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Capitol Hill food+drink | World of Beer to collide with Capitol Hill

You'll have your chance to join the "50 club" at World of Beer Capitol Hill (Image: WoB)

You’ll have your chance to join the “50 club” at World of Beer Capitol Hill (Image: WoB)

Capitol Hill is home to one of the more diverse universes of beer halls and pubs you’re liable to find in a neighborhood. By November, its latest beer-centered project will stretch far beyond neighborhood bounds — national chain World of Beer is set to open a location on Capitol Hill.

“World of Beer is a truly uncommon establishment where the experience is as essential as the product,” a statement about the project emailed to CHS reads. And it doesn’t stop there:

At World of Beer, having the most extensive beer selection is not enough. It is important that a broad spectrum of patrons, from the beer aficionado to the casual beer fan, can enjoy the best beers on the planet and increase their beer knowledge in a comfortable and upbeat setting. By combining a friendly environment with an exceptionally knowledgeable staff, World of Beer creates an atmosphere where patrons feel at home, as if they are visiting a neighbor and not just a neighborhood bar.

Future home of WoB (Image: CHS)

Future home of WoB (Image: CHS)

50 rotating drafts, 8 display coolers for more than 500 bottles, “tavern fare,” and a “full spirits program” will round out World of Beer’s offerings in the 2,600 square-foot space currently under construction in E Pine’s Terravita building, the long-delayed Murray Franklyn development that replaced a now legendary strip of old Pike/Pine nightlife, funk and culture. A 600-foot patio is part of the plans as is a stage for live entertainment — Thursday through Saturday, we’re told.

The World of Beer concept, hatched in Florida just more than six years ago and powered with some industry know-how thanks to Outback Steakhouse veterans, has already spread to 45 locations in 14 states — Florida, Alabama, Virginia, Texas, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, Colorado, South Carolina, Michigan, and, yes, Washington.

World of Beer Renton opened down south earlier this year. The Washington Beer Blog said it would be the first of “several” in the state.

CHS reached out to the franchising company opening the Seattle location but was referred to a representative for the company instead. Liquor permit records show that the operating company is owned by two Florida men, Nick Kolman and Matt Lull, a tech big wig at Citrix. The general manager is listed as Meredith Zimmerman, a Seattleite who apparently is a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan judging by her social media output.

Kolman and Lull’s company also appears to be the ownership behind the Renton WoB. The company’s franchise pitch is here — if you’re thinking about starting your own:

World of Beer is well positioned to service the continually growing craft beer trend, globally. With an attractive sales-to-investment ratio, a solid leadership team supporting operations, the introduction of our limited “Tavern Fare” menu and our diverse entertainment programs, World of Beer presents a compelling experience for a broad customer base.

The E Pine World of Beer squares away another of our 20 Capitol Hill bars and restaurants to look forward to in 2013.

The corner project will share Summit Ave with the also-under-construction Mezcaleria Oaxaca in the old Autopro building. Across E Pine are the Raygun Lounge and Black Coffee. Meanwhile, Capitol Hill’s beer-centered watering holes run deep — including Pine Box, Stumbling Monk, Summit Pub, Hopvine and Von Trapp’s — while you have to work hard to find a food and drink establishment that doesn’t offer craft beer.

Where will World of Beer fit in? We’re not sure — but you get the feeling that somebody has done the math.

Capitol Hill food+drink notes

  • Speaking of beer, the growler station at the 12th and Pine liquor store is now online. In 2011, the state legislature passed a bill allowing stores to get into the growler biz.

    (Image: CHS)

    (Image: CHS)

  • DINING-ROOM-DOOR-WALLAda’s Technical Books and Cafe says, permits willing, it is planning to open the first week of November on 15th Ave E. You can see what the bookstore has planned here.
  • ‘Big Fun’ bar project — where the idea is “simply to open a bar” — coming to 11th and Pine.
  • Bar Sue opened on 14th Ave Sunday.
  • Sun Liquor Distillery minis available on your next Alaska Airlines flight.Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 9.49.06 PM
  • Retail pot coming to Capitol Hill in 2014.
  • Molly Moon’s opening on 19th Ave E this fall. Also has plans for U Village.
  • In Seattle, the Guy Who Draws Chalkboard Menus and the Guy Who Letters Windows in Gold Leaf. Also, the woman who helps figure out where “Your Favorite Restaurant Is Located” —

    I have heard many a local restaurateur and bar owner speak of Miller with a mix of devotion, awe, and maybe a dash of intimidation, in part because she’s insanely fit. She wields great power within Seattle’s close-knit restaurant community because she helps chefs navigate the abstrusely touchy process of securing a restaurant space. But mostly because she also works with building owners in search of desirable restaurant occupants (Miller doesn’t generally do national chains).

