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Get nostalgic: DeLuxe’s Broadway and Roy corner lined up for mixed-use development — UPDATE

(Image: CHS

 

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A decade ago, news of a neighborhood favorite being lined up for demolition and redevelopment hit differently.

Today, after years of new projects and accelerated change as more people have moved to the city and the demand for housing has continued to surge, Capitol Hill is used to it.

For now, it looks like the neighborhood’s much-loved DeLuxe Bar and Grill will stick around to fully enjoy its 60th year on Capitol Hill.

But, this week, the corner of Broadway and Roy has been lined up for a possible new future.

Early paperwork filed Thursday shows planning is underway for a new mixed-use development that will replace the 1931-era building home to the popular hangout, Aoki Sushi, and Dreamscape Massage.

The neighboring building home to Altura and Rom Mai Thai is not part of the plans following its overhaul more than a decade ago.

The Daily Journal of Commerce was first to report the permitting for the DeLuxe project.

The architects at Capitol Hill’s S+H Works are handling the early paperwork on a project currently being led by the restaurant family that has owned the property for decades. King County Records show no transactions currently underway at the address and DeLuxe ownership has not replied to our inquiries about their plans.

UPDATE: Barry Rogel tells CHS the DeLuxe is not going anywhere and that the process with the city is part of determining the development potential for the property and that there are no specific plans for development at this time. All of the tenants are open and remaining in business and the DeLuxe restaurant remains a vital part of the Rogel family, Barry Rogel said.

(Image: The DeLuxe)

CHS talked with the Rogels about the DeLuxe on the restaurant’s 50th anniversary in 2013.

The DeLuxe has occupied the corner of Broadway E and E Roy Street since the early 1930s, where it operated under the title “DeLuxe Tavern and Steakhouse.”

In 1963, Joe Rogel and Bernie Minsk made their first foray into the business and bought the restaurant. “It was a business that you could buy and if you didn’t like it you could sell easily,” Joe Rogel told CHS a decade ago. He passed away in 2020.

The family has stayed in close connection with the business and continued to hold the property it purchased for $400,000 in 1982.

Joe’s son Barry Rogel told CHS in 2013 the DeLuxe changed along with the neighborhood. In the late 1960s, he said, Broadway was dominated by “a lot of neighborhood retail” as Pike/Pine “was more of a warehouse district, more industrial.”As the gay community grew on Capitol Hill, the DeLuxe was there to cater to the neighborhood’s food and drink needs, including participating in the festivities around the Pride Parade that ran along Broadway past the restaurant.

Barry Rogel shared the story of the ill-fated maiden voyage of the S.S. Minnow. Commissioned in the early 1990s as a float for the Pride parade, the Minnow was a ship frame mounted on a truck trailer. As the Minnow approached a turn at the corner outside of the DeLuxe, the crew couldn’t swing wide enough and ended up careening into the Union 76 station. “The crew loved it, they came in looking like they were shipwrecked and we had a wake for the S.S. Minnow,” Barry Rogel said. “The guy who was the skipper of the boat had the wheelhouse around his neck.”

Images over the decades from the DeLuxe

Another of Joe’s children, Scott Rogel is the name on the paperwork now as the family prepares for possible change at Broadway and Roy.

The 6,800-square-foot parcel is zoned to 75 feet, typical of Seattle’s commercial property outside highrise areas like downtown or First Hill. A new apartment building with ground floor commercial space — and maybe room for a new bar and restaurant — will rise to seven or eight stories on the corner, neighboring the old Harvard Exit theater which was transformed five years ago into the home for the Consulate of Mexico in Seattle.

Meanwhile, the DeLuxe will continue to mark its 60th year of food, drink, and memories in the neighborhood.

 

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Below Broadway
Below Broadway
11 months ago

The first bar I ever drank at in Seattle, years ago. And many times since. Will be very much missed.

Barry Rogel
11 months ago
Reply to  Below Broadway

This is Barry Rogel, owner of the DeLuxe. The Deluxe is not going anywhere, same for Aoki and Dreamscape.
Any talk of an impending demise is greatly exaggerated.

