Goodbye to 15th Ave E’s eclectic Cafe Abodegas

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(Image: CHS)

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(Image: Cafe Abodegas)

A small, entirely eclectic cafe in one of the most space-challenged food and drink venues on 15th Ave E quietly closed to start 2015. It shut its doors a couple weeks back but we didn’t want Cafe ABoDegas and its funky capitalization to leave without saying goodbye.

Here’s a note posted by the cafe’s owners announcing the closure of the 15th Ave and downtown locations:

We’re so very sorry to let everyone know that Uriah and I have made the final decision to close our doors. We tried super hard to make it work and we unfortunately could not. We love every single one of our customers and want you to know you will be in our hearts forever. Good bye and good luck to all of you.

The 15th at Denny cafe in the street level commercial component of the Group Health Capitol Hill campus opened on Capitol Hill in 2013. Owner Jazmine Knaggs explained the name represented a triumvirate of ideas:

  • Abode — to evoke the feelings of home and shout out to the homeys in Sandpoint, Idaho where Knaggs and ABoDegas partner Uriah DuPerault hail from
  • Bodega — to evoke a sense of the corner market
  • Degas — to evoke the French impressionist

Abodegas, old timers, will recall, replaced Insomniax Cafe — another name dear to CHS’s obsessive heart. Meanwhile, the most exciting thing to ever happen in the cafe space remains this briefcase full of pot found there in 2011.

Goodbye, Abodegas.

Tea Republik getting ready to blend in on Broadway

(Images: Tea Republik)

With the light rail connection to the University District right around the block and set to open by early 2016, Broadway and John’s cafe connection to places familiar to the University of Washington crowd will also get a boost before the end of the year.

The signs have gone up for Tea Republik in the 200 block of Broadway E just a block from the coming soon Capitol Hill Station.

Owner Jeffry Kurniawan confirmed the hoped-for December opening with CHS. He and business partner Anton Lim will be opening their second Tea Republik to join the original University Way NE location which opened in 2012 and got a full makeover in early 2013.

The cafe is known for its hangout vibe and “fusion” approach to tea. Continue reading

0.2-mile radius: Sibling Barjot opens just a 7-minute walk from Joe Bar

Bush inside his new neighborhood cafe -- Image courtesy of SkyPencil -- Postcards from Capitol Hill, Seattle

Bush inside his new neighborhood cafe — Image courtesy of SkyPencil — Postcards from Capitol Hill, Seattle

Just a seven-minute downhill (eight-minute uphill?) walk from his neighborhood favorite Joe Bar, Wylie Bush has opened the new Barjot cafe on Bellevue Ave E.

The cafe replacing the shuttered Chico Madrid in the Belroy Apartments development made a quiet debut Tuesday.

Bush told CHS when we first reported on Barjot in May not to expect a major overhaul of the Chico space. “I have such a small budget and the space is so beautifully built out, I won’t make many changes,” he said at the time. “The meat slicer went away — the large juicer is in.”

Images: Barjot

Instead, you’ll find excellent coffee, a new robust offering of in-house baked goods and pastries from baker Maegan Rasmussen — and, eventually, fresh-squeezed juice. Bush said beer and wine will also be on offer and — possibly — liquor could be part of the longterm plan. The planned juice bar elements are planned to be added as the cafe’s hours expand later this summer. For the first couple of weeks, expect 6 AM to 2 PM hours of service.

Check out barjotseattle.com for more details as things settle in at 711 Bellevue Ave E.

Capitol Hill’s cafe lovers are doubly blessed this summer — Cafe Solstice Capitol Hill is  also open for business just off Broadway.

Cafe Solstice arrives — again — on Capitol Hill

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Back to the Hill — Co-owners Joel Wood and Doug Sowers outside Cafe Solstice’s new location at 10th and Thomas.

Sowers and Wood working the Cafe Solstice cart in front of the current Jai Thai space, circa 1994 -- from: After 12 years, Cafe Solstice returning to Broadway (Image: Picture of picture courtesy Joel Wood)

Sowers and Wood working the Cafe Solstice cart in front of the current Jai Thai space, circa 1994 — from: After 12 years, Cafe Solstice returning to Broadway (Image: Picture of picture courtesy Joel Wood)

The story could be right out of the dreams of a Hill veteran jaded by change. More than a decade after their coffee cart left Broadway for an indoor space and the student-rich soil of the Ave, Joel Wood, Doug Sowers and Cafe Solstice are back on Capitol Hill with a vastly expanded operation just a block off Broadway.

Some 10 months after CHS first broke news of the plans for Solstice’s expansion back to the Hill, and right in time for Summer Solstice (can’t get one by us!), the doors of the new location will open this Saturday for an open house. Wood says there will be coffee for a dollar and some free pastries, and that booze and kitchen items will be available for happy hour prices all day starting at 7 am. CHS originally reported that the new Solstice was hoped to be open before the end of 2013. However, a marathon DPD process and the challenge of building out a brand new space in a brand new building drew out the timeline for getting things off the ground, Wood said.

The cafe will close again following Saturday’s party for a few finishing touches during the week. Owners Wood and Sowers hope to have the cafe open in full capacity for Pride weekend, with a push to be at full throttle by Thursday, June 26th.

As close as it is to Broadway’s bustle, Solstice sits on a surprisingly quiet and green corner at 10th and Thomas, in the only commercial space on the backside of The Lyric building.

The new Solstice will serve a variety of uses throughout the day — and night. “It’s not a straight cafe, it’s not a straight bar, it’s for everybody,” Wood said.

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Rebuilding a 15th Ave E house with a bookish history, Ada’s prepares for next chapter on Capitol Hill

David and Danielle Hulton (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

David and Danielle Hulton (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Built with the bones, heart and soul of the old bookstore that called the 15th Ave E house home for more than 30 years, Ada’s Technical Books will celebrate the official opening of its new Capitol Hill location on Saturday.

“It feels like the space is different and new — but at the same time, there’s a lot of really cool things that we reused,” owner Danielle Hulton tells CHS. The overhauled 1922-built structure was the location of Horizon Books for more than three decades before it closed its 15th Ave E shop in 2009.

Bits and pieces of the old place including repurposed doors and salvaged wood fixtures are mixed in with the rebuilt store and new cafe space. There will be one checkout line for the entire experience — cafe and books. A central open “spine” aisle runs through the center connecting it all, Hulton says.IMG_6768

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