Adios: Tortas Condesa will soon make way for something new at E Olive Way walk-up

Monica Dimas is ready to pass along the late night eats torch on E Olive Way.

The restaurateur behind some of Capitol Hill and beyond’s best nook and cranny-filing food and drink goodness announced over the weekend that her walk-up Tortas Condesa will close at the end of the month. Continue reading

By the Pound financial troubles extend off Hill as sibling bar and restaurant evicted in West Seattle

The trouble doesn’t stop on Capitol Hill for the family of businesses around the financially troubled and shuttered E Olive Way speakeasy By the Pound.

Partners and companies related to the shuttered bar concept evicted late last year over thousands of unpaid rent are also named in lawsuits related to West Seattle ventures Vine & Spoon and Alchemy which were also evicted over claims of unpaid rent to end the year. West Seattle Blog reports they “spoke briefly at the end of last week with an ownership representative who said they had a new investor who would assist them in reopening, and they promised to call us back to talk more about their plans.” Continue reading

‘This is comfort food’ — Dacha Diner now open on E Olive Way — UPDATE: First look

UPDATE: Tora Hennessey, Tom Siegel, and Joe Heffernan welcomed their first customers to Dacha Diner on a busy Wednesday. Lots of pictures from our debut day visit to Dacha, below.

Dacha Diner, a new daytime spot specializing in Eastern European and Jewish foods like kinishes, borscht, matzo ball soup, latkes, and vareniki, was served its first customers Wednesday morning.

After a few delays typical to opening a new joint in Seattle, the team behind the new E Olive Way restaurant announced the opening over the holidays. “Rule of thumb, new restaurants take a month to settle into a stride and the first week is always the most hectic (I’m sure you will see it in our tired faces),” the announcement reads. “Please be patient while we work out any kinks. That said, we would love to see your faces.” Continue reading

We’re calling it ‘Tbilisi grey’ — Dacha Diner ready to open on E Olive Way

(Image: Dacha Diner)

From matador hot pink to Tbilisi grey — “Tricorn Black,” the owners say — the wedge of a restaurant building in the 1400 block of E Olive Way is nearly complete with its Eastern European transition. It is almost time for Dacha Diner to serve its first “Eastern European cuisine with Jewish fare” breakfasts and lunches.

CHS broke the news in September on the new project from Joe Heffernan, Tom Siegel, and Tora Hennessey as the plan rounded into shape for an Eastern European flavored diner to replace the tacos and tequila of The Saint. “There’s a frugal character to it. The flavors come through with a certain honesty,” Siegel said of the cuisine Dacha Diner is setting out to share. “When it’s done poorly, it’s shameful. But when it’s done properly, there’s nothing like it out there.” Continue reading

Shuttered By the Pound deli speakeasy evicted over thousands in unpaid rent

There’s a bigger mess than the construction reportedly underway at the shuttered By the Pound deli and bar.

A King County Sheriff’s eviction notice has gone up on the venue’s locked E Olive Way door. Court records show the companies behind the project owe more than $75,000 in unpaid rent — plus daily rent of $317.24 for every day after Halloween they didn’t vacate the premise, and more than $1,600 in attorney’s fees and hundreds more in costs. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s king of pot adds the draw of clean cannabis and new E Olive Way shop

Uncle Ike’s Ian Eisenberg (Image: CHS)

Capitol Hill and the Central District’s top provider of pot, Uncle Ike’s has begun randomized pesticide testing on products directly from its shelves in an effort to incentivize vendors to provide clean cannabis and push the state to act.

The program, called Ike’s OK, started in October with five products and will continue testing five more products each month indefinitely as a way of regulating a market that is under very little government supervision. The state only requires potency testing certificates of analysis with each product, but no similar documentation for pesticide testing.

For Tobias Coughlin-Bogue, a journalist who has written extensively on pesticide use in pot, the legalization of recreational marijuana, which came in December 2012, was just the first step toward it becoming a safe consumer good.

“It’s not complicated, it’s not like we did any real wizardry,” said Coughlin-Bogue, who helped develop the program. “It’s just a basic safeguard, but it’s one that we should have had four years ago.”

Uncle Ike’s is one of a handful of companies in the retail pot business but its sales outstrip competitors by a long shot. And soon, even more Capitol Hill pot will come through Uncle Ike’s as the chain prepares to open a new location on E Olive Way. Continue reading

E Olive Way fostering two growing Capitol Hill industries — legal pot… and kids

The International Montessori Academy’s Yimin Chen

E Olive Way has a little something for everyone. For parents in search of a multilingual education for their young children, starting this month, the curving street is now home to a new International Montessori Academy.

Work has completed to transform a new-era but unsuccessful Chinese restaurant and the  Bellevue-based provider of Mandarin Chinese, French, or Spanish language immersion and Montessori education for elementary school-age children is set to fully open this month, school founder Yimin Chen tells CHS.

“The construction delay set us back a little bit,” Chen said. “Some families had to withdraw because of the delay.” But the typical City of Seattle permit issues and contractor scheduling challenges have not dampened demand. There has been a small group of day care kids putting the newly re-built out space through its spaces. Soon, daily classes will begin. Continue reading

The Crescent, under new ownership, ready for another 70 years on Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill’s last great dive bar has new owners but its vow to never, ever change remains the same.

Brothers Joe Martin, Steve Smith, and David Munden are set to step back in to run The Crescent, the bar their father helped create decades ago on E Olive Way.

“As long as I breathe this air, it will never change,” Martin tells CHS. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Amid a jelly’s tentacles, The Reef’s colorful new mural

(Image: CHS)

The Seattle and statewide marijuana retail and edible industries are pushing back on an out of the blue move by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board that could bring the end of candy-like pot edibles in the state in 2019 because, officials say, the colorful sweets are too appealing to children.

The Stranger reports that the Washington CannaBusiness Association, the Cannabis Alliance, and the Cannabis Organization of Retail Establishments have come out against the planned change in policy that would end the legal production of “hard candy (of any style, shape or size), tarts, fruit chews, colorful chocolates, jellies and any gummy type products.”

Hopefully ocean blues and jellyfish purples don’t appeal too much to children. Continue reading

Carmelo’s Tacos a silver lining of taco goodness inside Capitol Hill’s Hillcrest Market

Carmelo Gaspar is at the center of things on Summit Ave E

Tucked inside the Hillcrest Market is Capitol Hill’s newest culinary delight from south of the border. Serving up fresh salsas, homemade tortillas, tender meat, and succulent cactus leaves, Carmelo’s is bringing the flavors of Mexico City to Seattle, one taco at a time.

This family owned and operated business is staffed by four employees, including the owner Carmelo Gaspar, who was slicing asada when CHS went for a visit. Carmelo’s manager Miguel Cruz says they worked close by and knew the owner of the store. “We saw the teriyaki guy was out, so we started talking to the owner and we got an opportunity to start,” he said. Continue reading