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Cone & Steiner, a Capitol Hill general store, stocks its shelves as Tallulah’s ‘officially’ opens

A peek inside Cone & Steiner (Image: CHS)

A peek inside Cone & Steiner (Image: CHS)

Tallulah's opens "officially" Thursday night at 4 PM (Images: CHS)

Tallulah’s opens “officially” Thursday night at 4 PM (Images: CHS)

Cone & Steiner, a general store bringing together the entrepreneurs behind Fuel Coffee, Skillet and Retrofit Home, is preparing for an opening just before New Year’s Eve. The retail experts in the Cone & Steiner partnership tell CHS the store and deli counter will make sure to stock the item most-requested by customers as the store prepares to open — though you’ll have to wait for the first weekend of 2014 to enjoy it:

“There were a lot of people that asked for the Sunday New York Times,” Jon Milazzo tells CHS.

E Pike’s Retrofit retailers Milazzo and Lori Pomeranz are heading up the hard goods planning for the partnership creating the new store. CHS first reported on the Cone & Steiner project in September when we spoke with the Retrofit ladies and their business partners Dani Cone of Fuel and High 5 Pie and Josh Henderson of Skillet and the Huxley Wallace family of food+drink businesses.

Meanwhile, Linda Derschang’s fifth Capitol Hill food+drink venture is off and running on 19th Ave E after a week of “quiet openings” and preview dinners with friends and family. Its official opening is Thursday — 4 PM if you’d like to be there to make history. Last week, CHS showed you the first look inside Tallulah’s, the Derschang-styled “modern” (ie, less vintage) space meant to evoke Big Sur and provide a lighter, less tavern-y take on the food and drink maven’s successful barstaurant recipe. You also got a first peek at nearby cookie bakery and Molly Moon’s ice cream shop, Hello Robin.

Filling the middle bay of retail south of Tallulah’s and connecting through to the cookie and ice cream shop, Cone & Steiner is conceived as a neighborhood grocery store mixed with a deli counter featuring ready to eat foods and housemade sandwiches.

Still unpacking at Cone & Steiner (Image: CHS)

Still unpacking at Cone & Steiner (Image: CHS)

There will be a menu of sandwiches, cold salads and sides but it’s not designed as a full-on restaurant. It will, however, be a great place to stop in before a trip to Volunteer Park for a picnic — or for milk, dog food and a new cutting board for the apartment dwellers above and residents in the surrounding neighborhood. You can also take all of that rather straight-forward description and shine it up a bit — given the partners in the project, it’s unlikely to be an ordinary shopping experience.

“We get restless for a new project about once every ten years,” Milazzo told us then of her busy partners Cone and Henderson. “These guys get restless about every year.”

Perhaps thanks to their relatively slower pace of entrepreneurial activity, Milazzo and Pomeranz have nearly an endless supply of of ideas for stocking Cone & Steiner.

“The whole mercantile store is what makes it completely different,” Pomeranz said. “It’s what is going to set it apart.”

When the store opens — hopefully early next week — you’ll also find a pet section, kid’s stuff and basics of day to day life. UPDATE: The Cone & Steiner folks are targeting January 3rd.

“There will be a whole little hardware section — nails, hammer, screws,” Milazzo said. “All that stuff you really wish was in your neighborhood store but you can’t find. Everything from doormats to greeting cards.”

As for pricing this more interesting than ordinary shopping experience, “It’s not going to be a dollar store,” Pomeranz says. “That’s already our game — We’ve spent 8 years searching out lines that are affordable,” Milazzo quickly countered.

If you think everything about the coming soon Cone & Steiner at 19th and Mercer sounds exciting, well, just wait for the next one.

Yes, it seems like the Cone & Steiner entrepreneurial bug is catching. The group hasn’t even opened the first store and already has plans for Cone & Steiner II.

“The next one is going to be way more general store with an entire third of the space dedicated,” Milazzo said.

You can watch for confirmation of the first day of business and learn more at

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10 thoughts on “Cone & Steiner, a Capitol Hill general store, stocks its shelves as Tallulah’s ‘officially’ opens” -- All CHS Comments are held for moderation before publishing

  1. A mercantile store on Capitol Hill? How original! Oh wait, City People’s Mercantile was on 15th (where Walgreens is now) for years. So yes, a place like this is welcome, but I don’t think they should act like they invented the concept.

    And wouldn’t it more be news that Linda doesn’t open a restaurant?

    • It sounds like Cone & Steiner will be much different than the old City People’s Mercantile, which was more of a small department store/hardware store. “C&S” will have food items as well as takeout prepared food.

      I read nothing in this report that indicates the “C&S” folks are “acting like they invented the concept.” You made that up.

      • And besides, who cares if they were the first to offer something like that or not? There hasn’t been anyone offering anything like that on that side of Capitol Hill for years. I’m sure there will be many neighborhood residents who are happy that now they can walk or bike over to pick up a few things that would have required them to get in the car or get on a bus before. Sounds like a nice addition to a part of CapHill that has few neighborhood stores NOW.

  2. “There will be a whole little hardware section — nails, hammer, screws,” Milazzo said. “All that stuff you really wish was in your neighborhood store but you can’t find. Everything from doormats to greeting cards.”

    Well, Walgreens does have this variety of stuff also :P

  3. There’s also a lovely little hardware store on 12th, and the QFC on Broadway (that used to be Fred Meyer’s) has quite a bit of hardware and such. Then there’s Bartell’s…. Hoping this will be a useful shop and not just an overpriced boutique but doesn’t exactly sound like they will be filling a need for things we’re missing.

  4. People always seem to forget (or are unaware of) the little store on 15th between QFC and Walgreens that looks like a mini mart, but is packed wall to wall with a ridiculous assortment of stuff for the home: Paint, nails, tools, light bulbs (including a weird on I needed that no one else nearby had), party supplies, kitchen utensils, plumbing needs, computer cables, and much more; it’s certainly an urban mercantile store, though the owner (who I’ve always assumed is the only guy I’ve ever seen working there, 7 days a week) would never think to call it that. Not truly comparable, they aren’t schmancy and catering to the increasingly wealthy cap hill clientele this place is certainly aiming for, but it’s not like you can’t get this stuff in the neighborhood, as they seem to indicate. But I do like to give neighborhood businesses a shot, and I’ll check it out anyway. Though probably just for food; it will be nice I’m sure for folks on 19th to be able to stop in there instead of walking up to 15th. Also, this reminds me how much I’d love for someone to open a good deli around here, with lots of pre-made food options; like QFC or Safeway, but less gross.

    • Agree that a great deli would be a wonderful addition to our neighborhood. I still remember fondly the little place on E Thomas St, just west of Broadway (where “Scream” is now), which had high-quality prepared food at reasonable prices. Does anyone remember the name of that place?

      Oh, and also there was Rex’s Delicatessen, which as I recall was in the 400 block of Broadway…also a great place!

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