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Capitol Hill food+drink | Project from The Lodge Sports Grille lined up for Charlie’s old space on Broadway

(Images: The Lodge Sports Grille)

(Images: The Lodge Sports Grille)

The mystery of the new tenant lined up for the longtime Broadway home of Charlie’s appears to have been solved.

According to a person familiar with the deal, The Lodge Sports Grille is in the middle of a refurbishment of the space that was home to Ken Bauer’s legendary Capitol Hill restaurant for nearly 40 years before its closure this summer.

CHS wrote about the speculation surrounding the space as a new tenant was lined up and work began to spruce up the dusty old Charlie’s surroundings. “There will be something good coming out in the next 30 days,” building owner Johnny Limantzakis told CHS.

Limantzakis nor the Lodge has confirmed the deal with CHS. We’ll update if we hear back. UPDATE: General manager Ben Rhodes said his restaurants are happy to be part of what comes next in the Charlie’s space and that the new project will be loyal to the space’s past. The restaurant won’t be a “Lodge Sports Grille,” however. We’ll have to wait to find out what the name will be closer to opening — definitely before the end of the year, Rhodes said.

Other details are also under wraps for now but Rhodes said the hope is to be as true as possible to Charlie’s past. “We’re not going to try to reinvent the wheel,” Rhodes said. “Maybe a spoke or two.”

Original report: A Broadway location will be The Lodge Sports Grille’s seventh in the Seattle area. It will next open a new grille in Greenwood, currently under construction. The small chain has spread rapidly from its start in Mukilteo:

The Lodge Sports Grille is a family run business and all that that implies. It started in early 2007, as cliche as it sounds, on a napkin over cocktails at a waterfront restaurant in Mukilteo, WA. Shawn Roten was a contractor that dreamt up and built high end homes in the greater Seattle area. When the market crashed in 2008, the business had to evolve. He and his wife, Elizabeth Stewart, decided to use their experience in the construction industry to build a bar, under the impression that in a recession, beer sells better than houses.

The first Lodge Sports Grille opened in 2010.

Here’s how the company describes its approach to building out its spaces — Charlie’s sounds like an ideal candidate:

It starts with a space, usually with a previous life and use. We gut it, leaving only the bones. From there it begins. We map out the floorplan on site, taking into careful consideration consumer and staff circulation, comfort, and efficiency. We then bring in truckloads, yes truckloads, of wood from our favorite mill located up north in Oso, WA. We find the rarest solid black walnut slabs, heavy timber beams, raw wide-plank flooring that will be milled later on site, and our favorite, the Alaskan cedar planks.

"From the beginning The Lodge has been a family operation.  With seven kids all playing a role, Owner Shawn Roten, his wife, Owner Beth Stewart, and her brother, Owner David Louthain have established this company on the principles of family. We are not a large corporate entity providing what we think the customer wants, we are a local business providing the service and quality the customer deserves." (Image: The Lodge Sports Grille)

“From the beginning The Lodge has been a family operation. With seven kids all playing a role, Owner Shawn Roten, his wife, Owner Beth Stewart, and her brother, Owner David Louthain have established this company on the principles of family. We are not a large corporate entity providing what we think the customer wants, we are a local business providing the service and quality the customer deserves.” (Image: The Lodge Sports Grille)

On the menu, food includes “everything from the classic comfort foods of a hearty burger or hearty beef stew to dishes that rival the finest of fine dining throughout the Pacific NW” while drink focuses on craft beer. “Each location has a different lineup with Mukilteo boasting 41 beers on tap, Downtown & Mill Creek with 48, Kirkland with 56, and Stadium with 70 beers on tap.” By our calculations based on the Lodge’s rate of beer addition, Broadway should be on pace to sport around 230 taps.

Unlike other large commercial spaces on Broadway that have remained without tenants for months and sometimes years as owners apparently speculate in a peculiar form of “high-rent blight,” the former home of Charlie’s will not be sidelined for long.

The large restaurant and bar space sits on a mid-Broadway block that’s poised for plenty of foot traffic when the Capitol Hill light rail station opens down the street in early 2016 along with 418 apartment units, community spaces and new retailers to open in the following years. Meanwhile, for those of you scoring at home (or even if you’re alone), Capitol Hill’s sports bar game is mixed so far in 2015 with the addition of rookie Kessler’s on E Olive Way, the end of regulation for Auto Battery on E Union, and the ticking game clock of planned development for 95 Slide. Meanwhile, hall of famer Bill’s Off Broadway is back on the field, returning to its revamped home inside new, preservation-friendly construction at Harvard and Pine.

Bauer helped open Charlie’s in 1976, taking it over in 2000 after the restaurant’s namesake owner passed away. As the end of the lease agreement approached five years ago, Bauer started looking to sell but found no buyers. CHS broke the bittersweet news of Bauer’s long-awaited retirement and Charlie’s closing in June.

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45 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink | Project from The Lodge Sports Grille lined up for Charlie’s old space on Broadway

  1. Sounds like a great use of the space and a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Great to have a local company using local materials to do the build out.

  2. I too have lived here long enough to remember Godfathers Pizza, Burger King, Taco Bell, Gap, etc. on Broadway. I welcome this local family owned business to our hood and will pay them a visit when they have opened.

