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Death of a Capitol Hill waffle shop

(Image: @ktomcreative)

The Capitol Hill food and drink midway is down a sideshow and now lacks in the bright yellow neon and waffle department.

The Hill expansion of Sweet Iron has shuttered leaving a small retail hole in the commercial space of one of the largest preservation incentive-boosted developments in Pike/Pine.

We haven’t heard back from ownership about the shutdown but the original downtown Sweet Iron from the Jeffrey family remains open.

In 2016, the business expanded to the 10th Ave side of the massive Broadstone Infinity development on the backside of Pike/Pine that utilized the neighborhood’s preservation incentives to recreate the brick facades of a handful of auto row buildings, add 12,000 square feet of commercial space, and build a seven-story apartment building with 250 units above it all. The development became home to the triumvirate of Rene Erickson’s celebrated projects MelusineBateau, and General Porpoiseambitious Thai project Soi, and a Walgreen’s pharmacy displaced by the Whole Foods project.

The Pike/Pine Conservation District’s incentives were designed, in part, to help preserve the “human scale” commercial spaces from the neighborhood’s auto row past.

Sweet Iron took on one of the smaller spaces available in the Broadstone development, a long, skinny retail space along 10th Ave. That same month in 2016, plant-based ice cream shop Frankie and Jo’s debuted around the corner on E Union. With strong foot traffic and a popular product, Frankie and Jo’s summer lines only grow longer. Even with its bright design and “HOT! HOT! HOT!” highly Instagramable neon, Sweet Iron enjoyed a quieter existence.

Despite its nearly ridiculous size — the preservation incentive program’s rules were changed literally because of the development — Broadstone Infinity’s retail mix has created home to a collection of very busy businesses. Sweet Iron, alas, was not one of them.

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5 thoughts on “Death of a Capitol Hill waffle shop

  1. I never walked down that part of the street because of how awful the garbage smell is during the summer. I could imagine the difficulties the business faced due to those fumes.

  2. I live very close to this Sweet Iron location, and this story is missing some key details. First, the hours of operation were neither posted or consistent. Second, there were more than a few occasions where they were just randomly closed on weekend days with only a sloppily hand-written sign apologizing. Thirdly, they closed for a couple months earlier this year to “remodel”, and then re-opened without making any tangible changes. This story isn’t about a business that struggled but ultimately couldn’t make things work, it is really about people who were either too lazy or incompetent to understand what it takes to build a successful business.

    • I second this! Many times I’ve walked to it during their business hours and they were closed. Happened at least 2 times.