Bounty Kitchen set to add Capitol Hill location in former Tallulah’s space — Plus, 19th Ave E’s Ritual House yoga says goodbye — UPDATE

Tallulah’s in better days (Image: CHS)

19th Ave E is losing one healthful business to the COVID-19 crisis but is set to welcome another to this quiet side of Capitol Hill.

Bounty Kitchen is making plans to take over the space left empty by the ugly exit of Tallulah’s late last year in a cloud of financial problems new owner Brad Haggen took over the Linda Derschang creation only a year earlier.

The restaurant has applied for a liquor license for a full bar at the 19th and Mercer location.

UPDATE: Bounty Kitchen’s start on Capitol HIll is being geared to the realities of the ongoing restrictions. Owner Meg Trainer tells CHS that will mean a beginning focused solely on takeout and delivery as the restaurant’s interior is overhauled and prepared for the future return of sit-down dining.

.”We’re humbled by the opportunity to expand at this time,” Trainer said.

The restaurant has been able to grow in a challenging time for the industry thanks to its core concepts of flexibility, efficiency, and healthy eating, Trainer says.

“There is a much larger conversation about what will happen with the restaurant industry but I think everyone has now learned a couple of things we’ve learned for a while.”

Continue reading

Reopening: Capitol Hill salons old and new return, adjusting to ‘new norm’ of masked haircutting

New colors at 19th Ave Salon by Brandon Madsen (Image: 19th Ave Salon)

Capitol Hill beauty businesses are adjusting to cutting and styling hair under state-mandated changes, including wearing PPE, issuing temperature checks and maintaining six feet of distance when possible.

For 19th Avenue Salon owner Jamie De Maria, implementing these safety requirements has been an important part of opening the new business. The salon had only been open for a week when COVID-19 restrictions shut the business down.

To his surprise, De Maria said the shop has not struggled with customers since reopening.

“We’ve been so beyond busy and turning clients away and working 12 hour days — it’s been insane,” De Maria said. “I would say 80-90% of our new customers are neighbors and residents of the community that have been walking by the salon seeing the construction happening and waiting for it to open and reading our reviews online.”

Salons got the go-ahead to reopen at 25% capacity under Phase 1.5 restrictions in early June and now have the option to expand to 50% capacity as part of Phase 2. Continue reading

Fuel to join Ada’s family, adding books to blend of coffee, community

(Image: Fuel Coffee)

(Image: Fuel Coffee)

It’s a blend that should work out, mixing the 15-year-old creation of a Seattle coffee veteran  with the energy of two Capitol Hill entrepreneurs who have a vision for growing cafe communities and independent book retail.

Fuel Coffee and its three locations in the 19th Ave E Stevens neighborhood, Montlake, and Wallingford is becoming part of the Ada’s family of bookshops and cafes. The merger is the outgrowth of conversations that started well before the outbreak and is ready to move forward now that reopening plans are taking shape, both sides say. It’s now a vision that seems even more clear after weeks of COVID-19 restrictions with neighbors sticking mostly to their nearby streets.

“Community is even more important,” Danielle Hulton says.

The new Fuel will be a flip of how the original Ada’s was shaped on 15th Ave E. Ada’s is a community built around books — Fuel shops will be built around coffee. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Hello Robin baking plans for U Village expansion

Martin (Image: Hello Robin)

The next time you stop by Capitol Hill cookie shop Hello Robin, congratulate the bakers. They have something special in the oven for 2020.

Hello Robin will be expanding beyond its 19th Ave E original home a year from now next spring. The cookie bakery, distinguished by its blue sign and line outside its door, will open a storefront in University Village after operating solely on Capitol Hill since 2013.

“I think we’re ready for the next chapter. It’s been a fun five and a half years. We have a really great staff and growing the business will provide more opportunities for them,” said Robin Martin, the bakery’s namesake. Martin co-owns and co-founded the bakery with her husband, Clay Martin. Continue reading

Rocket Taco, welcome to planet Capitol Hill

If the cosmic forces above this quiet side of Capitol Hill have felt out of balance lately, the launch might help. The next stage in the long, hard-loved history of the Kingfish Cafe restaurant space is ready for a new adventure.

Rocket Taco — with its “quality, affordable, hand made food,” house-made tortillas, and an emphasis on speed, consistency, and accessible pricing — is set to make its debut Friday on 19th Ave E. CHS stopped by a test run earlier in the week and found all systems “go.”

The project from neighborhood residents Jill and Steve Rosen is an expansion of their Whidbey Island-born, fast-casual taco joint concept. But concept isn’t quite the right word. Though Steve Rosen is an industry veteran who helped create Blue C Sushi and Boom Noodle and whose current ventures include Elemental Pizza, the Rosens call Rocket Taco their family restaurant.

Now there are two. Continue reading

Design review: Country Doctor’s 19th Ave E expansion

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-5-15-25-pmA crucial Capitol Hill project for one of the city’s only providers of nonprofit, low-income health care will take what should be its final step in the Seattle design review process Wednesday night.

