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Charlie’s to ‘reopen’ on Broadway

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 2.57.48 PMThe owners behind The Lodge Sports Grille have announced two pieces of good news about their project to bring Charlie’s back to life on Broadway. One, it will, indeed, be called Charlie’s. And Two, it’s set to open later this month according to the announcement posted to

We walked into the historic brick building after the last drinks had been poured and the customers had gone home. It was a place we had visited regularly in its prime, just as many of our fellow Seattleites had. A place that was well worn in with dark corner booths, friendly service and hearty breakfasts that lasted all day and night. The crevices were piled high with eclectic memorabilia and knick-knacks, accumulated through out the thirty years of business. As we stood there, impressed by the unique charm and the must of the old carpet, we knew what had to be done.

In a city that is evolving at an unbelievable pace, we had to save the character. So, in honor of Seattle’s quirky spirit, Charlie’s will stay Charlie’s.

Although changes have been made, the finished product is undoubtedly a version of the original. When you step back into this Broadway icon you will find that the old carpet has been pulled out, the architectural details restored, the look refreshed and the menu revised. However, fret not, somethings haven’t changed. You will still find an inviting kitschy atmosphere, friendly neighborhood quality service, pool tables, pull tabs, all of the pieces of memorabilia and their stories that come along with it.

As the new owners and operators of the business, we aim to stay loyal to the bar’s established identity while keeping the business relevant in this city’s competitive restaurant scene.

Charlie’s on Broadway is slated to re-open its doors on Black Friday, November 27th, 2015 at 4pm. It will be a celebration, not only to pay respect to the last thirty years, but to kick off the next. We will see you there!

CHS reported in August on the project set to take over the old Charlie’s space after the original shuttered this summer after four decades of business. Lodge Sports general manager Ben Rhodes said his restaurants were happy to be part of what comes next in the Charlie’s space and that the new project would be loyal to the restaurant’s past.

Ken 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.

The small Lodge Sports Grille 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.

Though Bauer was unable to sell his business, it’s not clear if we was ultimately successful in selling the name to the new owners. We’ve asked the company for more information about the transaction.

As it reopens later this month, Charlie’s will have been closed for just over 150 days. We stopped by in late June to say goodbye.

Looks like on November 27th, it’s time to say welcome back.


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46 thoughts on “Charlie’s to ‘reopen’ on Broadway

  1. I’m happy to see a larger food/drink opening that isn’t spearheaded by Meinert/Lajeunesse.

    I hope the changes are less extensive than, say, the Comet – they retained the branding and visual aesthetic, yet it’s a shadow of its former character.

    • yeah, I agree. I value the new comet for what it is, but I definitely prefer the old. and don’t get me started on the canterbury. Please let the “new charlies” not be terrible!

  2. yeah. i hate it when things change. things should never change. and people who decide to try to salvage things that people don’t want changed, yet for some reason didn’t patronize enough that they had to change, are the problem.

  3. Win all around! Thanks and kudos to the new owners for seeing the potential in picking up a piece of Capitol Hill history, giving it a much needed refresh, and running with it. I can confidently say the future of Broadway just got a lot less sterile!

    • While I don’t have much against the Lodge, despite it being a vastly growing, albeit local, chain, sterility is very apparent if you walk into their other locations. I don’t want to fault them before they open, but I’m not too confident the location will keep its charm.

      That said, their beer selection is pretty nice and their food is decent. Nice place to go before a Sounders game if the King St. Bar is too crowded.

  4. I’m not much of a bar/restaurant goer, but I once went to a bar on Broadway where each table/booth was surrounded by heavy velvet drapes, and I can’t remember where it was- was that Charlie’s? Do I have to surrender my cap Hill residence for not knowing and loving Charlie’s?

      • I’ve been here just short of 20 years now and all that time I’ve heard people refer to it as Cap Hill. Where does this self-righteous indignance come from of late about people calling it “Cap Hill”? And why is “The Hill” ok, but Cap Hill isn’t? Especially since Seattle also has Beacon Hill, First Hill, Queen Anne Hill, Crown Hill? CAPHILL is right next to FIRST Hill, but somehow Capitol Hill is “THE” Hill? Self-absorbed, much? What a stupid non-issue to get snitty about.

      • Ermm.. I think you are vastly mistaken in your indignation When I graduated from High school in Lynnwood in 1991 it was Cap Hill, Captial Hill, and occasionally “The Hill”. If you believe otherwise, then you surrounded yourself with a very select group of people, who never spoke to anyone out side their circle. Or only read the Stranger for you local news. (Not that that’s a big problem, the Stranger is a good paper, but not the only source)

        “Cap Hill” Is perfectly acceptable as is “Pill Hill” for First Hill. Hipster cranks should just be quiet.

