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Capitol Hill food+drink | Sue set to neighbor Zoe in Oola complex

8444966408_da7471a228The man behind Lucky 8s China House isn’t going to let his space in the Oola Distillery complex stand empty for long.

With the “American” Chinese food concept shuttering in May, founder Bracey Rogers is gearing up with a new group of partners to open a new venture in the space at 14th and Union.

Liquor license application filings reveal the name of a new lounge planned for the space — Sue appears to be destined to replace Lucky 8s. The partnership behind the venture looks like mostly a new bunch of faces to Seattle food and drink. We’ve asked about more information on the plans for the venue but Rogers said it was too early to reveal the concept. Sue will neighbor Zoe for one bit of name game fun and is right around the corner from Chop Suey, for another.

We expect with the connection to the Oola HQ that we’ll also find plenty of Kirby Kallas-Lewis creations on the bar.

Capitol Hill food+drink notes

  • Also on the liquor license end of things, The Old Sage’s paperwork has been approved, State of Washington says. We’ll check in on what the plan is for an opening date for the long-delayed Tavern Law cousin.
  • “About a week out from installing the largest draft shot system on the West Coast,” boasted the Baltic Room… about a week ago.
  • Over the years, we’ve seen plenty of new players in the Capitol Hill food and drink scene open at a level short of lofty expectations. The best change, adapt and improve quickly. A month after its much anticipated opening, Capitol Cider has announced it is overhauling its kitchen and replacing Jordan Sinclair with former Smith and Bravehorse chef Nicholas Short:
  • This Thursday, the 11th of July, Capitol Cider will
    celebrate its first month of business. We’ve seen the reviews on the
    internet and talked with many of our customers about their experiences;
    as with most restaurants and bars, sometimes it takes a little while to
    get the kinks ironed out. While we are doing our best to get everything
    dialed in as quickly as possible, major overhauls are currently being

    Nicholas Short is our new Chef (formerly of Smith & Brave Horse Tavern),
    and has already been hard at work making the menu more compelling and
    inspired. He is adding several more salads, flavorful vegetarian/vegan
    dishes, and relying on sustainable meat, produce and seafood, including
    Shellfish from Taylor Farms & sustainably-raised Hawaiian Kampachi. His
    full new menu will be available no later than 7/24/2013.

    Understanding that Seattle’s top food & beverage journalists have
    patronized Capitol Cider, we sincerely hope you had an enjoyable
    experience, but understand you may have been underwhelmed. Our goal is
    to facilitate memorable experiences; with a new Chef and a redesigned
    menu, are going to be a completely different restaurant. Thank you for
    your consideration.

  • Seattle manages 5 on a top 200 US gay bars list.
  • Plans for Pike/Pine ‘Melrose Market’ venture revealed!
  • From the CHS Flickr pool… Big Mario’s could face delivery challenge:

  • Big Mario’s, originally uploaded by aaronbrethorst.
  • Torteria Barriga Llena doing a little Pride street marketing:

  • Capitol Hill Pride Festival 2013, originally uploaded by Kevin_Barrett.

  • Speaking of Melrose Market (we were above, really… go check. see?), we love and respect getting a press release for this event eight weeks early:

    We are proud to announce the second annual Melrose Market Street Festival for 2013 scheduled on Sunday, August 25th, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Join us for an afternoon of family-friendly fun, food, and music to celebrate the thriving businesses of Melrose Market and our neighbors. Food will be served up by restaurants Sitka & Spruce, Terra Plata, Homegrown, and Mamnoon TBD, as well as oysters from Taylor Shellfish, sausage from Rainshadow Meats and cheeses from The Calf & Kid. A beer garden will be hosted by Bar Ferd’nand, and non-alcoholic beverages will also be available. All shops in the Melrose Market will be open for business, including flowers and gifts from Marigold & Mint and everything awesome from Butter Home. Music performed by up-and-coming local bands The Sebastians of Bremen, No Touching, and Lonely Mountain Lovers.

  • Off Hill, down Denny, plans for an apparent Shisha lounge taking shape.
  • “Think you’ve got a bead on Seattle’s best ice cream? Think again.” — Seattle Magazine on the quirky little Lick at 15th and Pine. CHS visited Lick here.
  • Which Atelier Drome Architecture project is this? Dulces Latin Bistro re-born?

