Pike/Pine entrepreneur tells Big Mario’s goodbye as he gears up for stadium Gridiron project

Meinert, center, on patrol on E Pike

Capitol Hill-born Big Mario’s has new ownership. But don’t be sad. Your favorite chain of faux dive pizza bars is in familiar, local hands.

Dave Meinert, a Seattle nightlife entrepreneur with his fingers in many of the most popular venues in the core of Pike/Pine entertainment district, announced he has been bought out of the three-location pizza chain by his longtime partners and frequent collaborators. Continue reading

OK, this time pizza *really* is coming to 19th Ave E as Zeeks Capitol Hill plans take shape

(Image: Zeeks Pizza)

19th Ave E continues to be a busy spot in Capitol Hill food and drink as another slice is falling into place along the redevelopment-reinvigorated artery connecting several area schools and some of the neighborhood’s wealthiest, leafiest streets.

Zeeks Pizza Capitol Hill is lined up to anchor the street level retail space at The Shea, a 33-unit mixed-use development planned to complete construction this summer. It will be the Puget Sound-area pizza chain’s 14th location. The restaurant space will stretch from E Mercer along 19th Ave E and will neighbor street longtimer Monsoon. Continue reading

BREAKING: ‘Amante is gone and they took their flashing sign with them’

Here is a twist we did not see coming. Earlier this month, CHS reported on the exit of Amante Pizza from E Olive Way and Denny to make way for a new retail marijuana venture from Bremerton-born The Reef. We knew the fancy pants architects Olson Kundig were involved in the design for the new store. But we had no idea the infamous flashing gateway, welcome-to-Capitol Hill landmark would be disappearing from the corner. It’s possible that David is high — but he also provided photographic proof. But Sunday is also April Fool’s. Let us know what you’re seeing on E Olive Way.

First Hill’s Italian Family Pizza has new ownership — but is staying in the family

Italian Family Pizza has new ownership but the First Hill joint is staying in the family.

Owner Steve Calozzi tells CHS he is moving back to the East Coast but will remain a partner and a big part of the pizza shop at Madison and Boren.

“We did build this up from nothing,” Calozzi told CHS Thursday morning. “We’re headed back to Philly. I never wanted to sell it.” Continue reading

Next for Tully’s at 19th and Aloha — Not Pagliacci… Macrina Capitol Hill

UPDATE 2:30 PM: Well, this is interesting. We’re checking with the company and Galvin to clarify:

Original Report: A story that somehow combines the slow financial implosion of a Seattle coffee chain with worldwide ambitions, a presidential sex scandal, and Capitol Hill’s relatively quiet corner of 19th and Aloha now includes pizza baked goods.

CHS has learned that the neighborhood school kids around 19th Ave E will soon have a new hangout in the space left empty when the Tully’s Coffee chain abruptly shuttered on the corner after 20 years. Seattle favorite Pagliacci Pizza has begun planning of a new restaurant to take over the former cafe. UPDATE: But it won’t be a pizza joint.

Continue reading

With plans for pot in background, Amante Pizza exits E Olive Way and Denny

CHS comes to bury Amante’s, not to praise them (Image: sparklingallison)

There is a casualty in the great E Olive Way pot land rush. Amante Pizza will no longer be operating its infamous, pulsating display sign at the corner of E Olive Way and Denny.

Calls to the Hill pizza joint reveal that it has shut down operations at its longtime home and is referring customers to delivery from its 10th Ave E location. We’re still trying to connect with ownership to find out more about the closure. Continue reading

Hot Mama’s — the funniest pizza joint on Capitol Hill

There is a preponderance of funny people working behind the counter at Hot Mama’s Pizza. Currently three standup comics sling pie at this Capitol Hill institution. If you stop in at any time day or night, chances are you’ll encounter a local comic tossing dough or dashing out the door on a delivery run.

Robbie Schroeder is patient zero for the Hot Mama’s comic infestation. He’s been working here for twelve years and doing standup for five. A few years ago he brought in fellow joketeller Mike Masilotti (recently moved to California) and it snowballed from there. “They finally said, ‘No more comedians—it’s not funny anymore,’” Schroeder said. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | A Pizza Mart pizza bar coming to Pike/Pine

Some things never change. The projects may be smaller in scale (well, mostly smaller) but the Capitol Hill food and drink economy continues to be a dynamic world with plenty of new players and new stories. And, naturally, some pillars of the industry continue to grow.

Yup, Pike/Pine is being lined up for a new pizza bar.

The rapidly expanding A Pizza Mart empire is making plans for a new pie bar on 11th Ave, CHS has learned. Continue reading

Finishing one story from the Capitol Hill pizza boom — plus A Pizza Mart tale on First Hill

Meltdown tossed it in after less than a year of business at Pine and Minor

Meltdown tossed it in after less than a year of business at Pine and Minor

It’s true, Reddit, we did leave a storyline incomplete from the great Capitol Hill pizza boom of 2016. Let’s finish the story and, yes, start a new one with yet more pizza coming to a VERY TALL building on First Hill.

“If it would have taken off it would have been great,” Josh Carrigan tells CHS about the rise and fall of his Meltdown Pizza which was born and died in the Minor and Pine building during the 2016 boom in pie joints. “I just said, ah fuck it, I’m not happy anymore.”

Carrigan wasn’t new to Capitol Hill food and drink. For seven years, he has been part of building the no frills Still Liquor into a popular place to drink like a grownup beneath Melrose Market. Carrigan said it quickly turned out “the pizza market was saturated” so he pulled the plug early on the project and hit the slopes for a winter of snowboarding. He still holds the lease and says a new project is lined up for the space. More about that soon. It won’t be a pizza joint.

A Pizza Mart pie, coming to First Hill (Image: A Pizza Mart)

A Pizza Mart pie, coming to First Hill (Image: A Pizza Mart)

The next new pizza investment in the area will instead come at the base of a 31-story apartment tower on First Hill.

A fifth location of the A Pizza Mart pizza bar family has been building out its space in the Cielo Apartments at 800 Seneca and is close to opening. The 27-year-old pizza player is known for its liquor and pie combination. As Carrigan notes, it joins a saturated market but, with 30 stories of apartments above it, A Pizza Mart First Hill might come with a built-in customer base.

 

Dino’s Tomato Pie baking plan for new music venue below E Olive Way

Dino’s Tomato Pie is kind of like a Denny at E Olive Way time machine. Its next stop is a small start in reversing the neighborhood’s trend of restaurant concepts and developments pushing out the last vestiges of the Capitol Hill music scene.

“One, I like the idea of anti-gentrification, where small music venues are closing, we can actually add something,” Brandon Pettit tells CHS about a project he hopes will eventually create a new music and events venue at Dino’s.

Two, Pettit has a Dino’s-sized underground level to work with below the bustling pizza joint. Continue reading