    Also, the magazine reporter who had a lot of great ideas and did a lot of work for what was (hopefully) a relaxing (and well-earned) Labor Day break!

  • The legend of the return of Kimchi Bistro continues:Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 10.01.40 PM
  • And, now, 197 words on Lost Lake:

    Owners Dave Meinert and Jason Lajeunesse, two Seattle nightlife titans (Lajeunesse is co-owner of Neumos and the Capitol Hill Block Party; Meinert’s management company oversees bands such as Blue Scholars and Hey Marseilles), did a bang-up job turning the notorious former locale of Basic Plumbing (a seedy men’s club of a sort) into a 24-hour half-bar/half-greasy spoon. The place has old-diner-by-the-lake appeal: Wood paneling alternates with stone; there are deep, comfy booths with extra-large tables (for that side of pancakes) and barstools in tufted burnt sienna pleather; and there’s even a rainbow trout mounted on one wall. It’s your Hamm’s-guzzling uncle’s dream joint. Except: You’ve got about a 50-50 chance of ordering something good—the carnitas skillet ($11), say, spicy as you’d want it to be and with poached eggs done just right—or something really disappointing, like a burnt pork chop ($12.50) with gluey-runny mashed potatoes. You’ll order a great (and cheap!) old fashioned ($6.50) and be grooving on your patty melt ($9.50), but then you’ll taste the spaghetti (dressed in overly acidic tomato sauce) and the meatballs (too much filler; $11) and you’re back to square one. Then again, these problems are magnified at 7 p.m. At 4 a.m., who’s complaining? Open 24 hours every day.

  • Fran’s Chocolates moving factory off Hill, making plans for retail store at same location.
  • September benefit dinner at Cafe Presse will support Central District’s Green Plate Special program.
  • With Witness helping add to the north Broadway nightlife scene, “old timer” Bait Shop has added patio seating to its semi-nautical offerings:

    (Image: Baitshop via Facebook)

    (Image: Baitshop via Facebook)


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86 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink | World of Beer to collide with Capitol Hill

    • I agree….there certainly should be a limit to the number of licenses issued. But “the market” will keep a lid on this…if there are too many bars, some will fail.

    • Limiting the number of liquor licenses is a bad idea, well kinda. Philadelphia has a “per capita” based distribution of liquor licenses and a license in the state is traded as a commodity. In the city one license can fetch as much as $200,000. This severely limits startups and young chefs from gaining liquor licenses and hinders local business development in general. However, as a result, they have the glorious option of BYOB restaurants that are amazing.

      • Ah, that’s why there’s no BYOB around here. I always thought BYOB was a usual thing around the country, but I guess not.

  1. Can I whine about a Florida-based bar chain opening up on Capitol Hill, and about the tasteless people who will undoubtedly go there? Or am I the odd one out now? Should we welcome our inevitable Dave & Buster’s and TGI Friday’s overlords?

    • I’m not totally opposed to a national chain when the franchise owners are local. There’s a better chance that local owners will be more involved in the business and more concerned about making it a success. It can still work if they have a great local manager. But Florida owners with a manager who’s a big Steelers fan? I just don’t know…

    • Shrug. If there’s demand, it will survive. If not, it won’t — just look at what happened to all the outsider-owned fast food franchises on the hill. And in terms of its style and appeal I don’t really see how this is any worse than Von Trapp’s.

  2. I live above a Capitol Hill bar – and I put up with it because my rent is super cheap. Even with double-panned windows and the bar’s sound proofed ceiling, there is no denying that it is just LOUD. If I was paying $2200/month or whatever at Terravita I definitely would NOT be so accommodating to the kind of noise a bar crowd inevitably brings, especially one with a 600 square foot patio that has live music. I feel like this is a not-so-great decision on behalf of the property management if they want to keep their tenants around – but who knows, maybe Terravita renters are the most tolerant people on the planet.

    I also don’t know why someone would patronize a chain-y bar on Capitol Hill when there are so, so many great, locally grown establishments. I’d rather walk a block or two in seriously any direction to get my drink on.

    • It is surprising that the developer of this building would not have his residential tenants in mind when he/she decides who to rent to for the retail spaces. It can’t be good for the apartment business if a noisy bar is in the building.

      • However…when this building was under consideration a number of neighbors, responding to the loss of a whole block of bars and lively nightlife on the hill, encouraged the developers to create an environment where a bar would be welcome. The community did not want to see a ground floor of retail that would close in the early evening. Active and lively urban neighborhoods throughout the country have residential over bars and restaurants. The bigger concern, in my opinion, is the character of the establishments that come into the Hill. Time will tell with World of Beer and any other newcomers. At least this one isn’t displacing a beloved establishment.

