Watch out, kids, you newborn legends of Pike/Pine. While you are busy getting your drink and dance on around 10th and Pike, the grown ups are gathering to the west. And they’re bringing natural wines and frozen wine cocktails with them.
La Dive will be the latest edition to E Pike’s maturing nightlife scene when it opens in an art gallery, turned sandwich shop, soon to turn natural wine and frosé bar. But even on the most grown-up block of E Pike, the folks behind La Dive don’t want to be known as a wine bar.
“That term sounds a little too formal for me,” nightlife entrepreneur and La Dive co-owner Kate Opatz tells CHS.” It will be a little dive-y. But you can also get an interesting glass of wine there.”
The new bar’s ownership acquired the Other Coast sandwich shop which had been on the market.
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“We’ve had a good run on Capitol Hill. We’re really lucky to have had a great landlord; so it isn’t that the rent was raised or anything like that. But it is hard to make ends meet these days in Seattle, as you know,” owner Emily Mabus said about the decision to sell the shop. “That ongoing struggle has made it clear to my husband Dean and I that to consolidate to two locations is a good move for us. We can still do catering from our Queen Anne location and Ballard is still killing it.”
Other Coast’s final day of business on Capitol Hill will be Thursday, August 8th.
Mabus said “the worst part of this is putting our people out of work.”
“We’ve always been committed to employing people who live in the neighborhoods in which we operate, and putting our Capitol Hill staff out of work really hits us hard.”
Other Coast expanded to the Hill in 2010, transforming the Martin-Zambito Fine Art Gallery into a sandwich shop.
The new project will mean the space stays in motion in the middle of a busy E Pike block.
Pronounced La Deeeeeeeve like the Saumur, France natural wine festival and not La Dive like a dive bar like many will probably think they’re being funny calling it, La Dive is the creation of Opatz, part of the powerhouse behind Montana and Nacho Borracho, and first time owners Ani Custer and David Gurwitz. Custer, of the Garbage People Love Wine pop-ups, brings the deep knowledge of minimalist wine to the partnership, while Gurwitz, formerly of Lark and Spinasse, will handle the sure to be eclectic — but still a work in progress — food menu.
Opatz? Her experience creating Capitol Hill dive bars far from the Pike/Pine core will help shape the changeover to La Dive from the acquired Other Coast sandwich shop.
“I love that it’s an older building. I have a lot of memories right around there,” Opatz said.
Opatz said no major construction is planned but that the look will be totally overhauled inside and new seating and a new bar top will be installed. She is also planning space in the comfortable, dark, and coz bar for a Jennifer Ament mural. Nope, it probably won’t feature dinosaurs. Expect jewel tones and a grown-up feel.
With a goal of turning around the changes and opening in October, La Dive will join a block including food and drink from longtime Thai joint Ayutthaya, la dive-y Honeyhole Sandwiches, and new neighbor St. John’s. The block already home to businesses including Bang, Stitches, Babeland, and Standard Goods also got a new burst of life in one of its oldest spaces when Doghouse Leathers opened in its newly overhauled, auto row-era building earlier this year. Meanwhile, Life on Mars, the new bar from a Seattle music industry combo dedicated to vinyl records *and* a plant-based menu, opened across the street in June.
Opatz says the plan is for La Dive to add “reasonably priced, mostly natural” wines, “low-lit digs,” and vodka sodas, shots and beer to the 700-block E Pike equation. Expect frozen wine-based cocktails including friesling — riesling and white peach vodka — and frojolais, “a blend of beaujolais, raspberry, and campari.”
As for this block of E Pike as a bastion for grown-ups and neighbors from the visiting nightlife crowds that grow thick to the east around Broadway, while Opatz is a mom now — she has had two kids “since opening Nacho,” is the way she put it — she doesn’t want to be too far from the mix.
“I love that it’s a little bit close to the party zone but not right in it,” Opatz said.
La Dive is planned to open at 721 E Pike by October.