Aviv Hummus Bar — Five years of ‘HOOM-uhs’ love on Capitol Hill

David Nussbaum is passionate about Israeli food, and in particular, hummus — so much so, that he kept his restaurant, Aviv Hummus Bar, running through a pandemic that shuttered other successful restaurants in the neighborhood.

His is a passion that shows up in the hummus made fresh daily and the falafel fried fresh for each order, so it’s no wonder that on September 8th of 2022, he celebrated five years of serving not just Capitol Hill, but customers from all over Washington.

As the only “Hummus Bar” in the state, Nussbaum’s love for hummus is what keeps Aviv going.

“It’s a lifestyle. It’s simple, it’s sexy, it’s delicious. It can be eaten any time of the day; breakfast, lunch, dinner. And when it’s done right, when you don’t overload it with garlic and all these spices, and you have the best quality tahini, there’s just a flavor that you get from it that you can’t get with what I call “hummus” (“HUHM-uhs.”), which is like chunky and thick and all sorts of different flavors,” Nussbaum said. “So I’m really a purist when it comes to it. Keep it simple and clean and the nuttiness of the chickpea and the tahini come forward, it’s life changing.”

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CHS asked Capitol Hill people on the street what they thought about Independence Day in 2022 — Here is what they said

 

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The stars and stripes are frayed this 246th birthday of the United States of America. CHS wandered the streets of Capitol Hill over the 4th of July holiday weekend to ask people about the holiday and what it means to them in 2022.

We asked three not so simple questions:

  • How do you feel about the Fourth of July?
  • Are you going to celebrate?
  • And how do you feel about the direction the country is headed?

Here is what the people we found on Capitol Hill said:

Richard

How do you feel about the Fourth of July? 🎆 A lot of mixed emotions

Are you going to celebrate? 🥳 I’m retired, so I’ll have a beer on weekends anyways, no fireworks, nothing special.

How do you feel about the direction the country is headed? 🇺🇸 It’s very troubling. I’m a New Yorker, so I knew Trump when he was in business in New York. He was always sort of crooked and New York politics are tough and dirty. The world has become more that way. We’re more divided.

Victoria

🎆 Not the greatest.

🥳 Not really. I just don’t like where we’re at in politics and what just happened with the Supreme Court.

🇺🇸 Not good. It’s going down. It feels like we’re going backwards in time, regressing. We’re going to have put up a really good fight to keep moving forward.

Fatou

🎆 I don’t care for it. It’s a holiday, I get a day off from work.

🥳 Yeah (pointing to her partner) whatever he does, I’ll do.

🇺🇸 It’s expensive. We’re immigrants, we don’t have many opinions. It is getting expensive and there’s a lot of guns. A lot of drugs, but at the same time, this is a country where you have freedom of speech, a lot of liberties that other places may not have, so very appreciative of that.

Michael

🎆 It’s a day, just another day.

🥳 I might BBQ, I’m not looking for anything, because there’s not a lot to celebrate with all the things that are changing in the world. It seems like the country is being taken over by a bunch of Catholic extremists. Why celebrate how great the country is when we’re going backwards in time.

🇺🇸 I see this becoming like the Islamic State, but with Catholicism leading the charge.

Mark

🎆 Relaxed

🥳 Not really. I have friend festivities, just being around people that you want to be around.

🇺🇸 I think it’s going better than it did before. I think some people need to be in prison. My philosophy is I think Biden is doing his best to pull out the best he can from whatever the hell we went through.

Gabrielle

🎆 Not to be too funny about it, but I’d rather celebrate Post Malone’s birthday this year after Roe v. Wade and everything. A little dim. Continue reading

‘A labor of love,’ Capitol Hill’s European Vine Selections marks 50 years of bringing fine wines to Seattle — and tasting every single one

The wine world of the 1970’s was a wild time. The rising cost of imported wine was affecting American consumers and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms import laws around specific labeling for French and Spanish wine was cost prohibitive for small vintners. In 1972, to help counter these frustrations, four Seattle friends decided to open their own wine business, lessening the damage done to their own bank accounts, and in return starting a legacy of knowledge, passion, and decades of experience tasting wine that continues to this day on Capitol Hill.

