Starbucks making Capitol Hill ‘move’ of its Broadway/Republican cafe

Broadway and Denny’s coming soon Starbucks

The Seattle-based coffee giant is pretty much ruining the joke. There won’t be a Starbucks on every corner on Broadway.

Employees at the Broadway and Republican location are telling customers that, come 2018, the shop will be “moving” to the new 101 Broadway building, across from Capitol Hill Station at Broadway and Denny.

CHS reported this summer on plans for a new Starbucks in the new mixed-use building near the busy transit station. Now it appears Starbucks corporate has deemed the old Broadway and Republican location unnecessary.

The closure will mark the second Starbucks to shutter on Capitol Hill to end 2017. Earlier this year, the 15th Ave E Starbucks — at one time an indie-styled experiment by the company — shuttered and will make way for a new Full Tilt ice cream shop.

Starbucks, meanwhile, isn’t the only big coffee chain closing cafes on the Hill. CHS reported on the lawsuit and the tax problems behind the closure of Tully’s after 20 years at 19th and Aloha.

As for what is next at Broadway and Republican, CHS doesn’t allow itself to indulge in straight up rumors too often but the exit of Starbucks on this end of Broadway might connect to persistent gossip we hear of a big brand pizza chain looking to expand its Capitol Hill presence. Feel free to speculate further in comments.

The Broadway and Republican Starbucks is slated for its final day of business on January 8th.

 

Victrola expanding coffee roasting operations off Hill but Pike’s small-batch beans will stay

Inside Pike Victrola’s roasting room (Image: Victrola Roasters)

Capitol Hill remains fertile ground for coffee bean roasting but the area’s tight quarters will mean one player is downsizing its on-Hill operations. Victrola has announced it is moving its largest roaster to Lynnwood to focus its growing wholesale production in a new facility:

One of Seattle’s original specialty coffee roasters is getting a strong shot of focused energy and experience with the addition of Torsten Gohre as Director of Wholesale, as well as the establishment of a new production facility. Tor joined Victrola in July 2017, bringing his talents and expertise from 10 years as Western Region Sales Director for a Fortune 500 corporation, where he managed a portfolio of business across 13 states, contributing to 20% year-over-year growth for 10 consecutive years. Tor’s role at Victrola is to define and implement an optimal structure for wholesale operations and oversee all client relationships, including day-to-day service, education and new accounts. He will lead all business development and account management strategy, with a focus on expanding into new market segments such as lodging, airport, college and university, business and industry, and healthcare channels.

Victrola owner Dan Ollis tells CHS “space has become a real concern” at Victrola’s Pike roastery and cafe. “I’m sure you have seen the loading/unloading craziness,” he writes. “The Bigger Roaster will move, and the original roaster will stay in its place at 310 East Pike St.” Continue reading

Behind the Tully’s Capitol Hill closure: the lawsuit, the taxes, the what’s next rumors

No, the property hasn’t (yet) been sold to a developer but, yes, the financial issues surrounding the closure of the Tully’s coffee after 20 years at 19th and Aloha go much deeper than a lost lease.

CHS broke the news on the coming closure for the popular neighborhood hangout in mid-November. We documented more than $300,000 owed in taxes to the state of Washington and decisions including a $102,000 judgment for unpaid rent on the company’s Western Ave offices. It turns out, the company owes much more. By the end of the month, the Tully’s across the street from St. Joe’s and a few blocks from the Holy Names Academy was closed for good. Along the way, Global Baristas, the company that took over the struggling chain, never responded to our requests for more information on the closure and chair Michael Avenatti blocked us on Twitter. Continue reading

Realfine Coffee expanding to Capitol Hill in Stumptown’s old E Pine space

While neighbors wait to see what might come next to one longtime favorite Capitol Hill coffee spot, another is set to go back into motion.

West Seattle’s Realfine Coffee announced Tuesday it will be expanding onto Capitol Hill, taking over the E Pine space left empty when Stumptown left the street in August.

“We are beyond excited to announce a second location in Capitol Hill! Coming soon to 616 E Pine St in early 2018,” the Realfine announcement reads. “So grateful for this opportunity. Cap Hill, here we come!”

Owner Julie Mierzwiak opened Realfine in 2015 on Fauntleroy Way SW where her neighbor was also a Rudy’s. Lately, she’s been entangled in local concerns about lost parking from a new development project in the West Seattle neighborhood. Hope her expectations are low for E Pine.

Realfine will bring Herkimer beans to the cafe space adjacent E Pine’s Rudy’s and Capitol Hill Loans that Stumptown called home until it was shuttered late this summer. Stumptown, meanwhile, continues to operate on 12th Ave.

 

For the first time in 20 years, a back-to-school Monday without Tully’s at 19th and Aloha

For the first time in 20 years, the kids from Capitol Hill’s Holy Names Academy don’t have anywhere to hang out the first Monday morning of back to school after the Thanksgiving break.

