When we learned back in April that a mystery restaurant was destined for 401 15th Avenue East, the erstwhile home of Tilden (the ”difficult” for children store), we speculated as to what type of restaurant would move into such a large space (2660 sq ft)?
DPD filings discovered by CHS reveal that criminal charges have not impeded Mike McConnell’s quest to grow his Vita coffee/pizza empire.
The filings reveal two permit requests — one for a “Cafe Vita” and one for a “Pizza Vita.” The permits document a combined project cost of around $125,000 to be pumped into rehabbing the former retail space. There is no project timeframe included in the permit applications and a visit to the former Tilden space this morning revealed only brown butcher paper falling from the windows inside.
The planned 15th Avenue location appears to follow a recent pattern of Vita expansions, whereby both pizza and coffee are dispensed at the same site. In 2010, for example, joint pizza/coffee Vita locations were established in Pioneer Square and Portland, OR. McConnell founded and owns Caffe Vita, Via Tribunali and co-owns Pike Street Fish Fry as well as Big Mario’s which is scheduled to open this Thursday next to the Vita on E. Pike and will be especially popular with night owls and party kids with its 4 AM closing time. CHS has contacted McConnell and Vita for comment but has yet to receive a response.
15th Avenue is currently home to Palermo Pizza and Olympia Pizza which recently expanded into the former Sonic Boom space to open The Bar. Coffee vendors on 15th Avenue include Victrola, Ladro and 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea.
UPDATE: Lest you feel too much pity for Victrola, they are undergoing an expansion of their own. Following its purchase by Whidbey Coffee Co. in 2008, Victrola opened up a Beacon Hill location and now they’re also pulling shots in South Lake Union. Here’s a lovely picture of the Victrola counter inside the new Amazon Kindle building. Via Twitter, Amazonian @kevinseattle tells us: “each new building will have a local (read: NOT SBUX) coffee shop. So far we also have a Vita and Umbria. Not sure who’s next.”