European Vine Selections opened for four hours a week during the first two years at its original Fremont location, and in 1974, expanded hours and according to part-owner Tarik Burney, “they started expanding their hours and running it like a proper business”. On Valentine’s Day 1987 they opened the Capitol Hill shop in the same location it is now.

What Seattle benefits from a tiny shop along 15th Ave E on Capitol Hill is 50 years of a carefully crafted selection of wines from around the globe. Continue reading

Fentanyl test strips can help save lives — Here’s where to find them around Capitol Hill

Testing drugs for possible contamination is becoming more common, as fentanyl, a strong synthetic opioid, is to blame for many preventable deaths across the country. To get the strips on Capitol Hill, many are turning to community sources made up of local aid groups and neighborhood businesses.

According to King County Public Health, in 2021 there were 395 fentanyl related deaths — in 2015 there were 3.

Capitol Hill has seen its share of drug related deaths as counterfeit pills containing fentanyl and powdered drugs like cocaine and methamphetamines are having fentanyl mixed in without buyers knowing. There has also been a rise in fentanyl being ingested on the streets and on public transportation. Just a small amount of fentanyl can cause death. As 2022 began, health officials warned of a “cluster” of fentanyl deaths on Capitol Hill. More waves and ripples have continued.

If used correctly, fentanyl test strips can help detect fentanyl and fentanyl analogs before they’re consumed. Continue reading

Seoul Tofu and Jjim owners tried the Broadway pho business but found Capitol Hill success in Korean braised ribs and Soondubu stew

Soondubu — Spicy Soft Tofu Stew with sides (Image: CHS)

 

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Seattle has no shortage of amazing food opportunities, but according to Michael Seong, manager of Seoul Tofu and Jjim, Seattle doesn’t have enough good Korean cuisine. Capitol Hill’s “newest” Korean restaurant came along during the pandemic and quietly became part of Broadway.

“Every block you can find Vietnamese food, even just one block over you find a Vietnamese place, and it was getting tough with the competition,” Seong says.

Owners Helen Lee and Joseph Seong took over the pho restaurant that has become Seoul Tofu and Jjim at the beginning of 2020. According to son Michael, the previous owners had their own thing going on and they were pretty successful, “when we took over, we didn’t have the same amount of success.”

Perhaps it was the pho competition, but there’s a likely chance they were facing an uphill battle with a spreading pandemic. “The pandemic was starting and people didn’t want to come out and eat, and also restaurants were closing. Things were not going so well.”

Towards the end of the first year, they realized a change had to be made.

“We have to make a plan to start transitioning over and become the thing we really want to do. We really want to do Korean food,” Michael Seong said. “We’ve grown up with it, we were born in Korea. We really love Korean food and eat it every day.”

Now that pandemic restrictions have loosened, the change has been made and the focus is on Korean food, things are looking up. Continue reading

With Brazilian lattes and Pão de Queijo already here and an Argentine bakery on the way, Paparepas adds its empanadas and arepas to Broadway’s growing South American menu

Paparepas is now open on Broadway, bringing arepas, empanadas, and fried tequeños inspired by the best flavors of San Cristobal to Capitol Hill.

Juan Carrero, the co-owner and chef of Paparepas grew up in Venezuela, trying empanadas from vendors all over the capital city of the country’s mountainous western state of Táchira. The pastries were one of his favorite foods, but after moving to Miami 17 years ago, he wasn’t finding what he was looking for.

“Every day when I lived in Venezuela, I tried a different empanada. When I came here, I was missing it, and invited friends to try mine. When they tried it, they told me to open a restaurant, because you can’t find this in the United States,” Carrero said. He took that advice and ran with it, opening a food truck that hangs out in Westlake Park on Wednesdays, a small restaurant in Kent, and now a brand new location on Broadway on Capitol Hill.

The new space took almost exactly one year, with construction delays, permitting issues, and lease negotiations. Despite the roadblocks, the Carreros managed to open just a few days before the one year anniversary of signing the lease. Continue reading

Among Pike/Pine pandemic rebirths, Sugar Hill flips to food-first with Thai street flavors

The small business challenges of the pandemic shut down plenty of Capitol Hill shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars. Many survived. Few are unchanged. Another rebirth along E Pine is Sugar Hill where a nightclub with food has flipped and reversed into a restaurant with music.

