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Capitol Hill food+drink | Big in B.C., Meat and Bread closing on Capitol Hill

There is more cold, hard news for daytime food and drink business on the edges of Pike/Pine. British Columbian sandwich shop Meat and Bread is pulling out of Capitol Hill.

Business owners and people familiar with the situation have told CHS that the shop is canceling orders and preparing to shut down. We have questions out to the Abbotsford-headquartered chain’s management about the closure but have not yet heard back. UPDATE: M&B’s Dave Neil tells CHS the last day for the Capitol Hill location is Saturday.

“We anticipated having a busier daytime rush there,” Neil said of the decision to close. He also said the company did consider trying later hours but decided it didn’t fit the model of being in place with a busy lunchtime rush to build off of. “The construction in the area really hurt us, also,” Neil said. “We’re sticking with what we’re good at.”

Meat and Bread’s troubles on the backside of Pike/Pine in E Seneca’s Central Agency building present another puzzle piece for business owners in the area attempting to crack the code on daytime food+drink strategies. Last week, the much-ballyhooed Chop Shop hurriedly closed its cafe doors citing challenges with daytime business and bad timing as the neighborhood surrounding the core E Pike row of bars and restaurants matures with new development, office space, and housing.

The small Canadian chain of sandwich shops landed on Capitol Hill in spring of 2014 inside the Central Agency project nestled alongside Lark’s new home and cluster of projects including its own sandwich play, Slab. The opening was part of a major wave of investment along E Union including Optimism Brewing’s purchase and conversion of an auto row-era showroom, a big new training facility and cafe for Metier bicycling, a Seattle beachhead for Portland-born Sizzle Pie, and a three-headed cow-based chimera including a cocktail bar, raw bar, and fancy steak joint from Renee Erickson.

It brought with it deliciously meaty sandwiches — and a daytime only business recipe that saw the Capitol Hill shop closing down for the day just as Pike/Pine nightlife was waking up. Meat and Bread’s South Lake Union location has fared better with the daytime strategy and appears to not be affected by the closure on E Seneca.

The closure might also pose a warning about investing on the southern frontier of Pike/Pine but the money doesn’t seem to indicate that. We’re aware of at least one major project just now moving forward in the middle of the E Union action plus smaller ventures like plant-based ice cream shop Frankie and Jo’s and Belgian waffle shop Sweet Iron set to open later this year.

Capitol Hill food+drink notes:

