King of Capitol Hill’s coffee culture, Caffe Vita is in new hands

There were signs something new was coming. In the last days of 2019, a Seattle real estate investment company purchased the E Pike building home to the headquarters and roasting facility of Caffe Vita from Vita owner Mike McConnell for $5 million and also rolled out a new 10-year lease for a new Vita entity incorporated last August with ownership that only listed a lawyer and a law firm.

Seattle Met has the scoop. Caffe Vita has a new owner:

On January 1, Deming Maclise officially took over Vita’s 10 shops (spread across Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, and Brooklyn), three roasting facilities, and a network of hundreds of wholesale customers in all 50 states, not to mention a critical mass of Seattle bars and restaurants.
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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

MotMot Coffee Launch Party for Tȃm

MotMot Coffee launches Tam Vietnamese coffee on November 19

MotMot Coffee, a Seattle University student-run business, and the Seattle University Vietnamese Student Association, will be launching their newest premium coffee, Tâm, on November 19, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Seattle University bookstore.

MotMot Coffee is proudly fair trade and employs ethical business sourcing in its operations. ‘We strive to fix the industry issue where farmers are only paid 6 cents per cup of coffee by cutting out the middle man and giving farmers the resources they need,’ says Andrew Gao, vice president of marketing for MotMot. ‘Ethical business starts with awareness and we are just trying to spread our message while offering amazing coffee at the same time.’

MotMot is the name of Nicaragua’s national bird. MotMot Coffee works with Nicaraguan coops where coffee farmers are paid upfront.

The launch party is open to the public.

Starbucks hosting ‘Wake Up and Vote’ event at Central District cafe

Seattle’s online retail giant Amazon has added its heavy mark to its home city’s democratic process. Starbucks is taking a lighter but more vocal approach.

Monday, the day before ballots are due on November 5th, the coffee giant is hosting “Wake Up and Vote” events at 10 of its area shops including a location in District 3.

Additionally, the company said its vice president John Kelly sent a letter to “thousands of Seattle-area partners” detailing how “Starbucks has experienced the impact of the city’s public safety decline first-hand” and linking to the controversial report that sparked the “Seattle is Dying” backlash.

The announcement of the events included an excerpt from Kelly’s message to employees: Continue reading

With new lease on life in the neighborhood, Bauhaus returns to Capitol Hill

A storied name in Capitol Hill coffee has returned to its birth neighborhood. Bauhaus Capitol Hill is now open on Harvard Ave E.

CHS stopped by Thursday night as the cafe was part of dozens of venues across the Hill hosting Lit Crawl Seattle events.

Though it exited the neighborhood amid a cloud of financial problems and leaving employees and customers in the dust, Bauhaus returns four years later having survived and strengthened its “strong coffee” recipe with a new business structure and ownership. Continue reading

Ballots and Baristas 2019

In partnership with Cupcake Royale and several local coffee shops, the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County is hosting “Ballots & Baristas,” a series of community conversations about ballot issues to simultaneously take place at 9 locations throughout King County.

Volunteers from the League of Women Voters will be available at the coffee shops to facilitate neighborly discussion of the initiatives appearing on King County voters’ ballots, including motor vehicle taxes, affirmative action, and advisory votes. Sample ballots will be available for participants. These events are free and open to the public. The League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County is a nonprofit, nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government.

Four Cupcake Royale Locations in Seattle: 

  • Ballard — 2052 NW Market Street
  • Capitol Hill — 1111 E Pike Street
  • West Seattle — 4556 California Ave SW
  • Downtown — 108 Pine Street (5 to 7 p.m)

And at these coffee shops throughout King County:

  • Starbucks – 903 NE Park Drive, Issaquah, WA (6 to 8 p.m.)
  • Starbucks – 3016 Issaquah-Pine Lake Rd. SE Sammamish, WA 98075 (5:30 to 7:30 p.m.)
  • The Local – 1616 Cole St.  Enumclaw, WA 98022 (4 to 6 p.m.)
  • Caffe Ladro – 18610 Bothell Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011(6 to 8 p.m.)
  • Common Grounds Coffee & Cupcakes – 900 S 3rd St #A, Renton, WA 98057 (5:30 to 7:30 p.m.)
  • Starbucks – 3016 Issaquah-Pine Lake Rd. SE Sammamish, WA 98075 (5:30 to 7:30 p.m.)

 

After big time attention, Capitol Hill ‘Hot Guys Serving Hot Coffee’ stand has new name, remains shirtless

After only one month of business, Broadway’s coffee Dreamboyz are now men.

Dreamguyz Espresso, to be exact.

After making international news with Seattle’s second* ever man-kini coffee shack, the business had to make a quick shift, owners tell CHS, after some ownership issues came up with a company in the United Kingdom over the coffee window’s original Dreamboyz name.

The Dreamguyz folks aren’t naming names but The Dreamboys male strip shows do big business “every Saturday night in 13 UK cities.”

Meanwhile, the show goes on at the Broadway walk-up and drive-thru coffee business under the new Dreamguyz Espresso name.

CHS Pics | The Capitol Hill Friends couch will still be there for you

No complaining! You deserved that headline! (Image: Ada’s Discovery Cafe)

Hundreds of otherwise likable people lined up on E Thomas last Sunday for a few selfie-filled seconds on the couch from Friends.

Why was this particular orange couch in the middle of a Capitol Hill street so popular when so many others go unloved? CHS reported here on the nostalgia-rich marketing underway for the show’s 25th anniversary at The Lounge by AT&T project that has temporarily converted Ada’s Discover Cafe into the onetime hit sitcom and now top-streamer’s Central PerkContinue reading

With Urban Animal vet clinic expansion, sun will set on Cafe Solstice Capitol Hill

(Image: Cafe Solstice)

(Image: Urban Animal )

Capitol Hill’s cats will love it. For the students and neighbors who hang out there for hours cramming, talking, and hanging out in one of the neighborhood’s largest, most bustling coffee houses, it will be a sad day.

Staff are telling friends and regulars that the Capitol Hill Cafe Solstice will shutter at the corner of 10th and Thomas mid-month. CHS has learned that neighboring veterinary clinic Urban Animal is set to expand into the space bringing an end to its five years as a cafe. It’s a much needed expansion, Dr. Cherri Trusheim tells CHS.

“We just don’t have enough room for the volume that comes through the door,” Trusheim said. “Quite frankly, it’s been crazy sometimes.” Continue reading

Firings, an employee walkout, and a row over homelessness at Capitol Hill’s Caffe Vita — UPDATE

(Image: Caffe Vita)

Two employees were fired — and another five reportedly quit in solidarity — after a disagreement over how homeless people should be treated at Caffe Vita’s flagship E Pike shop.

Liz McConnell confirmed the firings and walkout with CHS as social media efforts have spread calling out the Capitol Hill-headquartered coffee chain for firing a trans employee and criticizing a Vita manager’s message about homeless people receiving free coffee or food at its cafes.

McConnell, citing legal concerns, said she could not confirm details of the firings other than they were “with cause” and involved both a manager and en employee. She also confirmed that a Vita manager had sent the message about the free handouts being shared on social media. Continue reading