You’ll have to wait a little bit longer for the new Charlie’s


The old Charlie’s (Image: CHS)

33fc02_654fdf1b50f7495e965cdad0329db76fCharlie’s — the legendary Broadway restaurant space poised to transcend ownership and continue a new lease on life — will have a few more weeks to enjoy its rest following longtime owner Ken Bauer’s June retirement after one last Pride weekend. The new owners tell CHS the new Charlie’s won’t make its planned Friday-after-Thanksgiving opening.

The new ownership from the Lodge Sports Grille family of restaurants says it will need around two more weeks to get the rehabilitation and upgrades of the old Capitol Hill restaurant complete and make sure service is up to the necessary Charlie’s standards. Don’t chuckle, old timers.

When it reopens in December, the space will have all the same old stuff but cleaned-up, we’re told. The menu will be pared back and overhauled, however — new co-owner Kelli Kreiter said part of the reason for the changes is they couldn’t get some of the old recipes. Bauer and management did have an agreement over continuing the Charlie’s name but Kreiter said she couldn’t discuss if there was any financial implications to the deal. Bauer helped open Charlie’s in 1976, taking it over in 2000 after the restaurant’s namesake owner passed away. As an end to his lease agreement approached five years ago, Bauer told CHS he started looking to sell but found no buyers. The Lodge Sports Grille deal to lease the space followed.

Kreiter said the new ownership loved the quirkiness of the longtime Broadway watering hole and wanted to bring “new light” to the space without changing the nature of the restaurant. She also said she is aware of concerns about higher prices and that she and the new owners hope to keep Charlie’s an affordable, “fair” place to hang out and enjoy a meal or a drink.

You can stay tuned to for updates on a new opening date.

Pride 2015, Capitol Hill Seattle

Pride 2015, Capitol Hill Seattle

Here is why news is wrong about SPD’s Capitol Hill patrols

Seattle Police gang detectives believed they were circling in on suspects involved in Sunday morning’s drive-by shooting at Pike and Broadway as the investigation continued Tuesday but reports of increased patrols in the neighborhood in response to the incident are not accurate.

“In response to the shooting, police plan to increase nighttime foot patrols in the area,” the Seattle Times reported. Other media outlets have followed.

But a SPD spokesperson tells CHS that no actual increase in the number of patrol officers is hitting the streets in response to the shooting — ongoing weekend emphasis patrols started earlier this year to curb nightlife-related crime, however, will continue.

“We increased the number of officers on foot beats earlier this year and have kept them in place because we know they’re important,” a SPD spokesperson said in a statement.

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No need for Broadway nostalgia — Tiny TNT Espresso back in business

Rock is ready to pour you a tall one (Images: CHS)

Rock is ready to pour you a tall one (Images: CHS)

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? No, really, should they? Not on Broadway where we seem to be ending 2015 with some nostalgia-erasing revivals.

TNT Espresso, the tiny, 80-square-foot coffee stand in the teriyaki restaurant parking lot at Broadway and Harrison, was back in business this chilly Monday morning, serving up hot tea and milky pours from a new owner happy to be able to keep Capitol Hill’s last* drive-thru coffee shack alive — even after CHS already wrote its obituary.

Rock Sielaff said he decided to purchase the business from longtime friend Monica Anaya and return to the Hill from Chicago after a short adventure away from his longtime stomping grounds.

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Ian’s Pizza on the Hill opens where franchise bailed over Seattle’s minimum wage fears

For all the talk about Seattle’s “$15 minimum wage,” 2016 will be the first year for real action as even smaller employers will begin the climb. The business environment in the city will undoubtedly shift. On Broadway, with slices of Mac n’ Cheese pizza, a small bit of change began Tuesday with the opening of Ian’s Pizza on the Hill in the former home of a pizza franchisee who bailed on Capitol Hill vs. suffering what she said would be an even more difficult environment for her business. Continue reading

Design review reminder: Broadway Whole Foods project, First Hill McDonald’s building

Design review is fun. You can help pick out apartment tower colors.

