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Bill’s Off Broadway won’t reopen ending 40 years on Capitol Hill

It survived the redevelopment waves of Capitol Hill and a two year hiatus during construction but old school Capitol Hill hangout Bill’s Off Broadway could not survive the COVID-19 crisis. The popular pizza and drinking joint at the corner of Pine and Harvard announced it will not be joining other Capitol Hill restaurants in the ongoing Phase 2 recovery and said its closure will be permanent:

It is with heavy hearts we announce that after 40 years, Bill’s Off Broadway will be unable to reopen due to situations outside of our control.

2019 was Bill’s best year yet and we have you all to thank for going out on a high note. We are proud of what we created together and know that many of you found a safe place full of love and understanding within our doors. The friendships we made at Bill’s will last a lifetime.

We have loved being a piece of this vibrant community and are devastated to not be a part of it going forward. We appreciate all the support you have given Bill’s over the years.
Thank you for being part of our family.
❤️ Bill’s

In 2012, CHS spoke with longtime owner Don Stevens about impending development of the corner Bill’s had called home since 1980. The plan back then was to find a temporary location for Bill’s while its then 30-year Capitol Hill home was torn apart and built back up as part of a preservation incentive-boosted, mixed-use development.

By 2013, Stevens and his wife and co-owner Colleen Stevens had found a new location in Greenwood for a mixed expansion/move to make way for the construction.

After a two year construction hiatus, the Stevenses reopened Bill’s off Broadway in August 2015 — just in time for the football season.

In 2016, Don passed away, leaving Bill’s in Colleen and his staff’s hands.

Don Stevens told CHS he acquired the original Bill’s around 1995 after working in sales nearby at Phil Smart Mercedes and as the general sales manager at the E Pike BMW showroom before that. “I was a customer,” Stevens said about Bill’s. “And I got to know the guy who owned it. And one thing lead to another.”

The closure is one of only a few CHS has been able to confirm as COVID-19 restrictions lifted and businesses are able to more fully open.

Capitol Hill and Central District COVID-19 Crisis Closures: CHS has tried to confirm all reported statuses. Please let us know if any information needs to be updated -- LAST UPDATED: 9/15/20

Food and drink

  • Marination Station, announced 9/14/20
  • Ha Na, announced 8/27/20
  • Intrigue Coffeehouse, announced 8/21/20
  • Nates Wings & Waffles, Happy Grillmore and the Central District Ice Cream Company, announced 8/6/20
  • Americana, Broadway, announced 7/23/20
  • The Lounge by AT&T and Ada’s Discovery Cafe, E Thomas, announced 7/7/20
  • Bill's Off Broadway, E Pine, announced 6/24/20
  • Stumptown, 12th Ave, announced 5/26/20
  • Adana, 15th and Pine, announced 5/21/20
  • Tougo, 18th and Union, announced early April, Yesler location remains open
  • My Thai, 10th Ave E, closed but we're not sure when it shuttered

Retail and more

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23 thoughts on “Bill’s Off Broadway won’t reopen ending 40 years on Capitol Hill

  1. Old School Frozen Custard near 13th and Pike still looks closed as well. Do you have any idea if they’re coming back at all? Sad to see all these great spots close.

  2. Heartbreaking!! Bill’s was a great place, not only for the food and the sports but also because the staff are fantastic humans. I will miss it and them and I’m sad I won’t get that one last night with them all to share stories and a lifetime of memories!

    • If you thought Don was a dick, it was likely because he didn’t take crap from degens. I’m thinking you should probably take a hard look in the mirror to figure out why Don was anything less than amazing to you.

    • Don was a genuinely nice and down-to-earth generous soul. I will sorely miss not being able to stop in at Bill’s for a personal pizza before taking in a show at the Egyptian.

  3. Oh BS.

    Don was one of the nicest, most generous guys I have ever met.

    I’m guessing that you were either fired by him for being a crap employee…or was asked to leave his bar for being a jackass.

    Which was it?

    • Right in all my years there only high caliber people, super respectful, never once felt anyone working there was a douch
      You could even go there and play pool and not buy anything and no one would say a thing

    • With its location I imagine rent would not be manageable as a small bar. It was frequently empty before covid came. To keep it up would just be a donation of love unfortunately

  4. The building is owned by a gigantic, hallow company that manages pensions and doesn’t give a shit about the small businesses that occupy them, the struggles they face of running a business with very low profit margins or how great these spaces are for the community. Gigantic Soulless & Hallow want top dollar for their over-priced, unremarkable spaces and are very unwilling to work with tenants. Good Luck

  5. Don and Colleen were family to me, as my dad worked at Phil Smart with Don. Though we didn’t get up there too often, my brother and I took every opportunity up on the hill to go and see D&C. After Don’s passing, Colleen courageously took the reigns, and we still tried to catch her at Bill’s each chance we got. I am heartbroken at this news, but Don and Colleen were always up for trying something new, so I’m sure with that, Colleen will certainly find another something awesome to grow. I will miss everyone. I how you all find epic adventures on the other side of this mountain we are faced with. Thanks for ALL the memories. The Metzler Clan will ALWAYS love you!
    Colleen, hit me up on fb. I don’t want to lose Bills and you.

  6. I loved Bill’s pizza – normally I’m a new york slice kind of person but I started picking up Bill’s occasionally after the renovation and have been CRAVING that almost pie-like crust of their’s lately, this is really sad news!

    Anybody else familiar with what I’m talking about? Any recs for a similar pizza elsewhere?

    • Yes I loved their personal pizzas.
      There’s Delfinos in U district that does Chicago deep dish, Windy City Pie near Walingford area and then at Whole Foods they sell Home Run Inn frozen pizza which is phenomenal as it’s a Chicago pizzeria chain.

      • Great call on Delfinos. They are awesome! Thanks for the other 2 recommendations.

        To KL…I really like Palermo Pizza on 15th. I think they have the best delivery pizza on the hill. I really like their garlic crust. Fluffy and tasty. I think you will like it

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