Street Treats counter and its custom ice cream sandwiches ready in the Central District

“Here’s Andi! Our first customer. Very soft opening now until 8!” (Image: Street Treats)

The Street Treats truck has a place to park. After moving its production kitchen to E Union, the mobile dessert and custom ice cream sandwich provider, is now ready to debut its walk-up counter offering “street treats” to its new Central District neighbors.

The official opening is planned for Saturday, April 22nd but stop by for a soft opening snack if you get the mood.

Street Treats adding ice cream sandwiches, sweets to busy scene around 23rd and Union

Capitol Hill Community Post | Introducing Modern Steep Tea Company

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 2.37.54 PMFrom Modern Steep Tea Company

Christopher Glenn, spokesman for RCTea Corp., announced that Remedy Teas has changed its name to Modern Steep Tea Company, effective April 12, 2017.

For nearly 11 years, the business operated under the trade name Remedy Teas.  However, owners, staff and many customers have long shared that the name was too narrowly defining as it suggested a focus on medicinal and functional herbal teas rather than the much broader line of organic pure leaf teas and custom blends that the company represents.

The new name, Modern Steep, is more all encompassing while reflecting the business as one whose mission is to source and sell high quality, organic teas in an accessible, contemporary and down-to-earth fashion.  The aesthetic of the company is modern in nature and not particularly British- or Asian-inspired. Furthermore, the company is headquartered in a modern café location featuring a casual, upbeat vibe, and located in Capitol Hill – one of Seattle’s most vibrant and diverse neighborhoods.

The name change comes also at a time during which the locally-owned, independent company is expanding its online presence, selling teas and accessories throughout the United States and Canada. New retail packaging designs and options have been released as part of the change in name with other gift packs and retail products being released later this summer. The café also has a fresh new look inside featuring a warmer color palette and the addition of new plants.

While it may be hard to get used to the name change, staff and customers have been excited about the change and how it will better represent the company going forward.

As a long-time customer recently put it, “the name will finally make sense to friends and colleagues when I invite them to join me for a cup of my favorite tea.”

Hula Hula announces ‘grand re-opening’ Friday on Capitol Hill

Like we said, CHS will occasionally kick into action for vitally important news. Like this. Hula Hula, after a “tiki the shit” out of it overhaul of the old Clever Dunne’s space — will officially open Friday and begin its new life on Capitol Hill, owner Keith Robbins has announced.

“People love gathering at Hula Hula for karaoke and cocktails and we’ve been at it for 10 years strong,” Robbins says in the announcement, below. “Capitol Hill, specifically the Olive Way corridor, is the perfect neighborhood to continue the tiki bar tradition.”

HULA HULA REOPENS FRIDAY AT ITS NEW CAPITOL HILL OASIS
Same tiki-fabulous swagger and nightly karaoke; vibrant, new party-centric spot

SEATTLE—April 18, 2017—Seattle’s legendary Tiki-Karaoke bar, Hula Hula, will be back in action Friday after breezing its way across town (1.6 miles due east) to settle into its new festive digs at 1501 East Olive Way (at the corner of E. Howell). Open 365 days per year, hours will be daily from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | Dad’s dedication and a new generation — 30+ years of El Gallito

Elizabeth Lopez didn’t have to think long about what’s kept El Gallito open for so long.

“My dad’s dedication,” she said.

That dedication has kept the restaurant open since the early 1980s. Refugio Lopez was born in Mexico, but spent most of his life in the United States, living in Texas and Chicago before coming to Seattle in 1978. Lopez thinks it was 1983 or 84, when he opened El Gallito (Spanish for the little rooster). Refugio retired 13 years ago.

He brought the recipes with him from Mexico, Lopez said, and most of them, including classics like the enchilada sauce, haven’t changed since the day the place opened.

Like many small business owners, he involved his children, and Elizabeth and her brother, Ole, have worked at El Gallito since they were in high school. She grew up in the neighborhood, and her mother still lives on Capitol Hill, though Elizabeth has moved to Leschi and her brother to Madison Valley. Lopez said that as she’s gotten older, she’s grown to appreciate the business more, particularly how it can be good to be the boss, and make her own hours.

“We grew up, pretty much, in the restaurant,” she said. “I enjoy it more as an adult than I did as a kid.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | Rock star data scientists and UX design writers at The Lab

It was a small but remarkable crowd that gathered inside a new venue on 15th Ave E on a mid-March Thursday night. It is not every night a group gathers to rub elbows and enjoy a drink with a rock star data scientist.

CHS visited The Lab last month during an appearance by Field Cady, data scientist at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. For $60, data science fans got a copy of his new book, The Data Science Handbook, and a special presentation and signing with the author. Your ticket also got you a drink to help loosen up the conversation about data analysis methodology and big data software. Party! Continue reading

Born on 12th Ave, Eltana ready for Japanese expansion

Eltana's 12th Ave home (Image: Eltana)

Eltana’s 12th Ave home (Image: Eltana)

No fooling, they’re celebrating with wasabi schmear. Capitol Hill-born Eltana is expanding to Japan:

A local favorite, Eltana was approached out of the blue by Fujio Food Systems Ltd. of Osaka, Japan. Traded on the Osaka Securities Exchange, Fujio operates nearly 1,000 food and beverage facilities under several brand names in Japan, China, USA and other Asian countries.