Design review is fun. You can help pick out apartment tower colors for the new Whole Foods building planned for Broadway at Madison.

The future McDonald's building appears to contain no McDonald's. This is not appropriate feedback for the design review board.

The future McDonald’s building appears to contain no McDonald’s. This is not appropriate feedback for the design review board.

For those of you hungering for the the filling humanity of public comment, one of the city’s last bastions of unrestrained community testimony will take on two high profile — and high-reaching — area projects Wednesday night.

It’s design review time for the 16-story Broadway Whole Foods building and 17-story apartment tower set to replace the First Hill McDonald’s. CHS explored the latest proposed designs here. For the Broadway building that will contain the area’s first two-level Whole Foods market, the review board reps said they would be looking for a building with more “glazing” and “fenestration” to break up the structure’s mass, a better pedestrian experience along Madison, something to break up the blank walls along Spring St., “a strong corner gateway presence”… and no metal, which the architects apparently indicated was going to be part of the material plan for the building’s exterior. There’s also a major color issue to resolve. As for the McDonald’s building, we’re not sure exactly what the board is asking for — “explore how to create a more dynamic expression similar to what was shown in the precedent imagery while maintaining the residential character and not creating an overly busy façade.”

If you’re not into public comment — or long public meetings — you can send your comments on the designs to the city’s planner attached to each project. Here’s the contact for the Whole Foods building and here’s who you can tell all your McDonald’s building hopes and dreams to. Take a look through the design review guidelines to better shape your feedback.

East Design Review Board
November 18, 2015 — 1001 Broadway (PDF): 6:30 pm — 1001 Minor (PDF): 8:00 PM
Seattle University, 901 12th Ave
Student Center 210 Multi-Purpose Room

Dutch treat: Miri’s Poffers makes debut at the Broadway Farmers Market

While we’ve seen some of the Broadway Farmers Markets food and drink projects graduate to brick and mortar ventures, the woman behind the latest delicious offering to join the weekly market at Broadway and Pine says she’s perfectly happy — for now — just making great, tiny Dutch pancakes by the dozen.

“I love to cook but the classic restaurant model feels very restrictive,” Miri Plowman tells CHS. “I’m actually a cook that likes humans.”

Miri’s Poffers is slated to make its debut at the market this weekend. The market, as usual, runs 11 AM to 3 PM. A blustery November Sunday or not, there will be many, many humans there.

Plowman is ready to give them a hearty pancake meal — and a show.

“The Dutch have it down,” she says. “It’s mesmerizing. I love the pan. I’m not trying to ham it up. But it is really fun to watch. And I was drawn to that.”

Plowman and crew make the small poffertjes pancakes with a special, cast iron grill made just for the task. Plowman paid $2,000 for hers. Heating the batch and spinning the cakes with little sticks takes on a kind of rhythm with the smell of baking and a little smoke spreading the word that it’s nearly time to eat. Miri’s serves its poffers — “poffertjes” was just too difficult for anybody to pronounce — in orders of around 13 to 15 pancakes. You can choose accompaniments like classic butter and powdered sugar for $6, poached quince for $9, bacon and egg for $12, or wild mushrooms also for $12.

Plowman said she discovered the street food on visits to Holland with her two Dutch half sisters. She decided about a year ago to try to be part of the Capitol Hill farmers market but the opportunity to join the mix at Broadway and Pine didn’t open up until now. On her first Sunday, she expects to draw plenty of onlookers but she probably won’t bother trying to help anybody pronounce poffertjes. Plowman is looking forward to introducing her poffers to Capitol Hill.

“A lot of education is involved,” she said, “because nobody knows what the hell they are.”