  • Gridiron-20160811-140634A big part of the E Pike food and drink scene with Lost Lake, the Comet, and Big Mario’s, Dave Meinert is making his next big investment somewhere around the 50-yard line. The entrepreneur announced this week that he’ll be filling the first floor restaurant and retail portions of the Gridiron condo project now under construction creating an 11-story preservation+mixed-use project on Occidental next to CenturyLink Field. Meinert says it is too early to reveal the specifics of his part in the project but promises “it won’t stray far from what I’ve done.” The project will preserve portions of the Seattle Plumbing Building and includes 107 planned condo units. It’s part of a big week for Meinert’s ranging business portfolio. His Torch NW marijuana venture’s Torch Waxx product is now under production and will be in storesTorch Waxx. Meanwhile, his Onto Entertainment management company is celebrating act the release of the Pete’s Dragon re-make featuring a track from The Lumineers. Wait a second… I thought this was a food and drink column…
  • Pike/Pine security workers and business owners met with the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and SPD this week to discuss worries about spiked drinks. Most short term tactics will probably be focused on awareness like signs and information. We’re told to expect more from the meeting as soon as the group is able to pull together a summary of the discussion.
  • With the announcement about Southpaw coming to 12th Ave, we asked Lark’s John Sundstrom the official CHS Pizza Question. Why pizza?
    “My chef brain shies away from the more commercial thing,” Sundstrom said. “At the same time it’s American! We’re also thinking about the Lark customer now, who tends to be older, established. Lark has never really been a place where students will go. We would love to be able to reach younger people.”
  • Catfish Corner. Back open (again) in the RB.
  • Capitol Hill’s Redwood bar. Still open.
  • Is it Rude to Dine with a Laptop? No.
  • Why Matt Dillon Didn’t Bring a Vitamix to Upper Bar Ferdinand
  • Poke on First Hill.
  • Stumptown closing its Seattle roastery below its 12th Ave cafe, blames coming Seattle U development.
  • L’Oursin and its ‘fruits de mer’ coming to the CD.
  • Corvus and Co. ready to 13962773_1374307909250182_2774403341833995940_njump into the Capitol Hill brunch sport, bringing its “Levantine-inspired” game:
    Chef Mac Jarvis has created an entirely new menu to excite the tastebuds of Seattleites. Similar to Corvus & Co’s dinner, the brunch menu is inspired by Levantine fare incorporated into traditional American dishes. “I wanted to elevate brunch beyond what you would expect without it being something you wouldn’t recognize,” Jarvis says “it is a menu that people would crave”. Items will range from a Challah French Toast with Honey Cream and Housemade Preserves to a Breakfast Shawarma made with Hash Browns, Piquillo Peppers and Eggs. Other options include a Shakshuka served in cast iron and Lamb Benedict served with Watercress and preserved Lemon Holly. For those with a sweet-tooth, Jarvis will also be offering a housemade Lemon Curd with Seasonal Fruit and Sweet Toast. The bar will be serving breakfast cocktails to accompany the meals including mimosas and bloody marys. Brunch will be served every Saturday and Sunday from 10am until 3pm after which we will continue our normal bar service until 2am and dinner service as usual. Corvus & Co. is 21+ and will remain so during brunch hours.
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13 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink | Big in B.C., Meat and Bread closing on Capitol Hill

  1. This place was probably built in one of the worst locations for a primarily lunch oriented restaurant. I was really surprised when they chose it. Either way it’s a shame because their food is quite good.

  2. Sandwiches were great but too few choices to make it a regular lunch spot and besides SU – who can’t afford it – where did they think the customers would come from. From my perspective lack of parking is what is killing all these places. Not enough people within walking distance and not enough parking day or night for anyone else. We no longer think if CH first.

  3. Chop Shop also owes its failure to a poor execution of under-baked ideas, along with haphazard staffing. Meat and Bread created a PR disaster on opening day of it’s SLU store, when they turned away homeless people with Free Sandwich Coupons in hand. These miserable attempts to ride the coattails of more creative businesses are not winning people over. Not to kick ’em when they’re down, but I’m glad to see that even during these good economic times, sketchy business owners like these are not succeeding. It’s refreshing to know that the consuming public can smell the inauthenticity. Amante, I really hope you’re next.

  4. Mediocre sandwiches and a non-existent lunch crowd. I called this place being a failure during their opening week. I’m surprised it lasted this long. How do you serve a sandwich without toasted bread?

  5. Is there supposed to be some amazing demand for business lunch coming around the corner? Because I just see a ton of new restaurants open and fewer and fewer offices in the immediate area.

    Both M&B and Chop Shop have blamed construction for lack of business, which is notable only because they are (were) both in buildings whose construction/restoration caused problems for other businesses in the area. Our development craze hasn’t topped out yet, but I wonder if we will see more finished buildings with empty storefronts, as entrepreneurs learn that a new building is only a desirable location if the rest of the block is already fully developed.

  6. How about opening a restaurant that has affordable meals such as Marination Station, U:Don, and Pho Tran Brothers for those living in the neighborhood that make below the $80k median income?

    We’re here- and we like to eat out too!

    I used to also work on the hill… and my go-to lunch place was Marination, because I could be fed for $5-7!!

  7. Glad I tried it once. On top of paying the insane rent these new spaces charge, you put yourself in an even worse position when you only open for lunch. Not that too many people would want to eat sandwiches for dinner and that’s another problem.

  8. I went a couple of times and liked it, but it was pretty heavy food to eat a lunch time. I felt more like taking a nap than going back to work afterward.