Coming to 15th Ave E: Kobuta and Ookami Katsu and Sake House

Design renderings for the new restaurant (Image: Kobuta & Ookami Katsu and Sake House)

(Image: Kobuta and Ookami Katsu and Sake House)

A slice of Japan — in the form of traditional Japanese katsu — is on its way to Capitol Hill.

Kobuta and Ookami Katsu and Sake House is set to open this February in new construction on 15th Ave E and will feature chicken katsu, tonkatsu, cheese katsu, curry katsu and rice burger katsu along with premium sake and other liquors.

“Katsu is [a] very common meal in Japan,” owner Sue Phuksopha said. “We would love to create our place to be a casual street dining style and casual hang out spot with Japanese vibes like those restaurants in the small alley in Japan.”

Phuksopha, who has over 20 years of experience working in the food industry and owns Thai 65 Cafe in Redmond, will run the business alongside fellow food industry vet Don Tandavanitj and his family. Continue reading

Police search for suspect after 15th Ave Key Bank robbery

Seattle Police were searching for the suspect in a late afternoon hold-up at the 15th Ave E Key Bank.

Police were called to the Capitol Hill bank just after 4:20 PM to a report of a suspect making off with a bag full of money after ditching a tracking device from inside the satchel, according to East Precinct radio updates.

Officers surrounded the bank but the suspect had already fled the area on foot.

Police were searching for a suspect described as black male, around 5’9″, wearing eyeglasses, a plaid pattern shirt and a hat with a full brim, and carrying a blue bag while “walking in a feminine manner.” According to radio updates, the description matched a  suspect wanted in connection with similar heists.

There were no immediate arrests.

Capitol Hill Safeway redevelopment moves forward with plans for seven-story apartment project above new grocery

The plan to redevelop the Capitol Hill Safeway at 15th and John and its giant surface parking lot as new mixed-housing above a new grocery store is moving forward.

Plans filed with the city last week show the grocery chain’s $11 million-plus, 100,000-square-foot property at the top of Capitol Hill is being planned for a new mixed-use development that will rise seven stories above a new, larger grocery store.

The Daily Journal of Commerce reported the filing Monday. CHS reported on the early planning on the effort in September as developers began the process of setting up community outreach for the design process. Continue reading

Design review: Capitol Hill auto row-inspired design gets an update for Hilltop Service Station project

(Images: Studio Meng Strazzara)

A Capitol Hill project dinged for what the developers said was “not being modern enough” is back in the design review process and ready for public comment.

The 523 Hilltop project from Capitol Hill-based developer Hunters Capital — and inspired by the neighborhood’s auto row-era preservation projects — is settling into the final phase of design review under the city’s “administrative” system put in place to keep projects moving during the COVID-19 crisis. Continue reading

Long police search after man pulls handgun in E Republican argument — UPDATE

An argument involving a man reportedly brandishing a firearm near 15th and Republican led to a long police search through yards and a large stretch of Capitol Hill Monday night.

All information is preliminary and has not yet been confirmed with Seattle Police.

According to East Precinct radio updates, police were called to the 1400 block of E Republican just before 9 PM to a report of an argument in the street involving a man brandishing a handgun.

Police reported a foot pursuit moments later as a suspect wearing a white surgical mask fled near 14th and Republican. According to radio updates, several callers reported a male knocking on doors and trying to enter residences in the area during the search. Police could be heard on loudspeakers warning people to stay indoors while the search unfolded.

A police K9 unit was reported tracking at least on suspect nearly an hour after the fight report. Earlier in the search, at least two people were taken into custody and a 9mm Smith and Wesson was recovered. Records show the gun was stolen from an owner in Bremerton.