    "One of Henry's studies for a restaurant storefront in Capitol Hill" (Image: Atelier Drome Architecture via Facebook)

    “One of Henry’s studies for a restaurant storefront in Capitol Hill” (Image: Atelier Drome Architecture via Facebook)

  • Capitol Hill has a new cherry pie champ.
  • Son of Rancho Bravo, we’re still expecting a Freddy’s opening… any… day… now.
  • Honeyhole lets you go gluten free now, too. That’s everybody, no?
  • Ask somebody younger than you about the group Brothers From Another and then go enjoy their signature taco at Tacos Chukis.1017484_567427399974429_563953069_n
  • 14th and Union’s Marjorie is getting into the retail business with Miss Marjorie’s Steel Drum Plantains. You can help fund the venture — and get some tasty plantains.

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36 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink | Sue set to neighbor Zoe in Oola complex

  1. I haven’t been to Capitol Cider, but I applaud them for making such quick changes if they felt what they were doing wasn’t working.

  2. Now if Capitol Cider could just lower their beer (and I guess cider) prices by a dollar or two, we’re in business. Seriously, run-of-the-mill draft micro beers should not cost $6–7!!

  3. Seriously, on the cost of beverages there. I ordered a whiskey and a beer that usually costs $7 and $5 at other places. My bill came to about $20, because not only was my beer $6, but the normally inexpensive whiskey $12, and I got charged tax on top of that. Most people include tax in the price. It’s a dirty play to charge tax on top of beverages. Ridiculous. The bar manager was too cool for school, so maybe that’s why.

  4. Chiming in on the gripes about their drink costs. Their prices are mind boggling considering you can get the same cider elsewhere for a fraction of the cost. I couldn’t believe it. Won’t be holding my breath on those changes but if I hear that grabbing a couple pints (not 6 oz in a wine glass, please) won’t make me go broke, I might give them a second chance.

  5. After all the hype and build up and delays to open I’m surprised that Capitol Cider didn’t have it’s act more….ummmm…rehearsed? How long did it take to open?? And I agree, the prices are rather stupid, even though the choices are plentiful. I suppose when you’re tks and a rich kid opening a bar this is to be expected. I do like the paintings and atmosphere.

    • The problem was the dumb rich kid chef they just replaced.

      The prices are “Stupid” you say?
      I’ve only had the rare craft cider there & was blown away by how inexpensive it was for a large goblet full.
      Especially considering the orchard that grows, presses, & ferments it makes fewer than 500 bottles a year.
      Quality over quantity. If you want white trash cheap drinks go to The Comet a block away.
      People don’t go to wine bars and complain that wine is expensive.

      • That’s rights, if you want less expensive drinks go to the Comet, a mainstay on the Hill for decades, or St John’s, or 65 Slide, or Lost Lake, or Quinn’s, or Poquitos, or Mario’s, or Wild Rose, or any other bar on the Hill.

      • Can’t comment on the cider, but the beer is overpriced. If the bar were serving rare beers such as barrel aged beers or sours, I get the $6–$7 range. But run of the mill IPAs shouldn’t be more than $5, ever.

  6. All of our taps pour at 12oz or 16oz, there are no 6oz drafts. We always have a 2oz bonded old grandad bourbon and 16oz Rainer for $7, and an 2oz Bonded Old granddad & pint of local beer or craft cider for $8. ALL DAY EVERY DAY. Also, a 2oz old granddad, all day every day, is $4. More than $50 of our ciders and beers are $6 or less, and we always have between 2-4 pints of Microbrew and craft cider for $4. ALL DAY. Come back to see us; don’t listen to or feed the trolls!! Not even if it’s gluten-free.

    • It’s not being a troll—you priced Mac & Jack’s at $6. Just because you have one or two beers at $4 doesn’t mean everything else is appropriately priced. I like your place and go every couple of weeks, but the drinks are overpriced.

    • Did you have anything at $4 on Sunday? I seem to recall most beers were $6 and one was $5. Maybe you shouldn’t make fun of people who are pointing out that your bar is overpriced; I and others were just pointing out a fact.

      • The owners, management and staff did a great job of pointing out the multiple choices of liquor cider and beer that are under $6-7 to my large party of co workers.
        I was impressed with the well whiskey and $4 cider pint. It wasn’t even happy hour.

        Maybe I’m missing something here, but this place hardly seems overpriced for what we got.

      • I drink $7 or more beers all the time—beers that are rare and cost the bar more money per keg, things like sours and double IPAs. But throughout the city, most standard pints of good craft beer are $5. I go to Capitol Cider often because I have friends who don’t drink beer, but I don’t like that 90% of the beer menu is in the $6–$7 range but not actually “worth” the price. If all of the $6 or $7 of beer were beers that were worth the price, I wouldn’t be complaining and Spencer’s comment about having a few cheaper pints would make perfect sense. But the fact that most of the expensive beer is not rare (again, $6 for Mack and Jacks), I won’t be going there on my own.

        The prices as a whole don’t reflect the quality of the product, regardless of whether or not the bar has a token beer for $5.

