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On Capitol Hill, Tamari Bar adds sweet little friend Baiten Bakery with fruit sandwiches, Japanese soft serve, and cookies

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(Image: Baiten Bakery)

The Tamari Bar family has welcomed a sugary new addition with happy offerings for Capitol Hill sweet tooths. Baiten Bakery is now part of the bar’s E Pine lineup.

The collaboration with Fuji Bakery and Sugimoto Tea Company debuted this winter on Tamari Bar’s upper patio with a display case full of cookies and cookie sandwiches, mixed fruit sandwiches, and other special sweet creations, plus Japanese soft serve including kurogoma black sesame, matcha, and yuzu flavors.

You can stop by the counter from noon to 4 PM on Thursday and Fridays, and noon to 5 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. You can also ask about Baiten sweets available for order during service at Tamari Bar.

The addition of Baiten comes to Tamari Bar as it has become the center of chef Makoto Kimoto’s family of Seattle area food and drink ventures. The bar debuted in early 2018 across the street from its sibling Suika. The daytime-focused sibling Rondo opened on Broadway in 2020. Last September, CHS reported the sad news that Suika had lost its lease on E Pine but both Tamari and Rondo have continued on. Kimoto’s “chopstick stand” Hi Life opened on Bainbridge Island earlier this year. Baiten rounds out the happy family with sweets you’ll also sometimes find popping up at the other venues.

2022, meanwhile, has been a mixed bag for the neighborhood’s sweets and dessert offerings. In February, Cafe Pettirosso shuttered taking its cakes and baked goods with it. Meanwhile, Anchorhead Coffee opened a bakery as part of its new cafe on 12th Ave, vegan donut joint Dough Joy debuted on E Pine, the Don’t Yell At Me bubble tea shop is lined up to neighbor Dick’s on Broadway, a Timeless Tea is now open on north Broadway, and Capitol Hill born Top Pot celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Baiten Bakery is located inside Tamari Bar at 500 E Pine. You can learn more at tamaribarseattle.com/baiten.

 

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ridingsloth
97 days ago
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Another Capitol Hill favorite is closing: Vios to make way for TacoOx and Money Frog on 19th Ave E

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(Image: Vios Cafe)

Thomas and Alexander Soukakos in 2015 — “Vios, which means life, became a hub of community and nurturing for families across Seattle as Soukakos raised his son, then two years old. Nearly two decades later, with his son off at college and opening contemporary Greek Omega Ouzeri, Soukakos is ready to turn the page and begin the next chapter of his culinary career.” (Image: CHS)

Another Capitol Hill institution is preparing to serve its final meals. 19th Ave E’s Vios Cafe will grill its “last souvlaki” on Friday, making a New Year’s Eve exit after 17 years in the neighborhood. The restaurant space will welcome an ambitious new food and drink project in the new year.

Like the coming closure of Cafe Presse on 12th Ave, the changes on 19th are part of the lifespan of a successful restaurant with small-scale ownership. Owner Thomas Soukakos is ready to simplify his business life — and travel.

“The downsizing of this upcoming chapter gives Soukakos more time to focus on culinary adventures both at home, and in Greece,” an announcement from Vios on the December 31st closure reads. “With future group excursions in the works, he hopes to continue to share his passion for the Greek cuisine with his customers; taking groups and leading wine and food tours in his native country.”

 

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Earlier this month, CHS reported on the planned early 2022 closure of Cafe Presse as its owners prepare for retirement and made the tough decision to sell. New Spanish tapas concept Maripili will open on 12th Ave next year.

For Soukakos, his Capitol Hill story will not come to an end. The veteran restaurateur will remain busy in the neighborhood. Those mourning the potential loss of the cafe’s classics from souvlaki to moussaka shouldn’t cry too hard. Sister restaurant Omega Ouzeri will continue on 14th Ave along with space for Vios Catering to continue. Soukakos opened there in 2015 with a more contemporary Greek menu.

Starting with El Greco on Broadway in 1994, Soukakos’s life of food and drink on Capitol Hill has been full of both love and challenge. He opened Vios on 19th Ave E in 2004 after losing his wife and El Greco partner Carol to postpartum depression. Soukakos later remarried and his family continued to build the cafe into a comforting center of this quieter corner of Capitol Hill where the play area was busy with families wrestling toddlers and pita bread and the community, as Vios put it, “celebrated many a baptism, first and eighty-first birthdays, weddings, Celebrations of Life, and everything in between.”

