Capitol Hill food+drink | Chuck’s Hop Shop CD to bring 1,000 beers, 50 taps to E Union

Inside the original Chuck’s (Images: Dikla Tuchman for CHS)

North Seattleites — who have long enjoyed the convenience of a small corner store which also provides over 30 craft beer taps, reasonably priced growler fills to-go, and a wide selection of nearly 1,000 craft beer bottles (with an emphasis on local beer) — will now be sharing the wealth with Capitol Hill and the Central District.

Last week, Chuck Shin, owner of the above described Chuck’s Hop Shop — aka, Chuck’s 85th Street Market, signed a 10-year lease to open another venture at 20th and Union, across the street from Katy’s Corner Café and replacing the empty Copymaster building at the corner.

While the new construction will not begin until April of this year, Shin anticipates a quick buildout and hopes to open Chuck’s Hop Shop CD to the neighborhood by May 2013.

Boasting the slogan “the best bar that isn’t really a bar,” Shin anticipates success for the new location of his winning concept, which has garnered popularity and success in the Crown Hill/Greenwood neighborhood over the last three years.

When starting out with Chuck’s on 85th, Shin had a fairly modest goal in mind: Build a place where he and his family would want to hang out. “I have a three-year-old, a seven-year-old and a dog. When we try to go somewhere, my options are really non-existent! Usually we come here (to the shop) on my day off so that the kids can have ice cream and they’re happy to leave us alone for a half an hour so that we can sit down, have a beer and talk. It’s been a very nice oasis for us, too.” With his own needs and desires in mind for a family-friendly beer bar, Chuck’s Hop Shop turned out to be just what the neighborhood wanted.

CHS sat down with Shin at his current Greenwood store and chatted with him about his plans for the upcoming space.

“I think we’re expecting something like here. We’re going to be open to dogs and families – that’s our thing,” Shin said. “One of the reasons we decided to open up [this new shop] was when I was spending some time looking around, I saw a lot of strollers [in the area]. On Broadway, there’s no place to go with kids. For this area it works really well to have a place where you can bring kids. That’s why we’ve decided to open up there. I feel like it’s kind of a similar neighborhood.”

“A lot of people in Ballard can’t afford the house they want, so they’re moving out this way. Same goes for Capitol Hill – people who have a family and can’t afford the house they want there move to the CD. I definitely see that migration,” said Shin.

Chuck’s future CD home

Pulling up on 85th

Like the positioning of the 85th Street store, Shin expects to pull from several surrounding residential neighborhoods. “We’re hoping that we can attract people from Beacon Hill, Madrona, Capitol Hill, etc,” he said.
In the new space, Chuck’s will actually have a larger parking lot compared to the tiny, three-space parking lot in front of his 85th Street store. “We have eight parking spots, and we’ll have space for rotating food trucks every day. We’re also hoping to build a bit of an outdoor seating area,” Shin said.

As for its offerings, Shin has a similar plan for the store on E Union. “We’ll have ice cream for kids and we’re planning fifty taps.”. This is a marked difference from Chuck’s on 85th as the tap count grew fairly organically – starting with three and growing to a now impressive 38 taps. And not to worry; the selection of bottled craft beers in the new space will be just as large, if not larger.

The new location is a 3,100-square-foot stand-alone space, about 700-square feet larger than the Greenwood location. “We’re hoping to use that extra space to provide more seating areas for people. Here we have only one bathroom; there we’ll have three bathrooms,” Shin said.

Chuck’s will also continue to provide a similar schedule of events at the new shop: Tastings, trivia nights, and, hopefully, a weekly Euchre night (a big hit with the Midwestern Seattelites up at the 85th Street shop). Shin also plans on hooking up with some local Capitol Hill and Central District nonprofits to hold regular fundraising events which he’s had success with in Greenwood.

“We’re basically trying to copy whatever we’ve been doing here and see if it works similarly in the new location. We’re hoping to see a lot of kids come up,” says Shin. The plan continues to be an unassuming, laid-back locale that is in no way focused on décor or pretentiousness, but rather on quality beer and a quality hang-out for families and neighbors. “We’re going for homey and comfortable,” he said.

