More tough times for Tully’s: 19th/Aloha cafe to close

As can be the usual around Capitol Hill, smaller local changes around big coffee can be the harbinger of things to come.

People familiar with the situation say the longtime Tully’s cafe at 19th and Aloha is set to close later this month. According to court documents, the struggling Seattle-based coffee chain has larger problems.

CHS has found a series of judgments against Global Baristas, the holding company that took over the struggling chain in 2013. They include more than $300,000 owed in taxes to the state of Washington and decisions including a $102,000 judgment for unpaid rent on the company’s Western Ave offices earlier this month. Continue reading

With another first on Capitol Hill, Starbucks Roastery rolls out Princi, chain’s latest stab at premium chow

Ciao. Arrivederci. Welcome to Capitol Hill, Rocco Princi. Tuesday, the Starbucks Reserve Roastery on Melrose at the base of Capitol Hill is introducing its first Princi bakery to the world. Because it is Starbucks, the world should get ready for more.

“Rocco Princi is an artisan who, at an early age, discovered a love of bread making and through determination as well as an obsession for finding the perfect ingredients, has created an Italian food experience that I think is unparalleled,” Howard Schultz, now executive chairman at Starbucks said in the announcement of the opening. “His passion for authentic food and respect for Milanese culture come through in everything he does, and I think our customers are going to fall in love with Princi.”

Here’s how Starbucks describes the first location for its partnership with the European chain: Continue reading

Intrigue Chocolate and Coffeehouse coming to 15th and Madison

Aaron Barthel, right, and Karl Mueller (Images: Intrigue Chocolate)

No, you can’t get coffee on every corner of Capitol Hill. But just about. Pioneer Square’s Intrigue Chocolate Co. will be putting another key Capitol Hill corner to use, creating a “chocolate and coffeehouse” at 15th and Madison.

Owners Aaron Barthel and Karl Mueller broke their own news on the project Friday with a detailed blog post:

Imagine walking through the front doors of our new chocolate and coffeehouse and being greeted by the delicious smell fresh coffee, warm quick breads, and cacao beans in the mill. Imagine ordering a cup of coffee from a knowledgeable and friendly barista that suggests you try this origin chocolate from Ghana after you take your first sip, so you can experience the chocolatey and plum notes of the coffee without distraction. Imagine sitting comfortably in a tall window with your cozy mug and small chocolate next to a warm slice of banana bread, enjoying the grey Seattle light and soft rain on the skyline.

OK, we’re intrigued.

Intrigue’s chocolate philosophy should fit nicely with Capitol Hill. The focus isn’t on mastery and repetition. Mueller says of his chocolatier business partner’s cocoa genius.

“Aaron likes to use chocolate a as medium to express what he knows about flavor,” Mueller said. Continue reading

Stumptown E Pine set for closure

(Images: Stumptown)


Last summer, the Big Coffee(tm)-owned indie chain stopped roasting beans on 12th Ave. Later this summer, Stumptown will close its E Pine cafe to focus on its remaining Capitol Hill location.

The coffee industry-focused folks at Sprudge confirmed the news sent to CHS Tuesday morning by employees and customers that August 20th will be the final day for the E Pine cafe that neighbors Rudy’s and the Capitol Loans pawn shop. Sprudge reports that a company spokesperson tells them Stumptown “made the painful, yet considered decision to focus our efforts on our 12th Street cafe and our operations within the Seattle market.”

Stumptown became a wholly owned subsidiary of Peets Coffee and Tea in 2015 after the coffee chain obtained a partial ownership in 2011.

The busiest 80 square feet on Broadway makes room for expansive Kosmic Koffee

(Image: Kosmic Koffee)

The busiest 80 square feet of cafe space on Broadway is back in action. And entrepreneur Anthony Davis has plans to cram even more into the little coffee shack in the midst of the hustle and bustle on Capitol Hill’s main drag.

Kosmic Koffee debuted for a sneak peek over Pride weekend marking yet another incarnation for the coffee shack at the corner of Broadway and Harrison. Regular hours are coming soon.