UPDATE: SPD reports a teenager was taken into custody:

East Precinct officers recovered two handguns and arrested a 17-year-old Monday evening after receiving a report about a dispute involving a firearm in a Capitol Hill parking lot. Just before 9 PM, officers responded to the 1400 block of East Republican Street and contacted two men inside a vehicle. The driver took off running, and police quickly found a handgun under his seat. Officers also contacted the passenger, a 17-year-old male, in the vehicle, and recovered a firearm from underneath his seat. The second handgun was previously reported stolen in Bremerton. In addition to being 17 and unable to legally possess a handgun, the 17-year-old is also a convicted felon, prohibited from possessing firearms. Officers booked the 17-year-old into the King County Youth Service Center and continue to search for the driver of the vehicle, who left his shoes behind in his flight from police.


Its end filled with landmarks and legal proceedings, Capitol Hill’s 120-year-old Sullivan House demolished

Not all Capitol Hill landmarks are created equally. Some are demolished.

Work crews started taking down the 120-year-old mansion at the corner of 15th Ave and E Olive St. Wednesday, the start of the end for a house that has had a busy three years since it first hit the market just in time for Halloween 2017.

This January, permits were approved for a cluster of eight townhouses on the 7,200-square-foot lot. The same month, a demolition permit for the Sullivan House was also signed off on.

The project from developer and real estate investor Alex Mason and MGT Builders and the Cone Architecture firm will replace the house that was landmarked but ultimately not protected by the city. Continue reading

Police search for vehicles after gunfire and path of Capitol Hill traffic circle and mailbox destruction

Police investigated reports of gunfire and two cars racing through the streets of Capitol Hill Thursday night.

There were no reported injuries but a traffic circle near 16th and Harrison was wiped out, according to a CHS reader who witnessed the chase:

we just saw the craziest thing: two cars racing at high speed here in 16th and Harrison, one of the cars couldn’t stop and drove/jumped right throw the roundabout between the trees! We are still in shock, and this was like 20 minutes ago.

Continue reading

Clad in brick, concrete, and metal, design for five-story building replacing 15th Ave E gas station rounds into shape

(Image: Studio Meng Strazzara)

A plan to add 68 apartments and space for four businesses to 15th Ave E in a design that echoes auto row preservation-focused projects elsewhere in the neighborhood will be getting its turn before the design review board Wednesday, February 19th.

In this case, there is not auto row building to develop — only an old gas station to tear down. The Hilltop Gas Station had been put on the market in 2016. Hunter’s Capital, the Capitol Hill-based development company purchased the property for $2.75 million in 2018. Since then they’ve been working on a redevelopment plan, one which is now entering the home stretch.

The plan now calls for a five-story building, residential over retail. While an earlier version called for more residential units, that number has been scaled back to 68. Michael Oaksmith of Hunter’s Capital, explained the reason was simple, the developer wanted to add more one- and two-bedroom units into the building.

“More of a unit mix,” Oaksmith said. Continue reading

Vegan sweet shop Sugar Plum has closed on 15th Ave E

(Image: Sugar Plum)

A still new project from a longtime presence in Seattle vegan food and drink has exited 15th Ave E. Vegan sweet shop Sugar Plum closed unexpectedly earlier this month with a paper sign on the door and everything moved out in an overnight shuttering.

Owner Makini Howell confirmed the closure with CHS and said Sugar Plum would be moving but did not provide further details. Her website says Sugar Plum sweets are now available at the 12th Ave complex where her popular Plum Bistro is located. Continue reading

Safeway eyeing Capitol Hill store — and its huge parking lot — for redevelopment

Regional grocery giant Safeway is readying plans to redevelop one of the most prime plots of Capitol Hill land atop the Hill at 15th and John.

Capitol Hill’s “Store 1551” was left out of summer announcements about the company’s plans to develop new mixed-use projects on a handful of Seattle store properties and overhaul many of its area stores. But people familiar with its plans say Safeway has begun to organize community outreach strategies to help shape a mixed-use development to replace the giant store and parking lot at the top of E John. A new grocery would, naturally, be at the middle of things. Continue reading