Hoping for heights well beyond the street’s old Mongolian Grill, Star Fusion & Bar coming to Broadway

(Image: Star)

The most recent ripple of Capitol Hill closures is being quickly followed by a wave of nimble new projects in the not long empty spaces. On Broadway, the restaurant reborn for a short time as a Mexican joint after a long life as Dilettante’s neighborhood home will welcome a new project ready to take off in coming weeks.

Star brings together a family of restaurant veterans for a new project built around true Mongolian flavors and dishes. Nostalgists, don’t expect anything like the Broadway Mongolian Grill joint that once stood where you find Capitol Hill Station’s west entrance today.

“That’s not real Mongolian food,” Ernie Enkhtaivan said dismissively of the Mongolian grill cuisine cliche. Continue reading

How Capitol Hill’s tile and terra cotta mystery ruins ended up at Harvard and Roy

The projects are commonplace now. One currently underway is creating a route of accessible curb ramps, raised crosswalks, pavement repairs, and a new Rapid Flashing Beacon on the streets between Lowell Elementary and Meany Middle School across Capitol Hill. But an early effort in the mid ’90s to make a Capitol Hill corner safer also created a mystery at Harvard and Roy.

How did ancient downtown Seattle ruins of terra cotta and tile end up at a corner in the middle of Capitol Hill?

A CHS story way back in 2009 dug up the answers. You can thank a City of Seattle safety program called Making Streets that Work, a $64,000 grant, the Cirque Apartments for maintaining the area over the years, and the work of some community members to change the neighborhood.

CHS commenter Glenn explained the project:

At the time I was a student at the U.W. Urban Planning school and lived just down from the corner (still do). The corners were broadly cut at the time, with huge curb radiuses, mirroring the Cirque. (If you want an idea how wide, they bordered the sidewalk that goes by the building). As a result, for pedestrians crossing Harvard while walking east on Roy meant this meant walking across a lot of road with cars making fast right turns on to Harvard. So I thought it would be a good idea to bring the curb out to closer to a 90 degree angle, create some public space and make things safer for pedestrians.

Continue reading

A Broadway Tamaleria Cider House will rule — Get ready for A & A Cafe coming to Capitol Hill

A & A’s tamales are about balance — filling and masa, moistness, texture (Image: A & A Cafe)

Its name may be a mouthful but Ana Espinoza hopes her new venture on Broadway will follow in the footsteps of another restaurateur across the street she hopes to emulate.

“I always wanted to be near Tacos Chukis,” Espinoza told CHS Tuesday afternoon about the any day now opening of her A & A Cafe Organic Tamaleria Cider House in the 200 block of Broadway E next to the post office.

“Simple, very humble, affordable.”

Let’s add delicious. Espinoza’s new, about to open restaurant will bring recipes of the original A & A from Everett to Capitol Hill’s main drag on Broadway taking over the lease she bought from the partners behind Aloha Cup Bap. Both of the Hill area outlets of that poke venture are now shuttered.

A & A’s tamale recipe is about family and generations of learning — and balance. “We got to the point where we perfected it,” she says. “It has to be the right combination of meat and masa.” Continue reading

Ishoni Yakiniku ‘Japanese barbecue’ to replace Tex Mex on Broadway

(Image: Ishoni Yakiniku)

It appears some of the holes in Capitol Hill food and drink created by a small wave of 2019 closures won’t be empty long. On north Broadway, Japanese yakiniku will replace Tex Mex barbecue as a six-year-old Eastside restaurant set to be displaced by redevelopment is making plans to take over the old Rooster’s location.

Construction is beginning on Ishoni Yakiniku’s new Capitol Hill home in the onetime Galerias restaurant space in the 600 block of Broadway E. Continue reading

Suika’s early rising sibling, Rondo awakens on Broadway with noodles, bowls, and tonkatsu

(Image: Rondo)

With LEGO sculptures and an emphasis on lunch and early evening when, yes, highballs and matcha parfaits are perfectly appropriate, Rondo Japanese Kitchen is now serving on Broadway with plans for a grand opening Friday.

CHS reported in October on the new sibling for the Suika and Tamari Bar Capitol Hill family of restaurants as plans for the Broadway project emerged from the sudden shuttering of the short-lived chain concept, Junkichi Robata Izakaya.

Owner Makoto Kimoto said Rondo is a daytime companion to its izakaya bar siblings that brother and sister both sides of E Pine with a focus that is more on the food end of things. The Junkichi space didn’t have a formal bar and Rondo won’t either. But you’ll still Kimoto’s Suntory highball on order.

