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Hot Cakes to open Capitol Hill ‘cakery’ where B&O Espresso once stood

Images: Hot Cakes via Facebook

A Ballard-born purveyor of decadent desserts, sweet treats, and boozy shakes, Hot Cakes is coming to Capitol Hill in the new development on the corner of Belmont and E Olive Way that was once home to B&O Espresso.

The full announcement on the new Capitol Hill “cakery” is below.

Owner Autumn Martin’s next creation is slated to debut on E Olive Way in early 2015. The new venture will be the second Hot Cakes in the city. After a pop-up start, Martin opened the first in Ballard in 2012.

UPDATE 9/18/2014: CHS talked with Martin about her venture onto Capitol Hill to open the second Hot Cakes in Seattle. We have bad news for the rest of the city.

“I would love to just have two,” Martin tells CHS. “One on just either side of the city. It’s kind of more of a commitment to come to Hot Cakes. I like it that way.”

Martin said she thinks Hot Cakes will be successful on Capitol Hill despite pockets of saturation when it comes to food and drink in the area.

“There are parts of Capitol Hill that are completely jam packed,” she said. “I think there’s still room.” Martin is banking on serving the Hill’s densely populated blocks below Broadway. “The western facing slope is not very saturated,” she said. “It’s kind of it’s own little neighborhood.”

The Seattle area native said the location’s B&O history was also important to her.

“I remember going there late at night and having cake and thinking of it as a late night spot though I’m pretty sure I wasn’t 21.”

8445778417_333161bfcc_o-400x243B&O Espresso had called the corner home from 1976 to 2012 before being displaced by the planned six-story development. Jane and Majed Lukatah opened a Ballard location but it, too, shuttered earlier this yearAt one point, the much loved 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.

The mixed-use building Hot Cakes Capitol Hill will call home has nearly 80 apartment units and more than 3,000 square feet of retail space. The new Hot Cakes will weigh in at a whopping 2,200 square feet, according to the announcement. Hot Cakes Capitol Hill will also feature an internal mezzanine and a covered patio offering “year-round seating, complete with a fire pit for roasting marshmallows.”

Hot Cakes won’t be the first boozy dessert provider on E Olive Way. Teensy tiny Pie Bar squeezed onto the sloping street in 2013 offering pies — sweet and savory — and pints plus cocktails — some containing pie! About the size of an aPodment, Pie Bar will stand in pie-y contrast to the giant Hot Cakes. Maybe Crumble and Flake should add cocktails.

With Hot Cakes Capitol Hill also promising a greater emphasis on booze than its Ballard counterpart, E Olive Way will also grow a little more cocktail and beer-soaked from pinball bar John John’s Gameroom, Pie Bar and the Speckled and Drake at its base up to Tommy Gun and CC Attle’s, with old timer The Crescent and Clever Dunne’s in the middle. Add The Saint and the Montana-Hillside-Revolver trio plus the tipsy E Olive Way Starbucks. And drink.

Meanwhile, the area’s food and drink investments continue. While Liberty food truck and couch-friendly sibling Good Citizen appears to be taking its own sweet time opening, work continues to transform a former nightclub into new Chinese restaurant Zhu Dang.

Meanwhile in the meanwhile, it’s apparently something called Seattle Sweet Week which is actually only four days which actually features special $5 treats from a roster of Seattle dessert purveyors including Capitol Hill outlets of Cupcake Royale and locals like Hello Robin and High 5 Pie.

The full announcement on the coming soon Hot Cakes is below.

Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery
Second Location Coming to Capitol Hill in 2015

SEATTLE, September 17, 2014 — Autumn Martin, owner and chocolatier of Ballard’s beloved Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery, is thrilled to announce her second location. The new Hot Cakes will be located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood at 1650 East Olive Way, on the ground level of a new building where the iconic dessert cafe B&O Espresso stood for 36 years. Martin is shooting for an opening in the first quarter of 2015.