As for grub, Shin is hoping to host two food trucks a day – a lunch truck and a dinner truck – on a regular rotation.

Hours will likely be daily 10 AM to midnight, with slightly shorter hours on Sunday from 11 AM to 11 PM.
“We take possession of the space April 1, we hope to open by the end of May,” says Shin. He plans to start off slowly with a quiet, soft opening at first and then six months later, a larger, grand opening for the neighborhood. “We need to figure out the customer base before we do anything too crazy,” he said.

Notes — from jseattle

  • Breaking news in Capitol Hill food and drink late Monday: E Olive Way club The Social’s quest for restoration of its temporary liquor license has been denied. Starting now, the club can’t serve booze. A hearing to appeal the liquor board’s original decision could take up to 45 days to schedule. Neighbors who live near the club and complained of noise and obnoxious crowds might get more than they bargained for, however. They still live above a fully built out nightclub and the state was clear in its dealings with the court Monday that its major issues with The Social’s application were about the club’s finances — not its issues with neighboring apartments, condos and businesses. We assume there will be more to this story before it’s all said and done.

    Meanwhile, the setback is a major blow to Laura Olson’s food and drink umbrella company, Pterodactyl Group behind ventures like Po Dog, Auto Battery and Grim’s. Olson says the club employs more than 40 people.

  • The infamous Thomas Street Bistro is dead and gone and will be replaced by a couple’s first-time attempt to build a restaurant together. Quebecois-styled Resto is slated to open this spring.
  • Seattle Weekly’s Voracious Tasting is Thursday, April 4, and features “an evening of unlimited bites and booze from Seattle’s premiere restaurants, food trucks, specialty food artisans and mixologists inside the historic Paramount Theatre.” We have two tickets to give away. Just be the tenth caller… oh, wait. Just leave a comment telling us your favorite Capitol Hill menu item before midnight and we’ll automagically select a winner.
  • This is a typical line outside Von Trapp’s.

    (Image: @thesunbreak via Twitter)

  • Now open in the CD on E Cherry — Golden Wheat Bakery
  • The usually wise folks at Skillet are thinking about adding a note about a surcharge for worker healthcare to their menus which brings to mind a long list of “surcharges” we’d also like to see itemized on the menu.
  • New menu at Plum Cafe — formerly Hillside Quickie — includes fruit smoothies, juices. Capitol Hill — land of juice!
  • We updated you on coming-soon 24-hour Capitol Hill “dive” diner Lost Lake last week. Now they’ve posted pictures of deep fried cheese curds. Hype!
  • Seattle Met does a First Hill bar crawl.
  • Seattle Magazine gets cozy listing Poquitos on its roster of Seattle’s “cozy” patio dining. Just in time for Seattle spring.
  • People miss Ernie Steele’s like no other. Somebody should recreate.
  • “The heart of ‘Top Chef’ has fallen by the wayside.”
  • PR email of the week: Tango + Rumba Welcome Pastry Chef Mari Loofburrow:

After losing Pastry Chef Joanna Chau to Nomad in New York City (go get’em kid!) we  are very excited to announce the newest edition  to the Rumba + Tango Team: Pastry Chef Mari  Loofburrow! Mari has worked all over Seattle—both on land and at sea—since graduating from  the specialty desserts and breads program at  Seattle Central Community College in 2004.  Following a brief stint as pastry chef on a  cruise ship Mari has worked at: Opal on Queen  Anne, the Tom Douglas’ pastry kitchen, and has, most recently, been pastry chef at Crush and Palisade.

  • Broadcast Coffee is offering beans from Handsome Coffee Roasters this month.
  • “You’ve requested and we’ve listened! Beginning on Tuesday, April 2nd, both Spinasse and Artusi will re-open for Tuesday night dinner, providing our guests with the opportunity to dine with us seven days a week.”
  • The fancypants Lark Cookbook app, etc. is now available at




This week’s CHS food+drink advertiser directory