      • I was just reading a historical article on this development. Seems the developer had no intention of putting a bar there and so didn’t do the soundproofing needed. Would hate to be the tenants once this place opens.

        Also… is this downtown creeping up the Hill? No room for this franchise downtown? I’m sure they’ll be marketing to convention goers….

      • If this is true…and I have no reason to not believe it…then the developer should be roundly criticized for renting to a bar. There ought to be a law….no soundproofing, no noisy business of any kind.

      • Yes…but…there are a multitude of bars and restaurants in this area, and as others are noting new bars are opening all the time. It hardly seems necessary to have yet another bar in this building….local retail, especially if it was something the community needs, would be preferable…especially for the tenants, who will be paying market rents. If this new bar is noisy, you can bet there will be a lot of complaints.

        Don’t the needs of the tenants there trump any desire on the part of neighbors?

      • However…when this building was under consideration a number of neighbors, responding to the loss of an entire block of bars and lively nightlife on the hill (how soon we forget), encouraged the developers to create an environment where a bar would be welcome. Many in the community did not want to see a ground floor of retail that would close in the early evening. Active and lively urban neighborhoods throughout the country have residential units over bars and restaurants. The bigger concern, in my opinion, is the character of the establishments that come into the Hill. Time will tell with World of Beer and any other newcomers. At least this one isn’t displacing a beloved establishment.

  3. I live a block away from that project. Not looking forward to ‘World of Beers’ at all. Fucking hell, that entire block was better when it was just an empty lot a few years ago. At least it actually had some Capitol Hill character left in it then.

    I’ll stick to Linda’s, Redwood, and the Stumbling Monk.

  4. We had misfortune of the Lookout opening a half block away from us a few years ago. Unbelievable noise nearly every night from the douchebags who frequent that place. Rocks of ruck to the tenants of Terravita and other neighbors of the World of Fucking Beer.

    • “A 600-foot patio is part of the plans as is a stage for live entertainment….”, We are not looking forward to being a half block away from this. The daytime noise and vibration from the construction has been bad enough. That whole corner of tenants in Terravita moved out at the same time as soon as their leases were up. The night noise from the bad coffee clubhouse seems to have calmed down a bit since then.

      • Now is the time to start writing letters (not just emails), if you don’t want a “music patio” near you:

        …and cc *everyone*: the mayor’s office, city council, and the SPD–if they see that other departments are getting the letter, too, you’ll get more response. That’s really the only way to deal with this kind of thing (I’ve been through this before, with another bar near this location).

      • Maybe you should move to a quieter area such as the north end of the hill instead of battling it out with bar/city noise in an area that has been making that noise for years…

      • The difference in noise from past years will be where the entrance is and where all the smokers will hang out. When the house and buildings were there, all we really heard was when the staff took all the empty bottles out to the dumpster with a loud crash. When it was an empty lot, we could hear R-Place a few nights a week. Now with whatever they are building in the old car garage (new, huge roof-top deck) and the music from the World of Beer adding to the spill over from Capitol club smokers hanging out on Summit and screaming impromptu jam sessions from the place formally known as Travelers it’s beginning to be a bit more loud than it once was.

      • Yeah, this sort of thing will solve itself. People will move out when their lease ends. The landlord will have to make the decision whether the constant churn of departing renters is worth it.

      • We moved to a quieter area such as the north end of the hill. Then the ridiculously noisy Lookout bar opened at the far north end of Bellevue Ave. E.

        Any other brilliant ideas?

  5. I had reservations about this place until I discovered that they were backed by Outback Steakhouse……j/k.

    Seriously, a big step down from how that block used to be. We’ll see how the free market treats this place.

  6. This place is DOA. Don’t these people do any market research before choosing their location? My prediction is this will be another Kurrrent. A bar totally out of place with the neighborhood. The residents of the hill will not support a jumbo chain bar. Financed by Outback Steakhouse hahaha! No way, I don’t see it.

    In and out in a year tops.

    • I think this place will serve as a good litmus test for the state of the neighborhood. Specifically it will answer the question of whether a bar can survive solely on weekend business from people who do not live in the area.

      I am assuming of course that it will be pretty dead Monday-Thursday, but I think for now that’s a safe assumption. I could be wrong about that though.

      • Yeah, such a weird neighborhood choice for this kind of place–even a weird city for it! It’s the sort of bar I would go to if I was visiting relatives in the midwest or south, if I wanted to get a good beer.

