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Capitol Hill food+drink | Pike/Pine’s ‘massive development’ kills off Pike Street Fish Fry

hot fish now

When you come from a large family of successful siblings, expectations are high. Pike Street Fish Fry, the hole in the wall fish and other stuff you can fry and chips place wedged into Neumos and Moe Bar, quietly closed in November.

Its Neumos ownership took a swing at the relentless churn of ongoing development construction on 10th Ave on the way to shutting down the deep fryer for good:

After 2 years of disruption to our business due to massive development in our street, we decided to stop fighting the losses we were incurring  and take this time to temporarily close for a renovation and clean up. We will be using this time to revisit the the concept and space with fresh eyes and ideas with a plan to reopen the space when the construction is done or at least major projects subside.

Pike Street was opened in 2008 by a partnership involving some of the Neumos folks and food and drink “impresario” Michael Hebb and helped usher in a new era of low food brought high in Pike/Pine with local and fresh ingredients and surprisingly artful execution despite a lowbrow setting — the bar at Moe, for example. 

Michael Yuasa took over the business in 2009 but we’re not entirely sure how that ended up. The most recent business license lists a corporation including only the Neumos partners. In 2010, Pike Street was lined up to be part of a “little Seattle” strip in New York City but was replaced by a Caffe Vita in the project.

Whatever happens next in the 10th Ave at Pike space, the partners at this point in their careers have plenty of experience opening new food and drink ventures beyond their original Neumos stake. Mike Mekling partnered on the overhaul of 15th Ave E’s The Canterbury, for example, while Jason Lajeunesse’s latest restaurant project is 19th Ave E’s elevated pasta joint Ernest Loves Agnes.

Hebb, in the meantime, remains active in creating new food and drink experiences — including a small roster of “Over Dinner” concepts. Drugs Over Dinner provides “a toolkit to plan, host and moderate a conversation about drugs and addiction,” its website explains.

Neumos, Moe’s, and the subterranean Barboza appear to have survived the “massive development” issues that doomed the small restaurant. In 2014, they celebrated the 20th anniversary of Moe’s Mo’Roc’N Café“patient zero” in the spread of today’s Pike/Pine’s nightlife culture of music, drinks and good times. The live music and nightlife venue has a lease through 2024.

Capitol Hill food+drink notesIMG_4249

  • Tis the season for worried emails, txt messages, phone calls, and tweets to CHS about your favorite Capitol Hill food and drink venues that you haven’t really visited very much but are very worried about. With weird holiday hours and vacation closures, we get lots of notes in December about possible shutterings. So, when the plywood went up on Julia’s this week, we heard about it. “Why do people care about this stuff?” an exasperated Karsten Betd asked CHS when we called. Betd tells us Julia’s is doing window work after some recent vandalism necessitate the maintenance. The plan is to upgrade the glass to get a little more light inside and give the stage a better treatment for Julia’s drag shows. Julia’s, despite the seeming inevitability of eventual development of the block, still has plenty of time on its current lease, Betd says, and isn’t planning on going anywhere. As for you, you worried tipsters, Betd has a question. “Why the fuck don’t they come to brunch?”
  • BreakfastCloseup3Brunch options are coming to the Central District. First, Fat’s Chicken and Waffles will begin its brunch service this weekend:
    Chef Patrick Dours’ homemade gravy and biscuits are highlighted in several dishes on the menu. Standout items include: Fried Chicken Biscuit Sandwich, Biscuits & Andouille Gravy, Shrimp & Grits, and Beignets. Hangover cure beverages are also available (which can be served straight or with alcohol), such as Pedialyte, Caffe Vita coffee, and Bloody Marys. All brunch entrees are $8, and sides are $4.The new joint in the old Catfish Corner space at MLK and Cherry will be open for brunch from 9 AM to 3 PM every Saturday and Sunday.

