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Displaced by development on Capitol Hill, B&O closes its doors in Ballard

8446811588_2bf5483d46_oJust a little under one year after the couple announced they would not be reopening on Capitol Hill, Jane and Majed Lukatah have shuttered the Ballard-transplanted B&O Espresso for good.

MyBallard reports the Lukatahs are retiring after 38 years of running the business:

B&O Espresso moved to Ballard in January 2013 after their Capitol Hill location was set to be knocked down for a new development. It quickly became a neighborhood favorite here in Ballard and surely will be sadly missed.

8445778417_333161bfcc_oLast March, CHS closed the doors on hopes B&O would return to the Hill after completion of the six-story apartment building replacing its longtime E Olive Way home. “We’re doing great in Ballard and parking is not a problem,” Jane told CHS last spring. She said the couple was working on purchasing the commercial unit that B&O Ballard called home.

At one point, the coffee shop and cafe were planned for a return to Capitol Hill when the new construction was completed. Architects went so far as to include the cafe’s iconic train logo in renderings of the six-story building’s design used in public meetings.

IMAG1864-1CHS documented the 36-year history of B&O — short for Belmont and Olive as well as a play on the famous Monopoly game’s railroad — in 2012 as the Lukatahs planned to serve their final customers in the old cafe. The 1924-built building was demolished a few months later. As the demolition began, fans remained hopeful that B&O would join Bauhaus in a Ballard sabbatical followed by triumphant returns to Capitol Hill.

Bauhaus opened its Ballard location in October and an interim Capitol Hill home up E Pine from its old location earlier this year. It is slated to return to the corner of Melrose and Pine inside the about-to-start-construction, eight-story development in coming years.

Now, two years after pulling up stakes and moving to Ballard, B&O is shuttered.

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12 thoughts on “Displaced by development on Capitol Hill, B&O closes its doors in Ballard

  1. If the B&O returns to cap hill, which would be great please ask that they hire a new cook and revamp the menu cuz their food sucked when they were here besides their hot chocolate… Just sayin..

    • Thanks for kicking at the corpse. Very classy. Assuming you read the post and are just here to be mean but if not and anybody is confused, the Lukatahs said they are retiring. I wish them the best.

  2. I loved the B&O when it was located on Summit, a block from where I lived at the time. Their coffee and decour was great and of course their desserts were exquisite! Was only able to visit them once in Ballard. Wishing them the best in their retirement!

  3. I’m surprised to see them retire so soon after the hassle of relocating. Seems pretty sudden given their overall plans. Hope things are okay in their family.

    Any reason to close rather than sell their business? They have a pretty strong brand. You would think someone would be happy to carry the efforts and name forward.

  4. I loved B&O. When they moved I was so bummed I couldn’t get the Benny Thai any more. That was eggs benedict over a crab cake and rice. The staff was always cheerful and the owner super friendly. I also miss the Milky Way shake. It was the first place my band met and the graffiti on the bathroom wall inspired one of our songs. Seattle is not the same. Whenever Glo’s was over full to could go to B&O and even if there was a wait, it wasn’t near the wait across the street. It was a home for me and friends and my parents to get brunch without loud music and talk. My favorite photo if myself was taken is thw sunlight at one of their tables. I wish them the best. Thank you for all the years.

  5. I recently visited the B&O in Ballard. Beautiful space, awesome staff [as usual], and coffee late into the evening which is hard to find in Ballard. Such a shame to see them go, but I hope the owners have a happy retirement. Thanks for a wonderful 30+ years. B&O.

  6. Have not been for many years because I moved to the other side of the Hill, but I had my first cup of Seattle coffee at B&O.

  7. In the late 1990s to early 2000s, when we lived in Bellevue, my wife & I used to make late night visits to B&O. Even on our return from our international travels, we immediately dropped our bags to rush over for a slice of the Lukatah’s lemon meringue pie & a latte. These moments were among our fondest of the years we lived in Washington state. We wish Jane & Majed all the best for a much deserved retirement and thank them for these beautiful memories. Love from Andy & Adeline Khoo

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