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Analog Coffee looks to keep it simple on Summit

Tim Hayden and Danny Hanlon (right) stand in front of the new space at Summit and Thomas. They hope to open Analog Coffee some time in early 2011. (Image: Jon Polka for CHS)

Starbucks’s renovation of their East Olive Way location has drawn quite a bit of attention to the Hill; it is certainly hard to miss their faux-Pike Place signage. But just down the street, tucked a little deeper into the old slope of I-5 Shores, a different kind of coffee shop is taking form: Analog Coffee.

Two long time friends, Danny Hanlon and Tim Hayden, are in the process of transforming the old fitness gym space at the corner of Summit and Thomas into a small, independent coffee shop. The name is a reflection of the partners’ goal: a barista-run establishment with a focus on simple, hand-crafted coffee. “Lots of the coffee places around Seattle have grown pretty fast,” Hayden says, explaining that while they still make good coffee their focus has shifted to the company rather than the product. Analog on the other hand, will be one-of-a-kind, with no plans to expand elsewhere. “We’ll be the only two employees. You’ll see us here every day, making coffee,” Hanlon said.

Both baristas have been in the coffee business for over a decade. Most recently Hanlon has managed Magnolia’s Upper Crust Bakery and Cafe, while Hayden has been a manager (and still is for the next few weeks) atHerkimer Coffee on Phinney Ridge. Herkimer will supply the beans to Analog, beans that Hillites may be familiar with from TNT and Porchlight Coffee. Analog will serve pour-overs, french press, and, of course, espresso, which will be made on a Seattle-created but world-renowned Synesso machine. Hanlon says that they hope to serve some pastries as well, but aren’t sure about that aspect, yet.

The opening of their little shop on Summit will be the completion of a nearly three year process of weekly planning meetings, saving money, and looking for a location. “We’ve been searching for a space now for over a year, but when we walked into this one we instantly new it was the perfect spot,” Hayden said.

Analog will join Arabica Lounge, only a few months old itself, as two independent coffee houses within blocks of the $550,000 overhaul of the the Olive Way Starbucks.

The coming soon Analog (Image: jseattle)

Hayden and Hanlon are currently in the midst of building out the space and getting permits from the city, a process they say has been quite a learning experience. Luckily they have had a lot of support, especially from Herkimer. “There have been a few rumors going around that Herkimer is opening a Capitol Hill location because people have seen the truck up here. But they have just been nice enough to let us use it, mostly for hauling lumber.” Hanlon explains. There is still a lot of work to be done but the pair hope to open for business sometime in early 2011 according to Hayden, “yeah, that seems vague enough.”

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28 thoughts on “Analog Coffee looks to keep it simple on Summit

  1. It’s great that so many small, independent coffee shops are opening in Seattle, but is there no limit on the number that can be successfully supported? The Arabica Lounge is just down the street, as is Starbucks; Top Pot is just north of there, and of course there is Joe Bar and Roy St Coffee not far away.

    That said, I wish these guys all the best….they obviously have their hearts in what they are doing.

  2. With all the people using laptops at one person per table we need more coffee shops so that there are more seats for more people with laptops, or in rare instances those that might want a cup of coffee or tea and might like to sit for a few minutes and savor their purchase.

  3. Im really excited about this I live on Melrose and Thomas and not that I am always lazy I just don’t like to make that trek (2.5 blocks) up and over to Top Pot.

  4. I’m hoping they don’t offer wifi. I miss the atmosphere of coffee houses when people used to talk to people. Meet neighbors. You know, mingle?

  5. Sounds really great. It is a pretty saturated market, but it sounds like they are passionate and skilled. I too hope they don’t offer WIFI. It would be nice to have that option open.

  6. Really excited about this place!

    Drives me crazy when I want to get a cup with a few friends and every single table is taken up by people with laptops sitting there wearing headphones typing away with their two hour old cup of coffee. I hate it!

    Hopefully they’ve done all their due diligence so they don’t end up in a VPC mess :)

  7. So let’s see. We have a state government that refuses to tax the rich and they insist on balancing the budget on the backs of working people by raising our taxes and cutting all our services. And yet some people think a $2 cup of coffee on every street corner is what we need.

    This is why I’m a socialist. We need production based on human need, not profit. I want a society in which the people, and not private individuals, get to decide “Do we really need another coffee shop in this two block area?” Think of all the energy, time, and resources that are put into these fantasy projects that could be spent on, oh, i don’t know, making sure the 80 year old down the street doesn’t freeze to death this winter?

