With ‘twice-fried karaage nuggets’ and wings, Taku ready for comeback on Capitol Hill

(Image: Stephanie Forrer/Taku)

(Image: Stephanie Forrer/Taku)

Capitol Hill’s Top Chef Shota Nakajima is ready to launch a comeback in the world’s toughest food and drink reality competition — the Pike/Pine restaurant scene.

His neon-lit Taku, born mere hours before the world descended into the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to reopen as a karaage chicken bar:

Taku’s new menu will offer marinated, buttered and twice-fried karaage nuggets and wings available wet or dry in a five-piece, 10-piece or 15-piece order, as well as the return of the glorious F*ck it Bucket! Also in the lineup is a chicken karaage rice bowl, a curry karaage burger and a selection of classic Japanese sides like mac salad, furikake fries, cabbage salad, miso soup and more.

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New Finch and Pine seasonal Pacific Northwest cafe seeks to achieve neighborhood ‘symbiosis’ on Bellevue Ave

A Finch and Pine marble rye tartine with housemade gravlax, cured with fennel seeds and fennel frans. A seasonal selection of tartines will always be on the cafe menu. (Image: Finch and Pine)

The close relationship between a bird and a tree is the inspiration behind Finch and Pine, the seasonal Pacific Northwest cafe set to open soon in the former Cafe Barjot space on Bellevue Ave.

Sara Moran has visions of the crystal finch living in a pine forest, eating pinecones, and spreading seeds for more trees.

“What we would like to be — a symbiotic relationship with the community, the farmers, the fishermen,” Moran says.

Along with partner Paolo Gentile who will handle the beer and wine end of things, Moran is planning a May 6th reopening of the space. CHS reported here on the decision from owner Wylie Bush to sell Barjot and focus his efforts on nearby Joe Bar.

With experience from her own food allergies, Moran wants the menu — centered around locally grown produce, and seafood, and as many locally forged items on the menu as possible — to be gracefully friendly to diners including pescatarian, vegetarian, and items that “just happen to be” vegan or gluten free. Continue reading

After long court battle over $3 fee, Pagliacci settles $3.75M wage theft lawsuit with drivers

Capitol Hill-headquartered Pagliacci has settled a $3.75 million class action lawsuit brought on behalf of the Seattle pizza chain’s delivery drivers who sued over the company’s wage practices including “failing to pay delivery drivers the automatic ‘delivery charge’ paid by customers” and not passing along tips.

The wage theft settlement was reached earlier this year but announced by the E Pike headquartered chain Wednesday bringing a four-year court battle over the $3 delivery fee to a close.

“Pagliacci has engaged in a systematic scheme of wage and hour abuses against its pizza delivery drivers,” lawyers wrote in the 2017 complaint that kicked off the long legal tussle.

In a statement sent to media, Pagliacci said when the company first added the service charge, “it failed to state in all the places required by state statute precisely who received the money from the delivery fee.” Continue reading

KJ’s Bar, the new place to visit your E Olive Way friends and family

Kessler’s back in the day

Capitol Hill’s only dedicated bar for Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers fans has changed hands but the new owner doesn’t want to leave any of the midwestern watering hole friendliness behind.

KJ’s Bar is the next game for E Olive Way sports bar Kessler’s with a former bartender stepping out from behind the rail to take over the tavern.

“I want to be the neighborhood spot in Capitol Hill,” new owner KJ Dykema tells CHS about the change after six years of sports bar service on E Olive Way. Continue reading

CHS Pics | What it looked like when the farmers market moved into its new Capitol Hill Station home

After 11 years and one pandemic, the Capitol Hill Farmers Market debuted Sunday in its new forever home on Broadway amid the Capitol Hill Station plaza, the city’s converted “festival street” that runs through it, artwork of the under construction AIDS Memorial Pathway, hundreds of new market rate apartments, more than 100 new affordable apartments, and thousands of square feet of new retail, grocery, and restaurant space hoped to be full of activity over the summer.

That bounty of change was greeted by a Seattle spring day imitating August with sunny blue skies. Here’s what it looked like.

