The new Macrina at 19th and Aloha is hoped to channel the spirit of the Surrogate Hostess that used to be housed in the 1925-built building overhauled by contractors over the past five months. That Capitol Hill legend was known for its communal tables — and warm cinnamon rolls.
New legends are set to be made at the new bakery with exposed beams and a sleek white and grey palette.
In April, CHS talked with Macrina founder Leslie Mackie about her company’s 25 years and Capitol Hill expansion. “Everything is just very deliberate,” she said of Macrina’s slow but steady pace of business. “Our growth is predicated on creating a more consistent product, making a great place to work, and making great baked goods, soups, and sandwiches for our customers.”
Mackie said the history of Macrina and of the corner at 19th and Aloha could have worked out quite differently. “Things align. I really wanted to be in that space a long time ago,” she said. “All of us remember the Surrogate Hostess and love it.”
Instead, Macrina is taking over after twenty years of Tully’s Coffee and a tumultuous, lawsuit-ridden end for the coffee chain on Capitol Hill and across all of its locations. In March, CHS broke the news in March of the new project set to replace Tully’s… from Pagliacci Pizza. Turns out, the same company owns the two Seattle-area chains after Pagliacci merged operations with Macrina a decade ago. CHS reported a few years back on plans the parent company behind Pagliacci and Macrina were toying with for a combined Italian bakery concept using the E Pike property. That project — in some form — still appears to be in motion.
19th Ave E is in the midst of a slow, steady growth in food+drink options. Pizza is, indeed, coming to the street — Zeeks Pizza will open later this year in new construction on the northwest corner of 19th and Mercer. Across 19th Ave E, Rocket Taco opened earlier this year in the former Kingfish Cafe space where Brian Clevenger’s Contadino flamed out after only six months. 19th Ave E also attracts plenty of family dining activity at Vios, along with sweets and treats at Hello Robin. Boring grown-ups can eat at Linda Derschang-founded but sold-off Tallulah’s, grab coffee at Fuel, or sneak off to the counter bar inside neighborhood grocery Cone and Steiner.
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Across the street from St. Joe’s and a few blocks from the Holy Names Academy, Meany Middle School, and Stevens Elementary, 19th and Aloha’s proximity to several Capitol Hill schools was also part of the attraction. Students left without a hangout joint since the Tully’s closure in November 2017 will likely celebrate the move. The property also includes one of the few commercial surface parking lots in the area — surely a draw to the family oriented Macrina as it looks to attract parents and families on the go from across Capitol Hill’s northeastern slopes.
According to Macrina, neighbors and fans reached out to encourage the cafe and bakery to move in after Tully’s shuttered.
August did, indeed, mark 25 years of Macrina. Mackie opened the first one in 1993 in Belltown “to showcase her love of artisanal bread.” “Delicate and delicious pastries” followed as did “savory delights.”
Calling itself the Aloha Macrina, the new bakery’s offerings will include “artisanal breads, cornetti (Italian-style croissants), distinctive pastries, cakes, tarts, sandwiches, soups, weekend brunch, a full range of coffee beverages, and many other sweet and savory items.”
Macrina is now open at 746 19th Ave E. Hours are Monday to Sunday 7 AM to 6 PM with brunch served weekends: 8 AM to 2 PM. You can learn more at macrinabakery.com.