down Pour Coffee. Continue reading

After bikini barista ladies failed to catch on, Dreamboyz Espresso now pulling shots on Broadway

(Image: Dreamboyz Espresso)

The ladybug red and spots are gone. The ladies are gone, too. Starting Friday the 13th, Broadway’s only drive-thru bikini coffee shack is stuffed with men.

“We tried to do the bikini thing but unfortunately it just didn’t work,” a representative for the Ladybug Espresso bikini barista chain tells CHS, “even though there wasn’t any competition in a direct radius.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s D’ La Santa and its grande margaritas set for 10th Ave E expansion

Growing up in Guadalajara, Angelica Villasenor was the only one of her seven siblings who hated to cook. When Villasenor’s father opened a Mexican restaurant in Kent and asked her and her siblings to help out, she secured a bartending position and let her siblings take care of the cooking roles. Now, her Capitol Hill restaurant D’ La Santa is getting ready to begin its third year of business with an expansion plan that will put that bartending experience to good use.

D’ La Santa is getting ready to add a new catty-cornered bar and six-table patio to its 10th Ave E location. Along with the bar comes an addition of authentic Mexican cocktails and new food items including handmade traditional and green tortillas made with Poblano peppers.

“Finally we have a restaurant that tastes like Mexico,” Villasenor said.

During the decade Villasenor’s father’s restaurant grew, so did Villasenor’s love for cooking. Eventually in 2016 Villasenor considered opening a restaurant of her own in the city, but she didn’t have the money, a location or professional training as a chef. Now, after opening two years ago next month, Villasenor’s authentic Mexican restaurant D’ La Santa in Capitol Hill is expanding. Continue reading