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Capitol Hill food+drink | Owner behind The Saint, Havana pulls back on E Pike project

The Greenus Building will be trattoria-less (Image: Hunters Capital)

The Greenus Building will be trattoria-less (Image: Hunters Capital)

In this weekly look at the latest in Capitol Hill bar and restaurant news, we typically share details of new projects and big changes at Hill favorites. Occasionally, we also have news about what isn’t happening. Despite what appears to be continued success for the nearly constant stream of new Capitol Hill food and drink projects, one neighborhood industry veteran is pulling back.

Quentin Ertel, the man behind the party plan at E Olive Way’s The Saint and E Pike’s Havana, has decided to pull the plug on his project to create a “Roman-style trattoria” in the building formerly home to Brocklind’s costume shop.

“After a whole lot of time and effort I have decided to put the project on hold for a bit,” Ertel tells us. “I just wanted less stress and more time with the family.”

Reps for Hunters Capital, the developer behind the preservation-friendly rehabilitation of the 106-year-old building at E Pike and Summit the project was to call home confirmed they were looking for a new tenant to anchor the building’s planned restaurant space and already had interested parties — “all restaurants with a food focus (rather than bar),” we’re told.

Quentin Ertel via Linkedin

Quentin Ertel via Linkedin

Ertel made a splash in June when he told the Stranger about his plans for his project — “an all day-affair, serving simple, handcrafted food inspired by Rome and Italy’s Lazio region.”

At this point, the pullback looks like a purely personal decision and not a sign of cooling in what has been years of rapid expansion for area food and drink ventures including several instances of neighborhood players doubling and sometimes tripling down on Capitol Hill.

Capitol Hill food+drink notes

  • In February, CHS told you about big plans for the company behind the Blue C and Boom Noodle family of restaurants that left E Pike’s Boom as a bit of an outlier in the corporate vision for the chains. Bellevue’s Boom Noodle, it was announced last week, is shuttering and is being overhauled into a new Kaisho izakaya concept. The folks at Madison Holdings haven’t returned our messages but it appears an equally significant change is coming to E Pike. The permit process has started for a $200,000+ construction project at the E Pike/12th Boom. If the Hill is getting a Kaisho, the concept will join incoming Shibumi Ramenya at 13th/Pine in the contest to provide Capitol Hill’s best izakaya.
  • Speaking of permits, Seattle Central is holding the signed-off paperwork in its hot little hands for a $160,000+ construction project at its Broadway cafeteria. No clues in the permits about what — or who — is involved in the work. The project joins a slate of capital projects at the community college over the past year.
  • Also in the land of permits, applications and blueprints, the names behind E Olive Way’s Montana showed up on a project on south Broadway where the building it could call home doesn’t even exist yet. We’re told the 209 Broadway (not 209 Broadway E!) project involving Rachel Marshall and Kate Opatz was in super-duper early preliminary stages with nothing signed yet. Still, potentially exciting news for a changing Yesler Terrace.  So much for that. The address on the permit is incorrect. Watch for more about 209 Broadway EAST, soon.
  • $15,700 a month for the old Broadway Grill space.
  • What, you want to open a Capitol Hill restaurant, too? Here’s a coming-soon space on 14th Ave:

  • “A Sunday evening was calmer, and that same bartender was funny and smart, sharing his recipe for the homemade vermouth he was making and discussing the etymology of the word…
  • “You basically take poison, put it inside burned wood, and it comes out delicious. That is a miracle…
  • “Liberty pours their pumpkin cocktail, Von Tassel’s Baby, directly out of a pumpkin…
  • Cognac tasting with Leopold Gourmel and Pierre Ferrand… at Le Zinc.
  • Happy 6 months, Pie Bar.

    (Image: Pie Bar)

    (Image: Pie Bar)

  • Bauhaus opens in Ballard, returns on Hill in November.
  • If you missed, Tallulah’s opens in December.
  • Next to open around the Hill: World of Beer (here), Ada’s Technical Books Cafe (here) and Juicebox (here).
  • Kickstarters: Melrose Market cheese monger Sheri LaVigne’s fund raising effort to build a new cheese bar in Ballard is at 21.7% of its $45,000 goal. Marjorie’s Donna Moodie nailed her $25,000 start-up goal for a new plantains venture on a second go-around for the project.
  • You have just a little more than one week to enjoy North Hill Bakery. For the last time :(
  • Forget wrestling a giant Pacific octopus — here’s what 12th Ave’s Lark is harvesting from the biosphere:Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 10.45.56 AM


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16 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink | Owner behind The Saint, Havana pulls back on E Pike project

  1. Interesting about Boom. Boom went completely downhill when the menu changes were rolled out – won’t be any loss for the latest incarnation to disappear, although who knows if the izakaya concept from the same ownership group will be any better. I wonder if the SW corner of 12th/Pike will take over the restaurant black hole vacated by the about-to-be-renovated NE corner?

  2. This is GREAT news. I was devastated at the loss of Brocklind’s, yet another local historic business which sold actual _stuff_ (I wonder if Theater Schmeater will be staying now?), and the horrible construction noise and smells right by my fifth-floor apartment windows have been giving me terrible migraines all summer and early fall. We don’t need still more bars and restaurants and apodments and microstudios and chains and other scars of gentrification on the Hill. We need small, durable businesses which will help create community and sustain our actual neighbourhood.

    • Interested to understand if you read the whole thing — there are other restaurant tenants likely to be moving forward in the space. Sorry about the headaches.

      • I’m pretty sure that was always Kickstarter’s intent. In fact I think they frown upon it being used to raise funds for non-profits. There are other crowdfunding sites that are intended for non-profits. Kickstarter itself is a for-profit company. In exchange for your funding you get something from the person whose project it is. In the non-profit world that would be absolutely illegal. If you donate to a non-profit you cannot by law receive any goods and services in exchange for your donation and still have that donation be tax deductible.

        So yeah, I’m not sure you really understand the point of Kickstarter.

      • No, I did not know that. Now that I do know it, I *think* I am against kickstarter in general. Maybe the US could reframe taxation as “crowd-sourcing”.

      • While you are correct that the fair-market-value of any goods received reduces the tax-deductible portion of your donation, it is absolutely legal for non-profits to offer thank you gifts to donors.

        It is also entirely possible for donors who give at levels that would trigger a thank you gift to decline, either to maintain the tax-deductible level of their donation, or because they don’t want the gift.

        So, regardless of whether funding non-profits was Kickstarter’s original business plan, there is no reason non-profits and Kickstarter can’t work together.

  3. “Cognac tasting with Leopold Gourmel and Pierre Ferrand… at Le Zinc”

    I prefer armagnac myself. Single grape vs. blend. Keeps longer as well. 50 year old armagnac is not uncommon.

  4. My Capitol Hill food and drink wish list:

    1) A good Jewish Deli – a good matzoh ball soup is one of my favorite meals in the whole world

    2) A piano bar. Martin’s off Madison wasn’t the coolest/hippest place in the neighborhood, but it was always friendly and low key. Sometimes and evening of show tunes and standards fills the bill.

  5. Wow. Sure would have been nice to make that decision BEFORE forcing Theater Schmeater out of their basement home and off of Capitol Hill. Not cool.

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