Goodbye to 15th Ave E’s eclectic Cafe Abodegas


(Image: CHS)


(Image: Cafe Abodegas)

A small, entirely eclectic cafe in one of the most space-challenged food and drink venues on 15th Ave E quietly closed to start 2015. It shut its doors a couple weeks back but we didn’t want Cafe ABoDegas and its funky capitalization to leave without saying goodbye.

Here’s a note posted by the cafe’s owners announcing the closure of the 15th Ave and downtown locations:

We’re so very sorry to let everyone know that Uriah and I have made the final decision to close our doors. We tried super hard to make it work and we unfortunately could not. We love every single one of our customers and want you to know you will be in our hearts forever. Good bye and good luck to all of you.

The 15th at Denny cafe in the street level commercial component of the Group Health Capitol Hill campus opened on Capitol Hill in 2013. Owner Jazmine Knaggs explained the name represented a triumvirate of ideas:

  • Abode — to evoke the feelings of home and shout out to the homeys in Sandpoint, Idaho where Knaggs and ABoDegas partner Uriah DuPerault hail from
  • Bodega — to evoke a sense of the corner market
  • Degas — to evoke the French impressionist

Abodegas, old timers, will recall, replaced Insomniax Cafe — another name dear to CHS’s obsessive heart. Meanwhile, the most exciting thing to ever happen in the cafe space remains this briefcase full of pot found there in 2011.

Goodbye, Abodegas.

CHS Re:Take | Capitol Hill — Fancy groceries since 1912

Augustine & Kyer in its final days at 15th and Republican (SMA)

1936 Augustine & Kyer in its final days at 15th and Republican, jammed in with Walgreens’ 2000 building.

We are awash in groceries! The recent headlines are amazing with the $43 million sale of Broadway Market, and Whole Foods with plans over on First Hill. Central Co-op and Cone & Steiner have set the tone for the high-end markets already but disposable income keeps moving into the neighborhood.

The same was true in 1912. The prior few years brought easy access to downtown with regraded streets and new streetcar lines on Pike, Pine, Summit, 19th, and 23rd that filled empty lots with houses and apartment buildings. As in other parts of Seattle, grocery stores were small, independent businesses. And then two branches of Augustine & Kyer — Seattle’s “Pure Food Purveyors” — upset the balance. Continue reading

Le Zinc surrenders: French restaurant to make New Year’s Eve exit from Capitol Hill

9128127360_43f8575a37_b2Sometimes, the lifespan of a business aligns with the pattern of the year. Last New Year’s, 22 Doors quietly closed on 15th Ave E. The year before, Sam’s Tavern began its life with a New Year’s Eve celebration.

After a year and a half of business, 15th and Pine’s Le Zinc will shutter after a NYE bash of its own.

“We had a good time, too,” Le Zinc’s Axel Mace tells CHS. “There comes a point where you must make a decision.”

Le Zinc’s Pike Place Market big brother Maximilien will continue, Mace said. He said Le Zinc did great on weekends but just couldn’t gather momentum for weeknight crowds.

“We love the neighborhood, and the people,” Mace said. “We loved being here.”

Continue reading

Capitol Hill yoga business ready to stretch across state lines in 2015

Capitol Hill’s The Grinning Yogi has opened its first expansion just in time for the New Year’s resolutions — in Portland.

The neighborhood yoga studio has sat at the bottom floor of an older retail building on the corner of 15th Ave E and E Harrison for the past two and a half years. After its continued success, and some large life changes, owner Jamie Silverstein decided it was the right time to expand. She had a plan and everything.

“The plan was maybe to buy a condo here and open up another studio in Fremont,” Silverstein said. “The plan shifted slightly.”

The new plan found her moving down to Portland earlier this year and deciding to open up another Grinning Yogi studio there. With construction wrapping up, she planned the new studio to open in December with a formal grand opening in January.

