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Oola Distillery saying goodbye to 2020 and Capitol Hill with move to Georgetown

Kallas-Lewis on Oola’s five-year anniversary

14th and Union has been home to a lively slice of Capitol Hill with a “Southern” dive bar, a gay bar, and the neighborhood’s sole remaining craft distillery. All of that will be gone when things get back closer to normal after the heights of the COVID-19 crisis — Oola Distillery is joining the rest in exiting the corner.

Nine years after it poured its first tastes of small batch vodka and gin, owners Kirby Kallas-Lewis and KT Niehoff announced the distillery and its 10 Degrees event space are leaving Capitol Hill for Georgetown.

“We are sad to leave the Hill,” Kallas-Lewis said. “KT and I have been a devoted part of the neighborhood for almost 25 years. Covid related challenges created a sooner than expected departure, but we are staying positive and looking forward to joining the Georgetown community.”

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Oola announced in will spread into two buildings in Georgetown. Oola’s production will be moving into a 14,000-square-foot space in the Port 106 building and will be nearly triple the size of the Capitol Hill space.

“We are thrilled to having the breathing room we need to meet the demands of sales and distribution,” Lewis said.

The move follows two other exits from the E Union property Ooola has called home. CHS reported in September that Capitol Hill Southern-flavored Bar Sue lost its lease. Meanwhile, gay bar Union had previously announced it was exiting the building after two years for a four-block move to E Union near Broadway where it is set to reopen in 2021.

The exits will leave the corner of 14th and Union empty of tenants but there are no indications, yet, of planned redevelopment. The property remains with longtime owners the Pasciuto family who operated La Panzanella bakery at the site.

Oola’s move to Georgetown will also put one of the remaining buildings zoned for light industrial use out of action as well as leave the neighborhood without a single craft distillery. In 2016, CHS highlighted Oola and Sun Liquor in what seemed like the start of a small movement of craft spirit makers on the Hill.

The Georgetown spaces were originally planned as an expansion. Instead, Oola is looking forward to a new start in 2021. When it opens for sales on January 6th, its new tasting room will share the building with two independent breweries, Lowercase Brewing and the Portland-based Great Notion Brewing and the trio plans to “work together to create a vibrant destination for craft spirits and beers.”

But the maker of award-winning whiskeys, gins, and vodkas hopes it won’t leave Capitol HIll completely behind. Ownership says it hopes to open a small sales and tasting room on Capitol Hill “once 2020 is in the rear view mirror.”

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: 12/29/20

Food and drink

  • The Wandering Goose, reported 12/29/2020
  • Barca, announced 11/11/2020
  • Suika, lease issues, announced 9/27/2020
  • Juicebox Cafe, announced 9/28/20
  • Heritage Distilling Capitol Hill, announced 9/25/20
  • Amandine, closing 9/30/20 announced 9/25/20
  • Bar Sue, announced 9/25/20
  • 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

  • Everyday Music, 10th Ave, June 2021
  • QFC, 15th Ave E, 4/24/21
  • Sameday Testing, 15th Ave E, February
  • GameStop, Broadway, 2020
  • Velocity Dance Center, 12th Ave, will continue as organization but leaving Capitol Hill space, announced 12/4/20.
  • Stock and Pantry, E Pine, announced 10/14/20
  • Take 2, 15th Ave E, announced 9/30/20
  • No Parking, E Pike, announced 9/5/20
  • Ritual House, 19th Ave E, reported 7/15/20
  • Totokaelo, 10th Ave, reported 7/13/20
  • Mode of Fitness, E Pine
  • Urban Outfitters, Broadway, youth fashion chain's exit began last summer as Broadway Market began search for new tenant
  • Le Frock, E Pike, consignment shop announced permanent closure in April

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2 months ago

It sounds like there are no plans for 10 Degrees to move with Oola – I’m sorry to lose that flexible arts and events space.

Meanwhile, the big huge void of unused space on that corner makes me very nervous.

2 months ago
Reply to  jseattle

Sorry, it wasn’t clear to me in the further description of the new space that 10 Degrees would be included. Very happy to hear it!

2 months ago
Reply to  jseattle

These owners have supported Seattle arts, performers, dance and more for more than 40 years in various ways on Capitol Hill. Kirby and KT have always made sure anyone they support lands on their feet or the equivalent