Taco service restored at E Olive Way’s The Saint — Plus, Anejo set to open on Broadway

No, Quentin Ertel is not an evil taco genius.

“As much as I’d like to say this was all part of a grand plan it really came down to two things,” Ertel tells CHS about the happy restoration of taco service at his E Olive Way establishment, The Saint. “The first is that I missed the tacos something fierce. And the second is that our regulars really missed our kitchen. Once we found the right chef it was an easy decision — we decided to give the people what they want!” Continue reading

CHS Pics | Pulling shots with Capitol Hill’s Babe Ruth of craft coffee

Founder — and one of the forefathers of Seattle’s craft coffee movement — David Schomer moved back behind the bar Wednesday to help celebrate Espresso Vivace’s thirty years on Capitol Hill.

The coffee expert — and metrologist and flautist — handled the lunchtime rush pulling free shots of Vivace’s Malabar roast and Ethiopian Sidamo at Vivace’s Brix location on Broadway. Thursday, he’ll join the crew at Vivace’s South Lake Union outpost.

Schomer’s technical approach to the art of coffee has earned him legendary status. If you have enjoyed a Schomer pull, it’s a little like getting to play catch with Babe Ruth.

“If you don’t thrill to make people happy with your art, find another job,” Schomer tells CHS, “because this is absolutely all about making people happy.”

E Pike’s Redhook Brewlab hosting weekend IPA fest

We can pout about big beer’s decision to play a big role in Capitol Hill’s brewing scene. Or we can enjoy some of the perks that come with major beer brands putting their assets to work creating the ultimate marketing: goodwill with good beer.

This weekend, E Pike’s Redhook Brewlab, owned and operated by global brew force Craft Beer Alliance of solar system dominating AB InBev, will host a celebration of the beer shelf dominating IPA:

Redhook Brewlab is throwing a three-day party to celebrate craft beer’s top style, the India Pale Ale, as it hosts IPA Daze from April 20 to April 22. The event will feature a total of 32 IPAs: 16 from Redhook, and 16 from a who’s who of Evergreen State brewers. Everyone will be bringing their “A” game – with a variety of takes on the IPA, from traditional and imperial IPAs to fruit IPAs and hazies. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Surfrider Foundation, Seattle Chapter.

There will be KEXP DJs and tunes. For some reason, there will also be a baby goat petting zoo on Friday, 4/20, from 5 to 7 PM. Continue reading

Espresso Vivace: 30 years of artisanal coffee on Capitol Hill

This week, Capitol Hill’s Espresso Vivace celebrates thirty years in business with a reinvention of its mission — and free shots. From its genesis as a Broadway coffee cart to its current incarnation comprising two storefronts, a sidewalk stand, and a 5,000-square-foot roasting plant, Vivace has established a reputation for technical excellence in coffee preparation. They were on the vanguard of the artisan espresso revolution, educating both industry and customers and defining expectations for high-end coffee from flavor to equipment to the foam art in your latte. At this three-decade milestone, Vivace now shifts course to emphasize their roasting capabilities.

“We’d really like to reach out to people to let them know how phenomenal this roast is,” says David Schomer, who founded Vivace in 1988 with his then-wife/still-partner Geneva Sullivan, “The precision with which you can brew coffee leads to your ability to detect where the caramelized sugars in the original flavors are at their maximum development for each bean.”

Schomer has a way of launching into deep-dive digressions about the exacting science of espresso with little provocation. He’s a student of coffee who also wrote the book on it, literally; his 1995 guide Espresso Coffee: Tools, Techniques and Theory is now in its third printing and has been translated into Korean, Japanese, and Russian. He also makes tutorial videos and teaches classes for professional and home baristas. Continue reading

Capitol Hill cat cafe credited with helping boost King County pet adoption

A sleepy moment inside Neko

King County says it has been able to boost its pet adoption rate to 92% thanks to partnerships with pet stores and a new trend of cat-focused businesses — including Capitol Hill’s Neko Cafe.

The adoption rate has risen from a sad 51% in 2003, the county reports.

“The latest milestone is the result of several strategies, including partnering with cafes and pet stores to make it easier to adopt cats, starting a new dog playgroup to help staff and volunteers better assess a dog’s behavior, revamping the volunteer program, and significantly increasing the number of pets that are licensed,” a King County announcement on the happy numbers reads. Continue reading

Talk Gender to Me campaign hopes to educate on ‘gender considerate’ language in Capitol Hill’s restaurants and bars

Pronouns matter and Capitol Hill’s communities of bars, restaurants, and clubs are one of its key mixing spaces. It’s an opportunity for people to talk and come together and, sometimes because of words and misunderstanding, move apart.

“Through our experience educating, listening and empowering workers we learned that asking workers to come to us for workshops was a harder lift,” Debbie Carlsen, director, of the LGBTQ Allyship tells CHS. “Instead we want to go to them in their workplace. Many of the workers we were educating were working in the restaurant industry and we know anecdotally that LGBTQ people disproportionately work in hospitality jobs.” Continue reading

Metier Brewing Co., a short four-hour loop ride from E Union

Capitol Hill’s craft beer scene is growing — you just need to add a four-hour loop to your ride.

E Union’s Metier headquarters will be joined by a new venture a short, 21-mile bike ride away in Woodinville where Metier Brewing Co. is being planned to open this spring:

MBC is a bike-friendly destination in the heart of Woodinville, featuring our distinctive award-winning beers, simple eats, and locally produced wine.

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Capitol Hill beer maker Elysian’s summer plans include new Pride party, overhauled brewery

Elysian Brewing Company

(Image: Elysian Brewery)

Capitol Hill’s Elysian Brewery is stepping up with a bigger party during the neighborhood’s annual Pride festivities this summer before taking a brewing break for a major overhaul of its E Pike beer making facility.

A June 23rd Pride Saturday beer garden will join the gardens around Pike/Pine include outside the Wildrose and The Cuff with a portion of proceeds benefitting Seattle Pride.

“We were so excited, we hugged and there were tears,” Elysian’s Beth Goldfinger said about the moment the sponsorship opportunity came together.

June will be a big month for the pub and brewery. On June 1st, Elysian will host a party celebrating its annual “Glitter is Pride Ale” release. Following the June events, Elysian’s E Pike brewery is getting a complete overhaul so the company can level-up production.

Elysian joined what is called the “craft” wing of Anheuser-Busch InBev when they were purchased by the beer giant in 2015. The move that galvanized their share of market in 13 national markets and expanded it to almost all 50 states but according to Elysian co-founder Joe Bisacca, the new ownership moved forward with select companies it could rely on for their expertise and to be autonomous. Last year saw an investment in upgrading the pub and restaurant experience at Elysian. In the meantime, Redhook, another AB InBev acquisition, has focused its production fully on its Capitol Hill home a few blocks away from the Elysian.

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Little Neon Taco: a different take on the Dimas Model on First Hill

Monica Dimas

Little Neon Taco is not created under the Dimas Model — small, stylish, and pop-up light. For one, it’s not little. For two, it’s not inside somebody else’s bar. And for three, it’s on First Hill.

For four, there’s another element: The food is typically delicious and relatively affordable.

Monica Dimas’s newest creation is now open on Boren just off E Madison. It’s related to its original sister Neon Taco born inside Broadway’s Nacho Borracho — but, in this case, little sister is the big girl. With a big space and an emphasis on lunch, Little Neon is another step into daylight hours for Dimas who is ready to become a mother for the first time.

Not that she’s exactly resting. Continue reading