Sustainability by the glass as Footprint Wine Tap opens on E Madison

Footprint Wine Tap — “Seattle’s first sustainable keg wine on tap bar” — is now open on Capitol Hill.

CHS first introduced you earlier this year to Seattle wine expert Kenneth Dillon and his plan to overhaul a shuttered E Madison beer tap concept into a new experiment in wine enjoyment and retail.

The sustainability-focused Footprint has set out to feature a wide selection of sustainably sourced, organic, or biodynamic wines from mostly local wineries with pours from kegs available on tap to cut down on waste and, some say, provide a better product. Continue reading

Capitol Hill bars take precautions amid reports of drugged drinks

Bar Sue is now offering date rape drug detector strips. (Image: Bar Sue via Facebook)

Bar Sue is now offering date rape drug detector strips. (Image: Bar Sue via Facebook)

Bar Sue owner Ian Carey first became concerned about an uptick in drugged drinks on Capitol Hill when he himself was drugged a few months ago at a neighborhood bar. When a Bar Sue patron reported being drugged last month, Carey decided to start offering free “date rape drug detector” tests.

“For now I am just providing free tests and posting signs that they are available to my patrons, in hopes it will potentially deter predators in my bar,” he said.

Now other bars are following suit. Chop Suey owner Brianna Rettig told CHS she has already put the order in for the strips that test for GHB, a common date rape drug. “They’re very easy and pretty brilliant. You just do a straw test on the tab and it’ll tell you whether or not there’s GHB inside the drink,” Rettig said.

Rettig said she has held multiple meetings with Chop Suey’s security and bar staff about looking out for suspicious behavior and signs of over intoxication. Nightlife owner Steven Severin said he has not heard reports of drugged drinks at Neumos, Moe Bar, or Barboza, but hopes increased attention on the issue will scare off any would-be predators.  Continue reading

Spirit and Animal becomes Corvus and Co. following name controversy with soon-to-open bar

12105841_1244887468858894_6998415430795895922_nThe owners behind a forthcoming Capitol Hill bar have once again renamed their venture in response to criticism that their first two takes on a name were offensive to Native Americans.

In a Facebook mea culpa, owners Paul Berryman and business partner Izzy Guymon announced Monday they have renamed Spirit and Animal to Corvus and Co. — a reference to the genus of birds that includes crows and ravens.

It’s the second name change for the bar, slated to open next month at Broadway and Mercer, which had originally been called Spirit Animal. Popular use of the term has been denounced in the past for its problematic appropriation of Native American culture, which was pointed out to the bar owners via social media.

In response, Berryman and Guymon added an ‘and’ to the bar name in an effort to distance themselves from the controversial term and closer align “spirit” to its boozy definition. But when the Spirit and Animal sign went up last month at the longtime home of The Byzantion Greek restaurant, many complained it was still too reminiscent of the controversial term.

“While well intended, we were naive and didn’t comprehend the pain and frustration for people who have long dealt with having their heritage misrepresented and used by non-First Nation people,” said the owners in a Facebook post. “We now understand that this is a form of oppression that we most definitely did not intend or want to be a part of.”

The owners said they will switch out the sign before opening next month, though the raven is likely to stay given the corvus name. The owners also said it is representative of their combined Scandinavian and Celtic heritage.

CHS reported last September on the purchase of The Byzantion after 30 years of business and Berryman and Guymon’s plans for a “mystical” food and drink spot on the north end of Broadway. “I think this end is going to have a little bit of a renaissance,” Berryman said at the time. “It feels more like a neighborhood than an entertainment district.”

Here is Corvus and Co.’s full statement on the name change:

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Bill’s Off Broadway is reopening after a two year construction hiatus

The long wait is finally over for Capitol Hill pizza lovers, Seahawks fans, and morning beer drinkers alike. Bill’s Off Broadway is ready to reopen at Harvard Ave and E Pine after taking a nearly two year timeout from its 35-year run.

Doors are expected to open at 4 PM on Monday, according to Bill’s owner Don Stevens (and the countdown clock that just went live on the new Bill’s website). There are no special celebrations planned for the reopening — Stevens said he’s just eager to getting back to doing what Bill’s does best.

“It’s nice to declare it’s time for people to come back in and have a good time,” Stevens told CHS. “I’m looking forward to sitting down and having a beer with some of my old Capitol Hill friends.”

UPDATE: Beers, baseball, and pizza. All was right again inside Bill’s Monday afternoon as customers streamed in for the bar’s grand reopening. CHS was there for a first look at the new space.

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Longtime owner Don Stevens surveys the first pizzas from Bill’s Off Broadway 2.0 (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

The revamped Bill’s will include an expanded food menu and a beer list kicked up to 18 taps, as well as a couple dozen more chairs and a bigger kitchen. However, Stevens said much of the wood paneling and fixtures from the original restaurant were saved to preserve the old Bill’s charm.

“Anybody that has a history with Bill’s Off Broadway is going to walk in there and know they’re in Bill’s Off Broadway,” Stevens said.

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You can buy Capitol Hill’s Chop Suey for $99,950

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A peek inside from the Chop Suey real estate listing

A peek inside from the Chop Suey real estate listing

Everything is for sale. Just ask Broadway’s Charlie’s. The restaurant’s owner Ken Bauer has listed the Capitol Hill classic for years.

On Thursday, Seattle’s only music writer David Segal posted about the peculiar real estate listings involving 14th and Madison rock club Chop Suey and got some intel from longtime neighborhood booker Jodi Ecklund.

“The most recent development is that the price was significantly dropped from the original asking price. The issue is the rent on the building is 13k; even with a thriving club like Chop Suey, that is not sustainable. I have heard there are some interested parties and I have been contacted by a few folks for more insight. My number one concern is that if Chop Suey is purchased, I hope it is by someone who values the local music scene.

If you’re wondering, Dave Meinert tells us he’s not interested in owning “a live music venue.” We’ll let you parse that statement.

Team Dresch on the Suey stage in 2013 (Image: CHS)

Team Dresch on the Suey stage in 2013 (Image: CHS)

To be clear, Chop Suey is for sale.

Not the 1325 E Madison building across the street from the former Piecora’s where a six-story development is planned. Continue reading

Liberty II? Capitol Hill bartending suzerain has plans for E Olive Way

Friedman at work (Image: Liberty)

Friedman at work (Image: Libertybars.com)

One of the biggest success stories of the Capitol Hill cocktail economy is planning a major expansion. Liberty, Andrew Friedman’s seven-year-old coffee, cocktail and, yes, sushi venture on 15th Ave E is acquiring new E Olive Way territory.

CHS has learned that Friedman will be taking over the space currently occupied by The Online Cafe and building a new venture in this growing area of Capitol Hill nightlife.

Both Friedman and the cafe’s owner Nick Woell declined to comment on the deal but CHS has confirmed details with people familiar with both businesses and CHS has verified that staff at both Liberty and Online are aware of the changes.

The Online Cafe began the month of April shuttered with a sign saying the coffee shop was closed for renovations. Continue reading