Toscana to Itto’s to A La Vida to… closed — Newly transformed Summit Ave tapas joint ‘didn’t make it’

Usually when CHS hears about a sad passing in the Capitol Hill food and drink economy, we try to check in to find out more about what was behind the closing. The story isn’t usually a surprise. Slow business. Redevelopment. Life changes.

But we don’t have much more to add than some fancy words to the tweets about the end of Summit Ave’s A La Vida. Continue reading

Toscana to Itto’s to A La Vida — New owner on Summit part of ongoing wave of Capitol Hill food+drink deals

Change coming to Summit Ave (Image: Itto’s Tapas)

2018’s year of mergers and acquisitions in Capitol Hill food and drink has continued into 2019. Another new owner on the Hill is hoping to take the take over and transition route to food and drink success.

Manager Jody Claggett tells CHS he has purchased Summit Ave’s Itto’s Tapas from longtime owner Khalid Agour and will set about a quick transformation and overhaul of the restaurant and bar into a more Spanish flavored A La Vida.

Claggett said the name for the tapas, gin, and wine bar was inspired by a customer who turned him onto new music and a song about the joy of life.

“Everybody that I meet, it’s just a great conversation,” Claggett said of life behind the bar and the counter after a career in tech. Continue reading

From I-5 Shores to Alki, Julian Hagood making plans for Harry’s Beach House

It’s not exactly beach weather but Julian Hagood, the owner and chef behind Capitol Hill’s Harry’s Fine Foods, is already thinking about summer.

Plans for Harry’s Beach House are in motion to transform a former Tully’s Coffee across from West Seattle’s Alki Beach into a new food and drink destination shaped by Hagood.

Think Harry’s at the beach, Hagood says. “The spot will have a significantly larger kitchen to provide a bit more variety,” he writes. “Same killer brunches and seasonally driven fare that caters to locals and visitors alike.” Continue reading

Doggone it: Pup’s party tent reportedly causes brief Capitol Hill power outage

Seattle City Light says a gust of wind and a party tent caused a power outage that briefly knocked out power to more than 4,000 customers across Capitol Hill on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, around 1 PM, near Belmont at Republican, a canopy tent was reported on wires after falling from a nearby building. A City Light crew was dispatched and electricity was quickly restored to thousands with the final 1,000 back in power by 5 PM.

CHS has reported on a variety of causes for Hill blackouts over the years. Continue reading

Once lined up for microhousing, Capitol Hill’s Roy Vue wins landmark status

From a plan to gut and fill in its namesake garden courtyard with microhousing apartment units to setting the groundwork for landmarks protections that will preserve its architectural features for years to come — the 94th year of existence for Capitol Hill’s Roy Vue Garden Apartments has been a big one.

In a pre-holiday vote last Wednesday, the Seattle landmarks board voted unanimously to make the Roy Vue a landmark and extend the city’s protections to the building’s exterior, central arcade, and, importantly, the site’s courtyard and elevated garden spaces. Continue reading

Eight years in, Seattle ready to study ‘engineering and financial feasibility’ of lidding I-5

It’s a Seattle Freeway Revolt of a different sort and now the city has the money to execute an engineering and financial feasibility study of the potential benefits “for covering more of the I-5 freeway trench in central Seattle.”

The $1.5 million in funding from the Washington State Convention Center expansion’s $83 million public benefits package is now available to the City of Seattle and an advisory council has been formed, the Lid I-5 community group announced last week:

The study funding enables OPCD to procure an expert consultant team with qualifications in civil and structural engineering, economic analysis, urban design, and environmental mitigation. The study is expected to last through 2019 and will inform the next steps in lid design, planning, permitting, and capital funding. Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) staff will be engaged during the process. Recent and ongoing freeway lid projects – including in Bellevue, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Dallas, and Philadelphia – provide helpful case studies and a pool of experienced specialists that Seattle’s effort can draw from.

Continue reading

Design review: Bellevue Court Apartments and their Instagram-worthy Gasworks views

When it comes to Capitol Hill design reviews, we don’t usually mention the developer’s Instagram. But Yu Xiahou’s feed is pretty amazing. The design for his proposed Bellevue Court Apartments? We’ll find out what the board thinks soon.

Xiahou’s four-story, 43-unit proposal for the western edge of Capitol Hill just off Belmont Ave E with — one November 2017 post to his Instragram feed promises — Gasworks and Eastlake views is slated to come before the East Design Review Board Wednesday night:

Design Review: 1020 Bellevue Ct E

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Capitol Hill’s Roy Vue ‘garden apartments’ move forward in Seattle landmarks process

A coalition of veteran preservation advocates and a relatively fresh-faced nonprofit dedicated to Capitol Hill history has won its first round in what is hoped might eventually be a series of victories establishing landmarks protections for important neighborhood buildings.

The Seattle Landmarks Board Wednesday night voted unanimously to approve the nomination of Capitol Hill’s 94-year-old Roy Vue “garden apartments” for protections of its historic exterior, interior and landscaping features. The 600 block Bellevue Ave E apartment building will now move forward in the process with the board set to make its final designation on the property in coming weeks.

Eugenia Woo of Historic Seattle praised the building’s “high level of integrity” and said it was crucial the Roy Vue be protected in its complete “garden apartment” vision “because the garden, the courtyard, and the building were integral to the whole design.”

The Roy Vue’s unique flipped “U” design with a garden courtyard sited away from the street is the equivalent of the “Seattle freeze” of the city’s historic buildings, one board member quipped, with a dignified wall facing Bellevue but a hidden jewel of a garden tucked away inside.

Bolstered by public comment from many of the Roy Vue’s current tenants in support of protecting the building they call home, the vote marked the first successful step in a collaboration between the Historic Seattle organization that has long been dedicated to preservation in the city and the Capitol Hill Historical Society as the neighborhood group made its first foray into the official landmarks fray. Continue reading

Also saved — and going legit — on Bellevue Ave E: the Harry’s Fine Foods Chandelierium

(Image: Harry’s Fine Foods)

You can wish Harry’s Fine Foods a very happy second birthday this week and congratulate the Bellevue Ave E eatery on its paperwork — its once threatened Chandelierium is going legit.

Back in January, CHS reported on the fight with the city over the 800 200 or so square feet of covered patio chef and owner Julian Hagood created on the backside of Harry’s. “We rapidly built this beautiful little patio covering to allow our guests to enjoy our patio year round however the city has determined it violates building and energy codes,” Hagood told CHS at the time.

Now, Hagood confirms that he has undertaken a full land use permitting process with architectural firm Hoedemaker Pfeiffer to allow the structure to remain part of the bistro. Continue reading