Capitol Hill’s Redhook Brewlab in middle of big decision in big beer as Anheuser-Busch passes on purchase of Portland’s Craft Beer Alliance

Inside the Brewlab

Corporate beer, supposedly, sucks. Does smaller corporate beer suck… less? The Capitol Hill-based future for Redhook’s Brewlab isn’t exactly independent but it won’t fall fully under the shadow of global beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev now that the international behemoth has let the deadline pass for an option to fully purchase Redhook’s Portland parent, the Craft Brew Alliance.

“While disappointing, with this decision made, management can turn its attention to refining strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value,” CBA head Andy Thomas said in a statement. Continue reading

Portland’s Sizzle Pie says can’t cut it in Seattle, shutting down Capitol Hill pizzeria and Dark Bar

Burnside-born Sizzle Pie could make its recipe of metal and pizza work in Portland, Eugene and even Reno. But Seattle? Not so much. The pizzeria chain announced Tuesday it is closing its Capitol Hill joint and sister venue Dark Bar at the end of August due to what it says are the rising costs of doing business in Seattle:

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the imminent closure of our Capitol Hill location on August 31, 2019. We are eternally grateful for all of the wonderful years that we were able to be a part of the Capitol Hill community. We’ve worked alongside so many great organizations and local businesses in our time here and we will miss you all dearly.

“Unfortunately, the continually rising overhead and operating costs in Seattle have brought us to the very difficult decision to close this location,” the statement reads. Continue reading

With Poppy’s Broadway days at an end, sibling Lionhead getting new owners

With Poppy now closed after 11 years of Capitol Hill greatness and the northern Broadway restaurant undergoing a transformation into the new Carrello from the Altura restaurant family, the future for Poppy’s little next door sibling is now a bit more clear.

Lionhead, born in August 2015 as chef/owner Jerry Traunfeld’s play space for the flavors of the Sichuan peppercorn, will have new, familiar owners. Continue reading

I drank this on Capitol Hill: The Paulownia at Bar Vacilando

Jack was at the counter of Bar Vacilando as a ray of sunlight streaming in from the skylight, beckoned CHS inside. An avid hiker, backpacker, and long distance cycler, Jack just returned from Vesper Peak in the North Cascades. The chosen drink was the Paulownia, named for the large tree on the patio. Botanical Gin, shaken with Green Chartreuse, muddled lime, and agave is strained into a highball and topped with a touch of soda, a mint leaf, and lime wedge. Refreshing as a vesper breeze. Continue reading

La Dive bar to bring natural wines and frozen wine cocktails to the ‘grown-up’ block of Pike/Pine

Watch out, kids, you newborn legends of Pike/Pine. While you are busy getting your drink and dance on around 10th and Pike, the grown ups are gathering to the west. And they’re bringing natural wines and frozen wine cocktails with them.

La Dive will be the latest edition to E Pike’s maturing nightlife scene when it opens in an art gallery, turned sandwich shop, soon to turn natural wine and frosé bar. But even on the most grown-up block of E Pike, the folks behind La Dive don’t want to be known as a wine bar.

“That term sounds a little too formal for me,” nightlife entrepreneur and La Dive co-owner Kate Opatz tells CHS.” It will be a little dive-y. But you can also get an interesting glass of wine there.”

The new bar’s ownership acquired the Other Coast sandwich shop which had been on the market. Continue reading

More about Carrello, the restaurant set to replace Capitol Hill classic Poppy

(Image: Carrello)

With one more week to enjoy Capitol Hill classic Poppy before it serves its last thali and eggplant fries, CHS caught up with the chef behind the project set to define what comes next in the restaurant space at Broadway and Roy.

Nathan Lockwood says his Carrello and its dim sum-like carts of stuzzichini, antipasti, salumi and seasonal vegetable dishes won’t be aping some rarified dining experience the chef encountered in a far off land.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere that’s going to be like what we do,” Lockwood tells CHS.

