New Fall Restaurant Openings in Capitol Hill

If you thought Capitol Hill reached its restaurant apex five years ago, you'd be wrong

The neighborhood is back for round two, with so many promising new restaurants this fall, it’s head-spinning. Interestingly enough, this time around, most of the new restaurants will be moving into old auto-row-era buildings. We are, after all, a city fond of repurposing.

Toward the south end of the hill at Melrose and Pike, Tom Douglas will be opening a third Serious Pie location (estimated time of arrival is October 15) within a new 15,000-square-foot Starbucks specialty coffee roasting facility, formerly home to Utrecht Art Supplies and a Volvo dealership. Just like Douglas’ other two pizzerias, this Serious Pie will seat around 55, including 10 at the bar. One block east on Pike Street, a new face to Seattle, Eric Johnson (who has worked with famed New York restaurateurs Daniel Boulud and Jean-Georges Vongerichten), will be opening Stateside, a high-end Vietnamese restaurant sandwiched between Victrola Coffee Roasters and the Six Arms pub. And three blocks east of Stateside, the couple behind Joule and Revel are opening Trove, a 4,000-square-foot “treasure trove” that will house four concepts, the main one being a Korean-grill-inspired restaurant. There also will be a handmade-noodle counter, an ice cream window and a bar with lots of craft beer.

To the southeast, on 10th Avenue and Seneca Street (are you still with us?), is the Central Agency Building, next door to IHOP and behind Garage Billiards. This is where John Sundstrom will be relocating Lark along with opening both a raw bar and charcuterie bar called Bitter/Raw, and a sandwich and pie shop called Slab Sandwich + Pie. In total, he will occupy one-third of the entire building (5,000 square feet).

Just to the northeast of the Central Agency Building is perhaps Capitol Hill’s most ambitious new project, Chophouse Row (the site of a former auto parts shop). It will run between Pike and Union on 11th Avenue and feature two projects from Volunteer Park Cafe’s Ericka Burke, Chop Shop Café & Bar and a gourmet market called Chop Shop Juice & Provisions; a tiny cheese shop from Kurt Timmermeister (owner of the former Café Septieme and 13-acre Kurtwood Farms on Vashon Island); some sort of yet-to-be-revealed concept from Matt Dillon (Sitka & Spruce, Bar Sajor, The London Plane); and a bakery from former Le Gourmand co-owner Sara Naftaly called Amandine, into which a Slate coffee bar will be integrated—two companies behaving as one.

Estimated opening:
October 1 (300 E Pike St., between Six Arms and Victrola Coffee, across the street from the new Serious Pie) Fancy-ish Vietnamese cuisine that will appeal to both the familiar and adventurous sides of your appetite.

Serious Pie
Estimated opening:
October 15 (1124 Pike St. at Melrose) The same pizzas you’ve come to love from Tom Douglas—inside a giant Starbucks roasterie.

late August (The Greenus Building, 500 E Pike St., at Pike and Summit) Noodles, Korean barbecue, ice cream and craft beer: Plunder away!

Central Agency Building
Lark’s estimated opening: late September (925 E Seneca St., near IHOP) The new, larger Lark, raw seafood platters, charcuterie, gourmet sandwiches and slabs of pie.

Chophouse Row

Courtesy of Sundberg Kennedy Ly-Au Architects and Graham Baba Architects

Opening: TBA (Between E Pike and E Union streets on 11th) The new Melrose Market–like home to many spots: freshly squeezed juices and an organic café from Ericka Burke (Volunteer Park Cafe); a second Slate coffee bar; baked goods from Sara Naftaly (formerly of Le Gourmand); cheese from Kurt Timmermeister (Kurtwood Farms); and a concept still to be announced from Matt Dillon.


Andrew Vanasse

A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus
. Nope, it’s not the beginning of a bad joke (boats can’t walk into a bar!), it’s the title of Renee Erickson’s (Boat Street Cafe, The Walrus and the Carpenter, and others) first book, hitting shelves on September 30 (Sasquatch Books, $40). Let’s be clear: Although it has recipes, it’s not really a cookbook. “I didn’t just want to do a Whale Wins or Boat Street cookbook, at least not for my first book,” the James Beard Foundation Award–nominated chef and restaurateur says. “At some point, I came up with something that felt different enough to do it.” With the help of coauthor Jess Thomson, Erickson combined some of her favorite recipes and menus with the stories of some of her favorite people—the part of her cooking life that seemed important enough to write about—including farmers, artists and family. Of the more than 70 recipes, some lean toward fancy (harissa-rubbed roasted lamb; halibut with morel cream), while others are simpler (radishes with Green Goddess dressing; crab melts), but all—with the help of drool-worthy photos by local food and travel photographer Jim Henkens—will make your stomach growl.