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Capitol Hill food+drink | Kaladi has a new seat on E Pike, two new Hill bars, restaurant for sale

Inside the new E Pike Kaladi (Images: CHS)

Double-short latte for me. You? Tip us at here.

  • In an early summer of caffeinated news for the Capitol Hill food and drink economy, an established player unveils its new space this week. The new, expanded Kaladi Brothers cafe is open and offering an excellent seat for watching the hustle on E Pike. It is also an illustration of some of the choices building owners face on the booming Hill.

We talked to Chip Ragen earlier this year about the overhaul of his building at E Pike and Belmont to create new spaces for health nonprofit Gay City and Kaladi. Ragen said he considered selling his property for development or investing in an expensive seismic overhaul that would have been required to create a new restaurant space. In the end, he settled on a compromise. Restore and reinforce the 1910 building in an overhaul designed around his existing tenants. It still cost a pretty penny — more than $200,000 — but the transformed space creates an improved business opportunity while — literrally — exposing the building’s auto row past complete with cool old beams and the giant cast-iron central beam looming above.

The debut makes for more coffee news on Capitol Hill. Last month, El Portal cafe and roastery opened at 23rd and Madison. CHS also reported that the Central District’s Broadcast Coffee would be opening a Capitol Hill location later this summer. Meanwhile, collective co-op Black Coffee is also readying for its E Pike debut. Also, btw, happy birthday Analog. Sorry we missed your party.

E Pike’s Kaladi Brothers was the first expansion for the small chain beyond its home state of Alaska. CHS has a major soft spot for Kaladi thanks to our use of the cafe as CHS North HQ on occasional summer travels.

Kaladi’s old space, by the way, is undergoing a similar overhaul. Ragen said its future is probably office space but if an all-star restaurateur came along, you never know.

A week before, though, I heard a pesky rumor that the owner hoards all of the tips left for wait staff. I asked my waiter if this were true. He nodded, “Yeah, we don’t really get to keep our tips here.” He assured me that it was all right; I assured him that it was not.

This week’s CHS food+drink advertiser directory

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gerwitz
8 years ago

“I envisioned a small, quiet neighborhood bakery. I didn’t expect customers to come from all over the city, loading up [on pastries].”
Yeah, so did we. I think C&F needs to start checking IDs for 98102 addresses before allowing more than one croissant per person. Or just save one for me each morning.

In other linked news, there are some great parodies of Anton Ego going on this week!

maggie
8 years ago

The ad says “current restaurant moving to new location” so if that is true, their dream is not dying, just relocating.

CDRyan
8 years ago

I live near C&F and my zip is 98122.. add that to the mix, i’m down

not surprised
8 years ago

“Yeah, we don’t really get to keep our tips here.” He assured me that it was all right; I assured him that it was not….

Why does the above not surprise me? It’s about what I would expect from Thomas Street Bistro. Pathetic– just like the food and the dining experience. The only thing that surprises me is that they’re not gone yet.

calhoun
8 years ago

I’ve tried several times, in the late morning as I recall, to patronize this bakery….but they are always sold out. I’m not sure I will try again, in spite of the rave reviews. Either they need to increase their production, or they will lose customers like me permanently. There are other places where one can get an excellent croissant, such as Boulangerie in Wallingford.

calhoun
8 years ago

Regarding the restaurant that is closing on north Capitol Hill…I simply don’t understand why people keep putting their restaurant dream in that location. There has been a series of places there over the years and all have failed. Do possible owners not do some research first to find that the location is never going to work as a restaurant?

jason vanhee
8 years ago

C&F is in the 98122, so you out of town 02 people will have to apply for an exception. (kidding. mostly. but i really love the coffee chewies, and really hate getting up early, so only mostly.)

a.
a.
8 years ago

I grew up in Anchorage so Kaladi Brothers has a special place in my heart. Their new location looks great! Can’t wait to hang out there.

Burt Lent
8 years ago

Looks fantastic! Congratulations.

RainWorshipper
8 years ago

Hurray for Gay City and Kaladi, for they are both fabulous and deserve the best. Boo for the crepe place. I would never patronize an establishment that steals its servers’ tips. Shame on them.