Owner and co-founder Stephen Brown sent us word of the deal this week. “Although customers have been asking us for years to expand to the Eastside, I should have asked them to be more specific,” Brown joked in the announcement.

Japanese partner Fujio is presently evaluating sites in Osaka and Tokyo for a flagship launch later this year. While the approximately 2,000 Jews estimated to currently reside in the country might appreciate Eltana’s arrival, the bagel, of course, has agnostic appeal.

CHS first reported on Brown’s plans for a Montreal-style, wood-fired bagel shop on 12th Ave back in 2010. The concept was a hit with sales of more than 2,000 bagels a day in the first year. There are now four Eltanas across Seattle with plans for more around the region.

Capitol Hill food+drink | Salt and Straw expanding to Seattle in Pike Motorworks

Back in the day before there was such a thing, the lack of Capitol Hill ice cream was a neighborhood meme. In 2017, the situation has changed. While there isn’t yet a scoop shop on every block, Capitol Hill is home to some of the city’s finest — and most interesting — ice creams and frozen treats. And now the you scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream scene is about to get even more interesting.

Portland’s Salt and Straw has been flirting with Seattle since last summer. This year, CHS has learned the culinary-focused ice cream brand known fascinating flavors will continue its expansion beyond PDX and LA with a new shop on Capitol Hill at Pike and Boylston inside the preservation-friendly Pike Motorworks development that stretches a full block in the heart of Pike/Pine. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Last meals at the First Hill McDonald’s

IMG_8968CHS stopped by Tuesday morning for the final breakfast — ever? — at the First Hill McDonald’s. Of course, in 2017, McDonald’s will serve you “All Day Breakfast,” just part of the many strategies and optimizations the global burger chain has made to stay a part of 21st century dining habits and continue its run of “Billions and Billions Served.”

CHS reported in February on the coming demolition for the proletariat dining room and the corner of Madison and Minor’s future as host to a 700-Big Mac-tall apartment tower. You can attend a public pre-construction meeting on the project Thursday.

We never did hear back from franchise owner David Santillanes about the closure. Continue reading

Finishing one story from the Capitol Hill pizza boom — plus A Pizza Mart tale on First Hill

Meltdown tossed it in after less than a year of business at Pine and Minor

Meltdown tossed it in after less than a year of business at Pine and Minor

It’s true, Reddit, we did leave a storyline incomplete from the great Capitol Hill pizza boom of 2016. Let’s finish the story and, yes, start a new one with yet more pizza coming to a VERY TALL building on First Hill.

“If it would have taken off it would have been great,” Josh Carrigan tells CHS about the rise and fall of his Meltdown Pizza which was born and died in the Minor and Pine building during the 2016 boom in pie joints. “I just said, ah fuck it, I’m not happy anymore.”

Carrigan wasn’t new to Capitol Hill food and drink. For seven years, he has been part of building the no frills Still Liquor into a popular place to drink like a grownup beneath Melrose Market. Carrigan said it quickly turned out “the pizza market was saturated” so he pulled the plug early on the project and hit the slopes for a winter of snowboarding. He still holds the lease and says a new project is lined up for the space. More about that soon. It won’t be a pizza joint.

A Pizza Mart pie, coming to First Hill (Image: A Pizza Mart)

A Pizza Mart pie, coming to First Hill (Image: A Pizza Mart)

The next new pizza investment in the area will instead come at the base of a 31-story apartment tower on First Hill.

A fifth location of the A Pizza Mart pizza bar family has been building out its space in the Cielo Apartments at 800 Seneca and is close to opening. The 27-year-old pizza player is known for its liquor and pie combination. As Carrigan notes, it joins a saturated market but, with 30 stories of apartments above it, A Pizza Mart First Hill might come with a built-in customer base.

 

Olive Tree’s new Capitol Hill branch now open on 15th Ave E

The flavors of the Mediterranean — by way of Kent — are now resident on 15th Ave E. Olive Tree opened this week in the space of a short-lived Latin American restaurant and a long-lived Bagel Deli.

CHS talked earlier this year with  Zana Abdulaziz who opened the first Olive Tree in Kent with his brother-in-law Ranj Rebwar in 2009. Abdulaziz told CHS the business partners chose 15th Ave E because it is a community-based neighborhood in the midst of the busy Capitol Hill restaurant scene. “We have an amazing product,” Abdulaziz told CHS last month. “We have an amazing vision of what we’re trying to do. If Olive Tree is to take off, Capitol Hill is the place to make it happen.” Continue reading