The developers of the six-story apartment building getting ready to open along E Olive Way at Belmont had hoped that the corner’s much-loved resident B&O Espresso would return to its longtime address when the new construction was complete. Last month, CHS reported that Ballard-born “cakery” Hot Cakes is instead making 2015 opening plans for the space. But you have a chance to help bring B&O Espresso back.
The original owners and a new partnership are teaming to recreate the B&O in the former home of another “old Seattle” institution — well off the Hill.
There is a crowdsourced funding campaign to help bring back the B&O as a 1st Ave Parisian cafe, bakery, bar and restaurant:
Help from the community will allow the B&O to remain a part of Seattle’s cultural history, both past and present. The CSC loan will assist in re-opening the B&O as a cafe, bakery, full-service French restaurant and bar in the equally iconic Frontier Room space in Belltown at 1st and Blanchard.
The B&O represents Seattle’s history and unique coffee culture. Providing Seattle with espresso since 1976, the B&O would become a community meeting place for the artistic, creative and entrepreneurial spirits who would later put Seattle on the map. By re-opening the B&O and preserving its identity as a Seattle cultural landmark, we can give the community an opportunity to preserve these important social establishments and draw inspiration from them for years to come. It shows we can come together to value people and culture over commercial pursuits.
The B&O represents so many aspects of Seattle’s original culture… all in a coffee cup! By re-opening the B&O, we celebrate the history of that culture and provide a positive foundation for the expression of next generations.
The $20,000 campaign will help boost the project from Jane and Majed Lukatah and their new partners, Chelsea Loving tells CHS. Loving said she was part of the crew back in the good old days at the B&O before leaving the city. She’s returned to Seattle and is now part of the partnership working to create the new venture. The Lukatahs — downshifting after their decision to shutter a transplanted B&O in Ballard last year — will be part of the day to day at the new Belltown B&O. Jane will take on a consultation role for the kitchen’s cakes and pastries while Loving says you’ll find Majed working the front as host.
Loving said the project had been in talks to return to E Olive Way but ultimately the group decided the costs of building out a new space and the high rent wasn’t worth it. B&O Espresso had called the corner home from 1976 to 2012 before being displaced by the planned six-story development.
Now, she says, the B&O partners have a chance to save two important pieces of Seattle culture at once.
“I’m from Seattle and I see all of these iconic places closing,” she said. “It’s really about preserving the culture and history of Seattle.”