On the List | Pizza Crawl 2016 starts at Denny and Nagle

13908858_10157195503120007_6742999140563242640_o (1)Along with a blast of summer heat, this final weekend of August also brings a big blast of summer happenings including an under the radar music festival, piglets on First Hill, a totem celebration, Shakespeare in Volunteer Park, and the last outdoor movie of the season in Cal Anderson. And there is more. Saturday, on the edge of Cal Anderson Park just up the stairs from the bustle of Capitol Hill Station, the cheesy mayhem of Pizza Crawl 2016 will unfold:

This is it: the third annual Pizza Crawl! For those who weren’t there with us in previous years: a pizza crawl is like a pub crawl, but instead of pubs we go to a string of pizza parlors. In-between the different pizza parlors you’ll witness some of our favorite musicians playing live guerrilla fashioned sets in select urban locations. Later on in the evening there is a secret after-party with more live music.

The initial meetup location will Denny and Nagle. An opening ceremony will be provided by the Calzone Revolutionary Marching Band. Continue reading

‘Out of left field,’ Lark joins the Capitol Hill pizza boom with 12th Ave plans for Southpaw

Lark’s ownership trio — Sundstrom, J.M. Enos, and Kelly Ronan (Image: CHS)

Lark’s ownership trio — Sundstrom, J.M. Enos, and Kelly Ronan (Image: CHS)

We’ve heard owners explain it with their passion for pizza pies. We’ve heard others talk about profit margins. Whatever it is, CHS’s prophecy of a pizza joint opening every two blocks across Capitol Hill is coming true.

The latest announcement of pizza plans comes from longtime Capitol Hill restauranteur John Sundstrom and business partners Kelly Ronan and JM Enos who are planning to turn the original home of Lark on 12th Ave into wood-fired pizza joint Southpaw:

The name is a nod to all things unorthodox—batting left-handed, a left-handed boxer’s stance, and pizzas that are somewhere in-between Neapolitan and New York style, with familiar toppings as well as some out of left field.
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Amante Pizza’s infamous flashing sign re-illuminated on E Olive Way


Thanks to a CHS reader for the picture.

The Amante Pizza sign has come beaming back to life and at least one Capitol Hill man is making it known he is very unhappy about it.

Long a source of neighborhood grumbling, the video screen that flashes pizza promotions at Denny and E Olive Way has been criticized as an unfitting welcome sign to Capitol Hill. After a complaint was made last year, a city inspector confirmed it was not only a matter of taste, finding a “violation of changing image frequency.” A subsequent inspection found the same issue. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | Italian Family Pizza makes move from 1st Ave to First Hill

The Calozzi family has moved in on First Hill. Last week, Italian Family Pizza opened in its new home in a space formerly occupied by a check cashing business at the intersection of the neighborhood’s two main arteries at Madison and Boren.

Steve and Jennifer Calozzi moved their popular restaurant from 1st Ave to First Hill to make way for demolition and development downtown. But the change also simplifies the family’s life. The new location for Italian Family puts the Calozzis in business just down the block from O’Dea where their son attends high school. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | Macrina Bakery and Pagliacci Pizza working on a new venture on E Pike

DSC04706Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 11.38.13 AMAfter 16 years of making its dough and tomato sauce from an E Pike commercial kitchen, Pagliacci Pizza is moving its pizza base of operations to Kent.

To replace it, two of Seattle’s most established dough-based businesses are exploring a Capitol Hill venture that may include a new Pagliacci restaurant and Macrina Bakery Cafe at E Pike and Crawford Pl.

Nearly a decade after joining forces behind the scenes, Pagliacci and Macrina owners say they are in the early stages of finding a new use for Pagliacci’s soon-to-be vacated “commissary.” Continue reading

Old timer Pagliacci adds ‘slice bar’ as great pizza rush of 2016 stretches to North Capitol Hill


(Image: Pagliacci)

Thanks to a small 2015 blip in the Capitol Hill pizza economy, the relatively high profit margin, relatively easy to produce culinary creation has become a $15 minimum wage talking point. We’re not sure where this fits into the conversation other than, yup, pizza remains hot on Capitol Hill.

One of the key early outposts in Seattle pizza giant Pagliacci’s ascendancy as king of the city’s delivery pack has undergone an overhaul and is celebrating Saturday, May 14th with free slices. Here’s what’s up at Capitol Hill’s 2400 10th Ave. E Pagliacci location, the Miller store:

Pagliacci Pizza just opened a new slice bar at their Miller store and to celebrate the location will give away slices on Saturday, May 14th, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is a limit of two slices per person. In addition to adding a slice bar and an expanded dining room the store now serves beer and wine. Doors open daily at 11 a.m.

The 10th and E Miller location had been a delivery-only kitchen since opening in 1992. According to Pagliacci, the company planned the location as its first deliver-only site but delays ended up costing it its place in Pagliacci history. “The space seemed so big that we agreed to rent out the front to a former employee who wanted to open a cafe,” the store’s information page reads. “The former employee got cold feet (about the cafe) and over time, we found we definitely needed the space to meet the high volume of orders in Capitol Hill.” Pagliacci’s first call center was operated at the location before Pagliacci Support Central was consolidated at the company’s E Pike headquarters. CHS wrote here in 2013 about Pagliacci’s 30 years on Broadway and the company’s E Pike mission control center. Pagliacci says it plans to open its 26th location around Seattle by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, CHS has reported about other Hill pizza veterans joining the wave of young bucks bringing more pizza than ever before to Capitol Hill’s food and drink offerings. With its upgrades, Pagliacci now pulls North Capitol Hill into the 2016 pizza wars. Your move, Padrino’s.