  • Meanwhile, Madison just below 23rd is also getting in the game as Two Doors Down is also adding a brunch menu and hours:Two Doors Brunch
    We’re expanding our hours at Two Doors Down to include a neighborhood weekend brunch from 9 am to 1 pm, beginning on December 5th.  Our entire menu will be available for those who can’t pass up a burger, but we’re adding some traditional – and not so traditional – morning fare.  Anyone with a sweet tooth will love our ciderhouse donut holes – made on premise with gluten free ingredients (including regionally-sourced craft cider), dusted with cinnamon sugar, and served warm with ginger-apple butter and our own jam.  Folks who want a more substantial breakfast can choose our breakfast sandwich (think fried egg, bacon and our signature hop-garlic mayo), corn griddle pancakes, French toast or the ultimate hangover halter – The Breakfast Poutine, made with southern-style white gravy, crumbled bacon, and loads of cheese curds.   Beer and mimosas will be available at open and we’re also serving bottomless mugs of Stumptown coffee, fresh OJ, and hot tea for those who require more than a breakfast IPA in order to jump-start the day.   The Seahawks take on the Vikings on Sunday, December 6th at 10 am and we’ll have the game on both TVs.  Go Hawks!!
  • The Central District also has a new happy hour option. Eric Banh’s whole cow-inspired Seven Beef has unleashed its happy hour:
    In true steakhouse fashion, the happy hour menu will feature $7 old-school drinks: pick a Martini, Manhattan, Collins, or Old Fashioned—and they’re all customizable: vodka or gin, rye or bourbon, so on. Pick your poison. And in true Seattle fashion, the happy hour menu also has a bottle of Rainier and a shot of Heaven Hill Bonded Bourbon for $7. As for food, there’s a burger and fries, a platter of seven oysters, moules frites, French onion soup, roasted bone marrow, a house made beef sausage, and a cheese plate—all for $7 each. The burger is served with caramelized onions, Gruyere cheese, and aioli.
  • Jason Stratton debuts on Top Chef Wednesday night. There’s a watch party at Two Doors sibling Bottleneck Lounge. Meanwhile, a little PR ripple is following the Hillebrity chef to hype the show. UpdateMichael Lee tells us Saint John’s is showing the two night premier also. Starts at 10 PM.
  • Happy three years to Stratton’s Mamnoon.
  • Happy one year anniversary to much-celebrated Stateside which opened on E Pike in icy November 2014.
  • Buried in this piece on pot zoning: Full Tilt’s Capitol Hill construction almost ready to get started.
  • You can buy Marjorie’s fried plantains in stores.
  • Guess you won’t need to go to U Village any more. Din Tai Fung coming to Pacific Place.


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15 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink | Pike/Pine’s ‘massive development’ kills off Pike Street Fish Fry

  1. Julia’s Karsten Betd should be delighted that people do care about their establishment and express concern when they see construction boarding up instead of exasperating ““Why do people care about this stuff?” A smart manager would have put up a sign telling people what is going on, how to get in, and to pardon the appearance and apologize for any inconvenience. That’s just good business.

  2. “After 2 years of disruption to our business due to massive development in our street, we decided to stop fighting the losses we were incurring and take this time to temporarily close for a renovation and clean up. We will be using this time to revisit the the concept and space with fresh eyes and ideas with a plan to reopen the space when the construction is done or at least major projects subside.”

    Am I misunderstanding something or is Pike Street Fish Fry only closing until construction is completed?

    • I was thinking the same thing – that notice doesn’t sound like they’re gone, just that they’re renovating. Which is something they’ve needed for *years*, IMO.

      • Maybe they can use those months to give this place a good scrub. I’m not squeamish in the least, but I stopped going because it was getting gross in there, not because of the construction…

  3. That’s the sign of a failed business when they blame their own problems on development, parking, etc, especially when they are the only closure and the other businesses are thriving.

  4. Hello Betd? Here’s why I don’t come to Julia’s for brunch. The food is not very good. I’ve been served multiple terrible meals at your restaurant. It’s nice for a drink, and I’m sure the diva show is fun though.

    • Thank you. That’s why– the food is just crappy. Even breakfast is devoid of taste. It’s pretty much a common opinion, the food blows.

      • Agreed. I’ve eaten there a few times (on dates and in groups) and each time the food was mediocre, the wait staff non-existent, and it was overpriced.

    • Bedt’s comments seem very disdainful of his customers. I agree with the above posters as to why people don’t go there. I have to wonder why Julia’s is still in business.

      • I actually like Julia’s…The drinks are pretty decent and the shows are excellent. But the food is definitely secondary. It’s a nice environment though, so with a bit of fine-tuning it could rock.

    • A couple of years ago I bought a VIP ticket For Lady Bunny’s show there. The VIPs got a “front row” seat in three rows on either side of the catwalk. We were in folding chairs and my knees were in the back of the person in front of me and the person behind me had his knees in my back and we were all unable to move because it was too packed. Since we were VIPs I expected to get drink service, but no. The four servers ONLY served the folks in the regular seating section that were sitting comfortably in real chairs. I literally climbed over six people in the middle of the show (no intermission, not Julia’s fault) I went home a block away (having never been served a drink for an hour) took two shots of tequila and went back and climbed over the people to get back to my seat. I’ll never go there for a show ever again and the “VIP” experience was a complete waste of money due to our abhorrent treatment. Why don’t I go to brunch there? Because I’ve never had a good experience during any visit.

  5. Hooray for brunch at Fat’s! I really liked their chicken and waffles, but it seemed a little expensive, for me and probably a lot of our neighbors. I’m looking forward to trying out the brunch, especially since I’m still mourning the loss of our beloved Judkins Street Cafe.

  6. I used to eat at Fish Fry weekly, until the quality took nose dive and the place became scuzzier and scuzzier. The last time I ate there a month or so ago after a long reprieve, I vowed never again. The construction was the least of their problems.

  7. Fish Fry’s issue was they hired a bunch of hill rats that gave free food and booze to all of their friends. There’s no way you can stay in business doing that. Hire a competent manager and people that aren’t trying to fit into a scene on the hill and your business will be fine. Fish Fry will be missed.