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

CHS Pics | The Cookie Counter brings pink walls and sweet vegan treats to E Pike’s Gay City

Need an E Pike vegan treat? The Cookie Counter is now open on Capitol Hill inside Gay City.

CHS reported in June on the new partnership at the LGBTQ nonprofit’s headquarters that brings the Greenwood-born dessert shop and café for vegan pastries, cookies and ice cream to the 500 block of E Pike. “To be in that space will be nostalgic for us,” Chelsea Keene, who co-founded The Cookie Counter with her husband Chris Olson, told CHS in June. “When Chris and I lived on the hill, the previous Kaladi Brothers Coffee space at Gay City was our favorite coffee shop.”

You can now find Kaladi Brothers down the street where it has returned to its overhauled original Capitol Hill home.

Meanwhile, there has been plenty of Capitol Hill-area cookie news. 19th Ave E’s Hello Robin announced expansion plans in University Village and Lowrider Baking joined the food and drink scene developing around 23rd and Union’s new construction. Continue reading

Activist teaming up with performer for planned Capitol Hill vegan coffee shop

CHS has news of yet another vegan food+drink project coming to Capitol Hill. What this one is missing in specifics, it makes up for in character and radical sociopolitics.

“It’s about more than just ethics. A lot of people just aren’t aware of their food choices,” Ashton Gearhart tells CHS.

The vegan activist and Charlie Paws –porn and sex performer — and Gearhart’s roommate — are teaming up on a venture to create a vegan coffee shop on Capitol Hill. Continue reading

A John in the Morning cafe? Two first families of Seattle independent music team up for E Pike restaurant project

The future Pike Flats will also be home to a new restaurant project from Seattle music luminaries

It’s a Capitol Hill Block Party-worthy plan. A  project involving two Seattle music super couples will create a new restaurant — but not a new music venue — in the under construction Pike Flats at the corner of Pike and Harvard.

“It’s a project we’ve dreamed about and the stars aligned,” Steven Severin tells CHS. “It’s going to be so dope.”

Continue reading

Eco-first (but also vegan), Drizzle + Shine opens on Capitol Hill

White inside the newly opened Drizzle + Shine (Image: CHS)

White inside the newly opened Drizzle + Shine (Image: CHS)

Drizzle + Shine - 2 of 2Jean White has been vegan for years. Her new Capitol Hill eco boutique has been vegan for all of one day.

Drizzle + Shine opened Wednesday in a commercial space along 15th Ave E on the Group Health Capitol Hill campus.

“I’ve been vegan for 16 years,” White tells CHS. “I extended that to my clothing.”

The new store sells clothing and accessories from undies to sunglasses to shoes — for men and women and everybody. Items stocked at Drizzle + Shine are animal-free and the goods are either fair trade, organic, local, USA-made, recycled — or all of the above.

“The environmental aspect is the central goal,” White says.

The shop is an outgrowth of a style blog White maintained and while she also has created Drizzle + Shine as an online retail presence with, she believed it was important to create a space where people can see and feel the products in person.

“My experience is it’s really hard to find a place to look at these labels,” she said.

Finding goods for the shelves hasn’t been difficult. White says brick and mortar stores like hers are so rare that manufacturers are eager to have a real-world location to make their creations available.

As for 15th Ave E, the space has sputtered along as a cafe in recent years with the eclectic Abodegas exiting the property in JanuaryInsomniax Cafe also shut after fading in the space. Meanwhile, salon A New You has been doing its thing next door with plenty of regulars for years. White, who used to live on the Hill, said she has been happy to see so many people walking by as she has been busy setting up the shop this week. “I want to be where the people are,” she said. She hopes the hundreds of Group Health employees will also present a built-in customer base.

She also believes in Drizzle + Shine beyond its retail goals.

“I wouldn’t have just gone into retail to open any store,” she said.

Drizzle + Shine is located at 102 15th Ave E and planned to be open Monday though Saturday 11-7 and Sundays 12-5. Sunday, the store will hold a grand opening party with prizes and snacks. You can learn more at

Capitol Hill food+drink | Sugar Plum a sweet new direction for eating vegan in Seattle


By the end of July, Makini Howell will have taken eating vegan in Seattle in yet another new direction: to the sweet shop.

“It will show that there is a lot to being vegan,” Howell said in a chat with CHS following her weekend of red, white, and blue vegan BBQ, an annual tradition at her 15th Ave E cafe that didn’t get put aside despite a busy schedule and construction to prepare for the opening of Sugar Plum planned for the end of the month. “It will be a sweet little sweet shop.” And, yup, it will be vegan.

