586 stories
·
19 followers

Don't Go Home at Bar Close. Go to Ba Bar.

1 Comment
The middle-of-the-night food scene at Ba Bar on Capitol Hill. by Chase Burns

For all of Seattle's famed sleepless-ness, you'd think we could get a later bar close, or a weed cafe, or at least a few more places to eat carbs at three in the morning. But most venues push people out onto the streets between 1:30 and 2 a.m. This is because state Republican lawmakers and the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board hate fun and happiness.

If you do find yourself drunk and hungry at 2 a.m. on a Friday or Saturday, you should know you have more options than street hot dogs, 5 Point, Beth's, Lost Lake, or whatever overpriced box you call a home. Not to knock Seattle's 24-hour diners—there will always be something special about waiting for a table in the scary holding room at Beth's—but sometimes a person wants a late-night bite that isn't diner food.

Enter, Ba Bar. The popular Vietnamese restaurant named not after Babar the Elephant but in honor of restaurant owners Sophie and Eric Banh's father ("ba" means father in Vietnamese) specializes in phở, bánh cuốn, classic cocktails, and late-night eats.

Its late-night scene is awesome. You just have to know it's there.

On a recent Saturday night at 2 a.m.—so actually Sunday morning—Ba Bar's Capitol Hill spot seemed closed. A few patrons fingered empty glasses and picked through scraps of Crispy Imperial Rolls (which are delicious). You'd be forgiven for walking past the restaurant and mistaking the waiters' nervous glances for looks that say, "We're closed."

They aren't closed; they're just waiting for the onslaught.

The bar in the Capitol Hill location is closed at 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, though, and Ba Bar's University Village and South Lake Union locations are always closed by 2 a.m. But on Fridays and Saturdays, the Capitol Hill restaurant is open till 4 a.m.

Even though it was dead when I got there at 2 a.m., by 2:15 the place was bumpin'. A rush of drunks flooded the dining area, ordering noodles, frites, and bánh nậm, which are rice tamales with pork wrapped in banana leaf (you don't eat the leaf, Becky). It was the kind of scene that's loud enough that you can cry or fight and no one will notice, but spacious enough for the experience to be intimate. This late-night noisy privacy is a magical, rare phenomenon in Seattle.

Maybe it's silly to go to a Vietnamese restaurant and order chicken wings, but goddamnit if Ba Bar's Sài Gòn Chicken Wings aren't the crème de la crème of drunk food. Coated in a caramel sauce with roasted garlic and bird's-eye chilies, the wings are made expertly—the skin is crispy but the meat remains juicy. Sticky but not messy, these little nuggets get the job done.

If wings don't satisfy your beer gut, get the steamed Manila clams—my favorite. They're made with Rainier beer, lemongrass, and dill, and are served with a ginger nước chấm. There's also plenty of phở, even in the late-late hours. The phở tái nạm, with its beef brisket and inexplicably tasty eye of round steak, is one of their best.

By 3:15 a.m., the scene seemed to be peaking. By 3:30, the kitchen was closed. A calm wonder replaced the commotion of the rush. The whole spectacle came and went like hail in a thunderstorm.

[ Comment on this story ]

[ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

Read the whole story
ridingsloth
24 days ago
reply
A) Neat! I didn't know they were open super late. B) That makes them the last thing open on a friday night in SLU by like 6 hours, right?
Share this story
Delete

Taco service restored at E Olive Way’s The Saint — Plus, Anejo set to open on Broadway

1 Comment

No, Quentin Ertel is not an evil taco genius.

“As much as I’d like to say this was all part of a grand plan it really came down to two things,” Ertel tells CHS about the happy restoration of taco service at his E Olive Way establishment, The Saint. “The first is that I missed the tacos something fierce. And the second is that our regulars really missed our kitchen. Once we found the right chef it was an easy decision — we decided to give the people what they want!”


Appreciate CHS? Subscribe Today  Consider becoming a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news. Help push us over the 800 mark. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.

Already a subscriber? Please TELL A FRIEND to help us reach our goal.


The Saint reopened last December after a-few-month overhaul of the space and the business. The kitchen was closed as part of the changes due to costs and staffing struggles.

Seattle Met reports that The Saint’s reopened kitchen will be helmed by Enrique Vargas, most recently with Copal in Pioneer Square:

Vargas hails from Mexico City and will bring in those deep, handmade flavors. The braised beef short rib taco will come with his own scratchmade mole sauce, crema Mexicana, and queso fresco. There’s also chicken adobo with roasted tomato-chipotle salsa, cochinita pibil with a touch of fennel and habanero salsa, a vegetable option, and, in the summer perhaps, a fish taco too.