Messages from longtime customers and staff were one of the few things left on the walls Sunday night as the process to pack up and move out the Tully’s Coffee at 19th and Aloha began. Continue reading

More tough times for Tully’s: 19th/Aloha cafe to close

As can be the usual around Capitol Hill, smaller local changes around big coffee can be the harbinger of things to come.

People familiar with the situation say the longtime Tully’s cafe at 19th and Aloha is set to close later this month. According to court documents, the struggling Seattle-based coffee chain has larger problems.

CHS has found a series of judgments against Global Baristas, the holding company that took over the struggling chain in 2013. They include more than $300,000 owed in taxes to the state of Washington and decisions including a $102,000 judgment for unpaid rent on the company’s Western Ave offices earlier this month. Continue reading

With another first on Capitol Hill, Starbucks Roastery rolls out Princi, chain’s latest stab at premium chow

Ciao. Arrivederci. Welcome to Capitol Hill, Rocco Princi. Tuesday, the Starbucks Reserve Roastery on Melrose at the base of Capitol Hill is introducing its first Princi bakery to the world. Because it is Starbucks, the world should get ready for more.

“Rocco Princi is an artisan who, at an early age, discovered a love of bread making and through determination as well as an obsession for finding the perfect ingredients, has created an Italian food experience that I think is unparalleled,” Howard Schultz, now executive chairman at Starbucks said in the announcement of the opening. “His passion for authentic food and respect for Milanese culture come through in everything he does, and I think our customers are going to fall in love with Princi.”

Here’s how Starbucks describes the first location for its partnership with the European chain: Continue reading

Intrigue Chocolate and Coffeehouse coming to 15th and Madison

Aaron Barthel, right, and Karl Mueller (Images: Intrigue Chocolate)

No, you can’t get coffee on every corner of Capitol Hill. But just about. Pioneer Square’s Intrigue Chocolate Co. will be putting another key Capitol Hill corner to use, creating a “chocolate and coffeehouse” at 15th and Madison.

Owners Aaron Barthel and Karl Mueller broke their own news on the project Friday with a detailed blog post:

Imagine walking through the front doors of our new chocolate and coffeehouse and being greeted by the delicious smell fresh coffee, warm quick breads, and cacao beans in the mill. Imagine ordering a cup of coffee from a knowledgeable and friendly barista that suggests you try this origin chocolate from Ghana after you take your first sip, so you can experience the chocolatey and plum notes of the coffee without distraction. Imagine sitting comfortably in a tall window with your cozy mug and small chocolate next to a warm slice of banana bread, enjoying the grey Seattle light and soft rain on the skyline.

OK, we’re intrigued.

Intrigue’s chocolate philosophy should fit nicely with Capitol Hill. The focus isn’t on mastery and repetition. Mueller says of his chocolatier business partner’s cocoa genius.

“Aaron likes to use chocolate as a medium to express what he knows about flavor,” Mueller said. Continue reading

Stumptown E Pine set for closure

(Images: Stumptown)


Last summer, the Big Coffee(tm)-owned indie chain stopped roasting beans on 12th Ave. Later this summer, Stumptown will close its E Pine cafe to focus on its remaining Capitol Hill location.

The coffee industry-focused folks at Sprudge confirmed the news sent to CHS Tuesday morning by employees and customers that August 20th will be the final day for the E Pine cafe that neighbors Rudy’s and the Capitol Loans pawn shop. Sprudge reports that a company spokesperson tells them Stumptown “made the painful, yet considered decision to focus our efforts on our 12th Street cafe and our operations within the Seattle market.”

Stumptown became a wholly owned subsidiary of Peets Coffee and Tea in 2015 after the coffee chain obtained a partial ownership in 2011.

The busiest 80 square feet on Broadway makes room for expansive Kosmic Koffee

(Image: Kosmic Koffee)

The busiest 80 square feet of cafe space on Broadway is back in action. And entrepreneur Anthony Davis has plans to cram even more into the little coffee shack in the midst of the hustle and bustle on Capitol Hill’s main drag.

Kosmic Koffee debuted for a sneak peek over Pride weekend marking yet another incarnation for the coffee shack at the corner of Broadway and Harrison. Regular hours are coming soon.

“We were driving down Broadway and saw the stand. It was a two hour decision process after I saw the sign,” Davis tells CHS about the “go go” nature of his latest venture. Davis also is part of Anslinger Capital, an “emerging market fund, focused on the legal cannabis market,” and venture capital concern Monition Partners. With those kinds of entrepreneurial roots, you can expect more from Kosmic than cups of coffee.

“I have a farm with chickens so I’m also selling farm fresh eggs,” Davis said. He’s already got a brand for the eggs thought up: Just Got Laid.

More unusual menu items are to come. Continue reading