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Intrigue Chocolate and Coffeehouse coming to 15th and Madison

Aaron Barthel, right, and Karl Mueller (Images: Intrigue Chocolate)

No, you can’t get coffee on every corner of Capitol Hill. But just about. Pioneer Square’s Intrigue Chocolate Co. will be putting another key Capitol Hill corner to use, creating a “chocolate and coffeehouse” at 15th and Madison.

Owners Aaron Barthel and Karl Mueller broke their own news on the project Friday with a detailed blog post:

Imagine walking through the front doors of our new chocolate and coffeehouse and being greeted by the delicious smell fresh coffee, warm quick breads, and cacao beans in the mill. Imagine ordering a cup of coffee from a knowledgeable and friendly barista that suggests you try this origin chocolate from Ghana after you take your first sip, so you can experience the chocolatey and plum notes of the coffee without distraction. Imagine sitting comfortably in a tall window with your cozy mug and small chocolate next to a warm slice of banana bread, enjoying the grey Seattle light and soft rain on the skyline.

OK, we’re intrigued.

Intrigue’s chocolate philosophy should fit nicely with Capitol Hill. The focus isn’t on mastery and repetition. Mueller says of his chocolatier business partner’s cocoa genius.

“Aaron likes to use chocolate as a medium to express what he knows about flavor,” Mueller said.

The experimental aspect of Intrigue means any visit could present an opportunity to try a few favorites — or something a little wild and crazy like Tasmanian pepper berry or
toasted basmati rice truffles… paired with Conduit Coffee.

The new project will put the space left empty since Healeo departed the corner in 2016. More changes are coming to this stretch of 15th after Ethan Stowell Restaurants announced it would be closing Anchovies and Olives and Bar Cotto and putting the businesses up for sale. Meanwhile, the frequently updated counter walk-up across the street along E Madison will soon be home to a new bagel project from Monica Dimas — Westman’s Bagels and Coffee.

Plans call for a cafe that emphasizes a “general abundance” and a welcoming space for “discovering” chocolate, Mueller said. Expect lots of raw materials and stainless steel plus a good view down the E Madison canyon from the busy corner.

The coming coffeehouse isn’t the only new project for the company. Intrigue has also launched a chocolate bar-focused Kickstarter to raise funding.

On Capitol Hill, the chocolatiers say the new Intrigue project won’t be ready until early in 2018 but that they hope to do a holiday pop-up in the space in December.

Intrigue Chocolate and Coffeehouse will be located at 1520 15th Ave. You can follow progress and learn more at

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6 thoughts on “Intrigue Chocolate and Coffeehouse coming to 15th and Madison

  1. Leave your skepticism behind! I’ve been a fan of Intrigue for years, even making special trips all the way to Pioneer Square to pick up truffle bars. Aaron comes up with some wacky-sounding flavor combinations that are genuinely wonderful. I can’t wait to be able to have readier access to their chocolate. Plus coffee! I LOVE COFFEE!

    • Maybe it’s just me, but the time and effort required, not to mention the gas or bus fare, to get to Ravenna for a sub-$3 cappuccino doesn’t make a lot of sense. Talk about pennywise and pound foolish. Might make more sense if you actually lived in Ravenna. But I suspect most of this blog’s readers don’t.