CHS broke the news earlier this month on the new project from Nathan and Rebecca Lockwood set to replace 11-year-old Poppy with Jerry Traunfeld saying he is ready to step out of the kitchen and move to Palm Springs.

Carrello will join the Altura family directly across the street from the James Beard nominated favorite. Lockwood says the proximity was a “primary factor” and that any expansion had to be within “walking distance.” Continue reading

Zaika hopes to bring a Capitol Hill happy hour take on Indian food to former Tango space

(Image: CHS)

A departure from date nights and tapas, Zaika hopes to bring Indian food and drinks with a modern twist to Tango’s former space and the rest of Capitol Hill’s happy hour scene.

“I want to introduce more Indian drinks to this area, as other Indian restaurants do not focus as much on drinks,” said Nitin Panchal, the owner of Zaika. “We have a sizable bar, and I want people to come, hang out, and have a nice time in addition to enjoying Indian food.”

Zakia will replace Tango Restaurant and Lounge on the corner of Pike and Boren, as the tapas joint closed after its 19-year tenure at the base of the Hill. Panchal plans to get creative, knowing Zaika has big shoes to fill. “This will be an American restaurant serving Indian food,” Panchal said, hoping to adapt a variety of traditional Indian dishes and drinks to happy hour tastes of today.

According to Panchal, introducing Indian food to happy hour will require a significant departure from a typical Indian restaurant’s aesthetic and menu, incorporating traditional recipes and popular spices into cocktails and happy hour bites. Continue reading

With an homage — or three — to the past, new restaurant coming to old Broadway Grill space

The Broadway Grill (Image: CHS)

For the first time in six years, 314 Broadway E has plans to host a Halloween costume contest. The Broadway Grill will remain only a ghost but a new project from a Broadway restaurant owner teaming up in a partnership with his longtime chef will put the venue back into motion this fall.

Witness owner Gregg Holcomb and the southern-influenced restaurant and bar’s chef Jesse Elliott are teaming up on the as of yet unnamed project set to take over the long-empty Broadway Grill with a new restaurant hoped to evoke much of the spirit of the long gone old joint.

“We will bring back some of the old Grill feel, working on an homage to the old menu and some throwbacks,” Holcomb said;

The plan for the project — tentatively titled Olmstead to evoke Capitol Hill’s shadowy bootlegger history — is a cleaning-up of seven years of disuse and an overhaul of the old, huge restaurant. Holcomb said the old Grill’s sections — the open front, the atrium, and the warrened-awar back room will be utilized to give the new project separate components including a back “Sportsball Room” planned as a space for people to gather to watch games and special events together.

The new joint will also make space for trivia, karaoke, and, maybe just maybe, “light dancing.”

It will not be a total gutting of the past. “The space has a tremendous layout as it is,” Holcomb said. Continue reading

In a sea of Capitol Hill poke joints, Aloha Cup Bap’s Hawaiian approach stands out

(Image: Aloha Cup Bap)

Its founders hope Aloha Cup Bap’s traditional Hawaiian poke will separate the shop from the sea of poke joints around Capitol Hill. The poke spot now has two locations around the Hill after it opened its second shop on Broadway this spring.

“Opening our first location a year and a half ago was a difficult job because customers didn’t really know what poke was. Now we have returning customers and wanted to open a second location,” said Tony O, one of Aloha Cup Bap’s owners along with Madelene Phung and Yuree Chong.

With locations on 12th Ave and now Broadway, Aloha Cup Bap is creating an island chain of fresh fish spots through the neighborhood. Continue reading

A Prime Day visit to Amazon’s coming soon Capitol Hill grocery store — UPDATE

In March, CHS showed Amazon was, indeed, a “Go” on E Pike. In July, Seattle-based tech news site Geekwire gave us the best look yet at what is to come in the 500-block, 10,000-square-foot retail project in the ground floor of the seven-story AVA development built on the auto row bones of the block’s Mercedes Benz dealership: “an unusually large space for a potential new Amazon Go store… the first in a residential area.”

For Prime Day, CHS is giving you the first peek inside. Yup, looks like an Amazon grocery store. Continue reading