Older and wiser, a legendary name in Capitol Hill coffee is preparing to return to the neighborhood.
Bauhaus, one of the earliest purveyors of Capitol Hill cafe coffee culture, is set to return to its birth neighborhood with a new project that will open in coming weeks on Harvard Ave E.
Smita Patel says she and significant other, Bauhaus founder Joel Radin will open the new Bauhaus in the 500-block Harvard Ave E cafe location recently left empty with the departure of Down Pour Coffee.
Patel tells CHS the new location will test a new concept for Bauhaus of a smaller cafe with a focus beyond coffee that will include beer, wine, and a bottle shop.
The Harvard Ave E location was a challenge for the previous owners who expanded from Redmond but told CHS that business below the Rubix Apartments was terrible from the first day.
Bauhaus now returns to Capitol Hill after settling down and establishing a new base in Ballard in the wake of the abrupt closure of its “temporary” E Pine cafe in late 2015, a move that also killed any plans of a return to it original location at Melrose and Pine. Months later, CHS would report on Radin’s financial troubles and personal bankruptcy that accompanied the sad news of Bauhaus’s demise.
Debuting in 1993 at the corner of Melrose and Pine and known for its “strong coffee” and book-lined walls, Bauhaus was loved for its library-like feel, plentiful tables, and long hours — 6 AM to 1 AM.
Bauhaus and its block of neighboring small businesses on E Pine at Melrose eventually became part of one of the first in a wave of nostalgia demolishing real estate deals that ushered in a decade of construction on relatively massive mixed-use developments boosted taller by Pike/Pine’s preservation incentives. In April 2012, CHS reported on the acquisition of Bauhaus’s block that would displace the 1993-born cafe and other shops like Wall of Sound, Edie’s Shoes and Le Frock.
With a plan to eventually return to the corner, Bauhaus moved up Pine to the former Capitol Club location and settled in for what many hoped would be a temporary stay until construction was completed on the development at Melrose and Pine. But, instead, that Bauhaus saw its final days on Capitol Hill.
The coffee shop found new life in Ballard, however. Now organized under Patel’s ownership, the Bauhaus family includes the NW Market St. cafe, the Midwest-spirited bar Petoskey’s in Fremont, and Ballard’s Hog Island Hoagie sandwiches. Patel says she has managed to also keep her “day job” as an orthodontist as the businesses have grown.
Now, she says, she is ready for an important step Bauhaus has been preparing for ever since it left E Pine.
Bauhaus Capitol Hill will is set to open before the end of the month at 515 Harvard Ave E. You can learn more at bauhausstrong.coffee.
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