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Broadway eats another chain restaurant, spits it out


(Image: MOD Pizza)

Come Thursday night, Capitol Hill will be down one regional chain pizza concept. The Broadway outlet of MOD Pizza will be shuttered:

To all our Capitol Hill MODsters,

We wanted to let our friends on Capitol Hill know that MOD on Broadway will be closing permanently on Thursday, Dec. 12th at 9:00pm. We will miss seeing you on Broadway, but hope and encourage you to come and visit the MOD Squads at one of our other Seattle area stores including 6th and Union, the Seattle Center and the University District.

MOD is undergoing an exciting expansion with new stores opening throughout the state and beyond. Stay tuned and thanks for your support!

Scott Svenson
MOD Super Fast Pizza

The closure leaves the chain with around a dozen MODs still operating across Washington, Oregon and California.

Here’s what CHS said about MOD when we first reported the local chain was destined for the massive Joule development’s retail offerings:

Meanwhile, CHS has learned of a spendy buildout that will further fill the Joule’s available retail space. In October, we reported that Mod “Super Fast” Pizza was coming to Capitol Hill. We now know that the “on-demand” pizza concept is destined for a suite of the Joule after a $420,000 buildout, according to city records. It will be the fourth location in the Seattle area for the local chain which differentiates itself on providing a fast super fast personal pizza built to your specifications. All pizza are currently priced at $6.28. We didn’t see any notes about gluten free variants but you can check out their menu, etc. at CHS is excited about the “hand spun milk shakes.”

We’re sorry to say we never tried the shakes. Dulces, the other restaurant we reported on in that piece, never opened in the Joule. It finally found a home at 19th/Madison this fall.

Mod’s shuttering is the second chain to close in the Joule this year. In July, we reported on the demise of Qdoba and the challenging environment on Broadway for “limited service” restaurants.

Blue Moon Burgers will now stand as the only restaurant play to have survived in the development. Eat Local is cool — but it doesn’t count.

It hasn’t been all bad news for the Joule, however. Canadian-born Skoah skin care joined the building earlier this year and an Orange Theory Fitness outlet is slated to join the block also home to CorePower Yoga. The yoga chain and a Menchie’s frozen yogurt shop were some of the latest additions to the tenant mix prior to Skoah. Up the street a block, Lab5 Fitness rounds out the recent healthful additions on Broadway. It took over a space created out of the overhauled hull of the Jade Pagoda.

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29 thoughts on “Broadway eats another chain restaurant, spits it out

      • Don’t worry… the bums, crazies, and meth-heads still make their way down to this part of the hill too.. The north-end of Broadway is still very much a part of Cap Hill, and lets not forget about the crime and graffiti…

    • Your characterization is not very accurate. There still are a number of small, local businesses in north Broadway…all the establishments in the Brix building, for instance, not to mention the Deluxe, Poppy’s, Harvard Exit, the small shops in the Anhalt building, etc.

      I really get tired of people lamenting the “gentrification” of Capitol Hill. For the most part, it’s a good thing as long as there is plenty of room for local businesses.

      • What a coincidence, I get tired of your coming into *every* thread and lecturing us all on how gentrification isn’t happening, and even if it is, it’s not so bad. Do you get paid by Microsoft or something?

  1. But MOD was so good! That was an excellent concept. I saw the end coming when they changed their hours this summer so they were only open for dinner.

  2. I think the problem is partly due to the fact that most of the new retail spaces being constructed are completely out of scale with a) what is affordable for a business and b) what is actually necessary. Mod pizza was a giant space that was generally sitting empty and unused. You could split that space into three storefronts, thereby cutting rent for the business owners, offering 2 more spaces for restaurants/services/shops, and increasing foot traffic by having more reasons to visit that particular block.

    I would look to new and thriving restaurants like Witness as a template. Their space is pretty tiny but packs a punch. Smaller spaces are easier to decorate, cheaper to heat, instantly lend a more intimate feel, and allow low-margin and small businesses to stay in the neighborhood as Capitol Hill continues to develop.

    • I would go even farther and say– why even split the space up? Leave it open and you could’ve fit 2 or 3 limited-svc restaurants in the same open space, a mini food court. Like over on Melrose. Way too big a space for one fast-food restaurant. It’s a shame, too. I like their pizza.

    • I agree with SMAJ about not much atmosphere of some of the businesses on Broadway. Sasha’s on point about the size of that Mod space. Look at the Rione/Wandering Goose space – they’re able to maximize that small space and retain some level of atmosphere (though I’m guessing the rent’s not that cheap for that area).

  3. The space was way too big for what was a quick in/quick out restaurant. People above are right in that it should have been broken up into several smaller places, but that can’t resolve the issue that it’s about as attractive as eating in a parking garage. The place two blocks south has it right; put in an Office Max. Maybe they can bust out a few more walls once the yoga place goes under and put in a Petco.

    I liked their pizza, too.

    • “Hip”? You think this place is “hip”? Never saw anyone call it hip. We’ve got “hipster pizza” well covered with Hot Mamma’s, Big Mario, Piecora, etc. Is it hip to rag on places for being “hip”?

    • “Hip”?

      They were a local chain that had cheap beer and pizzas. If you want “hip” you can go to Lost Lake, Quinn’s, Grimm’s, Cure, Dinette, Smith, or and of the three dozen other “hip” places on the Hill were a meal and drinks for two will set you back at least $50.

      • Apparently, snarky disdain for hipsters is always “hip”. So, what, then–you want to BE a hipster, just not be CALLED one? OK.

  4. Frankly their pizza just wasn’t that good. Not bad, but nothing special. Pagliacci’s across the street blows Mod away. As for the space not being suitable, Blue Moon does amazing well right next door

    • the pizza was not good and the smell of hot tomato sauce on hot metal racks was not appetizing. I hate to see businesses close, but I won’t miss Mod Pizza. And I live in Joule. Not a bank, please! I wish a bakery or a good breakfast place (like Coastal Kitchen) would open in that space.

      • oh and btw, Eat Local is bad. Extremely expensive for very average food. Presentation is very important, but for that kind of money I can get a steak at Mortons.

      • I agree, Little G. The food is all frozen, small portions, and seriously overpriced. The place is usually empty of customers whenever I walk by…I predict it will not survive.

      • I checked it out when they first opened. I expected to pay some premium for convenience and the high-quality food, but their prices are ridiculous. No thanks, I’ll cook for myself. Another shop business model that assumes all their market are $2000/mo renters in highly-paid tech jobs. News flash- even those people don’t like getting ripped off, either.

  5. Why will MOD close? I’ll give you 8,000 reasons.. Their rent is $8,000 per month… Yes, That’s how much their rent is, far too much for Broadway. New buildings on Broadway are charging far too much for rent, the only companies that can afford the outrageous rent are huge corporations. Pike/Pine corridor is still cheaper, more hip and not full of chains.

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  8. The people on the sidewalk hard selling Orange Theory are *the worst.* They get right in my face, yell and interrupt my conversation with the person I’m talking to, and continue yelling at me as I go past. I hate that place.