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Capitol Hill food+drink (so far) in 2013: What’s new, what’s gone and what’s coming next

IMG_9641Earlier this week, we shared an illuminating datapoint about the thriving Capitol Hill food+drink economy — in 2012, its nearly 200 bars and restaurants generated something in the vicinity of $100 million in business. That’s almost double what analysts say the area’s residents can support. In 2013, the growth in creating this draw for people across the city and the region has continued at an amazing pace. Below is a look at the many new names that have joined the scene this year, a few that have left us, a few that are planning to leave — and more that are coming soon.

  • When Capitol Cider opens sometime in the next week after its recent fine tuning and preview parties, it will be, by our count, the 16th 17th new restaurant or bar to open on the Hill this year. The former art gallery has been transformed into a two-level cider bar at 818 E Pike features a 30-tap selection of ciders, another 100 bottled ciders and gluten-free pub food.


  • Tallulah’sOctober: “Tallulah’s is planned as a restaurant and bar cut from similar cloth to Derschang’s Smith and Oddfellows but with a lighter, brighter take and more of a focus on the simple, rustic food the sister locations have specialized in.”
  • Hello Robin and Molly Moon’sOctober: “Hello Robin will pair ice cream entrepreneur — and new mom — Molly Moon Neitzel with first-time cookie shop owner Robin Wehl Martin.”
  • Mezcaleria Oaxaca Capitol Hilllate summer: “The people behind well-loved Queen Anne Mexican restaurant Mezcaleria Oaxaca say they’re bringing their ‘authentic Oaxacan food’ and ‘most diverse nationally noted selections of mezcales in the city” to Capitol Hill.”
  • Tallulah's -- part of the "mixed use" coming to 19th and Mercer

    Tallulah’s — part of the “mixed use” coming to 19th and Mercer

    Le ZincJune: “It’s not going to be Maximillien, obviously, but it will, of course, be French”

  • Tacos Chukis expands — June: “We’ll always be proud of our little hole in the wall and we’re gratefull the community has embraced chukis like it has so we feel really good about growing.”
  • WitnessJune: “haped in the spirit of the churches of his southern roots, Witness is also slated to be part of a minor miracle as the first-time bar owner pushes hard for a pre-Pride June opening. ‘God willing,’ quips Holcomb.”
  • The Old Sage???: “The kitchen of the former wine cafe is set to undergo a $120,000+ makeover from which will emerge a menu of smoke-infused meats and simple, hearty dishes designed to showcase the food, not the presentation.”
  • Liberty Deux???: “He and Liberty founder Andrew Friedman plan to sort out spaces for the Liberty family to fit together and complement each other with the same basic recipe of a comfortable neighborhood bar, surprisingly sincere craft cocktails efforts, unexpectedly excellent food and, perhaps most importantly, couches.”
  • Starbucks Pike/Broadway???: “The coffee and other beverages that cost more than $3 giant has confirmed its plans to open a store at the bustling corner of Broadway and E Pike.”
  • Also reportedly coming soon: Two Pike/Pine-ish burger joints, an E Pine “grill,” a McDonald’s


  • Lost LakeMay: “Capitol Hill’s 24-hour dive — with a buildout budget somewhere between Big Mario’s and Poquitos according to co-owner Dave Meinert — has started its round-the-clock service of Pike/Pine after a whirlwind of work to whip the new space into shape for it big debut.”
  • Vostok Dumpling HouseMay: “The menu consists of Eastern European-styled dumplings — both savory and sweet — and beer from the homeland. While Tokar’s affinity for his Soviet-era childhood is mostly based on what mom was cooking and the culture and fashion of the time, he hopes to keep prices at a more social level, also.”
  • Abay EthiopianMay: “If they want to have a good time and try Ethiopian food, it’s the place to come.”

    Chef Leaman beams inside the new Bakery Nouveau

    Chef Leaman beams inside the new Bakery Nouveau

  • Bakery NouveauApril: “The opening comes some six months after Leaman first began working on the plans to create his new bakery in one of the most challenging retail spaces on Capitol Hill.”
  • Cafe ABoDegasApril: “I want people to go to the downtown shop in their businesses suit whatever and come here after work.”
  • Pie BarApril: “Pie Bar, a bar serving pie, will debut Wednesday night on Capitol Hill. It will serve pie. In a bar.”
  • La Cocina OaxaquenaApril: “A lot of people say they have a Mexican restaurant — we’ll have the real thing from the south.”
  • RestoApril: “When last we spoke with the couple behind Montreal-inspired cafe project Resto, the duo was hard at work overhauling the former home of the Thomas Street Bistro into a new, more open but still tiny restaurant space.”
  • Guilt Free GoodnessApril: “Purbaugh, who hails from Monroe where the original Guilt Free Goodness bakery and cafe opened nearly two years ago, said she’s looking forward to bringing her creations to Capitol Hill.”
  • Chico MadridMarch: “We traveled all around the country. At every mom and pop neighborhood cafe, we found this ubiquitous sandwich.”

