Capitol Lounge ready for first weekend in Pike/Pine’s club scene

(Image: Capitol Lounge)

(Image: Capitol Lounge)

Pd0GUph0A new club is set to join Pike/Pine’s nightlife. The Capitol Lounge opened softly this week and is preparing for its first weekend of action in the DJ-focused dance and club culture that has formed around E Pike’s Friday and Saturday nights.

“We want Capitol Hill to define it,” a representative for the new club tells CHS of the plan for the lounge.

Born in a space left vacant when gay-friendly the Lobby Bar exited the street, the Capitol Lounge isn’t a gay dance club or even a dance club, exactly, the people putting together the new nightspot say. “We’ll definitely have dance nights on Friday and Saturday and we’ll be DJ-focused,” the Capitol Lounge representative said. Continue reading

Portland’s Little Big Burger coming to Pike/Pine

If 2016 was the year of the Capitol Hill pizza boom, 2017 might be the year hamburgers broke. Portland export Little Big Burger is expanding to Seattle with a wave of 10 locations — including one being planned for 12th and Pike:

Like their Portland predecessors, Seattle’s Little Big Burgers will be all about truffle fries, tall but slender burgers made with a quarter pound of Cascade Natural beef, cans of beer—and let’s not forget the root beer floats made with Tillamook ice cream.

The chain expects to be open here on the Hill and at a new Green Lake location by spring. Judging by permits for the project on the ground floor of the Beryl Apartments project on the northeast corner of the intersection — there aren’t any yet — that will be a bit of a rush. Continue reading

Another Capitol Hill re-start, Adana reboots at 15th and Pine

There is another Capitol Hill food and drink opening we should recognize and this one also represents a re-start, of sorts. But unlike Contadino where a new chef/owner came in to launch a new concept, Adana at 15th and Pine is fully Shota Nakajima’s reboot.

The young chef/owner unveiled his second play on traditional Japanese earlier this month and is now running at full speed with the new, more comfortable, reportedly more affordable take.

“I am simplifying everything. Simplifying labor, simplifying food,” Nakajima told CHS in January as he closed down the meticulously fussy Naka to make way for the new Adana. “But I haven’t given up on what I wanted to do.”

Adana is centered around a $37 three-course menu of classic Japanese with dishes fully based around Nakajima’s focus on details and quality. The dishes will rotate seasonally so expect a shift from month to month as the availability of fresh ingredients changes. After early feedback, Adana will also loosen up and offer items a la carte. To really loosen up, head to the bar where favorite katsu sandwiches are planned to be a holdover from the Naka days with quality drinking food like yakisoba also available. Meanwhile, Nakajima’s new project is also open seven days a week — 5 PM to midnight.

One thing not part of the change: Adana has no plans to add a service charge, a restaurant rep tells CHS.

In the end, the shift at Adana is a matter of degrees. It has dropped a $ from its $$$$ ranking at review sites and, Nakajima hopes, made itself an easier place for his neighbors to stop by.

Adana is located at 1449 E Pine. You can check out to learn more.

Why Capitol Hill’s newest restaurant — and plenty of others — are adding service charges

Chef and owner Brian Clevenger is celebrating the opening of Contadino and its sibling pizzeria on 19th Ave E. While he would prefer to talk about fresh pasta and pizza, he, like a growing number of Capitol Hill food and drink owners, is answering questions about an italicized note at the bottom of his menus notifying diners of a “5% service charge” that is “distributed in full to the employees you do not see” —

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While pro-labor advocates call the new crop of service charges added by owners like Clevenger protests of “the fact that they have to pay their workers a living wage,” the Contadino restaurateur says he is trying to find a new path to solve an issue close to his heart. And he might soon find some help from the last guy you might expect to lend a hand to a restaurant atop Capitol Hill, Seattle. Continue reading

