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Feeling rejected, Capitol Hill? Crane’s Landing embraces its neighborhood with pho and banh mi — and good vibes

You ordered too much (Image: Crane’s Landing)

As one of the biggest companies doing business on Capitol Hill is rejecting the neighborhood, one of the smallest is very happy, indeed, to be here.

Without advertising or even signage, people from the neighborhood have been trickling into Crane’s Landing, now perched above the busy intersection of Pike and Broadway in the Harvard Market shopping center.

“When we opened, it was word of mouth,” Chap Le said. “The people have been great.”

The new Vietnamese restaurant is doing steady business, Le says, with standards focused around pho and banh mi and a “good vibes only” attitude.

Le’s arrival in the Harvard Market shopping center is a story of the pandemic. Leaving a life in Denver where he worked in the restaurant business, Le’s family came to Seattle to be closer to his parents. There was hope, he said, of someday opening his own place that suddenly started to take shape in his new city. The former Tangerine Tree restaurant had shuttered coming out of the pandemic with the longtime owners moving on. With guidance from his sister who attended Seattle University, Le chose Capitol Hill to be home to his first restaurant.

He now has thousands of potential customers living within walking distance. And he’s part of a trio of small restaurants on the upper level of the Harvard Market. The Chicken Factory opened there recently in the space left empty by the exit of Marination Station. The Korean fried chicken neighbors the popular Ooink ramen joint just up the Harvard Market stairs from the QFC. Now five years old, Chong Boon Ooi’s little restaurant is now the leader of a new community of food and drink in the center. Add Kyoto Teriyaki on the street level of the Harvard Market to round out the bunch.

(Image: Crane’s Landing)

Unlike other Capitol Hill food and drink stories of the pandemic, Crane’s Landing is taking an old school approach to simple food. It’s not five star, Le admits, but it is a good value for good food, he believes. He is also not cutting corners on service or trying to reduce staffing costs by implementing touch screen ordering and the like.

As it has been for every small business — and big chain — on Capitol Hill, finding workers for Crane’s Landing has been a challenge. Le also has some old school help to overcome holes in his schedule with family stepping in to pick up shifts and keep Crane’s Landing going for its start.

Le’s hope is to settle into regular business with daily 11 AM to 8 PM hours, closing on Sundays so he can get a break before jumping back in on a new week. And, maybe, if Crane’s Landing works out, he’ll think about opening another. But not too fast. And not if it means sacrificing his place’s “vibe” or its quality.

I’m still old fashioned,” Le said. “I don’t want to be another McDonald’s.”

Crane’s Landing is located on the upper level at Harvard Market at 1430 Harvard Ave. Learn more at


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1 month ago

Rejecting the neighborhood? More weird-ass editorializing.

1 month ago

Closed on Sundays. I suppose that is a slower day. But it is the day that I would be most likely go walk over there.