The Country Doctor Community Clinic’s plan will create a new four-story building on the site of its 19th Ave E offices:

The new facility will provide medical services including a new dental clinic, and expanded services for WIC (Women, Infants and Children), Maternity, HIV and Chronic Pain. The project will also provide expanded administrative office and meeting space for the entire Country Doctor Community Health Centers network. The current 2,350 square feet of medical services and administrative offices provided on-site will be expanded to 9,000 square feet on the 1st and 2nd floors.

Meanwhile, the project’s top two floors will house eight workforce apartments in a mix of studio and one-bedroom units. Country Doctor had hoped to to develop the housing as affordable apartments but that the project was too small to attract a development partner.

The new $6.5 million facility is being funded by a capital campaign, $1 million in federal grants, and a $1.2 million grant from the city to support the clinic’s new dental services.

Design review: 510 19th Ave E

Executive director Linda McVeigh told CHS last fall the construction will also add more private rooms, sorely lacking in the current space. “A lot of services we provide are best provided in a one on one environment,” she said. Continue reading

Next chapter for Kingfish Cafe: Contadino Restaurant and Pizzeria

Clevenger (Image: Vendemia)

Clevenger (Image: Vendemmia)

The next stories for the old Kingfish Cafe space on 19th Ave E will include two intertwined tales from chef/owner Brian Clevenger. Clevenger, who opened Vendemmia in Madrona in 2015, will transform the shuttering Ernest Love Agnes into Contadino Restaurant on one side and Contadino Pizzeria on the other:

Brian Clevenger, chef owner of Vendemmia and Raccolto, and his partner Kayley Turkheimer are excited to announce that they will be opening two new concepts in the storied space that long housed The Kingfish Cafe, and was more recently home to Ernest Loves Agnes—a project from Jason LaJeunesse, who will stay on as a partner in the new spots. Continue reading

19th Ave E development can go forward after appeal from neighbors dismissed

Tis the season to put a bow on things and get them wrapped up for the year. Before we dig in on the big design review this week for the Capitol Hill Station development, a loose end in the CHS universe was the tale of one of the few major developments on Capitol Hill to get tied up with the Hearing Examiner this year. Given the amount of blowback Capitol Hill’s “waves of development” get from people who would like to see growth in the city slowed, you might expect more of the neighborhood’s big projects to face appeals over decisions from the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections.

We reported earlier this year on one appeal seeking to halt the development of a four-story, 50 or so unit project slated for the northwest corner of 19th and Mercer. The appeal from a group of neighbors spearheaded by nearby homeowner Dr. Suzanne Lasser was an example of the kinds of project that seem mostly likely to end up facing appeals — smaller, in-fill apartments in the intertidal zones abutting Capitol Hill’s single-family home neighborhoods.

The appeal is also an example of how difficult it can be for a grassroots group of neighbors to stop the city’s various development processes. According to Hearing Examiner records, the case against the Epic Property Management development was dismissed this fall because the appellants didn’t make a key filing in the case by a significant deadline:screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-10-15-15-am

With a design approved in spring, the project is now finalizing permits for construction.

Eat Out 2016 for Country Doctor: 21 bars, restaurants, and cafes supporting nonprofit’s quest to build new Capitol Hill home

14040017_10153958119527545_4576690007042986366_nCountry Doctor Community Health Clinic is making progress towards raising the funding it needs for a new structure to replace its old office space on 19th Ave E. A capital campaign to raise the remaining money necessary for the project is underway. Thursday, you can boost the nonprofit provider of community health care by going out to eat.

“A portion of your breakfast, lunch and/or dinner bill will be donated to our organization to help our patients get the high quality, caring, culturally appropriate primary health care they need and deserve,” the promo reads.

The list of participants is below: Continue reading

More development planned at 19th and Mercer: Monsoon stays but a (probably) exceptional cedar might have to go

This could be the view on the west side of 19th and Mercer. Note: no (probably) exceptional tree

This could be the view on the west side of 19th and Mercer. Note: no (probably) exceptional tree

The "preferred" design scheme for a new five-story building proposed at 19th and Mercer

The “preferred” design scheme for a new five-story building proposed at 19th and Mercer

This week’s Capitol Hill design reviews are getting upstaged. Firstly, the meetings are happening the same time this is going down at City Hall. Secondly, a new Capitol Hill project slated for review next week is way more interesting.

A proposal for a new five-story apartment building on the northwest corner of 19th and Mercer is slated to come before the design review board for the first time next week. It’s a corner where plans for development were in motion before. This time, the plan includes neighborhood restaurant Monsoon and the cluster of businesses in the offices behind the restaurant and its new rooftop deck.

UPDATE: Property owner Glenn MacDonald and Amanda Twiss just sent over more information and this image (“looking up  Mercer towards 18th”) of the proposed design:street image 19th & Mercer

In 2008, a four-story, 52-unit building was lined up for the northwest corner of 19th and Mercer. This is what the Weber Thompson project would have looked like:

This 2008 project was planned for Monsoon's corner

This 2008 project was planned for Monsoon’s corner

The global economic slowdown derailed the development and allowed Monsoon owner Eric Banh to end his five-block search for a new home. In the years since, the economy heated back up and the area’s development kicked back into gear. Across the street, the 19th and Mercer building rose and brought new neighbors to the street. Monsoon expanded and added its rooftop deck. And, now, the corner’s redevelopment is back in motion again. Continue reading