    Relaxed at Chico Madrid

    Relaxed at Chico Madrid

  • Kedai MakanJanuary: “You may have to wait a few more nights before your first buzz-settling meal by new E Olive Way chow provider, Kedai Makan but the tiny restaurant operation replacing dearly departed Tacos Gringos is mostly ready to rock and roll.”
  • Montana expands — February: “Rachel Marshall and Kate Opatz have added a second bar, 45 seats and a lot of standing room — put to full use Sunday — in the land grab that came about as Marshall’s soda venture, Rachel’s Ginger Beer, moved off the Hill for a more industrial Seattle home.”
  • Torteria Barriga LlenaFebruary: “Let’s hope for happier times for Barria Llena and Edgardo and his wife Gabriela Mendoza who are responsible, many say for some of the best tortas in Seattle as the venture takes its third incarnation — you can throw a food truck in there, too.”
  • Bar CottoFebruary: “The ‘Parma-style’ salumi bar and pizzeria is nestled into the Pearl building in retail space left empty next to Stowell’s Anchovies & Olives.”
  • Von Trapp’sFebruary: “The Hill is alive with the sound of beer steins and bocce balls chasing the pallino.”
  • Sam’s TavernJanuary: “The new Pike/Pine burger joint and bar will be ready to serve starting at 11 AM Monday — and will keep the burgers moving through New Year’s Eve and into 2013 in a new space meant to evoke some of Seattle’s food and drink past as well as Snyder’s Yakima-Americana past of dirt bikes and Washington State-style ruggedness. We’re talking Rainier, not Pabst, here, son.”
  • Street chow: Sweet Lil CakesFebruary, Orale ChamoMay, Slate Coffee — February
  • Fast food: Chipotle, Einstein Brothers.



Goodbye, for now, Bauhaus

Goodbye, for now, Bauhaus

  • The Grill on Broadway, aka Broadway Grill: “We knew that quality of food and service associated with the old Broadway Grill had fallen short over the years, but what we didn’t know was just how deeply those problems were rooted.”
  • Bus Stop: “The fact we were able to stay open for eight years is kind of a big deal.”
  • B&O Espresso: “You may now go ahead and openly weep. Let it out. B&O is not coming back.
  • Tacos Gringos
  • Five Fish Bistro
  • Taco del Mar
  • Lucky 8s: “Unfortunately, we just were not getting enough business to support all the overhead.
  • Ooba Tooba: “We’ve asked the restaurant’s management for more information about the closure in a space that has seen a recent succession of relatively short-lived restaurant plays.
  • The Social: “According to one of the Social’s partners, much of the dance club’s equipment has been sold and the space is being actively shown to interested parties for a new lease.
  • Closing in July — Bill’s Off Broadway: “Stevens says he expects the original Bill’s to close for what he hopes is a 20-month hiatus at the end of July.”
  • Closing in August — Bauhaus: “The owner of Bauhaus tells CHS he has a deal worked out to return the nearly two decade-old cafe to the preserved portion of the Melrose Building when the new project is complete.”

What did we forget? By the way, here was our look at things ahead at the beginning of the year: 20 Capitol Hill bars and restaurants to look forward to in 2013

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11 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink (so far) in 2013: What’s new, what’s gone and what’s coming next

  1. For as many visible employees that Lost Lake has, I can’t figure out why the service seems so inattentive.

  2. The pike/broadway Starbucks should be open in the middle of the summer, maybe early July. They’re moving a bunch of the baristas out of my neighborhood store to start that one up, and my intel says they’re departing at the end of June.

  3. Pingback: Capitol Hill food+drink (so far) in 2013: What's new, what's gone and ... - Latest News Feeds » Latest News Feeds

  4. I have given Lost Lake two chances and they have dropped the ball both times. They have failed on customer service and correct orders. Not sure i am up to giving them a third shot, and I really want this place to work.

  5. Been to Lost Lake twice. Once stone sober and once drunk as a lord. Both times I was seated promptly, had menu, silver set, and water within moments of seating. Order was taken and food arrived expediently and was delicious. I got no sense of “scenester service.” I don’t know what others are complaining about.

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