Capitol Hill’s D’ La Santa and its grande margaritas set for 10th Ave E expansion

Growing up in Guadalajara, Angelica Villasenor was the only one of her seven siblings who hated to cook. When Villasenor’s father opened a Mexican restaurant in Kent and asked her and her siblings to help out, she secured a bartending position and let her siblings take care of the cooking roles. Now, her Capitol Hill restaurant D’ La Santa is getting ready to begin its third year of business with an expansion plan that will put that bartending experience to good use.

D’ La Santa is getting ready to add a new catty-cornered bar and six-table patio to its 10th Ave E location. Along with the bar comes an addition of authentic Mexican cocktails and new food items including handmade traditional and green tortillas made with Poblano peppers.

“Finally we have a restaurant that tastes like Mexico,” Villasenor said.

During the decade Villasenor’s father’s restaurant grew, so did Villasenor’s love for cooking. Eventually in 2016 Villasenor considered opening a restaurant of her own in the city, but she didn’t have the money, a location or professional training as a chef. Now, after opening two years ago next month, Villasenor’s authentic Mexican restaurant D’ La Santa in Capitol Hill is expanding. Continue reading

Thunder and lightning long gone but Monday morning power outage strikes northern Capitol Hill — UPDATE

View the latest updates from Seattle City Light

The area came through Saturday’s incredible thunderstorm mostly unscathed but wet branches appeared to be a larger problem Monday morning as a power outage knocked around 7,000 customers offline.

Seattle City light was reporting 6,7000 customers without power in swaths along north Broadway, Roanoke Park, and eastern Capitol Hill along 23rd/24th and Interlaken Park. As of 9:45 AM, City Light said it was investigating a cause and did not yet have an estimated time for restoration.

Witnesses reported hearing loud booms northeast of the Hill just before the outage.

The loss of power triggered alarms and left elevators stuck between floors. Police responded to a false alarm for a possible robbery at a north Broadway bank while Seattle Fire helped in an elevator rescue reported on 14th Ave E.

Saturday night, thousands around the city lost power as an unusually intense thunderstorm produced more than 2,000 lightning strikes across the area.

UPDATE: City Light says its current estimate is a 1 PM restoration of power:

UPDATE x2 11 AM: Restored!

Power has been restored to the North Capitol Hill area. The cause of the outage was due to a tree branch falling on a pair of powerlines. Our crews are also continuing to restore power to those affected by last weekend’s storm. Thank you for your patience.


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D’ La Santa taking a family approach to great Mexican food on 10th Ave E

With reporting and photos by Alex Garland

Maybe a higher power will help. Mom’s recipes and a family approach to business will, for sure.

Angelica Villasenor and her family have opened D’ La Santa on 10th Ave E down toward Roanoke in a Capitol Hill restaurant space that has been empty for years and that has challenged many a restaurateur. The recipe to making things work on this part of the Hill? From Guadalajara, Jalisco, Villasenor has turned to the dishes from her mother’s kitchen.

“All my mom’s recipes,” Villasenor said. “My mom is not a chef, when she cooks, she never follows recipes, just by taste. In the beginning, she was helping me with the seasoning.” Continue reading

‘Well-worn but cozy’ on North Capitol Hill, Roanoke celebrates a 20th anniversary

Chris Price shared this, "the oldest photo I can put my hands on right now - most likely from the late 90's, possibly 2000, since it's pre-liquor. Note the cassette tape rack! And the tall blond guy in the middle is Greg, the regular most everyone would recognize. He died in 2013 and there is a little plaque marking his spot at the bar..." (Image: The Roanoke with permission to CHS)

Chris Price shared this, “the oldest photo I can put my hands on right now – most likely from the late 90’s, possibly 2000, since it’s pre-liquor. Note the cassette tape rack! And the tall blond guy in the middle is Greg, the regular most everyone would recognize. He died in 2013 and there is a little plaque marking his spot at the bar…” (Image: The Roanoke with permission to CHS)

"The original cooler we had until it died in 2015," Price says (Image: The Roanoke with permission to CHS)

“The original cooler we had until it died in 2015,” Price says (Image: The Roanoke with permission to CHS)

The Roanoke isn’t fancy, and it doesn’t try to be. The bar, celebrating 20 years under the ownership of Chris and Jeff Price with a big 10th Ave E party Saturday, goes for more of a comfortable, living room vibe.

“It’s well-worn but cozy, like your favorite pair of tennis shoes,” Chris Price tells CHS.

The Prices took over in May of 1995. Jeff had been working for his parents at the now closed Factoria Pub. That place had a change of ownership, and Jeff didn’t fit with the new owners, so he left to find new opportunities, as Chris Price tells it. They had some connections to the broker selling the Roanoke, and the couple looked at it and snapped it up.

Roanoke 20th Anniversary Party
Saturday, May 16th 5 PM
Roanoke celebrates its 20th year with raffles, grilling, and special deals on drinks!

Since then, Chris Price said, they’ve tried to keep it much like it was back then, outside of repainting the place 10 or 15 years ago. She said some actually criticize the place for being on the dingy side in some spots, but it doesn’t bother her.

“That’s probably true, but we like it that way,” Continue reading

The latest to call it quits at 10th and Miller, Abay Ethiopian moves on

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 3.48.07 PM

Back in the Cassis days (Image: King County)

We’re sure the rest of its 85 years at the corner of 10th Ave E and E Miller have been more pleasant.

But for the last decade, the Keuss Building has been home to a rotating menu of Capitol Hill food and drink sadness.