        Spencer can charge what he wants, but he shouldn’t be dick to his customers who are providing feedback about his prices.

    • Um, Rainier for $7?! Rainier is and has always been Schmidt quality beer. it’s NOT a micro, it’s NOT fancy beer. I can see why people are slamming the place for overpricing things when you sell shit-grade beer for more money than the better quality micros.

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  8. I agree that there is some work to do on pricing @ Capitol Cider but not everything there is crazily priced. They often have Schilling’s, a new local cider, on tap and it’s priced at the general going rate around town. I see a lot of people online take issue about the “by the glass” pricing but the last time I went in there, the server did a good job about setting expectations for the size of the pour (so I think the online feedback is being received), and they are pouring quality local bottled stuff I don’t see available by the glass super often, such as Alpenfire and Wescott Bay, and not at what I would consider exorbitant prices for a by-the-glass pour out of the bottle for these particular ciders. The comments about craft beer pricing are fair but…it *is* primarily a cider bar, and there are a couple of other places on the Hill that you can go to get yer craft beer on.

    You can score reasonably priced and/or hard-to-find stuff if you select carefully. I’ve actually been very impressed at the willingness of bar staff to proactively offer tastes if people aren’t totally sure what they want. Also, bottles are 50% to go, which in my experience is about what you would pay at Whole Foods for the same stuff but you don’t have to go down to Westlake to get it, you have a better selection from which to choose, and you are supporting this fledgling local business.

    I think switching up the chef and the menu is a great call. I am a longtime cider geek and want to see this business succeed.

  9. This makes me laugh. Ciders are hip, so u all rush to the new cider joint and…egads, they r ripping u off. Be more original and maybe I wouldn’t get gauged like you’re at barca

  10. Too bad CC is charging tax on top of beer & cider prices. That kind of thing we expect from the nameless, faceless, sterile chains like Yardhouse – which does the same thing. Many of us will never set foot inside a Yardhouse again after that first ‘experience’ [e.g., one Racer 5 IPA for $7.38, before tip].

    Here’s hoping CC will reconsider their pricing structure, so as to encourage repeat visits & word-of-mouth good vibes; i.e., friends bringing friends bringing friends…

  11. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the slightly higher prices are fallout from the rapidly rising rents on the Hill. Commercial establishments such as the Comet tend to have long-term leases so haven’t necessarily reflected the rise in rents yet. This being a new establishment is paying current market rental rates. My point being, this may just be a sign of things to come.

  12. Also if you can’t afford a $7 beer why are you going out?
    Most people living on cap hill pay at least $1,200 per month in rent.
    If $7 is expensive to you are you jobless living at mom & dad’s?

    • It sounds like the people who complained above have actually tried this place and handed them money. The sheep have been fleeced. So what’s the problem? Bad press?

      Me? I wouldn’t even try it, just like I haven’t been to many of the places mentioned on this blog. I always go to their websites and look at the menus beforehand. I am surprised that many people don’t and they only find out about the disgusting prices after they go. However, If everyone watches his wallet as carefully as I do and you humorously suggested, many of these overpriced joints wouldn’t exist.

    • It’s not a matter of affording it, it’s a matter of worth. I’ll pay $12 for an amazing beer; I won’t pay $6 for Mack & Jack’s and $7 for a run-of-the-mill IPA from Oregon.

      I make plenty of money, I just don’t throw it away on overpriced products because I know the difference. It’d be thrilled if Capitol Cider’s menu was one $5 craft beer and the rest as expensive as he wants if those beers are actually worth it.

    • Tim you may have hit the nail on the head with your comment about the cost of rent on Capitol Hill. Once people have paid their rent and other living expenses they may not have much left over to go out and pay for an overpriced drink or dinner.

      • If they are paying so much in rent that they can’t afford to go out occasionally, then they are renting a place they can’t afford.

  13. Sorry if there is any confusion on pricing. On our website(, we have an up to the minute tap-list of all the ciders and beers, and respective prices. Right now we have a $4 micro pale, two (2) local $5 IPA’s, and a $6 IPA that is 9% alcohol. Happy hour has a $4 Green Flash West Coast IPA.

  14. Hi Spencer,

    Today’s draft menu is looking a lot better than what was there on Sunday (example: I would buy a Double Mountain IRA for $5). I don’t mean to give you a hard time about your prices, but beer nerds who buy a lot of beer (both expensive and more common craft) have a pretty good idea of what should be market rate for various beers. And that expectation is based solely on the merits of that individual beer. You of course can price whatever you want, but some price points for some beers will truly be overpriced when comparing them against what you’d spend almost anywhere else in city.

    I know starting out is rough; I wish you well.


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