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Capitol Hill food+drink | Autopro mystery, 10th Ave non-mystery, a Chipotle on the Hill

We’ve moved! After several decades of bringing you the latest new from the Capitol Hill food and drink economy every Monday, we’ve moved the notes to Tuesday. It’s a more fun-ner day of the week (more people comment than on busy Mondays) and fits better with our current news-gathering schedule. This will probably last a week or two and then we’ll bring it to you on Wednesdays. And then we’ll shut it all down and move to Grants Pass. In the meantime, direct tips to

  • What is he building in there? Mystery items aren’t always food+drink’s finest moments but sometimes the story just needs to get started. We’re getting asked lots of questions about the former Autopro garage space on E Pine just below the new Terravita Apartments building. 

In the months since CHS reported the purchase of the old auto garage, brown paper has covered the windows and some amount of work has been underway inside. The Department of Planning and Development wasn’t thrilled with that part, by the way. An order to stop work because no permits had yet been issued was sent out by DPD in May. According to city records, an inspection of the space in July again revealed violations.

It’s not a lock that this story ends up in the food and drink category when all is said and done — but it’s a good bet. Early filings for construction at the corner of E Pine and Summit have Capitol Hill-based restaurant architecture firm Graham Baba’s name all over them. The creator of the current Seattle “look” for food and drink spaces, Graham Baba’s involvement would indicate some big plans for the space.

But we don’t know what those plants entail. The building was purchased by a company registered to Jerry Everard and Erickson Shirley. Everard, part of Capitol Hill firm Groff Murphy, has also been part of the businesses behind Pike/Pine entertainment venues Neumos and Sole Repair. We’ve been told Everard and Shirley aren’t the players here but that’s pretty much where our trail ends. At one point way back when, another investor had sniffed around the address as a potential hotel. We hope, whatever it is, it’s called Autopro when it opens.

  • CHS can tell you a little bit about a project on 10th Ave we’re also hearing about thanks to this Slog post last week — Want to Look Inside Basic Plumbing? CHS has been told by people familiar with the situation that the building’s longtime owners aren’t fixing up the former location of the Pike/Pine sex club to make way for a specific incoming food and drink tenant but that they’re hoping the work might attract a new business to the space. The landlords also own the Comet’s space and the location home to Lobby Bar. Meanwhile, next door, Ballet remains in a month to month deal in its E Pike space owned by Capitol Hill real estate investor Ron Amundson.
  • According to paperwork filed with the city, you’ll soon have another “Mex”-styled Capitol Hill eatery. Last week, CHS reported on a flurry of activity in Hill Mexican restaurants. Add a Chipotle to the list. According to the permit, the new “Mexican Grill” is destined for a street-level unit of the Harvard Market complex on Broadway near Pike. We’re not certain which current tenant is being displaced but it’s possible one south of the border joint may replace another — Tacos Guaymas has reportedly been on month-to-month status for quite some time.
  • EVO Tapas Kitchen is closing after only three months of operation. Next? The Social dance club’s plan for taking the space over and better integrating the lounge space into the business.
  • A pinball and arcade bar is opening on E Olive Way in the former Faire space.
  • Tango sibling rum bar Rumba will debut on E Pike in weeks.
  • E Pike tavern burgled by a regular.

Cinnamon Butter!, originally uploaded by sea turtle.

BONUS ITEM: “Cocktail bar with great regulars and fantastic reputation for sale on Capitol Hill,” Craigslist says:

Cocktail bar with great regulars and fantastic reputation for sale on Capitol Hill. A huge hit with Seattle’s thriving technology workers, this profitable establishment is 3.5 years old and generates an annual cash flow of $125,000. With 40 seats it is a perfect size for an owner/operator. Purchase includes everything for turnkey operation — business name, menus, staff, decor, website, and 10 great employees! Priced aggressively at $250,000 + inventory. Serious inquiries only! Confidentially agreement and financial disclosure will be required before viewing. Melrose

Ad lists “Melrose” as location.


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9 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink | Autopro mystery, 10th Ave non-mystery, a Chipotle on the Hill

  1. On behalf of all white persons, I like that Capitol/First Hill* is getting a Chipotle. I know it’s as authentic as a Speedy Gonzales cartoon, but damn if that cilantro lime rice isn’t tasty.

    * Flickr sometimes calls this area “Capitol One” when I tag photos there.

  2. i too welcome chipotle. though i wish they’d choosen to be in the ground floor of the terravita building instead of harvard market. would have made it much easier for me to eat all my meals there.

  3. Even though the work has stopped, they’ve kept up on the building nicely. Before the work stopped, they had jack-hammered out most of the floor and ran some new utility lines in. Some of the paper fell off the window last week, and that’s about what it looks like inside – stripped walls and a broken up concrete floor. Hope something good goes in there!

  4. Coño! As another white person who prefers real Mexican food to Chipotle’s watered-down mall-food version of Mexican, I have to say it’s a sad day if Tacos Guaymos is pushed out by this. Hell, why not just put a Taco Bell back in? It’s not too big a jump to that from Chipotle anyway.

  5. @jims.

    chipotle equals taco bell? clearly you don’t know much about chipotle and their practices of sourcing as much of their produce locally and organically and of using animal products without hormones or antibiotics. i would bet that even tacos guaymas, much less taco bell, can say that. i’m happy to support a national chain that embraces practices that don’t promote industrial farming.

    and as a half-mexican person i understand that a burrito shop isn’t pumping out “real” mexican food any more than conveyor belt sushi is serving “real” japanese.

  6. It’s probably the living room.

    That place could be extremely profitable if it was run by someone other than its current manager. That place is a rule-less establishment that doesn’t pay its employees on time. I hope it’s sold for a lower price but to someone who can really turn it around.

  7. Pingback: ¿Como se dice ‘Autopro’? Mezcaleria Oaxaca Capitol Hill | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle