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Capitol Hill-style general store Cone & Steiner opens on 19th Ave E

IMG_73971231371_159734777564791_1213488205_nThe Holiday Craft Store is gone and Capitol Hair has moved a few dozen yards south to make room for the new four-story development transforming 19th Ave E at E Mercer into a bustling pocket of commerce. Friday, the final component of that commercial pocket was slated to be revealed as the big names behind Capitol Hill-styled general store Cone & Steiner planned to open their creation for the first time.IMG_3680

Hours are 8 AM to 10 PM for this new version of a 7-11 inspired by the old-time general store. You can find it at 532 19th Ave E. UPDATE: Thanks to feedback from the neighborhood, Cone & Steiner will bump its daily start time to 7 AM.




Dani Cone of Fuel and High 5 Pie and Josh Henderson of Skillet and the Huxley Wallace family of food+drink businesses teamed up with retailers Jon Milazzo and Lori Pomeranz of Retrofit Home to partner on the ambitious project, expected to be the first in a series of similar stores — neighborhood grocery and mercantile mixed with a deli counter featuring ready to eat foods from Skillet, housemade sandwiches (soon!) — and beer taps.

Cone, who has operated her Fuel cafe nearby since spring of 2005, brought the local knowledge for the first store.

19th and Mercer rises four stories where once stood the Holiday Craft Store and its prodigious parking lot (Image: CHS)

19th and Mercer rises four stories where once stood the Holiday Craft Store and its prodigious parking lot (Image: CHS)

“It’s a neighborhood market or mercantile focused on being a big part of the neighborhood,” Cone told CHS when we first reported on the project in September.

“This is that community place.” Cone said. “It’s an extension of the kind of places that we’ve already created. This is of the neighborhood.”

Friday morning, Cone said the store’s first customer wasn’t just a neighbor stopping through to buy a bauble and say hello — the woman did her grocery shopping, Cone said.

The original (Image: Courtesy Cone & Steiner)

The original (Image: Courtesy Cone & Steiner)

Cone also brought her name to the project. Her great grandfather ran the original Cone & Steiner near where the Starbucks world headquarters stands today. Sam Cone’s son Jerry married Dani’s grandma Molly — the inspiration behind today’s High 5 Pie recipes. You’ll also find a High 5 case inside the grocery, by the way.

In addition to day to day grocery necessities like milk and quinoa, hard goods like oven mitts, cutting boards and basic tools and treats for wee ones like candy, toys and chew balls (meet our son, Rover), there will be a menu of sandwiches, cold salads and sides available at a central ring counter. Beer and wine will be for sale by the bottle and a selection of drafts will be available on tap for enjoyment at the counter or to fill a growler to go (price ranges from around $18 to $22 per fill).IMG_7344

IMG_3642 IMG_7366CHS talked with Milazzo and Pomeranz about the hard goods side of things during the Christmas rush as the partnership hurried to fill Cone & Steiner’s shelves and refrigerated cases. A half-gallon of milk will set you back $2.50, a package of romaine, $1.50 and a can of Campbell’s soup, 2 bucks. Meanwhile, the next time you need a $12 hammer or a $2.40 picture hanging kit, you know where to go. Things were running fairly smoothly Friday morning with only a few mix-ups including a service number listed on receipts ringing through to Henderson’s cell phone.

It’s the only store of its kind on a 19th Ave that is suddenly seeing an influx of new commercial energy joining longtime favorites like Monsoon, Kingfish Cafe and Vios.

Cone & Steiner joins a gaggle of commercial neighbors in the 19th and Mercer apartment building — Tallulah’s, Hello Robin and Molly Moon’s. CHS reported on the debut of the 19th and Mercer neighbors here.

It should be noted that the new little commercial strip operates without a stitch of new parking beyond what’s available on the nearby streets. UPDATE:The developer tells us there are 13 stalls for customers to park “off the alley.”

Meanwhile, a new general store in the area might stir memories of the dearly departed City People’s, now long-gone from 15th Ave E, and is unlikely to dethrone ShopRite as the king of random retail convenience on Capitol Hill.

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21 thoughts on “Capitol Hill-style general store Cone & Steiner opens on 19th Ave E

  1. Looks great going to head over for lunch. I am really excited about all the new food options this development has created. The cookie store is awesome. Must check out new Linda’s restaurant next.

  2. $18 to $22 to fill a growler?! I hope that’s a misprint! Or maybe that’s the price for the container AND the beer?

    You get more beer in a six-pack (6 x 12 ounces = 72 ounces) than a growler (64 ounces), plus purveyors of six-packs tend not to charge you an extra $10 or so for the glass that holds the beer. And the beer in a growler only stays fresh for around 24 hours.

    • I believe the prices includes the growler. They have a discount if you bring your own.

      I got a tap-it-cap ( for Christmas. It’s a little CO2 gizmo that keeps the O2 out and the growler beer fresh and carbonated.

