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‘This is comfort food’ — Dacha Diner now open on E Olive Way — UPDATE: First look

UPDATE: Tora Hennessey, Tom Siegel, and Joe Heffernan welcomed their first customers to Dacha Diner on a busy Wednesday. Lots of pictures from our debut day visit to Dacha, below.

Dacha Diner, a new daytime spot specializing in Eastern European and Jewish foods like kinishes, borscht, matzo ball soup, latkes, and vareniki, was served its first customers Wednesday morning.

After a few delays typical to opening a new joint in Seattle, the team behind the new E Olive Way restaurant announced the opening over the holidays. “Rule of thumb, new restaurants take a month to settle into a stride and the first week is always the most hectic (I’m sure you will see it in our tired faces),” the announcement reads. “Please be patient while we work out any kinks. That said, we would love to see your faces.”

Still under construction in December, the Dacha Diner celebrated Chanukah (Image: Dacha Diner)

The restaurants veterans behind Dacha — the name refers to the Russian for a seasonal vacation home — also operate Independent Pizzeria in Madison Park.

CHS found Joe Heffernan, Tom Siegel, and Tora Hennessey hard at work Wednesday — but things were still pretty chill.

“Dacha is a Russian word for a cottage or vacation home. I’m not interested in kitsch design so there will not be Soviet decor or 50’s diner themes,” Hennessey told CHS last month. “The focus will be the food. Like the Independent, we do not have private investors. So, as it was with the Indie, much of the interior work is done by myself and on a tight budget. I just want to create an environment that is comfortable to be in. Capitol Hill is my home and I want this to feel like our second home. As if we just invited people over to dine. I want a chill atmosphere. This isn’t fine dining, this is comfort food.”

If you promise to be patient and a friendly first-days visitor, you can find Dacha Diner and its breakfast and lunchtime-only comfort food at 1416 E Olive Way in the building formerly home to The Saint. Learn more at


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