    Keep that entrepreneurial spirit alive! Think only of yourself and not your community!

  8. It’s really easy to criticize earnest, hard, working people who have the motivation to do something that they are passionate about and will benefit the community, when you yourself are doing so much unadulterated, selfless good in the world, especially for that freezing 80 year old. I can tell you from a coffee industry perspective that opening up an independent shop isn’t exactly the cash cow that you might think it is, but there obviously IS a need for it considering how many exist in our seemingly saturated market.

    I checked this post out in support of my friends and I am only a little surprised that someone could find something to naysay and soap box about on a completely agenda free topic.

    Goodluck to Analog! Excited to see all that you will bring to the neighborhood.

  9. Then why don’t YOU start a non profit instead of crying about your socialist dreams? It’s not easy starting a non profit. There’s politics involved in that, as well. I should know. I use to have a non profit in that neighborhood. People like you say you want non profit, but all you do is sit on your warm hineys and bark at people trying to make a living.

  10. There is hardly any good quick and easy food in this part of the neighborhood. I think if these guys were to have delicious and well made sandwiches or something (just no Crepes, please!) then they would make a killing. I was really hoping for a ny deli style spot to open up there.

  11. I think there is almost unlimited demand for coffeeshops on the hill. New ones keep opening up and they all seem full most of the time. Roy Street coffee, for example, is packed all the time but so is Joe Bar. We haven’t gotten close to saturation yet.

  12. I’m really looking forward to this. I work at Half Price Books and have been a little frustrated with coffee in the area. We have Starbucks, which just finished a major renovation that changed very little in the end. It’s a little more comfortable, and I like the Clover option, but it’s still packed and corporate and just not the little neighborhood coffeeshop I crave. Online Coffee has a bit more of that indie atmosphere, but the computers detract from that with everyone lost in their little world. I was hoping Arabica would be more inviting, but the decor is way too modern. It’s a neat place, but it’s clearly trying to compete more with bars than coffeeshops. Analog sounds like it will be more like what I’m looking for, being a little off the main road, with only 2 employees, and awesome Herkimer coffee. I would echo others on the no wi-fi idea. It would fit in with the analog theme and would help keep seats open. I don’t think in this neighborhood you’ll need the wi-fi to get customers. Just have analog newspapers available, play some analog vinyl records, and brew some good coffee, and the people will come.

  13. I agree with you that people don’t seem to talk to one another much anymore….with strangers in a coffee shop, for example, or even with their friends as they walk down the street or have dinner together. Many are obsessed with their various digital devices, and these things enable them to stay off in their own little online world, ignoring the real world all around them. Being constantly “plugged in” is anti-human in that it separates us from one another.

    The other day, I observed three people waiting for a bus…they were each tapping away at their device, ignoring the others, and this is not uncommon. In another time, not all that long ago, they might have been having a nice little chat. Sad.

  14. I live at the Coop across the street! I am really hoping they have some nice seating. Me and the hubby love to hang out at coffee shops and play cards that not starbucks sometimes. So this would be perfect.. good luck guys.. looking forward to checking it out.

  15. I live next door and am VERY excited about this. I know there is a Top Pot down the street and Arabica up the street, but this is ON my street!

    I think no wifi sounds kind of cool, but then kind of idealistic. It would be nice to not have all tables taken up, so maybe have some sort of cap on the lap top section could help. At the same time, a lot of people enjoy having that atmosphere to do work or creative projects that require a laptop (wifi or not). If it was a moleskine they were writing in and not a macbook, would that make it better?

    Anyway, it’s gonna be awesome to have a coffee shop right on the corner! Welcome!

  16. I feel like I’m being trolled but then again this is capital hill. Private business is the genesis for the tax dollars that pay for weak minded socialists to live. The 80yr old that fought in WW2, that made a life for themselves and their family, that tried hard to make a living, they own houses you sorry sack. The bum who drank himself silly for 50yrs may be freezing to death…this coffee shop might need a dishwasher. He should apply within!

    Go Danny, make some money the old fashioned way with hard work and skill. Screw the lazy entitled douche bag socialists…

  17. Dude, I know that you may need a prescription, but look at your boy on the right, his glasses are cool, they’re modern. The dude on the left… not so much. They look like the pink Barbie glasses that Tootsie(Dustin Hofmann) wore in the movie. I don’t get the hipsters that go out of the way to look bad! I mean, you’re not a bad looking man, but those glasses gots to go.
    I hate to sound mean, but sometimes I can’t tell if you’re crazy and homeless, or ultra-hipster. It is so disturbing to me. Why?