Real Talk
Real Talk
11 months ago
Reply to  Barry Rogel

Just going through the motions with the city, Barry? Nothing to see here. Just … spending money on the permitting process to demolish the building buuuuuuut, nope, not gonna demolish the building. This one’s landmarked, yeah? Tell me it’s landmarked.

Matt
Matt
11 months ago
Reply to  Real Talk

Do you care more about the building, or the businesses and community? It seems like they have roots in the community and have always fostered a neighborhood vibe. Cities are always in flux, this is why we have things like books and museums to preserve history. From the article it sounds like the building is about 90 years old, imagine what the neighborhood looked like at the time… The first white settlers had only arrived in what would later become Seattle about 80 years earlier. Eventually the building will need updating and in my mind it would make sense to grow along with the neighborhood 🤷🏻‍♂️

Real Talk
Real Talk
11 months ago
Reply to  Matt

I care about that building, yes. I spent many years at the Deluxe. I also care about people being straight about what they’re up to. I also happen to believe that new isn’t always better, and I find far higher value in aesthetics of previous years. Owning old buildings myself, I fully understand some of the challenges, but I find them worth it.

Not sure what the first white settlers have to do with any of this but ok.

Matt
Matt
11 months ago
Reply to  Real Talk

The reference to white settlers is to say, at the time this building was built, 90 years prior Seattle wasn’t even an idea yet. I appreciate people like the Rogels who seem to have run a beloved community business and provided space for other small businesses in the neighborhood. It takes a lot of hard work and passion to make something from just an idea. I appreciate your passion for the aesthetic of older buildings, and commitment to owning and managing several. What gets me about this mentality in modern Seattle (and society at large) is that when people get nostalgic about losing old spaces, it’s often and idea of what it once was or could be, but never really a fully fledged plan, just a way to knock down an actual idea to create something. If we continue to “historically preserve” buildings in Seattle at the rate we are, then it will become a living museum-like amusement park for only the rich, and those fortunate enough to afford a flight/cruise or live within transit/driving range… Personally, I would rather live in a city built around people and their needs (within ecological limits), rather than building aesthetics, which to me seems a bit frivolous.

zach
zach
11 months ago
Reply to  Matt

I disagree that preserving worthy old buildings is “frivolous.” Doing so is not just aesthetic, but part of maintaining a quality of life and an appreciation of our history as a city. It’s entirely possible to do this AND also have a “city built around people.” It’s not either/or.

And I would just point out that we are in the process of building many more new buildings than we are preserving older ones.

Matt
Matt
11 months ago
Reply to  zach

I sure hope we are building more new buildings than preserving older ones, you are aware how many more people there are in Seattle now, right!? That is how cities work, half of Rome is built from the reused building materials of other buildings. I have no issue with maintaining and preserving historic buildings, in fact I think if done well with the right partnerships it could be a great way for the social housing initiative to build out into the city, but I’m sick of that same mentality being used to defend buildings that have been sitting unused or in unkempt state.

None of these comments apply to the De Luxe building, as I said, I think it’s charming, but I also would be fine with it becoming something else. Nostalgia is a strong emotion, and we long for things from the past for many reasons, but it’s also important to live in the present and think more holistically about community needs.

Your Neighborhood Socialist Nogoodnik
Your Neighborhood Socialist Nogoodnik
11 months ago
Reply to  zach

The quality of life is not seeing a building that pleases some ineffable sense of contentment upon sight, its what tomfoolery you get up to inside that lends itself to creating history, over and over again.

Dr. Dog
Dr. Dog
11 months ago
Reply to  Barry Rogel

Thank you! The DeLuxe is a Capitol Hill treasure.

x.g.
x.g.
11 months ago

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Barry, I REALLY hope that you won’t touch DeLuxe. It’s the CHEERSiest of neighborhood bars left this side of Ship Canal, if not the entire city.

Build ATOP this glorious landmark (it really is a landmark, and a 1931 architectural beauty).
Cantilever to your heart’s content!

Just, spare the old beauty on the corner and its best-in-class beers and frites with pool table, always served with a smile within.

