The Oasis Tea Zone has — finally — expanded to Capitol Hill.
“I’ve been trying to get in to Capitol Hill for over 10 years,” I-Miun Liu tells CHS. “I guess prematurely I said yes.”
The E Pine Oasis bubble tea shop opened this week — two years and two days after CHS first wrote about the project taking shape.
Liu said a regular Oasis customer offered him the space in 2014 and he couldn’t pass it up — even if he wasn’t ready to build.
“To me this was my one chance at Capitol Hill,” he said. “I rode it out for so long.”
At the time, Liu was working to open Eastern Cafe in Chinatown. A cascade of delays put the project far over budget and repeatedly pushed back the Capitol Hill opening.
Though he was concerned about the early proposals, Seattle’s march to a $15 minimum wage wasn’t part of the delay. In 2014, during the infancy of the $15 minimum wage law debate, Liu said an immediate jump to $15 wage would cripple his businesses. “The phase-in helped a lot,” he said. “The time frame has been critical.”
In the end, Liu said the two year pause was worth it, giving him time to come back to Capitol Hill with a stronger footing and more resources to put into designing the space that has transformed what was once a video rental store. The new shop neighbors Fogon, Rudy’s, Stumptown, and Capitol Loans. Across the street is R Place and Suika.
Hours for now are 11 AM to midnight every day — no plans for late night hours here, yet.
The space might be the most elegant and fully designed of the now four Oasis locations. A rocket man art installation, created by Electric Coffin, fills the back wall.
Liu said the shop will expand to Asian-inspired desserts and loose teas in a collaboration with his sister’s Ballard tea shop, Miro Tea.
Liu said his opening day went off without a hitch and the nighttime crowd, including many regulars from the International District location, nearly filled the shop.
“A lot of people who knew that we were about to open were excited to see us,” he said.
Oasis Capitol Hill is located at 606 E Pine. You can lear more at facebook.com/oasiscapitolhill.
Rocket Fizz Broadway is now open across the street from Capitol Hill Station.
We told you about the soda pop and candy shop earlier this year:
Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Shops offers one of the largest and craziest selections of glass-bottled soda pops and retro candies for sale in America