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HoneyHole to expand to Central District with second, ‘three times larger’ location

(Image: HoneyHole)

Pike/Pine classic sandwich joint the HoneyHole is expanding with a second, much larger location only a few miles from the original where the Central District meets the edges of 12th Ave and Seattle University.

The new owners of the classic sandwich joint are hoping to bring together a recipe inspired by the E Pike original to transform the new second location on E Jefferson, a restaurant space most recently home to Central Smoke before that venture shuttered pre-pandemic in early 2020.

“We’re super excited about the opportunities this larger location provides,” HoneyHole owner Kristin Rye said in the announcement of the expansion. “We can host parties, pop-ups, community events and even live music, which were all a bit of a challenge at our Cap Hill location.”

The new HoneyHole will seat around 100 customers plus there is room for 35 more on its patio. And, just for a taste of the new opportunities the space might provide after the sandwich joint’s dive-y roots, the owners say the new HoneyHole’s private dining rooms — left over from its days as a steakhouse — can host up to 25 people.

CHS reported in January on the sale of HoneyHole to wife and husband new owners Kristin and Patrick Rye. Founded by brothers Sean and Devon London in 1999, HoneyHole has earned a spot as one of Capitol Hill’s most loved affordable dining and drink options. Kristin Rye told CHS about their hopes for new HoneyHole locations to grow from the loved but limited E Pike original including aspirations for more space to handle a booming demand for delivery. The new HH will also have space for a full bar.

The space back in the Seven Beef days after its major 2005 overhaul

At more than 4,000 square feet, the new second HoneyHole will definitely make room for new business but its owners will face some challenges in trying to make the new space feel anything like the old. They’ll be working with a bunker-like, 1950s-era commercial building on E Jefferson across from Seattle U’s Championship Field not a 1910s-era apartment building smack in the middle of the bustle of E Pike.

The original is said to have opened on Memorial Day. The Ryes are shooting for symmetry with an end of May debut for the new ‘Hole. That balance with history has also inspired the Ryes to bring in former HoneyHole owners and “feng shui ninjas” Sean London and Hannah Roberts to “help ensure the vibe is as fascinating as it is fun.”

Whatever is created will share one enduring aspect of the Pike/Pine original and many of Capitol Hill’s most beloved venues — it could be temporary. The design review process is underway for redevelopment that will demolish the building to make way for a new five-story, 60-unit apartment building. Like most good Capitol Hill area doom scenarios, it could take years before the project digs in.

The new opening is also part of an overall transition for HoneyHole as it grows into its next phase as a Seattle food and drink brand. That includes things like explaining the wonderfully giggle-inspiring name:

The name HoneyHole is a reference to a “hidden gem” or a “really sweet fishing spot.” HoneyHole founders chose this name to represent a sweet spot for Seattleites to have a drink and enjoy the best sandwiches in town.

Now, the hope is for HoneyHole II — a new central restaurant in a growing food and drink family — to take on as much flavor of the original as possible.

HoneyHole’s second location is planned to open at 1305 E Jefferson on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31st. You can learn more at thehoneyhole.com.


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genevieve
genevieve
1 month ago

So, a well-moneyed couple relocating to Seattle for his job stopped into a local institution a year ago and saw big opportunity to do the post-corporate restaurant thing without coming up with their own idea, and immediately go into expansion mode? I love me some HoneyHole and was hoping to get a few more Chaka’s Favorites but this is so out of touch. Gentrifying our dive bars and restaurants has been a Seattle sport for some years, but in the past it’s at least been locals doing it, with some credibility of preserving our institutions.

I do hope the Londons and co-owner Roberts were able to get a healthy retirement out of this.

Akana
Akana
1 month ago
Reply to  genevieve

Oh fuck off! would you rather the venue they’re moving into stay empty in the name of “credibility” ..

SincereQuestions
SincereQuestions
1 month ago
Reply to  genevieve

: that is certainly one way to look at it, though it’s rather cynical. For sake of discussion, some questions…

  1. Regarding the vacant Central Smoke space, what would be the best case? To remain vacant? For Central Smoke to re-open under the same owners? To be leased by a different business (if “yes” to this option, why is this business more worthy)? To be torn down entirely?
  2. Regarding HoneyHole, should they ideally never expand? Or should they expand only after hitting some arbitrary benchmark, like “we sell out everyday far in advance of our posted closing time”?
  3. Should the Londons have never sold? Or are you OK with them selling as long as it was to another “local”? How long does someone have to live in Seattle to be considered a “local”? Also, a sale is mutual, they got an offer that they were OK with at the time. Why are they not the main recipient of your cynical take?

None of these questions are intended as “gotchas”, I’m honestly asking where your values stand on this. As for me, I miss going to Central Smoke but if the owners wanted out (pre-COVID, too), then that’s their business. If the Londons wanted to sell, that’s their business, too.

It’s very unlikely that everything in a big and diverse city, let alone just one neighborhood, will adhere to your worldview. Those who live/work/play in Seattle need to make up their minds about how much change, by who, and at what rate, is OK because it’s not very clear to me…

JaceTh
JaceTh
1 month ago
Reply to  genevieve

This is one of the dumber comments I have read in some time. Just sit there and marinate in your own bitterness, it seems productive.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  genevieve

Did you read the article? London and Roberts are helping to decorate the new space. They explained why they sold “your institution”.

You don’t like change, we get it.

CD Mom
CD Mom
1 month ago

Great to see someone taking over the space. We’ve had so many food places come and go from that intersection. Hopefully this one can last.

Patty
Patty
1 month ago
Reply to  CD Mom

I agree! Even if they are new owners, much better to have another business – which also hires people – rather than an empty building. I’m happy to see something move in and hope they succeed.

Bob
Bob
1 month ago

Sounds great, not sure why someone would complain about getting another place to eat/hang out.

KL.
KL.
1 month ago

Hopefully they don’t change the menu, recipes, or prices! My worst fear is a new menu where most of the favorites are reformulated beyond recognition because the new owners wanted to innovate.

Tom
Tom
1 month ago
Reply to  KL.

Yup, this. Sounds like they’re not planning to, at least significantly.

RIP Beacon Ave sandwiches. The brief new owner even kept the recipes but swapped the equipment/toaster, and it was never the same.

Another Tom
Another Tom
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom

They have already messed up the website. They don’t have the detailed menu anymore. If I want to look at it, I have to go to their Yelp page.

Soo Valley
Soo Valley
1 month ago

I always thought the Honeyhole was a lesbian bar until someone took me there for a sandwich. I’ve been going there ever since for their wonderful, affordable sandwiches and friendly neighborhood vibes. I sincerely hope the expansion is as good as the original.

Tom
Tom
1 month ago
Reply to  Soo Valley

You’re thinking of Wildrose. Although a hybrid concept Wildhole would probably be a hit…

Mimi
Mimi
1 month ago
Reply to  Soo Valley

This is the best comment on here.

CD Rez
CD Rez
1 month ago

Seems like a waste of that space but better than empty. Best of luck to them.

Had to
Had to
1 month ago

Honeyhole’s Sloppy Second Location

Maria
Maria
26 days ago

Just a small correction: The two locations are just about 1 mile away from each other.