Capitol Hill food+drink | Sizzle Pie and Dark Bar open in Pike/Pine

Jacobson, right, and McKennedy (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Skater bros and metalheads finally have a place to drink brews, eat pizza, and be themselves in Pike/Pine. And everybody else can come, too.

“Our whole approach is to have something for everyone,” Matt Jacobson (on the right, above), who founded Sizzle Pie with partner Mikey McKennedy in 2011, tells CHS. “We have a pretty comprehensive menu, vegan, and gluten free.”

The new restaurant and accompanying Dark Bar opens for real Thursday after a few nights of “soft openings” for the heavy metal pizza joint. It will keep some of the latest hours in Pike/Pine — and pretty much never rest.

“At Sizzle Pie, we don’t close,” Jacobson said. “Open on Christmas. Open on Thanksgiving. There are a lot of transplants in cities. We’re happy to be one of those places when everything is closed and you want some place to go.”

Sizzle Pie - 11 of 19

The pizza is described as “classic and unconventional” with en emphasis on variety and some surprising options like, yup, breakfast pizza. “Available all day.” There are “meat,” “vegetarian,” and “vegan” pie menus, as well as a set of special “seasonal” choices. You’ll pay around $25 for a large. A slice and a salad deal runs $7.

Though Sizzle Pie is a sibling to Jacobson’s now 25-year-old Relapse Records, live music isn’t part of the recipe. But late o’clock in the morning hours are. “When we decided to put flag in the ground, we knew we were going to have some slow Mondays and Tuesdays,” Jacobson said. “Now we’re known as the place that is open late.” Sizzle Pie Capitol Hill has transformed the former home of sports bar Auto Battery into a hardworking pizza hangout. The staff will keep rocking from 11:00 AM to 3:00 AM Sundays through Thursdays and until 4 AM on Fridays and Saturdays. The former Po Dog hot dog shop next door is now the Dark Bar, exorcising demons and giving you some new ones every day, 4 PM to 2 in the metal funking morning.

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Capitol Hill’s year in pizza: Pizzeria Ottantotto now open on Broadway

The latest milestone in Capitol Hill’s year of pizza? Pizzeria 88 has opened on Broadway.

Call it Pizzeria Ottantotto. The wood-fired, Neapolitan pizza project from Magnolia restaurateur Karim Bonjrada took over the space where Corretto called it quits after an ownership rotation.

“You see a 12-inch pizza and think you can’t eat it all, but you can and more because it’s so light,” Bonjrada told us in January about his pies.

The basic Margherita runs $13, the ambitious lamb and mushroom Agnello, $18. Pizzas can be made gluten free — just add $4. There is also an antipasti menu and a surprisingly robust menu of small plates as well as desserts. Cocktails, beer, and wine? Of course.

Born and raised in Palermo, Bonjrada came to Seattle and Capitol Hill in the early ’90s. He’s been making pizzas and other Italian classics ever since, punching his neighborhood business passport along the way. Bonjrada opened Belltown’s La Vita E Bella in 1999, the now-closed DiVino in Ballard, and Queen Margherita and Mondello in Magnolia.

His new restaurant opened after a short overhaul and preparation of the wood-fired oven in the space.

Pizzeria 88 is open Sunday through Thursday, 5 to 10 PM and Friday-Saturday, 5 PM to 2 AM. You can learn more at pizzeriaottantotto.com.

Capitol Hill food+drink | First look at Dino’s Tomato Pie


Pizza man Brandon Pettit (Images: CHS)

Pizza man Brandon Pettit (Images: CHS)

It’s fitting. As the city’s most transit-oriented neighborhood prepares to open the biggest public transit infrastructure investment yet, a “walkable bar” with a pizza counter and lounge that appears destined to join the ranks of Capitol Hill’s great “few block radius” establishments is settling in at Denny and E Olive Way.

Dino’s Tomato Pie, with its old school, “serving pizza ’round or square’ since March 2016” vibe, is now open.

Brandon Pettit tells us his Dino’s crew is still coming up to speed to meet what has so far been greater than expected demand from the tightly packed blocks of the  Pine, Olive Way, Howell-Area Triangle — POWHat. For now, no slices, no takeout, and there is no delivery, yet — unless you have a great friend who will stop by and pick up a pie for you.IMG_1876 Continue reading

As great Capitol Hill pizza rush of 2016 plays out, veteran Amante’s upgrades

“We’ve been here for nine years and I think we’ll be here for another nine years.”

The pizza game at the corner of E Olive Way and Denny is being taken up a notch. And, oh yeah, Dino’s is also now open.

While the glossy magazines — and your friendly neighborhood blogger — have been providing breathless updates on the opening of Dino’s Tomato Pie (sorry, foodie, happened Tuesday night but you can make your first visit tonight!), a veteran of the Capitol Hill pizza game is getting a fresh re-start across the street.

The windows have been papered up at Amante’s for a few weeks and they might be for a little bit more but the pizza joint isn’t going anywhere. New owner George Kozhuharov tells CHS he has been busy upgrading the building including patching a leaky roof and replacing the decade-old restaurant’s well-worn booths.

The work is part of a new spirit at the franchise restaurant. In November, CHS reported on Kozhuharov’s decision to shut off Amante’s notorious sign after being made aware of the long history of neighborhood complaints about the flashing menace.

Kozhuharov expects the refreshed Amante’s to reopen soon and get back to providing moderately priced pizza and supporting a bustling delivery business.

Meanwhile, with new neighbor Dino’s part of a wave of pizza openings across Capitol Hill — and even First Hill, Kozhuharov said he’s not worried.

“We’re going to do the same thing that has kept the doors open for nine years,” he tells CHS.

“We’ve been here for nine years and I think we’ll be here for another nine years.”