You can learn more at

Charlie’s to ‘reopen’ on Broadway

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 2.57.48 PMThe owners behind The Lodge Sports Grille have announced two pieces of good news about their project to bring Charlie’s back to life on Broadway. One, it will, indeed, be called Charlie’s. And Two, it’s set to open later this month according to the announcement posted to

We walked into the historic brick building after the last drinks had been poured and the customers had gone home. It was a place we had visited regularly in its prime, just as many of our fellow Seattleites had. A place that was well worn in with dark corner booths, friendly service and hearty breakfasts that lasted all day and night. The crevices were piled high with eclectic memorabilia and knick-knacks, accumulated through out the thirty years of business. As we stood there, impressed by the unique charm and the must of the old carpet, we knew what had to be done.
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What Broadway Whole Foods building and apartment tower set to replace McDonald’s will *really* look like

Future: Whole Foods

Future: Whole Foods

The past: McDonald's

The past: McDonald’s

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 9.08.24 PMThe future along Madison is tall and shiny — with some stone to balance it out. Two towering (relative to Capitol Hill standards) and mostly gleaming First Hill apartment projects will take updated designs to review next week. Here is a look at what could be the final design proposals for the 265-unit development slated to rise above a new Whole Foods at Broadway and Madison and the 207-unit project planned to rise above where First Hill’s McDonald’s stands today.

The Whole Foods building
It’s been exactly one year since CHS broke the news that Whole Foods was coming to Broadway with a targeted late 2017 to early 2018 opening planned as part of a massive new development replacing the 1928-built, three-story masonry medical building currently at the site. Next Wednesday night, developers Columbia Pacific Advisors and the project’s architects Tiscareno Associates will show their latest proposal for the project with hopes to convince the board they have done enough to break up the mass of the tower and to address concerns about the pedestrian experience at Madison and Broadway. Continue reading

30-month federal hate crime sentence in Capitol Hill knife attack

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 3.28.46 PMThe Department of Justice announced Monday afternoon that the 38-year-old man convicted of a federal hate crime for a January attack on Capitol Hill has been sentenced to two and a half years in jail.

Prosecutors said Troy Deacon Burns threatened three men with a knife while yelling homophobic slurs near Harvard and Pike in the January 25th attack. Because the knife “travelled in interstate commerce,” prosecutors charged the defendant in federal court.

Burns faced up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The defendant reached a plea agreement in August and “admitted that just after midnight on Jan. 25, 2015, he attacked three gay men who were walking in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood,” the DOJ announcement reads.

According to investigators, Burns had been living in shelters, is addicted to drugs, and was on Capitol Hill to sell meth the night of the crime.

The hate crime case helped spark a wave of concern this year about anti-gay bias crimes on Capitol Hill. This summer, Mayor Ed Murray’s LGBTQ task force released a report with recommendations for strengthening the gay community and increasing safety in the city. Other efforts underway include SPD’s Safe Place program and a new nighttime LGBTQ safety shuttle.

The full DOJ announcement is below.

A Bremerton, Washington, man has been sentenced to 30 months in prison following his conviction of a federal hate crime, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, and U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes of the Western District of Washington. Continue reading

Capitol Hill location tied to Chipotle chain E. Coli outbreak

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 10.53.18 AMThe Broadway outlet of fast food chain Chipotle remained closed Wednesday as company and public health officials worked to identify what at the Capitol Hill restaurant and other locations in Washington and Oregon sickened customers with an outbreak of E. coli illnesses.

Washington health officials say 25 cases have been reported so far in the state — six in King County.

The Broadway Chipotle and the University District location are the only Seattle restaurants thus far tied to the outbreak:

In Washington, residents of Clark (11), Cowlitz (2), Island (2), King (6), and Skagit (4) counties have been reported as outbreak cases. Of the 25 cases, 23 reported having been at Chipotle restaurants before getting sick. Nine of the Washington residents were hospitalized. Cases range in age from five-to-60.

There are five Washington restaurants associated with this outbreak: Hazel Dell, 7715 NE 5thAvenue, Suite 109, in Vancouver; 1404 Broadway Avenue and 4229 University Way NE in Seattle; 512 Ramsey Way 101 in Kent; and 1753 S. Burlington Blvd. in Burlington.

Chipotle restaurants remain under a “voluntary closure” that began over the Halloween weekend, according to the state. Continue reading