Lionhead lives on as chef takes over Broadway Sichuan joint — and adds his speciality congee to the menu

Chew and Doherty (Image: Jeriel Calamayan, courtesy Lionhead)


Earlier this month, the space where Capitol Hill restaurant great Jerry Traunfeld built Poppy into one of the neighborhood’s most enduring favorites debuted its new showcase resident as Carrello from the Altura restaurant family introduced its carts of meatballs and salumi to North Broadway.

In the midst of Traunfeld’s retirement from the Seattle restaurant business, CHS noted that Poppy’s next door sibling Lionhead would live on — but under new ownership.

With the deal done and the restaurant moving ahead in its new life, new owners chef Garrett Doherty and Benjamin Chew are ready to make the takeover official.

The new owners will be building on Lionhead, born in August 2015 as Traunfeld’s play space for the flavors of the Sichuan peppercorn, and its menu of Southwest Chinese dishes including Rose Bud Dumplings, Dan Dan Mein, 5-Spice Pressed Tofu and Leeks, and Ma Po Doufu. Continue reading

A downsizing Linda spins off Capitol Hill’s Smith

(Image: Smith)

Almost one year to the day that CHS reported on the sale of Tallulah’s and twelve years and one month after the quiet side of Capitol Hill Linda’s joint broke the “Jake’s to Mango to Mcguire’s to Kozak’s to Cypress curse,” a deal for new owners at 15th Ave E’s Smith is about to be completed.

Linda Derschang confirmed the sale this week and said the plan is for the new, first-time restauranteurs to take over and “not change a thing.” As for Linda, she says don’t read too much into the transaction.

“If you look in any city, you see people opening restaurants, closing restaurants, selling restaurants,” she said Monday.

Instead, the paring down of the Derschang Group empire is about getting older, wanting a smaller company, and, Derschang says, New York City. Continue reading

Toscana to Itto’s to A La Vida — New owner on Summit part of ongoing wave of Capitol Hill food+drink deals

Change coming to Summit Ave (Image: Itto’s Tapas)

2018’s year of mergers and acquisitions in Capitol Hill food and drink has continued into 2019. Another new owner on the Hill is hoping to take the take over and transition route to food and drink success.

Manager Jody Claggett tells CHS he has purchased Summit Ave’s Itto’s Tapas from longtime owner Khalid Agour and will set about a quick transformation and overhaul of the restaurant and bar into a more Spanish flavored A La Vida.

Claggett said the name for the tapas, gin, and wine bar was inspired by a customer who turned him onto new music and a song about the joy of life.

“Everybody that I meet, it’s just a great conversation,” Claggett said of life behind the bar and the counter after a career in tech. Continue reading

You can’t dance the Panevino but restaurateur behind Tango, Rumba making move onto Broadway

(Image: Panevino)

(Image: Panevino)

Born in the extended Via Tribunali family, Broadway’s Panevino will have familiar new ownership this March. Capitol Hill food and drink entrepreneur Travis Rosenthal has agreed to purchase the nearly four-year-old trattoria and bar.

“I think Francesco (the current owner) has done a great job creating a popular spot in the 80 year old building,” Rosenthal told CHS by email about the major transaction. “I am really not sure what changes will be made until I get in there and meet the guests, taste the entire menu and work with the current staff.” Continue reading