Contadino and its sibling pizzeria begin new story on 19th Ave E

After “a thoughtful but speedy remodel,” a classic Capitol Hill restaurant space is ready to go back into motion. Contadino and its sibling pizzeria make their 19th Ave E debut Monday night:

Contadino is an intimate room that offers seating for 45 in an understated space defined by simple lines and shades of gray and white. A banquette runs along the north wall with marble table tops and black bentwood chairs adding a bistro vibe. The open kitchen has a bar height four-person chef’s counter, where diners can enjoy a $70/person tasting menu, plus a full bar with seating for 12. There is also a semi-private dining area for up to eight guests. Continue reading

Ready for Capitol Hill debut, more Paseos to come

In September, CHS broke the news that Paseo was coming to Capitol Hill. Friday night, you can try their new steak sandwich if you can stand what will likely be a hungry mob at 10th and Pike.

The Caribbean roast sandwich joint is planning a “soft opening” this weekend with 3 PM openings of its latest location in the space adjacent temporarily shuttered Neumos and the under-transformation Moe Bar.

And, apparently, like many new things on Capitol Hill these days, the new Paseo won’t be the last.  Continue reading

Sun Liquor moving distillery off Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill’s craft distillery industry is being downed by half and one of the neighborhood’s longest running purveyors of craft cocktails is contemplating more changes on E Pike.

CHS has learned that Sun Liquor Distillery, one of two craft-level spirit makers operating in Pike/Pine’s light-manufacturing zone left behind by the neighborhood’s auto row legacy, is moving operations to a nondescript warehouse on the backstreets behind University Village.

“We need two times as much space and the loading on E Pike is just too dangerous,” Sun’s founder Michael Klebeck tells CHS. Klebeck said his company is also considering working with a new owner to take over the Sun Liquor lounge across the street from the bottling facility on E Pike. Continue reading

Dino’s Tomato Pie baking plan for new music venue below E Olive Way

Dino’s Tomato Pie is kind of like a Denny at E Olive Way time machine. Its next stop is a small start in reversing the neighborhood’s trend of restaurant concepts and developments pushing out the last vestiges of the Capitol Hill music scene.

“One, I like the idea of anti-gentrification, where small music venues are closing, we can actually add something,” Brandon Pettit tells CHS about a project he hopes will eventually create a new music and events venue at Dino’s.

Two, Pettit has a Dino’s-sized underground level to work with below the bustling pizza joint. Continue reading

McDemolition: First Hill fast food franchise set to make way for 700-Big Mac-tall apartment tower

It’s been a long time coming, but the slow path to the development set to replace First Hill’s most well-known fast food restaurant will reach a sad milestone for Big Mac fans in coming weeks.

The City of Seattle has approved the demolition permit for 1122 Madison — the Madison McDonald’s. The plan is for the nearest Capitol Hill-elevation location for the global fast food franchise to be razed in April. “Assuming acquisition of the appropriate permits in a timely manner,” the construction report filed for the address reads, “demolition of the existing structure is expected to begin April, 2017 and continue through April, 2017, at which point shoring wall and excavation will begin.” Continue reading

Olive Tree bringing Mediterranean flavors — and ‘amazing vision’ — to 15th Ave E

1294585_169476753243091_555668481_oSince 2009, Zana Abdulaziz and his brother-in-law Ranj Rebwar have been serving up Mediterranean cuisine in Kent. Soon they’ll be feeding kebabs, gyros, and hummus, and falafels to hungry Seattleites on 15th Ave E.

For a while now Abdulaziz and Rebwar have been wanting to open a second Olive Tree location — on Capitol Hill in particular.

“I like how there’s a lot of restaurants here. I really, really like the vibe,” Abdulaziz said.

They chose 15th Ave E because it is a community-based neighborhood and they hope to find staff members that are oriented that way and will be like family at Olive Tree. They hope to the new restaurant — their second location — open in March.

“We have an amazing product,” Abdulaziz said. “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