Capitol Hill currently down one coffee shop

(Image: Honor Coffee)

Honor Coffee, a Seattle-area chain that got its early start on a hoped path to market in China with a 2015 opening on Capitol Hill, has quietly closed one of its two cafes in the neighborhood.

The Honor cafe at 15th and Pine is dark and empty this week. CHS was told by a person familiar with the situation that Honor decided not to renew its lease for the space. We have not heard back from Honor Cafe’s Hana Hu about the closure.  Continue reading

KUOW: More women come forward with Meinert accusations


Six more women have come forward with stories of sexual misconduct and assault against Seattle nightlife entrepreneur David Meinert. They include a musician, a journalist, and a woman working with the public relations and crisis communications firm Meinert hired to try to control the brewing storm around him.

From KUOW’s Sydney Brownstone:

Six more women have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct and assault against David Meinert, the Seattle nightlife entrepreneur. These women contacted KUOW after reading an earlier story about Meinert, in which five other women had accused him of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault and rape. The addition of these women’s stories makes 11 accusers total. They span the years 2001 to 2015.

KUOW’s report a week before the neighborhood’s Capitol Hill Block Party festivities on five women who accused Meinert of sexual misconduct and rape shocked Pike/Pine and sent reverberations through the many businesses he was involved in.

Last week, CHS reported on Meinert’s former Pike/Pine business partners buying him out of his Capitol Hill ventures including Lost Lake and the Comet. While Meinert has been removed as an owner on Capitol Hill, his money may still be involved in area businesses. Via Tribunali, one company CHS contacted during our reporting, told CHS it had also acted to distance itself from the 52-year-old. “I can confirm that David Meinert was separated from Via Tribunali immediately following the allegations against him,” owner Mike McConnell told CHS. “He is no longer a passive investor in any of our businesses.”

Meinert does not face criminal charges in any of the allegations. Some of the women who came forward in the latest report from KUOW said they were moved to stand with the first accusers as Meinert denied the specific allegations of rape and sexual assault. It is unlikely the most serious allegations will ever be heard in a criminal prosecution — the statute of limitations for sexual assault in Washington is three years if not reported to police within one year of the incident. Efforts to change parts of the system like that might be the next chapter as the victims and Meinert’s former associates look to move forward.

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Still meaty, Central Smoke rises on E Jefferson

Eric Banh and chef Mike Whisenhunt (Images: CHS)

A rush of red meat in the Seattle restaurant scene has settled out with a transformation of E Jefferson steakhouse Seven Beef into a new concept centered on more accessible but still meaty offerings — Central Smoke.

With fried rice and pickled cucumber on the menu alongside ribs and brisket, Central Smoke now brings Texas-style smoked meats and a unique combination of Taiwanese, Japanese and Chinese flavors to E Jefferson. Headed by owner Eric Banh and chef Mike Whisenhunt, who together carry more than 40 years of experience in the kitchen, the new bar and smokery replaced Seven Beef on the corner of E Jefferson and 13th Ave last month.

“What we do is multicultural. I would call it very eclectic,” Banh said. “I want to do something that is very soulful and really feed our creativity and passion.”

Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Pony bar negotiating small change to make a little room for big bus project on Madison

When it comes to Capitol Hill gay bar Pony, inches matter.

“It’s been a tough road,” owner Mark Stoner tells CHS. But he insists the Seattle Department of Transportation has been friendly to deal with even in a situation involving a multi-million project, the whims of the Trump administration’s approach to federal transportation funding, and a major Seattle artery in line for massive change.

