As a plan to create a pedestrian only area in Pike/Pine’s nightlife zone moves forward, an equally audacious machination in an entirely different gear is also being readied for the two-block radius.
Rancho Bravo’s drive-thru is a “go.”
“I want to make sure the pedestrians and people in the cars are safe,” Rancho’s Freddy Rivas tells CHS.
Sometime likely in June, the not-so-new feature at the six-year-old Mexican joint will swing back into action. The signs are being painted, the menu boards and ordering intercom box have been in place all along.
The drive-thru is likely to instantly become a nightlife magnet on scale with the ultimately doomed Broadway Jack in the Box…
The drive-thru is likely to instantly become a nightlife magnet on scale with the ultimately doomed Broadway Jack in the Box which sometimes required SPD traffic control at the height of its weekend business hours. If Mix were rapping in the early 2000s, he might have made a different choice. Meanwhile, Capitol Hill, like any good American neighborhood, has a good history of food and cars intertwined.
Now, Rancho will suddenly become the only operating drive-thru restaurant in Seattle’s core. The Pike/Pine scene already attracts plenty of cruisers despite a slow go on clogged Friday and Saturday night roads. Expect a scene.
“First, we have to have enough people,” Rivas said of the logistics of opening what he believes will be a new feature that will significantly increase sales volumes at the restaurant. “We are ramping up.”
Rivas said there isn’t much left to be done to prepare the drive-thru component to become fully operational. The old fast food chain restaurant’s lane is still in place and has been used as employee parking. Rivas said he is also planning to add driveway mirrors to help make the entrance and exit safer for drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. The restaurant at the corner of 10th and Pine across from Cal Anderson is open seven days a week starting at 10:30 AM, stays open until 10:30 PM on Sunday through Tuesday, midnight on Wednesday and Thursday, and 3 AM on Friday and Saturday nights.
Reactivating the drive-thru has been a goal for Rivas from the day he opened the affordable and muy auténtico Rancho Bravo on Capitol Hill in the converted KFC in spring 2009. Despite Pike/Pine’s designation as a pedestrian zone, the fast food chain’s parking lot and drive-thru was passed along to Rancho Bravo as a continued use of the facilities.
CHS asked the Department of Planning and Development for more information about the drive-thru but we were told they would need more time to review the situation. A few years back when we first learned about Rivas’s drive-thru ambitions, a DPD spokesperson told CHS that because Rancho Bravo had begun operations on the property within a year of KFC parent Tricon Global’s exit, the continued use of the drive-thru was allowed. In the meantime, any other neighborhood businesses that might want to add a new drive-thru of their own are out of luck.
The Seattle Department of Transportation, meantime, told CHS that drive-thrus are a DPD issue. And the state liquor board told CHS that Rancho’s liquor license doesn’t mean it can’t also operate a drive-thru. But, no, you can’t buy beer.
The move continues a series of investments and improvements Rivas has had planned for Rancho Bravo’s E Pine location and is now putting in place now that it appears the development eventually planned for the corner has been moved, at least for now, to the backseat. Now, He’s busy preparing for an exciting summer at the popular restaurant.
“My goal is for this to run smoothly and positive,” Rivas said.