Over the weekend, Abay Ethiopian“named for a great river,” CHS put it when the restaurant was moving in two years ago — served its last meals at the location:

On March 8th Sunday night is Abay Ethiopian Cuisine will be [our] last night. We are moving to a new location. Thank you to all for all love and support through out the years. We met a bunch of great people and made wonderful friends. Please follow us on Facebook and we will let you know about the new locations soon.

One love!!

Management says the plan is to reopen at a new, more fruitful location elsewhere in the Seattle area soon.

Blen Mamo Teklu’s venture lasted longer at the corner than some. Since we began publishing, CHS has written about a string of openings — and closings — in the old brick restaurant space. Skelly and the Bean lasted only 10 months. Before that, Easy Joe’s made a go of it before a successful move to Pioneer Square. The Alcove never opened. Tidbit Bistro lasted almost three years before a move to Broadway and Union before shuttering a year after that. You have to go back to the pre-CHS seven-year run of Cassis to find a story that doesn’t end with premature evacuation. Also, XO Bistro fits somewhere in the timeline. Take it away, old timers…

CHS Pics | Super Bummer XLIX on Capitol Hill

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Inside the Roanoke

Earlier, inside the Roanoke

With reporting by Shane McMahon/UW News Lab – Special to CHS

Inches from sealing a historical back-to-back Super Bowl victory, the Seahawks went down the way they went up — in shocking, agonizing fashion. The team took its fans along for the ride in packed bars and restaurants across Capitol Hill Sunday. By the time the last audacious Seahawk play had been called with disastrous results, the hopes for parties in the streets like we saw last January had faded completely. Fans were left to ponder why the team didn’t opt to simply run the ball in to seize the championship. And why Budweiser chose this weekend of all weekends to run an ad about beer “brewed the hard way.”

Continue reading

CHS Schemata | The Capitol Hill architectural assembly of Seattle Prep

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor a number of reasons, campuses merit special attention from the fan of architecture, including how — in a concise venue — differing design approaches can be observed. The earliest academic campuses include those of the medieval universities in northern Italy and in England, with Cambridge and Oxford setting the strongest precedents for what has become known as collegiate Gothic. Those of Italian influence (Padua and Bologna for instance) also served as models, but in a Renaissance flavor. These divergent sources from the North Atlantic to the Mediterranean created a menu of architectural styles for institutions that followed; one pick one’s campus style, as it were, to be either pointy (Gothic) or round (Renaissance). A splendid example of the former is found just to the north of Capitol Hill on the University of Washington campus, whose historic core abounds with buildings of the collegiate Gothic flavor.

Like the other primary and secondary school campuses I have written about, Seattle Prep brings an important assembly of building and landscape to Capitol Hill. The school is unique among the three mentioned as it most closely resembles the traditional college campus. It is not associated with one splendid building as is Holy Names nor did it evolve in an organic and engaging manner as did Bertschi School. Seattle Prep is a planned campus of many buildings purposely built over time. Yet, within its planning, each building has it own unique identity and represents the prevailing tastes of its time, making the campus a great microcosm of larger architectural and academic trends. Continue reading

SFD tangles with stubborn fire inside 10th Ave E Stanford Arms building

(Image courtesy @PorchlightSEA)

(Image courtesy @PorchlightSEA)

(Image: King County)

(Image: King County)

Seattle Fire Department units worked to extinguish a stubborn fire inside the wall of a stairwell of 10th Ave E’s Stanford Arms apartment building Tuesday night after a day of record temperatures in the city.

SFD was first called to the scene around 9:38 PM and began fighting the fire. According to radio dispatches, firefighters discovered the fire was continuing to burn inside the wall on the third level of the three-story masonry and wood frame building.According to county records, the Stanford Arms was built in 1929.

UPDATE: Firefighters reported the incident was “under control” just after 10:15 PM. We are not aware of any reported injuries associate with the fire.

10th Ave E northbound was closed to traffic at E Boston as firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze. Southbound traffic was diverted at E Miller.

The Seattle Fire Marshall was called to the scene to investigate the cause. UPDATE 7/2/14 9 AM: Seattle Fire tells us the cause of the fire was determined to be overheated electrical wiring in the wall in an unoccupied apartment. The fire did an estimated $25,000 damage to the building. Despite the day’s hot weather, it could not be determined what caused the old wiring to overheat. Seattle Fire says occupants of two apartment units will be displaced due to damage from the fire and response.

History of the Roanoke Park and Broadway Streetcar

Topology of Northern Tip of Capitol Hill, 1899 (USGS T2421 via UW)

Topology of Northern Tip of Capitol Hill, 1899 (USGS T2421 via UW)

With news that a Broadway Streetcar will finally reach the streets near Volunteer Park by 2017 and the continued progress toward an early 2016 opening of the U-Link light rail connection between downtown and Montlake via Capitol Hill, here’s a look back at the area’s transportation past that can serve both as a reminder that we’ve been here before *and* that these kinds of connections surely must be needed for the people of Seattle to build them. Time — and time again.

This is how the new history of the Roanoke Park and Broadway Streetcar from past CHS contributor Robert Ketcherside ends:

Preparing to move massive crowds for 1909′s World’s Fair, SEC directly connected the Broadway line to the University of Washington campus in late 1908 (see Seattle Times 1908 10 23 page 1). The Broadway line was sold to City of Seattle with the rest of the former SEC system in 1918. Just over twenty years later Seattle converted all of the streetcars to buses. Fast forward through conversion to a countywide bus system, and this continues to operate today as the Metro 49.

For how it begins, read the whole thing here.