        I saw this on my way to the bus stop last week, and assumed it was a specialty beer STORE, so I was actually excited, since there hasn’t been one nearby since the place on Pike closed. Dismaying to find out we’re getting this where the dumpy hipster (and otherwise) bars of the 90s used to be…

      • Right? We reaaaallly could use a specialty beer store in the neighborhood, I still miss the one that used to be on Pike. I know Chuck’s is coming to the CD and the Broadway Market QFC has an ok selection but it’d be great to have somewhere even closer.

        I love craft beer, and the Pine Box and Stumbling Monk and the usual suspects outside the neighborhood will continue to get my beer money. Chains are lame (and yes, I’ve given them a chance!) and I do feel the clientele will continue to add our neighborhood’s bridge-and-tunnelly problems.

  7. I’ll keep keepin’ it local at the other fine establishments we have home grown here. I mean, that photo doesn’t even look like something that should be taking up residence on Capitol Hill.

  8. “Fran’s Chocolates moving factory off Hill, making plans for retail store at same location.”

    Does “same location” mean at the new factory in Georgetown or the old one in Cap Hill?

  9. The doucheification of Capitol Hill continues. First Von Trapps, now this. Capitol Hill is turning into just being Belltown with more homeless people.

  10. Whaah, whaah, whaah. Whiners. It is quite nice to have several eatery and bar options. Don’t like it? Perhaps you should move back to Issaquah or whatever small town in Idaho you came from. Or another option is you should have purchased the available space to do whatever you prefer it to be. Oh wait…you’re broke you say? That’s because you whine more than you’ve accomplished. You always have the option to move.

    • If you want an Outback-Steakhouse inspired bar in your neighborhood, maybe it’s YOU that should move to whatever small town you came from.

      GFY, Dante.

      • I think all of you should do you’re research a little better…this isn’t an “outback steakhouse” inspired bar. I found the history on-line and I’ve been to the one in Renton. It’s a lot of fun and not as noisy as everyone complains about. Give it a chance people. There are bigger problems in your life to worry about

    • It’s not whining to create a discussion about what businesses are moving into your neighborhood. Clearly, a lot of people are displeased about this news. They see a mom-and-pop business/community-oriented neighborhood turning into a mass-marketed big box mall and they have every right to question motives and make a ruckus. I will be writing letters but, I will also be using the most powerful tool I have, which is to refuse to patronize the place. More than likely, the place will succeed because the kind of people the condos are currently drawing will love this type of establishment. Money will win in the end. But it is a sad, sad person who equates money with accomplishment and quality of life. Sad, indeed.

      • Why do people always assume that just because you can afford an expensive condo or apartment, that you must prefer soul-less mediocrity? I think it’s not so much true as it is resentment from people who can’t afford it. There have been several chain establishments wither and close up shop on CapHill recently. With a lot of other options w/ more personality, this could be one of them.

      • I guess these tenants get the reputation they do because they live in soul-less, mediocre cookie cutter buildings that add nothing to the landscape of the neighborhood and pay out their ass for the privilege.

      • What choice do they have? Do you see any developers building Anhault-style apts or condos on CapHill? Or should they all just build their own?

      • I have to agree with Jim here. I’ve been a Hill resident for 20 years and finally moved into a condo because the beautiful classic brick apartments with hardwoods and tons of character also had no soundproofing and tended to also have shitty, thoughtless neighbors in their early 20’s who thought nothing of having band practice in their apartments on Monday nights despite your complaints.

        And what the condo lacked in character it made up for by having a gym, theater, rooftop decks with grills, community library, art room, p-patch, courtyard, dog park, and party room. And it wasn’t that expensive – $200 more than we paid for the previous smaller classic apartment.

        And now we are in a small house on the Hill with tons of character but are paying out our ass for that place, way more than we paid for the condo. So the stereotyping of the ” types” of people who live in condos is annoying.

  11. Why is there a picture from Jerry’s Kids on this post? Is there some connection?
    Is “50” some kind of donation suggestion?

  12. Sadly, this will probably do really well with the Bellevue/douchebag crowd that now seems to be coming up to the hill on the weekends to trash the place. I’m not looking forward to the increase in gay bashings.

    • This is exactly what I thought. Assholes from Renton or where-ever-the-fuck who are now frequenting Q on the weekends and turning the neighborhood into a suburban wasteland. Gross. I’m sadly convinced the hate crimes/gay bashings are going to get worse.