“My sweetie is a doctor and residency is crazy,” Silverstein said of the match system that placed her fiancé in Portland. “It’s kind of all up to the fates.” Continue reading

City Hall quiet as plans for Capitol Hill pot shop tōk move forward

A sign of pot's maturing presence around central Seattle, Uncle Ike's gets an upgrade (Photo: CHS)

A sign of retail pot’s maturing presence around central Seattle, Uncle Ike’s gets a signage upgrade (Photo: Uncle Ike’s)

Sometimes, no news is good news. Samuel Burke tells CHS he never heard any objections from Mayor Ed Murray’s office by the December 4th deadline to reply to his application for a retail marijuana shop at 15th Ave E and E Republican. That should mean Burke’s proposed location is officially a go.

A 1,000 ft. buffer around the future home of tōk.

A 1,000 ft. buffer around the future home of tōk.

According to state law, a retail marijuana shop must keep a 1,000-foot buffer from schools, parks, or community centers. Initially, city and state officials thought the 15th Ave  location was too close to the Parkside School daycare. But with the city’s tacit approval of the location, Burke can now forge ahead with his application at the Liquor Control Board

If all goes according to plan, Burke told CHS he would be opening Capitol Hill’s first retail marijuana shop in early 2015 inside the space currently occupied by the Capitol Hill Animal Clinic.

Burke has also settled on a name for his new venture: tōk. “It has some elegance,” he said. Continue reading

Blotter | Another 15th Ave gunpoint hold-up reported

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • Another 15th Ave robbery attempt: The female victim in yet another 15th Ave armed robbery attempt described her attacker as “fairly well dressed” and not “like someone she should be afraid of,” according to the SPD report on the early morning hold-up reported just after 2 AM last Friday.The hold-up marks the 9th robbery involving a gun in the East Precinct since mid-november and the fourth we’re aware of around 15th Ave and Volunteer Park. On November 23rd, police were able to get the license plate of a car believed to be involved in many of the reported hold-ups but there have been no arrests.
    Police are looking for information on this white Crown Victoria-style car seen here in a surveillance video image recorded during a robbery near Seattle U in November

    Police are looking for information on this white Crown Victoria-style car seen here in a surveillance video image recorded during a robbery near Seattle U in November

    The suspect descriptions have varied across the hold-ups. In one set of robberies, the suspects have been described as a team of young, black males apparently connected to the suspect vehicle. In another set, one suspect was reported to be working alone in a hold-up of one man walking to work early on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and another man making a delivery inside a nearby 15th Ave business.

    The suspect in this latest incident on December 5th cuts a different figure than the rest. “She stated he did not look like someone she should be afraid of,” the police report notes of the victim’s description of the suspect in the hold-up. The victim told police she was returning from a trip to a nearby bank when the robber made his move:Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 9.49.13 AM

    The victim told police she screamed loudly and ran to her apartment as the suspect demanded her wallet and phone. The suspect was last seen fleeing the area on foot.

    A police K9 unit was able to track the suspect’s trail to a condo complex a few blocks away but could not find anybody matching the suspect description. There are no further physical details provided in the report. Police were planning to review video surveillance from the area. The female victim was not injured in the robbery.

  • 10th/Pine armed robbery: The victim in an early morning hold-up at 10th and Pine Monday just after 2:30 AM told police the suspects held him up for $300 in a knifepoint robbery. Police arrived within minutes of the call as witnesses told officers two black male suspects in their teens or early 20s  and wearing black jackets were seen fleeing on Nagle, into Cal Anderson and evading arriving police by running through nearby construction before running across Broadway and disappearing on Harvard. A search of the area was not successful. We are not aware of any injuries to the victim in the incident.Police say emphasis patrols started around Pike/Pine and Cal Anderson to quell a late summer street crime spike have continued. CHS last looked at robbery stats for the area in early November.

I-502 permit holder hopes to open Capitol Hill’s first pot shop in February

If all goes according to plan, Capitol Hill will have its first retail marijuana shop this February. But that’s a big “if” for shop owner hopeful Samuel Burke.

After failing to get the city’s approval in three Belltown locations, Burke is cautiously awaiting the city’s response to his proposed location at 15th Ave E and E Republican, currently home the the Capitol Hill Animal Clinic. According to state law, a retail marijuana shop must keep a 1,000-foot buffer from schools, parks, or community centers.

“Each time the city objected and we couldn’t over come it,” Burke told CHS of his previous three proposals. “It’s just such a privilege to think I could locate on Capitol Hill.”

