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Capitol Hill cafe creator getting into the grocery store business in Eastlake Portage Bay!

It’s an expansive time for the barons and baronesses of Capitol Hill food and drink. Grocery stores are also very “in.”

Ericka Burke, the chef and entrepreneur behind the Volunteer Park Cafe and the coming soon Chop Shop Cafe, is taking over a small grocery market just off the Hill in Eastlake with plans to update the market and cafe offerings on Fuhrman Ave.

The Canal Market project will transform and update the neighborhood grocery, people familiar with the plans tell CHS. City documents indicate the 2,000 square-foot space is being designed by Graham Baba Architects. A liquor license application for a “specialty store” offering beer and wine was also filed earlier this week. The move follows the opening of the Cone & Steiner market on 19th Ave E and a sequel in Pioneer Square by an all-star team of backers from Capitol Hill related food and retail businesses. Burke has also dabbled in mercantile-style offerings at her Volunteer Park Cafe which has settled in at 17th and Galer and become a neighborhood fixture. Later this year, Burke will open her Chop Shop Cafe in the Liz Dunn-helmed development on 11th Ave just off E Pike that includes a Melrose Market-like open marketplace and mews.

UPDATE: As gatu points out in comments, a “stop work” order was issued on April 28th for the adjoining section of the building that is zoned for “commercial kitchen food processing” following a complaint about the construction earlier this month. A construction permit was then issued for the market portion of the building. A representative for Graham Baba is listed as the contact for permits on both elements of the project.

We’re checking in with Burke to learn more about her plans and will update when we hear more.

UPDATE 5/15/14: PBRP MapWe’ve heard your grumbling…

Justin – Don’t lump us in with Eastlake and we won’t lump you in with First Hill ;)  Here is some information about our community’s boundary;


John Gaines

PBRP Community Council

and responded. Updated above!

UPDATE 6/11/14: Here’s a press release on the project:

Chef Ericka Burke Announces Canal Market
Neighborhood Market Coming to Portage Bay

SEATTLE, June 11, 2014 –Ericka Burke, chef and owner of Seattle’s Volunteer Park Cafe, is incredibly excited to announce her new project: Canal Market, slated to open later this summer.

Located at 2919 Fuhrman Avenue East in the Portage Bay neighborhood, Canal Market will provide the neighborhood with groceries, fresh produce, household essentials, and specialty gift items, as well as grab-and-go food.

“I want this to be the quintessential neighborhood market, a vibrant hub,” say Burke. “Canal Market will be a meeting place for neighbors to catch up over a cup of coffee, quickly grab a bottle of wine, and shop for dinner. We’re even going totally old school, offering house accounts to make getting in-and-out easy and convenient.”

At the center of the 3,000-square-foot space will be a large deli island; one side will hold ready-made salads, cheeses, and charcuterie and another will serve made-to-order baguette and panini sandwiches and salads. The morning hours will offer a breakfast buffet that will include a toast bar with whipped butter and housemade preserves, fresh fruit, pastries, granola, yogurt, and whole grain porridge. The market will also have a juice and espresso bar featuring fresh pressed juices and Slate Coffee.

The market will have organic rotisserie chickens cooking all day long, plus a section of the store will have a cold case with various proteins and ready-made meals. There will be a fantastic selection of local and imported beer and wine, as well as a growler filling station providing shoppers with keg beer and wine to take home.

The market will showcase organic produce, farm fresh eggs, and a variety of dry goods. The a cooler full of local artisan ice creams and house made popsicles (plus old school candy by the pound!) are sure to thrill the neighborhood kids.

There will be a selection of thoughtfully curated gift items and specialty foods – think hard to find olive oil, imported vinegars, beautiful soaps, locally made gift cards, and linen dish towels.

“The pop-up shop at Volunteer Park Cafe has been a great way for me to begin seeking out products that I love,” says Burke. “I’m excited to share all my favorites with the neighborhood—from everyday necessities to high-end treats. The goal is for Canal Market to be a one-stop shopping and gathering place for the neighborhood.”

Tess MacDonald of July Floral will maintain a Garden & Flower area that will feature a smattering of potted plants, gorgeous grab-and-go arrangements, custom arrangements, and seasonal items like holiday wreaths and garlands. The plan is to have a more extensive a pop-up shop for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and throughout the winter holiday season.

Canal Market will be open daily from 7am to 9pm. The market will have some seating along the windows and a communal table for enjoying a smoothie or salad with pals. This table will also be used for seasonal community activities like pumpkin carving and Easter egg dying for the kids. Much like Volunteer Park Cafe, there’ll be a DIY water station and outdoor seating to take advantage of sunny days—and of course, a water bowl for dogs.

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12 thoughts on “Capitol Hill cafe creator getting into the grocery store business in Eastlake Portage Bay!

  1. Cone & Steiner has been a great addition to our 19th Ave neighborhood; a similar upscale-style market will go over pretty well in the grocery-starved Eastlake area, I would think.

  2. just some news from the neighborhood – it turns out that construction of the graham baba designed market halted earlier this week due to the lack of or incorrect permitting. currently the store is a mixed blessing for neighborhood residences. here’s to hoping the cannel market stays a market and not some overpriced restaurant disguised as a multi-cooler bakery.

  3. this is terrific news, i’m sure they will work out the permit details. this is a fantastic neighborhood and one that will enthusiastically support a cool walkable option.

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  5. I am a resident of the neighborhood and live just a few blocks from the market. Boy does this area need a revival. I have to get in my car and drive at least a mile or more to either eastlake, capitol hill, madison park or the university district to get a decent meal or a good bottle of wine. I am hoping and praying this will be my new neighborhood hangout. I’d love a place to get a fresh cup of coffee, pick up some deli meat, and maybe a bottle of wine. LET’S GET THIS SHOW ON THE ROAD! :)

  6. We live nearby as well and welcome this new space with open arms. Much better than the tired space it was. So glad you chose our neighborhood for this wonderful cafe/market!

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