Stoners tells CHS that a permit recently issued for removing 242 square feet of Pony’s famed patio along the E Madison side of the structure is related to a unique situation for the bar that has stood on the triangular parcel along the busy street since 2009 — its tiny chunk of patio is the only property along the route that the city needs when it finally digs in on the $120 million+, 11-stop Madison Bus Rapid Transit project that will connect First Hill through to Madison Valley via Capitol Hill with speedy, regular Metro bus service in the busy corridor.  Continue reading

Paper sign in the window season: Goodbye Octo, recover soon Fogon, welcome YoYo Station

An artist rendering of a new sign set to replace the paper sign that went up announcing Broadway’s Tea Republik is no more

When a business dies on Capitol Hill, it can often be a quiet affair — especially in summer, the season of printed paper “closed for remodel” messages. Thanks to CHS readers, we hear about a lot of these signs during the summer months. Not all of them are bad news. Below, as part of CHS’s ongoing duty to keep track of the comings and goings of Capitol Hill, here are some of the signs and business changes we’ve been asked about. Remember that behind every business are people and hopes and dreams so no need to speak ill of the dead and paper-signed. Continue reading

Sexual misconduct and rape accusations force Meinert to sell stake in Lost Lake and the Comet

This “PSA” was posted by the venues Thursday

When it comes to Capitol Hill nightlife ventures, David Meinert is now an ex-owner.

“As of earlier this week, Pike Pine Diner LLC and David Meinert came to an agreement to part ways. David is officially no longer an owner at Lost Lake, Comet, Guild Seattle or Grim’s,” a statement from former Meinert business partner Joey Burgess sent Thursday to CHS and other Seattle media reads.

CHS reported earlier on the Pike/Pine business and jobs fallout in the wake of sexual misconduct and rape accusations against Meinert.

The 52-year-old, who denies the specific allegations of rape and sexual assault and does not face criminal charges in any of the allegations, has been forced to sell his stake in a collection of Capitol Hill bars and restaurants.

The Pike Pine Diner limited liability corporation owned by Meinert and longtime business partner Jason Lajeunesse has held Lost Lake and the Comet tavern, as well as shares in Grim’s, and Guild Seattle, the company that manages the venues. Meinert has now reportedly sold his stake in the holding company. Continue reading

Beneath Capitol Hill’s Rhino Room, it’s Now or Never

Check our new sister bar / club #noworneverseattle

A post shared by The Rhino Room (@rhinoroomsea) on

There are levels to it. Pike/Pine’s auto row-era bones that restaurants, bars, and nightclubs have put to good use often come with another past feature ready for nightlife repurposing. You can now celebrate the Pike/Pine underground at Rhino Room’s new subterranean sister bar, Now or Never.

The venue debuted around Capitol Hill Block Party. Building out a basement party zone is longterm endeavor. CHS broke the news on the project way back in January 2016 as Rhino Room owner Patric Gabre-Kidan began the planning process for the new bar beneath the 11th at Pine club.  Continue reading

With Twilight Exit’s new thing on Rainier, there’s only one Union

Dark and drinky inside the Twilight Exit (Image: CHS)

Fans of Capitol Hill food+drink drama, settle down. Thanks to Central District classic joint the Twilight Exit, there won’t be any litigative battle over the name chosen for Capitol Hill’s newest gay bar.

Commenters on CHS and social media have asked about whether there might end up being confusion between Capitol Hill’s new Union and Union Bar in Hillman City.

We can happily report there will be very little to no confusion — Union Bar is becoming Twilight Rainier.

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Twilight owner Stephan Mollmann confirms that the five-year-old Hillman City bar is now in the Twilight family.

The original Twilight Exit moved from E Madison to E Cherry in 2008. Today, a six-story apartment building stands at the original site across from the 22nd/Madison Safeway. Mollmann also opened The Neighbor Lady at 23rd and Union in 2011.

Capitol Hill Community Post | Seattle restaurants band together to help fight homelessness

From Ethan Stowell Restaurants

On Wednesday, August 8, over 80 local restaurants, food trucks, coffee shops, sweet shops, breweries, and bars join forces with Pearl Jam to raise funds to help fight homelessness in King County. The participating establishments will donate 10% of their profits from August 8 to The Home Shows.

Angela Stowell, co-owner of Ethan Stowell Restaurants, United Way of King County board member, and recently named CEO of FareStart spearheaded the effort.

“The restaurant community is a philanthropic and big hearted group of people,” said Stowell. “Everyone I approached about participating signed on immediately, without hesitation.” Continue reading