Right now, things are looking good for Burke. Continue reading

I-502 lottery winner makes new plans to open pot shop on Capitol Hill


The possible location of Capitol Hill’s first pot shop. (Photo: CHS)

An I-502 lottery winner is setting his sights on a 15th Ave E and E Republican location to open Capitol Hill’s first retail marijuana shop.

According to the state liquor board, Samuel Burke has submitted an application for a retail marijuana permit for the space currently occupied by the Capitol Hill Animal Clinic.

The application lists the same trade name Burke used to enter the I-502 lottery at the 15th Ave E location. In July, Burke told the Seattle Times that he settled on an unspecified location for his shop after hitting snags in two other places.

CHS tried to contact Burke, but the phone number listed on his I-502 application has been disconnected. Continue reading

Inspired by north India’s amber waves of grain, Kanak joining 15th Ave E’s restaurant row

IMG_2907On Friday as we checked in with the first time restauranteurs behind the ambitious New World meets Old World project Sur 16, we also made note of a new, slightly less trailblazing but equally exciting project underway downstairs.

Kanak Indian Cuisine is getting ready to open on the changing 15th Ave E very soon — maybe even this week.

“Our menu will be traditional with an American touch,” first-time owner Amar Manhani tells CHS. “We will offer more standard basics but a true taste of Indian food.” Continue reading

Speaking of sharing, Ada’s new coworking space is open on 15th Ave E


David and Danielle Hulton doing a little coworking at The Office (Image: CHS)

David and Danielle Hulton doing a little coworking at The Office (Image: CHS)

You can now cowork on 15th Ave E. Ada’s Technical Books has debuted its new “upstairs” coworking space The Office just a few weeks from the one year anniversary of the opening its new Hilltop location.

Resident in the “modern wing” addition to the old house and bookstore rebuilt as Ada’s store and cafe, The Office offers monthly memberships and daily desk space. For now, the $375/month memberships are sold out. Daily desk access at $20 per drop-in is available every day from 8 AM to 10 PM. You’ll get a sweet fat pipe full of internet, a complimentary beverage from the cafe, and all the benefits of coworking like having people around to judge your use of time or for asking what’s a better word for “leverage.” To get your spot, sign up at the cafe’s front counter.

Ada’s, by the way, is a CHS advertiser.

The Office joins a solid foundation of mobile office culture across Capitol Hill starting with its numerous coffee shops and including a few hundred members at dedicated concerns Office Nomads, The Mill, and Agnes Underground. In 2012, Boylston Ave’s Office Nomads doubled in space. Next to join the flock will be more office space from developer Liz Dunn inside her soon-to-open Chophouse Row development on 11th Ave.

The Office is located above Ada’s Technical Books and Cafe at 425 15th Ave E. You can learn more at

Capitol Hill food+drink | Sur 16 gets an education in Opening a Seattle Restaurant 101

Sur 16: Under construction (Image: CHS)

Sur 16: Under construction (Image: CHS)

The contrast can’t be ignored. Across the street, Rione XIII hums along, a well-oiled piece in a restaurant-making machine. Up here in the former home of 15th Ave E’s Bagel Deli, the husband and wife team working to create their first restaurant project feel a bit like machines themselves these days.

“Now we’re here morning and night,” Javier Dalzell tells CHS. “It took weeks just to get permits. Contractors are the next challenge. I told my kid to become a plumber or electrician,” Dalzell joked.

Continue reading

Want to get your Capitol Hill bike back? Try renter’s insurance

That bike that got stolen on Capitol Hill? You’re probably not going to get it back. Meanwhile, another summer of Capitol Hill apartment building fires sparked by careless smokers and burnt dinners thankfully did not claim any lives. But the fires did cause serious property damage as flames, smoke, and water seeped into adjacent units. In many cases, getting your property replaced or a new bike comes down to about $10 a month.

If your landlord doesn’t already require it, taking out $10 a month renter’s insurance policy can be protection against break-ins, water damage, and all the other things that threaten to destroy your smartphone — including theft on the streets.

Tom Spangler, who runs the longtime 15th Ave Spangler Insurance, said policies for as low as $10 a month will cover property damage, relocation costs, and even some medical bills.

