Should restaurants have to pay workers extra for schedule changes and on-call shifts?


Kshama Sawant visited a Starbucks last year to explain her first major workers rights victory — the $15 minimum wage . (image: CHS)

One restaurant worker on Capitol Hill said fluctuating work hours each month were a “constant stress” as making rent perpetually hangs in the balance. A Hillman City fast-food manager said scheduling is an enormous task and when employees cannot pick up shifts, it is usually management that forgoes personal and family time to fill the gap.

The anecdotes, included in an extensive 119-page report on hardships faced by Seattle workers due to shifting work schedules, offers a glimpse into the contentious waters city officials are wading into as they consider a new secure scheduling ordinance.

A city-contracted researcher found that a third of workers surveyed faced serious hardships because of their work schedule, with African American and Latino workers reporting “significantly higher” than average rates of hardship. Nearly half of the workers surveyed said they would forego a 20% pay increase to secure substantive advanced notice for work.

“The data reveals that a significant number of Seattle employees’ schedules produce hardship including difficulty planning a budget, a second job, and childcare needs,” said Council member Lisa Herbold in a statement. Continue reading

New ownership for Tavern Law after founder filed for bankruptcy

In the latest chapter from the fallout of a crumbled family of food and drink businesses, two Eastside real estate professionals have taken over Tavern Law, one of the pillars of Pike/Pine’s craft cocktail scene.

Mark O’Shea, a Bellevue property manager, recently bought the business along with Derek Straight, a former executive with a large West Coast housing developer. O’Shea confirmed the ownership change with CHS but we are still waiting to hear details on the duo’s plans for the 12th and E Madison bar.

The buyout comes in the wake of financial troubles faced by Tavern Law co-founder Brian McCracken, one of Capitol Hill’s craft cocktail pioneers. In June, CHS reported on the $2.4 million bankruptcy behind the sudden closure of 12th Ave’s The Old Sage. According to documents filed in Western District of Washington United States Bankruptcy Court, McCracken and his wife filed May 20th for chapter 7 protection over some $2.4 million in debts. The big number is owed to Key Bank — $1,248,498.16. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Kimchi Bistro *not* closing down

Kimchi Bistro is safe and sound

Kimchi Bistro is projected to open its doors in a week.

To those who worried Broadway Alley’s Kimchi Bistro was closing its doors forever, fear not—the bistro isn’t going away.

Due to a hardship in the family, the owners of the hole-in-the-wall restaurant have been home in Korea the last few weeks, putting the tiny eatery on temporary shutdown until their return. According to surrounding storeowners, Bonsuk Park and family intended to return sooner, but decided to extend their stay.

The restaurant should re-open next week when the family returns home, according to the bistro’s neighbors. If you’ve never stopped in to give it a try — and try some kimchi — this seems like a good time to try something new and celebrate a non-closure of a neighborhood favorite.

Kimchi Bistro is located at 219 Broadway E.

New home for Ada’s Technical Books — and cafe — takes shape on Capitol Hill

Inside the new Ada's (Image: Board and Vellum)

Inside the new Ada’s (Image: Board and Vellum)

With new businesses and new development coming to 15th Ave, there’s another mixed-use project underway in the midst of the bustle of this Capitol Hill urban village.

Hulton (Image: Ada's)

Hulton (Image: Ada’s)

Ada’s Technical Books, after growing up on Broadway, is creating a new bookstore and cafe space that will reclaim a longtime home for Hill bookworms while transforming the space into something altogether new.

“The main thing is renovating the house and wanting to keep that,” Danielle Hulton tells CHS about the project to rebuild the old house that was once home to Horizon Books, the oldest used bookstore in the city at the time of its closure in March 2011. “It was in quite the state. Mold, cracking ceilings. We’re cleaning that up. It really has the layout of a house — but the goal is to make it feel like a retail space.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | Pie Bar ready to serve — Also, Bus Stop, Vostok Dumpling House updates

Get baked at Pie Bar (Image: Pie Bar)

Get baked at Pie Bar (Image: Pie Bar)


Pie, it’s time for you to grow up. Bar, it’s time for you to make room for pie.

“My pies are definitely grandma’s pie,” Lyss Lewis says. “But I’m modernizing pie. Bringing it forward.”

Pie Bar, a bar serving pie, will debut Wednesday night on Capitol Hill. It will serve pie. In a bar.

Pie, it seems, has turned 21.

“It’s a hybrid — it’s a restaurant but it’s a lounge,” Lewis said of the new venture she and her twin sister Natalie Delucchi are launching on E Olive Way in the former home of Saley Crepes.

Continue reading

Bakery Nouveau Capitol Hill opens where challenge became opportunity at 15th & John

Chef Leaman inside the new Bakery Nouveau Capitol Hill (Image: CHS)

Chef Leaman inside the new Bakery Nouveau Capitol Hill (Image: CHS)

Highly anticipated since CHS first broke the news last November about its plans, Bakery Nouveau Capitol Hill is ready to serve its first batches of flaky, buttery croissant at 15th and John.