He’s keeping the menu straight and to the taco point: four varieties of tacos, guacamole, chips. Drink!

The Saint’s taco revival isn’t the only good news in Capitol Hill Mexican food. We’re told Anejo, the restaurant and tequila bar that has taken over the giant space formerly home to Dilettante on Broadway, is ready to open for business. The official opening is planned for Monday in time for lunch.

Instagram Photo

Read the whole story
ridingsloth
27 days ago
reply
The Saint has a reason to exist again! :D
Share this story
Delete

Three weeks after incident, Clint Dempsey suspended an additional game

1 Comment

MLS Disciplinary Committee sure took its sweet time in issuing decision after FC Dallas game.

Remember when the Seattle Sounders lost 3-0 to FC Dallas? I know it’s tough, but try to remember back to March 18. Assuming you’ve managed to do that, you probably recall Clint Dempsey being sent off for what many of us felt was a somewhat questionable determination that he purposefully hit a player below the belt.

Since that game, the Sounders have played just once — which Dempsey obviously missed as a mandatory punishment — and had two bye weeks. With all that time passed, and with more time to examine other angles that seemed to support the idea that any contact was not purposeful, it sure seemed like Dempsey was in the clear as far as additional suspension goes.

Turns out, that was wrong.

The MLS Disciplinary Committee finally got around to announcing an additional game suspension for Dempsey on Thursday, deeming the act “violent conduct.” Three rounds of Disciplinary Committee decisions have been announced in the meantime, including one from the same game. While it’s not completely unheard of for decisions like this to have some delay, this is likely the longest any player has had to wait before learning their fate. It’s also just two days before the Sounders are next scheduled to play, at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.

It’s entirely possible that the Sounders found out about this punishment earlier than the rest of us, but I can at least confirm they didn’t know about it prior the Montreal Impact match on March 31. Furthermore, even if the Sounders had more reasonable advanced notice, not announcing it publicly before now is a very bad look for the league. It’s bad enough that the Sounders will have to play yet another game at less than full strength, but the timing of the announcement makes this all feel unnecessarily cruel.

Read the whole story
ridingsloth
38 days ago
reply
What. The. Fuck.
Share this story
Delete

Up against rent boom and affordability crunch, residents worry about plan to change 1924-built Royvue into microhousing

1 Comment

Residents of a classic 94-year-old Capitol Hill apartment building hope to organize against a plan to gut the structure and turn its 34 apartments — some as large as four or five bedroom spaces — into more than 100 units of microhousing.

“Everyone in the building is obviously going to be kicked out,” one resident tells CHS of the project. “This place is one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve seen in the neighborhood and I can’t believe there aren’t any checks in place to preserve other ones like it.”

In an affordability crunch and a boom market for rents, Seattle is doing everything it can to create more homes and landlords on Capitol Hill have been particularly creative trading away parking and laundry rooms (and sometimes retail space) for more places to live.


Appreciate CHS? Subscribe Today  Consider becoming a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news. Help push us over the 800 mark. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.

Already a subscriber? Please TELL A FRIEND to help us reach our goal.


Plans for the Royvue building in the 600 block of Bellevue Ave E on the western slope of Capitol Hill below Broadway call for the landmark-worthy property recognized as a “Seattle Historical Site” to undergo “a substantial alteration and addition.” The 1924-built, three-story building will be overhauled to create 147 small efficiency dwelling units. Each microhousing unit “must have a minimum room size of 150 square feet and a full kitchen or kitchenette” to meet city standards. The plans apparently will require the U-shaped building’s signature 100×50-foot courtyard — the building is known as the Royvue Garden apartments in city records — to be built over, according to preliminary plans filed with the department of construction and inspections.

Residents say they have been told a new buyer is lined up for the building and is pursuing the redevelopment plan for the project titled Anew 615 Bellevue in the documentation filed with the city.

“The prospective buyers want to completely gut and empty the Royvue and cram it with overpriced micro studios that won’t help reduce rent prices or help homeless stop living in their cars,” a tenant said. “Apparently what this group does is take vintage buildings only, gut them and fill them with micro studios.”

According to King County records, the Royvue currently remains in the hands of a group of real estate investors that has held the property for decades. The property management company Alliance Management is listed on the construction permit along with a Seattle architect. A corporation included in the documents as the new owner behind the planned project either has not been formed yet or is not yet doing business in Washington. CHS was unable to find records for the company.

CHS’s calls to Alliance and an attorney representing the building’s existing ownership group have not been returned.

