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Capitol Hill food+drink: Li’l Woody’s, Blue Moon ready to grill, Grubwich (almost) ready to grub

Burger king Marcus Lalario (Image: CHS)

Get on the hamburger train. In the next two weeks, the amount of ground beef served on Capitol Hill is about to significantly increase beyond Dick’s Drive-in and DeLuxe’s “burgerama” Wednesdays. Have something meaty to share with us?

  • Li’l Woody’s, the newest edition to Marcus Lalario’s Capitol Hill food+drink empire, has passed all its inspections and is ready for business on E Pine sandwiched between the Baltic Room and Machiavelli. Lalario told CHS his new restaurant would be a “classic burger joint” and a good place to hangout on the Hill when we first broke the news about the new project back in March. This week, Lalario’s LW crew is getting ready for business. There’s a friends and family party mid-week and, if all goes to plan, they’ll be serving up Big Woody burgers to everybody on Capitol Hill by Friday.

    “Li’l Woody’s is going to be the kind of burger place I’ve always wanted on the Hill,” Lalario is quoted as saying in a promo mail sent out by the restaurant. “Our burgers are new twists on old classics, our milkshakes are amazing, and everything is fresh and locally sourced—whatever you are craving, Li’l Woody’s will have it.”

    Prices range from $4.50 for a Li’l Woody burger to $5 for a 1/4 pound “make your own” burger + $1 for various add-ons including pineapple, peanut butter and bacon to $8.50 for The Fig and The Pig, the most expensive burger on the menu.

    With the addition of Li’l Woody’s, Capitol Hill nightlife players might as well just write Lalario a check. Lalario is also part owner of Captain Black’s and the HG Lodge and an investor in Havana, The Saint and Molly Moon Ice Cream.

    He’ll be putting that ice cream to use in shakes at the burger joint. Once the liquor license is approved, Woody’s will also be serving beer and wine. Hours are 11a-11p  — open to 3a on Fridays and Saturdays.

    The overhauled space has been finished with reclaimed woods and sports a reddish orange paint job that fits Woody’s “faster food” roots. There are stools and a few tables on the ground level and room for 35 more to hang in the upper mezzanine. Learn more at

  • Li’l Woody’s has the homefield advantage but it won’t be the only hamburger competitor joining the field on Capitol Hill this week. Local chain Blue Moon Burgers is also about to open up on Broadway alongside Saizen Sushi and Mod Pizza in the Joule building.

    Broadway will be the third Blue Moon location in Seattle joining Fremont and South Lake Union. Owner Charlie Olson — whose really big business is a commercial bakery — told us this spring he has been targeting Capitol Hill for years.

    Known for a variety of burger choices including options like gluten free buns, Blue Moon is giving Seattle mainstay Red Mill a run for its money across the city. Its Capitol Hill hours will be a little less nocturnal than Woody’s — 11-8 on weekdays, 12-7 on the weekends UPDATE: Blue Moon says its hours posted on Facebook are wrong — they’ll be open 11 AM to 10 PM Tuesday to Saturday and 11 AM to 9 PM Sun & Mon — but it will also be serving beer and wine with its burgers.

    The official Blue Moon Broadway (Facebook) opening is scheduled for Saturday after a Friday night preview party. 

    Grubwich toys (Image: CHS)

  • These things come in threes, right? On the heels of Li’l Woody’s and Blue Moon, scrappy Grubwich is coming into shape in the former Pita Pit space on Broadway within staggering distance of Neighbours and, with the help of a more-sober friend, not that far from Pike/Pine’s nighttime pulse.

    We first told you about Brian Kun’s plan to transition from a national franchise to a local, low-cost sandwich provider in May.  He tells CHS he’s on target to open sometime next week to open up the new shop offering a rotating selection of eight sandwiches served on 7-inch baguettes. Yes, there will be a burger in the mix. No, there will be no pitas, Kun says.

    The entrepreneur didn’t want to say much about the deal worked out for him to be able to shut down the Pita Pit and re-open Grubwich but tells CHS that he and the franchiser came to an agreement.

    In addition to the sandwiches — closer to $6 than $10, Kun told us — Grubwich won’t be featuring its planned “Sweetwiches” until it sorts out how to make the ice cream sandwiches work but it will be bringing a likely-to-be-popular new ice cream option to the neighborhood. Kun says Grubwich will feature flavors from White Center’s much-loved Full Tilt ice cream.

    Inside, you’ll find some things haven’t changed. The familiar dark green counter is still in place (much to Kun’s chagrin, it’s difficult to affordably cover up the old color) as are the mesmerizing red ceiling tile rails. An open juke box and free video games will also fill the space and your free time while you wait for your, um, grub. Grubwich is hiring, by the way.

  • Opening sooner — like right now! — is a second Shop Agora in Seattle. The provider of “Mediterranean Specialty Foods & Wines” said it would open its new Capitol Hill doors for a Monday premier leading up to next Saturday, August 6th’s grand opening. We first told you about the new shop from Nikos Spiliopoulo and Alexis Saloutos who started the first Agora on Phinney Ridge way back in October. They’re known for their tastings so you’ll want to keep close track of their planned events. We swung by on Sunday as work was underway inside the former 15th Ave E framing shop.
  • This column purports to answer Why Heavy Restaurants fly and Bellevue Barrio is a goner.

    “It just wasn’t working as well as our other restaurants,” Kurofsky said about the Bellevue Barrio, noting the contrast with Barrio on Capitol Hill. “I think that concept, a combination restaurant-bar, lends itself to a dense urban neighborhood.” 

    If that’s the case, sucks to live in surburbia. No combination restaurant-bars for you! 

  • Seattle Eater’s Shit People Steal series checks in with the Linda Derschang empire. Includes taxidermy, of course.
  • Former Capitol Hill-based distillery project moves to the Stadium District.
  • Sneak peek inside new Shop Agora (Image: CHS)

    Sun Liquor Distillery should be able to start bottling “soon.”

  • Travelers is ready to open its Beacon Hill location, still has home on Capitol Hill.
  • “Breakfasts at Skillet are lumberjack-sized—the size of an actual lumberjack.”
  • “In Vietnam we have a word, quán, which means a casual place, a cafe.”
  • Spinasse celebrates three years on Capitol Hill with three weeks of special $50 menus.
  • CHS advertiser Tommy Gun rolls out a new “4×4” happy hour. “16 items at $4 or less.”
  • Mestizo is serving weekend brunch again:

    Brunch at El Mestizo has returned!  We are now serving brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-2pm Saturday and Sunday dinner service from 2pm-10pm.  Our brunch is new and improved! We have kept the favorites like chilaquiles, carne asada con huevos, huevos a la mexicana and huevos rancheros, but added some new disheslike a fresh fruit platter, enchiladas and a deliciousMexican potato hash that will forever changeyour idea of breakfast potatoes! Stop by soon, we look forward to seeing you! El Mestizo 526 Broadway Seattle, WA (206) 324-2445

    Remember, they’re also looking for a new home. Somebody find them one on Capitol Hill, please.

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