“We turned into a community kitchen”, owner Guitar Srisuthiamorn tells CHS. “We got together with a bunch of other restaurants and created a group called Community Kitchen Collective and we provided food for frontline workers and would deliver to hospitals.” After making 600 meals a week for months, non-profits began contracting the restaurant and the restaurant could pay to retain it’s staff.

Food and drink industry veteran Srisuthiamorn has been in restaurants all her life.

“My mom was telling me, when I was seven, I was helping them bus tables in our first family restaurant in Pioneer Square, Bangkok Hut 1,” Srisuthiamorn says. Continue reading

The Pine Box rising back to life and celebrating 10 years on Capitol Hill

 

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Sitting in the 100-year-old chapel of a former funeral parlor, drinking a pint of “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” lager feels a little like you’ve stepped back into a punk bar in the early ’90s. This is a ghostly space. Maybe it’s the old growth fir tables and bar top, made from the shelving that once held urns and lined cabinets holding caskets, or it could also be the “female apparition” seen by multiple bartenders. Regardless, the beer is cold, the people are friendly, and The Pine Box is celebrating ten years of making peace with spirits, pouring spirits, and being spirited on Capitol Hill.

“We’re still here. Even as this neighborhood keeps changing.” Ian Roberts, part owner and a regular sight at The Pine Box, also runs Seattle Beer Week and White Center brewery Future Primitive Brewing.

“First ten years, it’s been good, it’s been great,” Roberts said. “The last two years had ups and downs, a little scary, but I can’t think of doing anything else.”

Roberts says the Capitol Hill — and Seattle beer drinking — communities kept them going through the first ten years, including two years of a pandemic. “My livelihood was based on being a bar and doing events and gathering people, and all of a sudden I can’t invite people here. I can’t tell people to come here. I’m pretty cautious, I have two young kids at home…It’s hard to plan events and do your life, and also be socially responsible. So many times I’ve been putting the brake on things in the past two years. I felt like I need to, for me personally, for my family, for the safety of my employees.” Continue reading

Mercado Luna set to start a new day — and night — amid Capitol Hill’s pandemic reopening

 

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The vax cards have been put away. Saturday, for now, at least, the masks can come off. Capitol Hill bars and restaurants are entering a new day of the pandemic reopening. Some, like the upscale Lark, are reemerging and putting their dining rooms back into motion after lengthy shutdowns. Many more have remained part of the neighborhood’s food and drink scene, changing along with the shifting restrictions and economic impacts of the pandemic.

Some have reinvented themselves as something new along the way.

Mercado Luna has been part of the Hill through the pandemic but CHS never reported on its opening. It was born as Mezcaleria Oaxaca eight years ago on E Pine.

Edgar Luna-Meza tells CHS that the ideas for Mercado Luna came before the pandemic, but that because of it, they had a chance to pause and look at why they were in the restaurant business. Continue reading

‘Show me the person, I’ll show you the right book for them’ — Twice Sold Tales begins 35th year on Capitol Hill


Jamie Lutton started selling used books out of a cart on Broadway. Thirty five years later, she’s in a brick and mortar building on Capitol Hill. Resident at 1833 Harvard Ave since 2008, Twice Sold Tales has survived every kind of change in the book.

“I used to be able to charge more because Amazon didn’t have penny and postage books…they took about 3/4 of my income. People like to sit quietly at home and get a box rather than venture out,” Lutton says, though she does sell on Amazon. “I joined the enemy.”

Lutton at work

Her bookseller origin story starts in February 1988 when Lutton said she was scolded by a city official because she didn’t have a vendor’s license for her burgeoning book cart business. The rest is her story. Now, Twice Sold Tales is starting its 35 year on Capitol Hill.

Lutton remembers days when there were there many more used bookstores on the Hill. “There was one down Olive that just sold science fiction, besides Horizon, there was one down the street on 15th, there was me, and there was Colin’s Rare Books, that’s what I remember from the early ’90s.”

“Now they’re all gone”, Lutton said, “rents and internet, that’s my memory of the Hill, more bookstores, lower rents, happier people.”

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