CHS first told you about Howell’s plans to transform her 15th Ave E cafe into a vegan sweet shop last fall. She utilized community financing and her strong reputation to push a brand new concept forward and reinvent her part of the 15th Ave E food and drink scene.

“People like us. They know we offer a quality product. We’ve been vegan an in Seattle for so long,” Howell told CHS this week.

When it opens in, Howell said to expect “that old school feel of a candy shop” with gluten free, vegan, and dietarily sensitive wonders. “I want it to be an exciting spot to come have a treat. Imagine amazing, big chocolate chip cookies,” Howell told us last fall. You’ll find the aforementioned cookies, bars, brownies, donuts, sweets, soft-serve and more. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | All-star vegan chef Howell plans Sugar Plum transformation on 15th Ave E


(Image: Sugar Plum)

Howell -- celebrity vegan chef -- visits Wendy Williams (Image courtesy Plum)

Howell — celebrity vegan chef — visits Wendy Williams (Image courtesy Plum)

What a wonderful world. On Capitol Hill, ice cream and cookies are signs of maturity. Makini Howell, the Capitol Hill-based vegan food and drink entrepreneur behind the Plum family of bistros, cafes, pantries, and burger trucks, says her next venture in the neighborhood will be a sweet shop — though longtime fans of her little 15th Ave E cafe might find the news bittersweet.

“In order to stay relevant, you gotta keep up with the market,” Howell tells CHS of her plans to convert her longtime vegan cafe into a brand new 15th Ave E vegan ice creamery and sweet shop. “And maybe it’s a sign that I’m ready for what’s next. Everything. On 15th. My life. The city.”

Howell says the transformation of the tiny little cafe where she got her true start in vegan culinary skills will begin at the end of October when Plum Cafe closes and begins making way for Sugar Plum. She hopes to have the buildout complete before the end of winter. But first she’ll say goodbye. Continue reading

The worst Thursday post ever because The Highline only serves chow on Mondays and Tuesdays

IMG_7127IMG_7217Last summer, CHS reported on some uncertainty and change around one of Capitol Hill’s more unique venues. The Highline was closing its kitchen and some funky stuff was maybe possibly going on around its lease. Come winter, things are back to, um, normal at Broadway’s only vegan dive bar live music venue. The kitchen is back open. The Highline seems secure in its location — for now, anyway. We talked to owner Dylan Desmond about Highline’s return to Capitol HIll’s food and drink scene and the vegan spirit of his operation. We also are giving the whole thing the glossy food+drink pictorial treatment just like the fancy magazines. There is, however, some bad news: This is a particularly cruel post because you’ll have to wait until next week to visit the Highline for a sandwich — the kitchen is only open on Mondays and Tuesdays. There is also some good news: The bar is open. More on that and the rest, below.

There’s been a strong and happy reaction to the announcement that you were restarting your kitchen — how has it been going and what’s next?
DD: The kitchen is running stronger than ever! We’re working with the chefs Jon Hurt and Jesse Garner, who both have years of culinary experience with an emphasis in vegan cuisine. To top that off, I see their hearts rooting into every recipe they’re concocting and every plate their putting out, which makes me believe we’ve found the perfect match for the direction Highline always pointed towards. I may have eaten more food at Highline than any other person on earth, but I’m not alone in saying the recipes and execution of each dish is much above the level we were operating on before. We’ve very much improved, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. Continue reading

Broadway’s Highline Bar reopens its much-missed vegan kitchen


“last (kitchen) call at the highline Capitol Hill, Seattle” (Image: davamoore via Flickr)

Talk about a good start to the year for vegan sex toy shoppers. First, CHS reports that Castle Megastore, Broadway’s only sex shop, is staying put. Now comes word that, after a six-month hiatus, its only vegan dive bar live music Cakearoke venue is reopening its much-loved kitchen. Here’s the news from the Highline:

Tomorrow we’re reopening of our kitchen! We’re really excited! For those planning on coming, here’s all the info:

We’ll be serving food from 4pm-8pm Monday’s and Tuesday’s for the next while. The menu and days, though short and sweet now, will expand as the weeks pass by.
We’re looking forward to seeing everyone over the few weeks!
On behalf of all the staff, a HUGE “thank you” to everyone who’s helped spread the word and aims to support us! This is a long time in the works and we expect to exceed everyone’s expectations.
love-Highline Bar