“It’s lots of protection for the money laid out,” he said. “You don’t have to be rich.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | Nuflours gluten free bakery plans October opening for 15th Ave E cafe

The crew celebrates its "community sourced" check to help pay for the new cafe (Image: Nuflours)

The crew celebrates its “community sourced” check to help pay for the new cafe (Image: Nuflours)

Funded in part by an innovative community financing campaign, a new cafe is set to join 15th Ave E at the Nuflours bakery.

“Our customers were delighted to help in anyway they could,” Amanda Bedell of Nuflours tells CHS. “The day after the campaign ended we had a Bakery Pop Up Friday and so many squareholders came by — cheering, hugging, singing (really!). So fun!!”

In August, CHS reported on the call for “squareholders” — community members willing to put up a $50, no-interest loan through the Community Sourced Capital systemto help Nuflours finance the buildout of a new cafe space inside the 80-year-old bakery it’s been working out of since spring. 132 loans were made helping Nuflours raise $15,000 to go toward the project.

Bedell says the new Nuflours cafe — the company’s first Seattle storefront — is slated to open Friday, October 10th at 7 AM.

(Image: Nuflours)

(Image: Nuflours)

The cafe will offer the full gamut of Nuflours gluten free creations plus some new additions:
Continue reading

Sorting out the drama — and the comedy, cult and action — at On 15th Video

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

In the week since we learned about the closure of On 15th Videothe last video store on Capitol Hill — CHS still hasn’t learned what led to closing down the more than 25-year-old business but we have learned more about the man who owned the store, his family’s video business history, and, maybe most importantly, the people in the community who loved stopping by to visit a good, old-fashioned video store.

“It’s really been a valued community asset,” Capitol Hill Housing property manager Billie Abers tells CHS. “I’ve reached out to Lyle.”

“It was shorter notice than we normally like.”

Lyle is On 15th’s owner Lyle Holmes. CHS has attempted to contact Holmes about the closure but have not heard back from him so far.

Customers of the shop have also been left in the lurch with rented movies still in their possession and, for some, questions about just-paid membership fees. But, for most, the writing was on the wall.

“Video stores that you walk into really aren’t the best business any more,” Capitol Hill Housing’s Abers tactfully put it. Others might wonder why Holmes didn’t close the store sooner.

Others, meanwhile, are getting together to mourn the loss and visit with the store’s mostly blindsided staff. Here’s an invite passed along to CHS:

Fans of “On 15th Video” have reserved the back room at the Liberty Tavern this Saturday, September 20, from 4:30 to 7:30 to celebrate the community the store created and thank the staff.  If you’re one of the many people who will miss “On 15th Video”, stop in to say hello, say thank you, say goodbye, or just talk about movies.

UPDATE: We’ve heard from one employee who says the Saturday gathering was news to him. Sorry! We should have included information from the organizer who told us he had been able to reach one employee but was reaching out through CHS in hopes of reaching more. You should go. Somebody will buy you a beer! UPDATE x2  9/20/2014 10:53 AM: We just got a message that Saturday’s gathering is canceled.

tumblr_naxfvlOVzE1s7gjzzo1_500According to people familiar with the situation, Holmes acquired On 15th Video from his mother. The family had owned the store since the ’90s and also owned other shops in Seattle. In 1998, their company Director’s Ltd. attempted to purchase Scarecrow Video but the store’s founders tried to scuttle the deal after learning about Holmes’s background. Continue reading

CHS Pics | A sidewalk festival on 15th Ave E




IMG_1139While there was sad news for one of the street’s long time businesses, Sunday was a time for celebration of the independent-focused shops, restaurants, bars, and neighbors of 15th Ave E.

The first ever 15th Ave E Sidewalk Festival brought housemade tonic from Smith and groovy tunes from Trickbag Record Party onto the street in front of Smith. Up the street, the Wandering Goose was ready with cheddar and scallion biscuits. Coastal Kitchen partied with its “fries with eyes” — fried smelt from the Oregon coast. And the nerds from Ada’s had a Tesla coil. Add a few musicians up and down the street and you had an extra special Sunday afternoon stroll on 15th Ave E.

More pictures below. Continue reading