  13. This is depressing. I just came back form Boston, where I grew up, and was appalled by how Cambridge has turned into one big mall comprised of chainstores where there usd to be boutiques and record shops and galleries and classic pubs, things people used to go into the city to enjoy. Now there’s really no reason to visit Cambridge at all (minus the historic buildings) when you can go to the Crate and Barrel/Pottery Barn in your own suburb. It’s really sad to see Capitol Hill heading in that direction.

  14. Yeah, when I lived in Savannah they opened one of these there. It was shit. Douchey crowd, trashy place. Definitely a Belltown/downtown place, not Capitol Hill.

    • You know what is funny? I was in Belltown on a Saturday for the first time in 10 years (I have been avoiding it due to the douche factor) a few weeks ago and it was like a beautiful heaven compared to Capitol Hill lately. I think there’s been some kind of switch, but it’s been so gradual that none of us noticed. Or maybe it was a fluke. Either way, I am considering rethinking my haunts. Methinks Capitol Hill IS Belltown now.

    • My thought exactly. I am getting sick of the Brahs that are all over the hill on Fri and Saturday night, especially the Pike/Pine where we live. Actually, we have started going up to 15th on those nights to get away from the douche bags. It is actually quite enjoyable up there, maybe we need to just move from the Pike/Pine up to 15th… here’s hoping the Brahs don’t follow us.

      • Central District? Georgetown? There are plenty of other places to branch out into. Anymore, Capitol Hill is resembling 10 lbs of shit in a 5 lb bag. Everything doesn’t HAVE to be crammed onto Pike/Pine, or even on CapHill.

  15. I’m excited :) I am sure they will have some great new beers on tap. I am laughing about you all complaining about the noise, considering that R Place and Baltic Room (both exceptionally loud bars on the weekends) are within a few blocks of this spot. Even if it was a more “hip” place going in, you all would still complain because it’s not a veteran dive bar like Linda’s. Which, let’s be real, Linda’s is no longer a dive-y bar. Sorry hipsters, wah wah wah.

    • Me too! Plus, since they are going to be so out of place, they’ll have to have _cheep_ beer / food specials.

      Manray, ChaCha, Kincorra, and Bus Stop used to be there. Everyone complained about the noise from Manray.

  16. There’s so much hate in this thread. Yes, it is a chain. So what? The World of Beer in Renton had so many beers by the bottle, I didn’t know what to do. I, for one, am really excited to pick up some San Miguel and Red Horse by the bottle without having to drive to South Center. My girlfriend and I were walking by the place in Renton and they had some awesome music playing, and it looked like a great time. Give the place a chance. Stop being so pretentious.

    • Great point, when I moved to Cap Hill, the hardest thing to deal with was all the culture I was missing from Renton. Perhaps soon we can get an O’Reilly Auto Parts so we can buy Truck Nutz for our F-150s.

    • I like these places, too – when I’m in the suburbs. Do I want to see Capitol Hill lose all of it’s character (what there is left) to places like Sam’s, Von Trapp’s, and now this place? Hell no. And they’re building an Office Max on Broadway while small retailers are being pushed out? I watched my hometown of Providence, RI deteriorate, lose all of it’s clubs and little cafes & vintage shops, open a shopping mall downtown, turn Thayer Street into a chain store shopping district, etc… to the chagrin of it’s residents, and now the same is happening here. You can call it pretension, but some of us do still appreciate culture and know where we can go to find these chains – to your beloved Renton.

      • how is capitol hill losing its character because a handful of national chains are opening? there are, by far, more local shops and chains on the hill. besides, the market will determine if a national chain survives. time and again national chains have opened on the hill and closed a few years later. if there’s no demand for world of beer, it will leave too.

  17. Wow, that World of Beer place is a really bad move to put on Capitol Hill. Especially considering the many independent businesses that used to be on that block. Like others have said, it would be fine for a neighborhood like Belltown or Downtown. I really hope that people vote with their dollar and don’t spend their money here if they don’t want it in the neighborhood. And speaking of voting with your dollar, didn’t the Stranger report back in the day that the owner of The Garage is the person who sold that entire block to developers to begin with? If people are upset about that too, hopefully they’re not spending their money there either.

    • I wonder what the old timers of Belltown would have to say about that. I bet in 5-10 years that’s what folks in the less-gentrified neighborhoods will be saying about Capitol Hill.

    • No, people living in the suburbs complaining about noise would be funny–and people living in the city whining about their commute would be funny. Just because we choose to live in a metropolitan area doesn’t mean we love constant noise…

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  19. Terravita caused trouble for the coffee shop across the street, objecting to them serving beer — yet now opens a big beer-focused bar in their own property.
    Is this ethical?

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  21. Pingback: National beer chain makes debut on Capitol Hill | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle