Staying in motion in the food and drink and small business worlds of Capitol Hill has meant trying new things and turning finely tuned plans into something new as quickly and efficiently as possible. For E Pike’s La Dive that means changing your stripes from natural wine bar to natural wine bottle shop in a matter of days.
“There’s a learning curve for sure. It’s kind of like starting a new business, really,” Kate Opatz tells CHS.
In late 2019, Capitol Hill nightlife veteran Opatz teamed up with first time owners Ani Custer and David Gurwitz to debut the dark and cozy E Pike watering hole dedicated to natural wine, frosé slurpees, and dumplings.
Opatz says La Dive had to let go of all of its employees and missed out on the first round of federal Paycheck Protection Program loans. Money to pay the bar’s E Pike rent would be helpful, she says. Meanwhile, in an example of the mixed fortunes for small business owners dealing with COVID-19’s economic fallout across the Hill, she says Montana and Nacho Borracho, the other bars she is part owner of, received PPP approvals.
La Dive is on another path. With COVID-19 restrictions requiring immediate innovation for the months-old venture, Opatz, Custer, and Gurwitz are working to transform La Dive — temporarily — into a bottle shop offering local delivery or pickup of its specially sourced natural, organic, and minimalist wines.
You can stop by — safely — from 1 to 7 PM on Tuesdays through Saturdays to place an order and browse the selection on ladiveseattle.com‘s new online shop.
For a bottle fully in the spirit of La Dive, try a 40-ouncer of rosé, “mineral driven with red fruit and balanced acidity.” You can also order La Dive meals of either pork or potato dumplings along with rye bread, soup, cucumber salad, and pickles for $40.
Business is picking up, Opatz says, with lots of regulars, takeout pick-ups, and more and more deliveries throughout Seattle.
“We’re working more than ever,” Opatz said. “It feels good in a way. It’s fun to have a new challenge and try wine from a new angle.”
La Dive is located at 721 E Pike. You can learn more at ladiveseattle.com.
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