  3. Been SO excited for this to open. Many a morning I’ve needed one egg or milk for cereal and too lazy to walk up to 15th.

    Welcome to the neighborhood!!

  4. Well… no new parking except the underground parking in those buildings much of which the businesses have purchased for their clients. I know. I use it.

  5. Hmm I’ll go there on occasion just because they don’t have any parking. I hope more mixed use developments follow their lead.

    • There is underground parking for just under 50 vehicles according to permits. It’s not clear how many are being used for the commercial establishments though it’s a gated garage so I’m not sure customer parking is an option as noted above by another commenter.

    • Wes, it is naïve to think that none of the residents of new buildings will need parking for their vehicle. Some areas need on-site (underground) parking more than others. Wouldn’t you feel differently if you were renting an apartment in an older building and needed to park your car on the street, and all available spaces were occupied by cars from the new, no-parking building?

      I think some compromise is needed on this issue. I don’t think the old 1-2 parking spaces per unit is necessary…maybe something more like 1 space per every 2 units. But I think at least some parking should be mandatory in almost all new buildings, because otherwise a difficult parking situation on Capitol Hill will be made much worse. It is just plain selfish to think that no new parking is needed, as this would create adverse affects on those already living in that area.

      • Perhaps an overly long and detail explanation, but as the project architect for Weinstein A+U on this building I can provide some clarification. The building provides 47 parking spaces — 35 below grade in a secure parking garage for resident and employee use and another 12 parking spaces at grade along the alley for the use of the patrons of the commercial spaces. An additional on-street parking space was reclaimed as a result of removing the curb cut that provided access to the surface lot in front of the old Holiday Craft shop.

        Per the zoning code, the parking requirement for the building was only 5 commercial spaces, but the developer (Lake Union Partners) recognized that the parking utilization for this area (that’s number of parking spaces per residential unit) is about 0.6 to 0.7 and was wise enough to reach out to neighbors at the project’s outset at which point parking was identified as one of the primary concerns. This concern was raised when we met with neighbors at the outset of the project prior to EDG (in September or October 2010), at the EDG meeting and at the recommendation meeting. The repeated concerns and the desire to be a responsible addition to the neighborhood compelled us to look for ways to provide more parking, specifically easily usable, high turnover, commercial parking, thus the 12 spaces at the alley. Another 35 spaces below grade brought us to a 0.7 utilization.

        The concern voiced by neighbors was upheld as the project went through SEPA review (it pre-dates the change to the SEPA threshold and at 50-units would no longer be required to undergo the review) and it was determined that additional spaces were needed to handle expected demand of both patrons and employees, therefore spaces within the garage were reserved for employee use during evening hours.

        To address Wes’ sentiments, I am car-less and would certainly like others to adopt a similar life-style, but there’s a wide range between where we are now and before providing no parking within a building makes sense. Project financing often necessitates parking be provided (especially an issue post-recession). Somewhat ironically, SEPA also dictates parking be provided. And to speak to the circumstances of the neighborhood, 19th is not within a residential parking zone and many of the buildings and residences in the area have no off-street parking due to topography and the date of their construction — a surprising number of buildings in the vicinity of 19th & Mercer date from the turn of the 20th C. This may not be an issue except that commuter buses use the area as a bus stop resulting in many cars being driven into the area from elsewhere in the neighborhood.

        I’ll contribute to the cause by walking from my place on 12th — you can drink without a care that way!

      • Thank you, Daniel. It is really nice to know that at least some developers, and their architects, care about this issue, and try to do the right thing for those who already live in the neighborhood.

      • No Calhoun I realize that on street parking is first come first serve. When I lived on first hill I had a car that I parked on the street. I rarely drove it, but when I did it would sometimes take me more than 30 minutes to find a new spot. I didn’t get mad. I just decided that selling it made more sense. Maybe 19th and mercer should have some parking, but there are definitely parts of seattle where new buildings could get by with no parking. Pike/pine and Belltown are two places I can think of.

      • Thanks, Wes. We can agree that new developments in some areas do not need parking, but in other areas at least some parking should be mandatory. However, I differ with you in that I think the most developed areas, where on-street parking is already very tight, are just the areas where there should be mandatory parking. Doesn’t that just make sense?

        One aspect of this debate has been overlooked…and that is the reality that many people ignore the requirement that a vehicle occupy a space for a maximum of 72 hours…..they use the space for storing their car for days or weeks at a time, hogging a space that could be used by others. There are only two parking officers assigned to this problem for the entire city, so they can’t do much about it.

  6. I am a transplant from the Eastside. I now live and work on 19th. I have always been a fan of urban infill over urban sprawl. This new development is delightful!!! Love the throw back to “general stores”. Yes parking is a pain, but the benefits and convenience a store like this offers outweigh the parking problem. I will now walk to the store, and leave my car behind.

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