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Capitol Hill food+drink | Mezcaleria Oaxaca, The Rhino Room ready for E Pine debuts

Mezcaleria Oaxaca Capitol Hill preview party (Image: @checkereddan via Twitter)

Mezcaleria Oaxaca Capitol Hill preview party (Image: @checkereddan via Twitter)

It’s opening season in Capitol Hill food and drink with a small wave of 2014’s roster of rated rookies making their major league debuts.

  • Mezcaleria Oaxaca Capitol Hill: A transformation of Capitol Hill’s most recent auto row past, the sister to the Queen Anne location and cousin to Ballard’s La Carta de Oaxaca held a private preview party Monday night that steamed up the windows of the completely overhauled former auto garage at E Pine and Summit. The pretty amazing new restaurant opens Friday. UPDATE: With permits in place and inspections wrapped, the MO team is ready early and is open for service as of Tuesday night. Enjoy!

    CHS wrote about the Graham Baba-designed project here in spring 2013. Arriving nearly six months later than originally planned, the enormous 3,000 square-foot restaurant also features a space for rooftop dining — and will offer more mezcales than you’ll know what to do with. It will also be the second Oaxacan-focused Mexican restaurant in two blocks following the opening of the more modest La Cocina Oaxaquena last spring at Pine and Melrose. Meanwhile, a short, one-block walk up the Hill — past World of Beers – delivers the hungry traveler to El Fogon. For more on Mezcaleria Oaxaca Capitol Hill, check out

  • The Rhino Room: As the early 20th century building the project calls home is readied for redevelopment in the coming years, the Big Fun project being built out in a former street-level bike shop has a name — and plans to open any day now. CHS introduced you to Patric Gabre-Kidan and his gang of “five pros building Big Fun at 11th and Pine” last September. Now, thanks to a giant plastic animal statue, the “no concept” bar has an identity. The Rhino Room will boast lots of canned beer and single-serving bubbly. It also turned out fancier than expected, reports Seattle Met:
    The plan was an unfussy hangout space, but this group has a lot of design and build knowhow, and Gabre-Kidan allows that the end result, with its brown leather booths, mirrored support posts, glossy black trim, and a U-shaped resin-topped bar “turned out a little fancier than we were hoping for.” 
    That’s what happens when talented youth work together for the common good. Gabre-Kidan, who also helped build out Broadway’s latest drink spot (below), will remain busy in the neighborhood. We found his name on another nearby Pike/Pine project. More on that soon.

    You can’t find any information about The Rhino Room online yet but you can stop by and look through the windows at 11th and Pine for the apparently anatomically correct rhino. If the rhino winks at you, The Rhino Room is open.

  • Nacho Borracho: The slushie machines go round and round. CHS gave you this first look inside the latest neighborhood bar project from Rachel Marshall and Kate Opatz. Have you visited yet?

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11 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink | Mezcaleria Oaxaca, The Rhino Room ready for E Pine debuts

  1. Can you please make a correction. Panini Boys is the project of BOTH Eric Gelbart and Floyd Lovelady. The are both CoManagers of Rplace. Thank you,

  2. Sigh, every time I see one of these ‘new openings’ posts, I think “We’re finally getting KFC back!” and yet….no joy. :(

      • Bahaus Green Lake has – apparently – taken over the location of Cake Envy, on Green Lake Drive N, next to Mio Sushi. The windows are papered over and there are construction workers going in and out, so it looks like the real deal. Can’t wait to have a new (bigger) coffeeshop in the neighborhood. Chocolati is terrific, but it’s so small. And the Starbucks further south is a zoo.

  3. Pingback: First look: Mezcaleria Oaxaca and 30+ mezcales arrive on Capitol Hill | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

  4. Pingback: Capitol Hill food+drink | From Hill to farm to table to Hill again, Kurt Farm Shop coming to 11th Ave | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle