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Capitol Hill food+drink | Aviv Hummus Bar coming to 15th Ave E


David Nussbaum is bringing silky-smooth, mouthwatering hummus and steamy hot pita to Capitol Hill.

Aviv Hummus Bar is planning to open on 15th Ave E this May.

Nussbaum has worked in the restaurant industry his entire adult life and after years of wanting to open a place of his own. Now he has finally locked down a location for his own project.

“I’m just at that point in my life where I just need to do this myself. I’m ready to be my own boss and share my vision with the rest of Seattle,” Nussbaum told CHS.

Aviv is Nussbaum’s middle name and means spring in Hebrew, which invokes thoughts of fresh and new that he hopes to bring to his restaurant.

Nussbaum has worked in restaurants serving all different types of cuisine but settled on focusing on perfected hummus for a couple of reasons.

His family is from Israel, and he often travels there to visit friends and family. Akin to Seattle’s coffee shops on every block, Israel has hummus bars.

“It’s more than just food to me. Hummus is a way of life,” Nussbaum said. “It’s a culture. It’s something that people share together they go out together to go out to enjoy hummus or they will when it comes to my restaurant.”

Hummus is a classic food perfect for the modern eater. It’s vegan, so friendly to different diets, but Nussbaum plans to cater some of his menu to omnivores as well.

In the U.S., Nussbaum said hummus is often considered a dip, but he said it’s better as a meal when it’s done right. Nussbaum’s hummus will be made traditionally from chickpeas but will feature different toppings for flavoring — herbs, spices, tahini, and more.

Keeping with the chickpea focus, Nussbaum will also be serving falafel. By narrowing his focus, Nussbaum said guests will be able to taste the attention that goes into each dish.

“A lot of restaurants will have every authentic item of a cuisine under the sun so that they can feature the whole spectrum, but it’s hard to put so much love and care into all of these items on a vast menu,” Nussbaum said.

Nussbaum expects the restaurant to serve a variety of Capitol Hill residents, from those looking to grab a quick bite for lunch to family and friends breaking pita together and sharing different hummus. Those looking to imbibe a bit will be able to choose from beer or wine.

The restaurant will feature bar seating where guests can watch Nussbaum make hummus and falafel as well as regular dining seating.

“For lunch, it might be a quick in and out, dinner might be sit and enjoy it for a little bit longer,” Nussbaum said.

Nussbaum’s restaurant is taking over Gyro Cafe’s old home next to the 15th Ave 7-11. Hassan Izem opened the gyro spot in 2011. Nussbaum is making some interior alterations to the cafe. After a long time of searching, Nussbaum said the space has a lot of what he was looking for.

While he was open to locations throughout the city, he really wanted to be on Capitol Hill and thinks 15th Ave hasn’t been as touched by change as much as the rest of the Hill.

“I think for what I’m trying to create, it’s just the perfect location,” Nussbaum said.

Aviv Hummus Bar is planned to open this May at 107 15th Ave E. You can learn more at

Capitol Hill food+drink notes by jseattle

  • Also lined up for 15th Ave, the Mediterranean flavors of Olive Tree will soon be available in the former Sur 16 spot.
  • C6U5eAdUoAEThYnE Madison’s BottleNeck Lounge opened around the time when CHS first started doing its thing — here’s our rather simple post about the party from March 2007. In 2015, the lounge’s sibling burger joint Two Doors Down opened next door. This weekend, the bar celebrates a decade of business with two nights of parties. Congratulations to owner Erin Nestor. And, no, I wouldn’t have guessed we would both be doing the same thing ten years later.
  • Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 10.40.54 AMThe new life for Moe Bar will be unveiled at a grand re-opening party for Neumos Wednesday night. Check out The Runaway:
    The name is a nod to the seminal band, The Runaways, and the spirit of Joan Jett. Embracing that spirit, the bar is designed in graphic black and white collaged images and satin black paint offset with rich wood tones, 70’s spaghetti lamps, basil green upholstery and plush tufted chairs and bar stools. The RUNAWAY is proud to feature installments by two of Seattle’s finest artists, photos from photographer Coco Foto and Jennifer Ament’s 80’s guitar print adorn the bar in a full wrap.Bonus: The newly arrived Capitol Hill Paseo is providing the food.
  • Also new for E Pike’s nightclub scene, the Capitol Lounge is open on the Comet block. The new club is sibling and neighbor to Ikina Sushi.
  • Rebooted Adana chef/owner Shota Nakajima is the latest Seattle talent to take on reality TV. He’ll appear on Iron Chef:16991558_10155150163209225_5507492866451668515_o
  • Who is Downtown Seattle’s New Diner? This article bothered the fuck out of CHS. For one, it strings together a few anecdotes from three restaurant owners to build up its flimsy takeaway, for two it has more of Tom Douglas throwing shade on the city and its supposed lack of support for his culinary ventures, and, for three, its third character is Matt Dillon who is somehow cast as a “downtown” restaurant player despite his businesses being focused on Hill and in Pioneer Square. And — fourthly! — Dillon says a few things we hope were mostly taken out of context:
    “When you have a tech person who stares at a computer all day—there’s no tactile reward, no end result you can see and feel,” reflects Matt Dillon, the James Beard Award winning owner of six bars/restaurants, including Sitka and Spruce. “You’re not talking, you’re not touching. But when you go to a restaurant, it’s sensual, it’s nurturing.” All about talking and touching, Dillon says.
    OK, Matt.
  • Linda, meanwhile –>Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 10.31.14 AM
  • Dillon does deserve some kudos, though. His Upper Bar Ferdinand is up for best new restaurant among Seattle’s 2017 James Beard Award Semifinalists. We were there for its late 2015 opening.
  • How to make French onion soup that’s (almost!) as good as Le Pichet’s Cafe Presse’s.
  • Coming next in Eastlake to old Louisa’s CafeOtter Bar from Seattle Mist quarterback KK Matheny.
  • You have until April to have your last Quarter Pounder at the First Hill McDonald’s.
  • Dino’s Tomato Pie is baking a plan for a new music venue below E Olive Way.
  • If you can’t make it all the way to E Union, you can try out Optimism Brewing’s creations at the Hopvine this week.
  • Needing room to grow, Sun Liquor is moving distillery off Capitol Hill and is looking for a partner to take over its E Pike bar.
  • Monica Dimas says her Portland plans are off so she can focus on her Seattle projects:
    Within the next month or two I’m closing the Sunset PDX location and focusing my energy and time back home. That being said – the UVillage Sunset location is no longer going to happen and that’s ok! I’m looking forward to working on some new projects and making sure my Seattle spots are doing awesome.
    CHS wrote here about her small space, simple scale projects like Sunset Fried Chicken Sandwiches, Tortas Condesa, and Nacho Borracho. Portland’s loss is Capitol Hill’s gain.
  • Portland’s Little Big Burger is coming to Pike/Pine.
  • Contadino and its sibling pizzeria are now open on 19th Ave E. We talked to chef/owner Brian Clevenger about why Capitol Hill’s newest restaurant and plenty of others are adding service charges.
  • Outer Planet is raising funds to help its brewer recover after heart surgery.
  • Sundry, the neighborhood goods and grocery counter inside Chophouse Row is open… and serving these Buddha bowls:

  • 16665543_1338471989545140_1746819655421332770_oBig party for a good cause at Capitol Hill’s Elysian Brewery this weekend:
    Seattleites can join Lead Brewer, Hiwatha Rhyans, for a night celebrating Said in Zest. The ceremonial tapping will take place on Friday, March 10 at 7 p.m. with special performance by Seattle band, Boyfriends. Said is Zest (ABV 5.9%) is a saison-style beer with five pounds of freshly grated grapefruit zest, top secret saison yeast along with Chinook Cascade and experimental 5256 hops that combine for an aroma of citrus and pine with banana, clove and bubble gum flavor. All proceeds from Said in Zest sold during the event will go to Out of the Closet, the LA based non-profit organization that operates as a thrift store/pharmacy and provides free HIV testing. 96 cents of every dollar made goes to the Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF).


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3 years ago

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! After 11 years in Seattle, when I’m finally about to leave, we actually get an Israeli hummus bar. And 3 blocks from my home.

David, I hope you find the same success as Oren’s (in Silicon Valley) and so many others!

3 years ago

sad that Hassan is gone. He was a gem.