“We’re preparing like it’s a regular day in West Seattle,” William Leaman said Sunday as he and his crew put the finishing touches on the space and got to work baking and making in anticipation of the Monday morning opening. You can be there at 8 AM to try to be first. But there’s no rush. Bakery Nouveau’s pastries, chocolates, sandwiches and treats untold are here to stay. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | ‘Experimental’-natured Cafe ABoDegas comes to 15th Ave E, Liberty confirms E Olive Way

Feeling "experimental"? Try the ABoDegas beet cookies (Image: Cafe ABoDegas)

Feeling “experimental”? Try the ABoDegas beet cookies (Image: Cafe ABoDegas)

Got a tip? You know what to do. Email CHS or give us a txt/call at (206) 399-5959.

CHS ain’t usually down with the whole UPcase/dOWNCASE play in business names. But we’ll make an exception for Cafe ABoDegas — if, for no other reason, than for how hard Jazmine Knaggs and crew have been working to overhaul their new 15th Ave E home since taking it over last week in preparation for a hoped-for opening on Wednesday.

Neighbors noticed the window paint last week -- something new is coming (Image: CHS)

Neighbors noticed the window paint last week — something new is coming (Image: CHS)

And, hey, it has meaning.

  • 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

See? It’s evocative, gets the people going. And the 6th Ave original, Knaggs says, is also stuffed with art. That’ll come, too, to 15th Ave. But first Knaggs and the DuPerault (again with the case thing!) need to finish remaking the former Insomniax cafe in their own vision.

“I want people to go to the downtown shop in their businesses suit whatever and come here after work,” Knaggs tells CHS. Continue reading

¿Como se dice ‘Autopro’? Mezcaleria Oaxaca Capitol Hill

Mezcaleria Oaxaca, originally uploaded by luckyfish.

How’s this for a bit of a return to normalcy — another restaurant coming to Capitol Hill. Solving our long-running “Autopro mystery,” the people behind well-loved Queen Anne Mexican restaurant Mezcaleria Oaxaca say they’re bringing their “authentic Oaxacan food” and “most diverse nationally noted selections of mezcales in the city” to Capitol Hill.

“The new restaurant, which has been in the works for well over a year, is scheduled to open in late summer of 2013,” the restaurant’s announcement cheekily reads.

OK. We’re probably imagining the cheek.

But CHS has, indeed, been on the case to figure out what was going on with the Autopro project since late last summer. We got very close to the answer this fall but guessed wrong. Turns out, we were looking at the wrong Jon Alberts project for what was coming next. But credit? We told you about the Graham Baba part.

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

You might give CHS a break, however, for being unable to conceived of yet another Mexican restaurant coming to Capitol Hill. With these two, we counted 17 projects open or in the works — one of those newbies will be La Cocina de Oaxaca at Melrose and Pine. Try not to confuse it with Broadway’s La Cocina or the new Mezcaleria Oaxaca project. That 17 didn’t include Latin-inspired cafe Cintli — make it 18.

[mappress mapid=”36″]Or, 17. Broadway’s Taco del Mar is muerte as of last week or so — we haven’t tracked down any clues on what’s next. Meanwhile, the long-shuttered La Puerta in the Broadway Market can’t be revived as a restaurant — we’re told Gold’s Gym is expanding into the space.

Back on E Pine, the well-guarded secret of Mezcaleria Oaxaca adds another 2013 Capitol Hill food+drink project to look forward to with its planned “late summer” opening. That should be just in time to enjoy the “rooftop area for alfresco dining” being added to the former auto garage. By then, CHS will likely get over not being able to properly break the news on the mezcaleria. Nothing a good margarita above a sunny E Pine can’t fix.

You can learn more at

Capitol Hill food+drink | After eight-year ride, Bus Stop seeks new driver

Opening night 2008 at the Bus Stop

Opening night 2008 at the Bus Stop

Over the weekend, the Capitol Hill social network reported that a neighborhood favorite was about to close. The Bus Stop — as we know and love it — will shut down at the end of the month. But it’s probably not going away.

“Within 12 hours, we talked to an interested buyer. If I had my druthers, I’d prefer to sell to a friend or somebody in the industry who I respect what they do,” co-owner Gary Zinter tells CHS.

He says he’s already heard from five or six seriously interested parties about taking the Bus Stop over. Selling out, however, was not why Capitol Hill resident Zinter and his husband — and Bus Stop manager Rodney Shrader have decided to step aside after an eight year run. Continue reading

Capitol Hill drink spot the Bus Stop to close at end of month

Bus Stop Bar, originally uploaded by evil robot 6.

The grogginess lies a little heavier on the heads and hearts of fans of Capitol Hill bar the Bus Stop this Sunday. After eight years and a neighborhood odyssey that saw the bar make a move from a doomed — and now legendary — strip of E Pine nightlife to helping establish new outposts of Capitol Hill drink on E Olive Way, the Bus Stop’s Gary Zinter and Rodney Shrader have announced the bar will close by the end of April.

In the meantime, enjoy the party:

After eight amazing years, Gary and I have made the difficult decision that it’s time to move on.

Being part of your lives and this neighborhood has been one of the best experiences of my life. You are my friends and my family. Continue reading