“We were driving down Broadway and saw the stand. It was a two hour decision process after I saw the sign,” Davis tells CHS about the “go go” nature of his latest venture. Davis also is part of Anslinger Capital, an “emerging market fund, focused on the legal cannabis market,” and venture capital concern Monition Partners. With those kinds of entrepreneurial roots, you can expect more from Kosmic than cups of coffee.

“I have a farm with chickens so I’m also selling farm fresh eggs,” Davis said. He’s already got a brand for the eggs thought up: Just Got Laid.

More unusual menu items are to come. Continue reading

Healing Hands and Bands

Rocking live music with lots of donuts, community, local beer, coffee, and kombucha. All for 15 bucks!! All proceeds go to Integrative Care Outreach providing free holistic health services to Seattle residents experiencing homelessness and low-income.

Integrative Care Outreach is a local 501(c)3 non-profit fighting for equal health care access for the underserved in Seattle.

With the push of a button, nuanced Ghost Note Coffee opens on Capitol Hill

Christos Andrews’ quest to do “every little small thing we can to make it better” when it comes to a cup of coffee was celebrated in a grand opening on Bellevue Ave with a Tuesday of demonstrations and a showcase of its fancy pants coffee machine.

Ghost Note Coffee, named for a silent beat with rhythmic value “but no discernible pitch,” is about nuances and raising the bar with custom mugs from a local ceramics maker, collared shirts and uniformed employees, no tipping, fresh herb and citrus garnishes, and “an emphasis on housemade elements borrowed from craft bartending.” Continue reading

Good Citizen to make way for Harvard Avenue School expansion

Good Citizen (Images: CHS)

Good Citizen (Images: CHS)

Another impending business closure on Capitol Hill illustrates the varied ways coincidences of similar events can form together to make you say, hey, what’s going on around here. This time, a loss for lovers of coffee and couches is a win for Capitol Hill’s two-year-olds.

With a strong demand for a toddler program, the Harvard Avenue School, which offers early childhood education through pre-kindergarten, is planning to expand into the Good Citizen coffee shop located on the ground floor of the school.

“There is an enormous demand for full day care since Amazon has brought so many new families to Seattle,” Andrea Hackman, founder and director of the school, tells CHS CHS. “The market is pretty saturated with half day preschool, but there are more and more families needing full day childcare (which we currently do not offer). Once we begin offering that I’m confident it will be extremely popular.”

The expansion means the end of one of the more curious experiments in the neighborhood’s recent waves of food and drink investments. Continue reading

Ghost Note’s next measure of Capitol Hill coffee: craft subtlety, no tipping, and Bellevue Ave’s first barista dress code

An up and coming player in Seattle’s craft coffee scene is bringing his take on the subtleties of a good brew to Capitol Hill.

“It’s really a simple kind of core idea with the coffee but we’re doing every little small thing we can to make it better,” Christos Andrews tells CHS about Ghost Note, the new multiroaster cafe set to take over the Bellevue Ave home of Broadcast Coffee.

Ghost Note is a tuneful reference to “a note that has rhythmic value but no musical value,” Andrews says, and a nod to the nuances his new venture will foster to help raise the cafe to a higher register of Seattle coffee culture. Custom mugs from a local ceramics maker, collared shirts and uniformed employees, no tipping, fresh herb and citrus garnishes, “an emphasis on housemade elements borrowed from craft bartending” — all will add to the accompaniment. Continue reading

Let it Bean closure will add another teensy, tiny hole on Broadway

We’ve been surprised before by the coffee shack’s business resiliency but this just might really be the end. Yet another hole — this one, teensy, tiny — is about to be torn in Broadway’s business fabric. Let it Bean is set to close this coming weekend.

Owner Candace Smith confirmed the closure plans with CHS earlier this month. It has been no secret. Smith posted a note to let customers know what was coming.

Smith tells CHS the 80-square-foot coffee stand in the teriyaki restaurant parking lot at Broadway and Harrison, despite its grandmothered usage allowing it to operate as a drive-thru, just doesn’t generate enough business to cover costs. “I’m closing because the rent and labor costs are too high for where our sales are,” she writes. “Coffee is a hard product to charge more for.” Continue reading