CHS reported here on the new home and new layout for the weekly market bringing fresh fruits and vegetables, and vendor creations to the neighborhood. For now, the market will continue with its every Sunday 11 AM to 3 PM schedule but the future could bring expanded days and hours. The market is currently operating under pandemic restrictions with about half as many vendors as will eventually fill the space. Continue reading

Catch award-winning Ben’s Bread pop-ups at 12th Ave’s Southpaw

(Image: Ben’s Bread)

These days, pop-ups, takeout dinner kits, and ordering online are just some options restaurants, and consumers alike have had to navigate in the new pandemic-normal. For Ben’s Bread however, husband-and-wife duo Ben and Megan Campbell have been operating bread pop-ups for almost six years. Last year when brick-and-mortar establishments shuttered temporarily, to later transition to takeout, Ben’s Bread maintained their monthly pop-ups at Southpaw on 12th Ave. throughout the pandemic without missing a beat.

“When we first started . . . I remember having to explain to people, ‘Okay, you just order and you pay for it online, and you show up at this place and time where it’s ready for you. You don’t have to pay once you show up.’” Campbell said. “That was so much of our effort was convincing people that we were real people who weren’t trying to take their money, and they’d show up and there would be bread. Now . . . . People are used to looking online for where to get their food, planning it in advance, going out of their way and making a little extra effort to find something they think is going to be special. We were already set up to do that.” Continue reading

The Capitol Hill Farmers Market is moving to Capitol Hill Station — Here’s what it will look like

(Image: CHS)

Sunday, the Capitol Hill Farmers Market will realize community hopes more than a decade in the making as it moves to its new home in the middle of the Capitol Hill Station plaza and along the E Barbara Bailey Way “festival street.”

Here’s how it will look with the new layout including E Denny/Barbara Bailey closed to cars during the market every Sunday, vendors lined up along the street, and a cluster of more vendor tents and tables inside the plaza. Continue reading

HoneyHole to expand to Central District with second, ‘three times larger’ location

(Image: HoneyHole)

Pike/Pine classic sandwich joint the HoneyHole is expanding with a second, much larger location only a few miles from the original where the Central District meets the edges of 12th Ave and Seattle University.

The new owners of the classic sandwich joint are hoping to bring together a recipe inspired by the E Pike original to transform the new second location on E Jefferson, a restaurant space most recently home to Central Smoke before that venture shuttered pre-pandemic in early 2020.

“We’re super excited about the opportunities this larger location provides,” HoneyHole owner Kristin Rye said in the announcement of the expansion. “We can host parties, pop-ups, community events and even live music, which were all a bit of a challenge at our Cap Hill location.” Continue reading

With birria and churros, Carmelo’s Tacos opens new, just a little bit larger 12th Ave location

The Asada Tacos at the new Carmelo’s

Born as as a walk-up counter with the slimmest of seating areas part of the Hillcrest Market, tiny Carmelo’s Tacos is getting bigger with its new 12th ave at Cherry location now open.

“It’s been fun. A lot of people are coming out to try the birria and new items,” manager Miguel Cruz says. “We feel the support from the community. We’re grateful.”

Cruz said the new location is picking up speed, serving 100 to 150 people a day — still nowhere close to the staggeringly busy pace the original location inside the quick mart at Summit and E Olive Way has kept up through the pandemic. Continue reading

URL Coffee introduces a design-savvy café on First Hill

Over a year in the making, URL Coffee features a specialty coffee menu, plans for a future in-house food program, and an eye for design. URL’s shelves and table are by Italian designer Enzo Mari (Image: URL Coffee)

The playful, design-forward URL Coffee at 524 Broadway just opened in mid-March, and despite being sandwiched between a couple other cafe options at Sharetea and QED Coffee, URL is already carving out a unique space on First Hill.

URL aims to provide a “healthy pleasure,” that begins with coffee, and expands beyond just caffeination alone.

Now open for business, the café boasts a stylish interior of eclectic tastes.

“We wanted to create a unique mood at URL by gathering the beauty that we have imagined, all in one place,” a representative for the cafe said. “We mixed mid century modern designer furniture with contemporary furniture . . . URL presents new beauty by bringing together old, established things, Eastern and Western things, and things from different times and spaces.” Continue reading