And, if -heaven forbid- you ever dare to tear it all down (and actually get clearance to), DeLuxe can NEVER, ever go away. Just add veggie poutine and some more veg’ options to the menu and respect the power of the business your family has built! You have so many fans who see DeLuxe as a big part of their lives and as an important landmark to Seattle and, especially, North Capitol Hill. ;-)

Barry
11 months ago
Reply to  x.g.

Given how the drawing that is shown is worded, I totally get the reaction received. After 38 years as the owner of the DeLuxe and as an owner of the building, I understand its place in the community. The drawing is worded inartfully but it allows us to ask the City how they would deal with utilities, sidewalks, etc, if we wanted to do any major alteration of the building and at the most extreme if the current building could not support putting housing above it and a new building was contemplated. The DeLuxe, Aoki, and Dreamscape all have leases and are successful business and are not going anywhere. There are no permits filed to tear down the building or otherwise start developing it.The development process in Seattle is a public process and that is why the drawing was easily accessed and became the basis for the blog article. That is how it should be. Thank you for letting me respond.

Sarah
Sarah
11 months ago
Reply to  Barry

Barry, I’m grateful for your quick and clear response. That update in the article should be more prominently featured. And the comments casting your intent as nefarious are over the top. But I get the strong reactions because until the paragraph with the update I was really feeling the pang. The Deluxe is a gem.

Austin
Austin
11 months ago
Reply to  Barry

Nice update, thank you :)

Decline Of Western Civilization
Decline Of Western Civilization
11 months ago

More $3200 apartments, yay. I just love living in other peoples long term investment strategies.

Defund all police
Defund all police
11 months ago

DO NOT LIKE THIS… greedy developers ruining Seattle’s culture. Upzone Wallingford, Magnolia, etc. before taking our culture…

Matthew
Matthew
11 months ago

What a great idea, don’t upzone the area of the city that is a massive public transit hub and upzone neighborhoods with horrible public transit access. smh

Defund all police
Defund all police
11 months ago
Reply to  Matthew

Yes. It’s their turn. Force transit plans to start considering them post upzoning.

east coast cynic
east coast cynic
11 months ago
Reply to  Matthew

Capitol Hill has already been plenty upzoned. It’s time to go after those NE Seattle neighborhoods that believe their SFH communities are sacrosanct and shouldn’t be touched, e.g., Wedgewood, Maple Leaf, Laurelhurst.

Boo
Boo
11 months ago

Why don’t we just say “enough building”? And what’s wrong with single family homes? Sure wish I could’ve lived in one….

Allan
Allan
11 months ago

This is heartbreaking.

I wish they were at least going to keep the street-level facade and add the boxes on top. Doesn’t the city allow developers to build higher when they do this? Also, keeping the old building at street level is not cost prohibitive, developers do it all the time, especially with the carrot of being allowed to build higher. Destroying this in favor of more maximum-revenue-per-square-foot cheapness-chase-the-short-term-buck ugliness is just a shame.

Defund all police
Defund all police
11 months ago
Reply to  Allan

1000000%

d.c.
d.c.
11 months ago

Good lord, you might want to update the headline, since that seems to be all people are reading. Glad to hear the Deluxe isn’t going away just yet, my mom went as a kid and so did I (though we mainly went to Charlie’s). Hopefully the next generation will too.

If they want to add a couple storeys for housing that would not be wrong though it might of course be disruptive. As the owner notes in the thread it’s good that the process is public but it can be misleading.

louise
louise
11 months ago

My goodness, the Rogel family has operated a wonderful civic minded business on Capitol Hill for decades and have ridden all the economic waves of that time, good and bad. If they can develop their property, provide housing and continue for decades more serving good food and good times GOOD FOR THEM! I wish them all the best and hope for all of their efforts and for hanging on so long at the north end of Broadway they are able to see their property realized financially. It’s time they were rewarded for sticking it out for so long.

Defund all police
Defund all police
11 months ago
Reply to  louise

The building is something they are fortunate to own. They should not get free reigns to develop it how they like as it existed long before them and is part of a culture in Seattle.