      • I agree. Cap Hill is the equivalent of saying “Frisco” to San Fran. 100% Bridge and Tunnel!! I don’t know why but I detest the phrase Cap Hill.

      • Jim, I agree that it’s a non-issue….people can call it what they want. But, and I realize I’m playing one-up on you here, I have lived on Capitol Hill for 39 years, and in Seattle all my life….and I have not once heard “cap hill” used.

      • Of course you are right, nobody says it in *conversation*. It’s just online commenting. And hey– all you have to do is tell me that it’ll piss off hipsters, and you’ve got a recipe for me doing it more. I’ll worry what a bunch of self-absorbed hipsters think of when they “Pay. My. Bills.”. .

    • You are thinking of Bleu Bistro, which moved around the corner but I think they lost the drapes.

      Also, I too grew up in the area and definitely remember it being referred to as “Cap Hill” for many years. AnytimeI hear someone denounce that I assume they are an early 20-something that recently moved here, yet wants to sound like they know what’s cool and what isn’t.

    • A good indicator of who I would and wouldn’t be friends with is whether or not said person gets overly involved in non-issues, such as what the neighborhood I’ve lived in for decades is referred to. Call it whatever the hell you want, and steer clear of people that think their nomenclature is ‘the one’. Geez!

      Now, in reference to the original post and the velvet drapes, that was Bleu Bistro, which is now the tea shop (can’t remember the name) near the corner of Broadway and John. Bleu Bistro is now Bleu Grotto on John across from Rite Aid. I like the new place, but the move cost Bleu it’s awesome, qwirky (sp?) character.

    • Sounds like you’re thinking of Bleu Bistro. That was my favorite place to go for quiet small group drinks or dates. When the owner lost the lease, he opened Bleu Grotto, which lacks much of the charm and I find myself pretty meh about. It’s not bad; it’s just not a place I find myself drawn to.

      Also, it can totally be Cap Hill. Screw the haters.

    • The restaurant you are thinking of was Bleu Bistro. They are closed now…BUT they have a place called Bleu Grotto which is run by the same people. Not all the tables have the same curtains, but some of them do. It’s on John just half a block west down from Broadway

    • I think it’s quite likely that there are some high-power negotiations going on behind the scenes….combining the Broadway Grill space with the property immediately to the north, demolishing all of that and building something new. I’m just guessing, though….time will tell.

    • the Broadway Grill space sat empty for years before BG opened, so I’m not surprised it’s remained vacant. That being said, I’ll bet there’s a lot of merit to the idea that they’ll tear the whole block down and put up a multi-story building in its place.

  5. “As the new owners and operators of the business, we aim to stay loyal to the bar’s established identity while keeping the business relevant in this city’s competitive restaurant scene.”

    People did not LOVE the smell of the place… people loved the 5 dollar special! That paragraph tells me… the place still smells but you are going to pay 10 dollars more for everything!

    • Gosh, those bloody mary’s were great on a hung over Sunday morning. Along with some greasy food and a huge booth in the back to fit all your hungover friends :) Though the place did smell disgusting!

  6. Pepper Pot Soup and Monte Cristo sandwiches should be in the menu, but please, don’t combine the two items. That’d be nasty.

  7. We’ll see if The Lodge somehow manages not to create another bland suburban-friendly space. I have my doubts. Old Charlies was a great go-to dive bar, and had many locals who were near-daily regulars. When these kinds of spaces close, it’s fairly difficult to quadruple the rent and start over.

  8. We’ll see how great the reunion is. I’m really glad they decided to keep Charlie’s and not turn it into a trendy, conceptualized, overpriced, eatery, like what’s been happening with every available space on Union St right now, but with property values skyrocketing and rent for retail space at a premium, will Charlie’s still be as affordable as it used to be? Will there still be (useful) happy hours, or are we getting yet another restaurant charging 18 bucks for a tiny plate of mediocre food? Will I be able to afford to drink in the bar, or will I have to sell body parts to afford a cocktail?

  9. Given that the new owners come from a ‘sports bar’ background, I fear that the new Charlie’s is in for a lot of big screen TVs. That would be a disaster!!!

  10. Three of us went their for brweakfast an the 1st Sunday opened, we were happy for the reopening, but will not eat their again until their menue changes, it was terrible, grant it they were still getting up and running, but the prices and food were not for us anymore. It’s the same everywheres you go, Gloo’s is good but always filled up, guess that says something.