      • I actually think what Broadway DOES need now is a few more down-to-earth stores that sell “things”, that everyone needs (and yes, chains would be fine). I think we’re all set on high-end restaurants with “small plates” and “craft cocktails”. *gag*

      • People freaked when Office Depot opened. I kinda miss Fred Meyer. They had a good assortment of housewares and supplies on the cheap. Although the back bottom QFC is similar, its not the same or as robust as FM.

      • I would be thrilled, because that would mean an affordable place to buy some shoes.

        And yes, I was here when Payless was on that corner.

        The “sameness” that is so odious now is a higher end version of same. I wouldn’t count this local family-owned chain part of that, though. At least, I’m willing to see what they bring.

    • People here really hate the middle- and working-classes, despite paying lip service to bemoaning their loss. How can you tell they hate them? Those groups are the ones who shop at all of these “horrible” chains. They’re not the ones wanting vegan artisan toast or cheap PBR and “loud industrial and techno” in a bar.

      • For real. I am so torn when it comes to my love of food because I eat out at a lot of the foo foo fancy pants places but I am constantly lamenting the inability to find anything great in the 6-9 dollar range that isn’t ‘fast food’ (missing villa escondida so hard, so glad they’re close to work). I know that my continued desire to eat like a french monarch crowds out opportunities for cheaper places. But for all the consumer goods and clothing give me cheap gauche shit, I don’t care.

    • If you don’t remember “Clickerdaggers, Biggerstaffs, & ? ” (at the SE corner of John & Broadway), then you are not an “old-timer.”

      I don’t remember the exact name of the place, but it was very popular.

      • It was Boondocks, Sundeckers and Greenthumbs and it was on the northern end of Broadway, in the space that was the Mexican restaurant that perished in an arson fire and may now be a Tex-Mex place, kind of across the street from where the Jade Pagoda was. I think it was owned by Jerry Kingen, but I could be wrong. It was a great place to buy cocaine, as was The Broadway down the street.

      • Yes, of course you’re right about Boondocks…etc.

        I think the place at the SE corner of Broadway & John was “Lion O’Reilly’s and BJ Monkeyshines.”

      • Those names remind me of being a kid and my mom taking me out for dinner on Broadway. What was the really fancy place on, I think Olive, with the piano? Was it Henry’s?

      • The place on the corner or Broadway and John was BJ Monkeyshines … I think that was the entire name. The Clinker whatever place was a suburban chain and I think there was one on a “lake” in Bellevue that was probably fake

      • I believe that “Clinkerdagger, Bickerstaff & Pitts was a English-style nice restaurant in Edmonds from the 70’s through the early 80’s. The space at the SE corner of John & Broadway was: the original Pagliacci restaurant (before their pizza chains), The Rock Hard (they got sued), and Lion O’Reilly (with the neon monkey in a tree throwing a coconut at a lion). At the end it was Perfect Copy.

      • Thanks for jogging my (failing) memory….I think you’re right that it was Lion O’Reilly. But wasn’t there an oddly-named restaurant in the 600 block of Broadway E?….where Rooster’s is now…maybe that was the “clinkerdagger etc” place I’m thinking of.

  3. Anyone have recommendations for places to drink if you’re a total fucking delinquent, hate sports, like loud Punk/Industrial/Techno on the soundsystem, couldn’t possibly give two shits about how well crafted your cocktail is, and like bartenders that will give people shit for being assholes?

    Asking for a friend.

  4. complain all you want- it is never going to stop expanding- at least broadway will have more places to eat. The bum control in this city is terrifying though now. Go fix it :)

  5. could have been worse, I guess, but not really happy to have Capitol Hill just added to their list of locations: Mulilteo, Mill Creek, Downtown, Kirkland, and “Stadium.”

    Who knows, maybe it’ll settle down with a little local personality and age well. Right now it looks like it just came out of the box.

  6. i remember the GAP, and METRO MAN, and GRAVITY BAR, the old city-type FRED MEYERS and BAILY COY books (across the street), and when the Broadway Market WAS an actual “Market” of a variety of stores, card shops, photo development, jewelry, pastries and coffee, movie theaters and SO MUCH MORE. Broadway from 1989-1995 had something for EVERYONE… the wealthy, the poor and the in-between. There were FAR more places to pick up a birthday or anniversary gift, or grab something for yourself OR your home. Now, it’s either consignment stores — which i still LOVE — or restaurants/cafes, grocery stores or banks not much else.
    I think my bottom line is this… change is inevitable, this is all we know for sure… but HOW things change, this is where i feel we all (including me) need to be more active on community boards, councils and at public hearings to VOICE our opinions on businesses that are “wishing” to move in, PRIOR to them doing so. Oh, that’s right, we don’t always get to do that either…
    I don’t have the answers… i just wish there was more variety… but, alas, with AMAZON, who needs to shop outside a computer? guess all we need are food establishments… uhg :(

    • I’m so in agreement with you veggiemama. I started coming up to the hill in ’96 and remember so many of places. I remember walking down the street, holding my teen bf’s hand. Going up to Volunteer Park until closing, then walking down Broadway and enjoying myself. It was also a time where we had QPatrol and we all had to watch our backs. But not, it is a quite different Hill from what I remember. Most of my friends that have been up here for almost 2 decades can absolutely agree on. Thanks for your sentiment :)

  7. The Lodge is home to high priced shitty burgers and overpriced, carefully measured drinks in Mill Creek and elsewhere on the Eastside.

    I predict a short and unhappy time for them in the old Charlies.