With its days starting much earlier than its Pine siblings, closing time at Rondo will be 9 PM. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Jeff Goldblum drank coffee and planted a tree on Capitol Hill this summer

It turns out when one of the largest media corporations in the world spends around $3 billion on a new project and one of the shows planned to be showcased during its launch is filming in your neighborhood, you’re not going to see much. The picture above? That is Jeff Goldblum inside Broadway’s Espresso Vivace in July.

It’s about as close as we got to the action. And now we can finally share what we saw. Continue reading

2020 off to good start: Capitol Hill Station has platform stairs (Now, get ready for 10 weeks of downtown light rail disruptions)

2020 is already better than 2019. There are stairs to the platform in Capitol Hill Station. But like most things in these challenging times, you also need to get ready for a 10-week start to the New Year with Seattle’s light rail system slightly hobbled as it is prepared for big expansion ahead.

First, the good news. After months of waiting and a fair amount of systems and infrastructure updates to make it safe, Sound Transit announced the opening of the new stair access at Capitol Hill Station this week. Last March, CHS reported on the plan to repurpose emergency stairs to add an option for reaching the platform beyond the frequently busted escalators and elevator access. Continue reading

Patching a hole in Capitol Hill, Olmstead brings new life to the old Broadway Grill

The new restaurant and bar at 314 Broadway E is neither a direct adaptation nor a reboot.

“New American, I guess, is the best descriptor for it,” chef Jesse Elliott said.

“Which just means the chef can make whatever he wants,” Lisa Tomlinson added.

She’s the chef’s wife — and part-owner and manager — at the new Olmstead set to open this weekend on Broadway in the overhauled space formerly home to the Broadway Grill.

CHS reported in July on the Broadway-changing news that the long-empty, endlessly speculated upon restaurant space would spring to new life under the wing of the family of food and drink loving folks who created Witness, the chicken, waffles, and mint juleps joint Gregg Holcomb opened in the summer of 2013 just a block away from the old Grill.

Thursday night before the planned weekend debut of the new Olmstead, Holcomb — known for his Witness sermons — was appropriately philosophical about the import of this Broadway moment.

“At Witness, I learned that when it’s successful, it ties in. I was thankful that it tied into the fabric. And so I realized how much each individual business on Broadway matters,” Holcomb said. “We’re really excited about this space we established, I think we’re actually trying to patch a hole in the neighborhood.” Continue reading

911 | Madison Valley drive-by, E Thomas reported shotgun phone robbery, explosive dumpster fire

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS 911 coverage here. Hear sirens and wondering what’s going on? Check out Twitter reports from @jseattle or tune into the CHS Scanner page.

  • 25th Ave drive-by: A drive-by shooting left no reported injuries but damaged vehicles and homes near 25th and Mercer late Sunday night. According to East Precinct radio updates, police reported hearing 25 to 30 shots ring out just after 11 PM. Police found at least one vehicle that had been hit and bullet damage to at least two nearby homes. There were no reported injuries. Witness accounts described a silver sedan carrying at least two people who opened fire with two or three different guns before speeding away from the scene. Police searched the area but there were no arrests. Editor’s note: We originally identified this as a Central District location but as some have pointed out, it is a Madison Valley location. We’ve updated the headline.
  • Shotgun phone robbery: Police were called to E Thomas near Broadway to a report of an armed robbery of a phone. According to police radio reports, a man reported the suspect had pulled a shotgun and taken his phone just after 2:30 AM Monday morning. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the hold-up had taken place in a nearby building or on the street. Police were searching the area including Cal Anderson Park’s chemical toilets for the suspect but there were no arrests. No injuries were reported.
  • Boylston/Union dumpster arson: A dumpster fire with loud explosions woke residents around Boylston and Union early Monday. Seattle Fire responded to the blaze around 2:15 AM. Police were called after witnesses described two men seen setting the fire to a mattress and other items in the dumpster before fleeing. The two men were also reported pushing a shopping cart and were last seen fleeing westbound on Union. The Seattle Fire Marshal was called to investigate the scene. Last week, SPD asked for help investigating a string of a dozen arson fires after arresting a man for allegedly starting a small fire near Capitol Hill Station.

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Broadway’s 114-year-old Capitol Crest moves forward in landmarks process

The Seattle landmarks board this week sent a Broadway building home to a longtime neighborhood favorite restaurant to the next step in the process to afford the 1905-built building protections on its historic exterior.

In a 6-2 vote, the board opted to consider the nomination of Broadway’s Capitol Crest building, also once known as the Avon Apartments, and today home to Annapurna and Albacha restaurants, the Ace Barber Shop, as well as 14 apartment units above, that is set to be demolished to make way for a planned mixed-use project from Champion Development. Continue reading