Residents are now trying to sort out what to do next. Wednesday, a group was scheduled to meet with a representative from Historic Seattle to learn more about possible preservation options. An obvious but time consuming and potentially expensive avenue is seeking landmarks protections for the building’s interior and exterior. Across Roy from the Royvue, the BelRoy was landmarked and redeveloped as a new project wrapping a modern apartment wing around the preserved but overhauled Modernist-style historic building that has stood at the corner since 1931.

The Royvue has plenty of landmark potential. A survey of potentially historic sites within Capitol Hill’s preservation district determined “this property appears to meet the criteria of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance” in 2006:

This garden apartment building is unusual for the size of its rear garden, enclosed by the U-shaped structure. It was designed in 1924 by architect Charles Haynes for Willis and Guy Bergman, who owned the nearby La Crosse apartments. It originally had 33 apartments (later increased to 34); 26 of them are larger-than-average, with 4 or 5 rooms. It had features such as oak floors, tile baths and refrigeration. This is a particularly elegant and relatively early example of the many apartment buildings constructed in the 1920s, when Seattle experienced a major construction boom. The city’s population had increased dramatically in previous decades, and prosperity encouraged developers to meet the pent-up demand for housing. Apartments, ranging from basic housing to luxury units, were a significant factor in meeting this need, and became a major element of the streetscape in many Seattle neighborhoods.

“The West Capitol Hill had easy streetcar access to downtown and the street was lined with small apartment buildings, often using fine materials and detailing,” the survey write-up concludes. Sounds lovely.

 

Read the whole story
ridingsloth
45 days ago
reply
What a dumb thing :(
Share this story
Delete

You'll Soon Be Able to Take a Bus from Seattle to Mount Si

1 Share
"Trailhead Direct" is back this month and will be expanded in May. by Heidi Groover

The view from Mount Si.
The view from Mount Si. rich smith

Starting this month, you'll be able to get from Seattle to a pretty good day hike without a car. Next month, it'll get even better.

King County launched the new hiking shuttle service, Trailhead Direct, last year. But for the first season, it operated only on a loop stopping at the Issaquah Transit Center and several trailheads off I-90. That meant if you wanted to get to one of those hikes from Seattle, you first had to bus to Issaquah.

This year, they're bringing the shuttle back and adding stops in Seattle, the county announced today.

Starting April 21, you can catch the shuttle at the Mount Baker Transit Center and get to the trailheads for Margaret’s Way, Chirico Trail-Poo Poo Point, the High School Trail, and East Sunset Way. That route will also stop at the Eastgate Freeway Station and Issaquah Transit Center.

Starting May 19, you can catch it at the Capitol Hill light rail station or at Pine Street and Ninth Avenue and get to Mount Si or Mount Teneriffe. This route will also stop at the Eastgate Freeway Station and North Bend Park and Ride.

According to the county, another new route will take you from a parking lot in North Bend to the Mailbox Peak trailhead "in early summer."

The 19- and 27-seat vans will run every 30 minutes on weekends and holidays. The fare is $2.50 each way until July and then $2.75 after that. You can use cash, your ORCA card, or the Transit GO Ticket app. Here's the full map and schedule.

[ Comment on this story ]

[ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

Read the whole story
ridingsloth
46 days ago
reply
pyrona
44 days ago
This is both Very Cool and also now "a great list of hikes to avoid if you don't want a crowd" :P
ridingsloth
41 days ago
Hahaha, true
Share this story
Delete

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

1 Comment

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.

Late last month, CHS reported on the latest jockeying for position as competing concerns race to open retail marijuana shops on E Olive Way. Uncle Ike’s and The Reef appear poised to bring the pot industry to this bottom of the Hill.

The Reef ownership, which also operates a store in Bremerton, has engaged big-time architects Olson Kundig for the “partial tenant improvement for mercantile use” set to transform the Amante building. CHS is told the retail upgrades will involve most but not all of the building.

Amante’s is known for its relatively cheap pizza, interesting assortment of delivery dudes, and, of course, the flashing sign. It went dark after complaints in the fall of 2015 before snapping back to life in the summer of 2016.

Owner George Kozhuharov took over Amante amid a wave of pizza activity on Capitol Hill in 2016. Upgrades included a slice window along E Olive Way.

For now, the Denny at E Olive Way Amante’s floats in a corporeal drift as employees inform callers the location is now “delivery only.”


Appreciate CHS? Subscribe Today  Consider becoming a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news. Help push us over the 800 mark. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.

Already a subscriber? Please TELL A FRIEND to help us reach our goal.


Read the whole story
ridingsloth
68 days ago
reply
Shared just because of the opening line, which made me laugh really hard.
Share this story
Delete
Next Page of Stories