The 2,200 square-feet of space means more seating and an expanded retail area, plus a larger variety of milkshakes and cocktails! Hot Cakes will be making their very own ice cream in the new kitchen, both hard-pack and soft-serve. (There are plans for smoked chocolate ice cream!) Martin is thrilled about the new space, and plans to create a more hands-on, immersive dessert experience in the Capitol Hill shop.

There will be 50 seats inside and 25 outside on a covered patio. The patio will offer year-round seating, complete with a fire pit for roasting marshmallows! S’mores can happen inside too, with mini hibachi grills and complete s’mores kits available for gooey roasting enjoyment indoors.

The dining and retail space will be about double of that of the Ballard shop—there’ll even be a photo booth! A mezzanine over the kitchen will provide private event space for 24—and what goes together better than celebrations and molten cakes?

Hot Cakes will continue to serve award-winning Blue Star Coffee from the Methow Valley, and the savory and pastry menu will be very similar to the Ballard shop’s offerings. The Ballard kitchen will remain the main production kitchen, though cakes for the Capitol Hill shop will be whipped up onsite, as well as all the ice cream.

Martin is so excited to bring her handmade organic treats to Capitol Hill, and looks forward to opening the doors!

Opened in May of 2012 by Autumn Martin, Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery is a fun and unique dessert restaurant and brand of high quality, organic desserts. While the molten chocolate cakes have earned Martin a devoted following, Hot Cakes offers many other swoon-inducing desserts such as: milkshakes (boozy and otherwise,) to-die-for cookies, bread pudding, and tarts, as well as savory bites and cocktails. The restaurant also features a production kitchen and a retail shop that showcases the innovative confections, caramel sauces, and take-and-bake molten chocolate cakes that keep guests coming back. Hot Cakes’ mission is to inspire and please – one delicious, creative, and organic dessert at a time.

Hot Cakes is open Monday through Friday from 11am to 11pm and until 12am on Friday. Saturdays the shop is open from 10am to 12am and Sundays 10am to 11pm. Happy Hour isMonday through Friday from 3pm to 6pm. For more information, call 206.420.3431. To learn more or order Hot Cakes products online, visit

Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery is located at 5427 Ballard Avenue NW in Seattle, Washington.

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21 thoughts on “Hot Cakes to open Capitol Hill ‘cakery’ where B&O Espresso once stood” -- All CHS Comments are held for moderation before publishing

  1. – Novelty, fad-of-the-moment dessert.
    – Boozy Shakes (oh so hipster!)
    – “cakery”
    – Replacing Capitol Hill institution.
    – “there’ll even be a photo booth” – Mustaches and oversized glasses props, please!!

    • I mean, look at what has populated all the new retail spaces that have opened up. Coffee shops next to other coffee shops, gyms, something called World of Beer, banks, uninspired restaurants. It’s kind of cool to see a local business going for it in that space and in this neighborhood that has increasingly seemed like a place that only Office Max can afford. B&O was an institution and is missed, but it isn’t fair to say that Hot Cakes is trying “replace” it and therefore loses a point. Like sand through the hourglass, so are the days of our Capitol Hill commerce.

  2. It is unlawful to: Tether an animal in such a manner as to permit the animal to enter any sidewalk, street, alley or place open to the public, or to enter any adjacent lot or premises. (Seattle Municiple Code 9.25.084)

      • It is not okay if the business says so. That refers to situations where a dog can enter onto an adjacent property not under ownership by the person who tethered the dog if the owner of the adjacent property says it’s okay. It is unlawful to: Tether an animal in such a manner as to permit the animal to enter any sidewalk, street, alley or place open to the public.

      • Garbage? It looks like the business offers a nice variety of tasty things….and anything in moderation is OK. You sound like the “food police.”

        Welcome to Capitol Hill, Hot Cakes! I’ll definitely be checking you out.

  3. This is going to be a great addition. Love this place. They always have a generous coupon in the Chinook book for those who are complaining about prices.

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