In the 17 years since opening, Vios has seen 19th Ave E slowly wake up from years of sleepiness with new development and new restaurants. Zeeks Pizza opened in 2018 in new construction on the northwest corner of 19th and Mercer. Across 19th Ave E, Rocket Taco opened earlier that year in the former Kingfish Cafe. That busy year also brought new life to the corner of 19th and Aloha where Macrina opened its first Capitol Hill location. 19th Ave E also features sweets and treats at Hello Robin and its Molly Moon’s window, coffee at Fuel, and a neighborhood grocery at Cone and Steiner. Meanwhile, Monsoon marked 20 years on the street in 2019.

Despite the growth, financial realities also shaped Vios as it streamlined in recent years after expanding, and an unsuccessful attempt to sell the business in 2018. After shifting into pandemic survival mode through the COVID-19 crisis — and all the while continuing to keep the baklava coming — now Thomas and Rebecca Soukakos have their buyers and a new chapter in their lives can begin.

A new restaurant is set to reshape the Vios space. A group of up and coming chefs and owners is ready to take over with a new restaurant and bar combining the culinary superpowers of Khampaeng “KP” Panyathong, owner of Taurus Ox on E Madison, Joe and Lucy Ye of Hangry Panda in Greenwood, and Christopher Morgan of the Expat Supper Club pop-ups. The new Asian-flavored TacoOx will take over at 19th and Aloha in January with plans to open adjacent bar Money Frog by March.

What to expect? Something new and delicious. CHS reported here on the late 2019 opening of Taurus Ox on E Madison with a menu of Laotian dishes and Pacific Northwest influences. Hangry Panda boasts “Gluten Free Fried Chicken, Teriyaki, and Bubble Tea” from its teeny tiny Aurora Ave kitchen and counter space, while Morgan’s Xpat Supper Club has made its name with pop-ups featuring “Asian American” food and cocktails at venues including Capitol Hill’s Rose Temple.

We’ll have more about the new joint at 903 19th Ave E soon. For now, you have a few more days to say goodbye to Vios.

 

 

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ridingsloth
180 days ago
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The takeaway here is that our microneighborhood is getting a bar!
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Already home to Bombay Burger, Capitol Hill adding a new Indian restaurant with a twist: pizza

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Capitol Hill is already home to an Indian burger joint. Bombay Burger opened in May with paneer burgers and masala fries on E Madison.

Soon, the neighborhood will have an Indian pizza joint.

Pizza Twist, a pizza franchise with Indian-flavored ingredients and influences is making plans to open in the Broadway space previously home to Ammi’s Pakwan and New India Express which closed during the pandemic.

The new Pizza Twist location — apparently the first in Washington state for the Chicago-born franchise — will be operated by the same ownership who took over Broadway’s Mirch Masala last year. The new business partners were said to all be first-time restaurant owners at the time. Now they’re about to own at least two.

The new venture will explore another avenue of present-day Indian cuisine: pizza —

We specialize in bringing you appetizing yet healthy options on a pizza. We bring you the kind of pizza that is a real meal, with fresh and healthy ingredients & real value for your dollar. And if you need something a little different, we offer specialty pies that are off the beaten path, like our Butter Chicken Pizza, Tikka Masala Pizza or Curry Veggie Pizza.

In addition to familiar Indian flavors, many of the pie recipes are Halal, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free friendly.

“Pizza Twist serves up traditional and authentic Indian style pizza using fresh vegetables and healthy spices not seen in your typical pizza,” the company’s franchise pitch goes. “Customers say our Indian-Italian flavors fuse the best of both worlds. We are now franchising to bring our pizza with a twist to markets across the country.”

Pizza Twist currently licenses around 50 locations but is adding new cities including Berkeley, California and Pineville, North Carolina. You can also find Pizza Twist in Canada and Indonesia.

And you’ll also find it, soon, on Broadway where it will fill a bit of a hole left when Pagliacci exited its shop in 2019 after nearly 40 years on the street. That space, by the way, is being readied for a daytime counterpart to Broadway’s steak-filled Boca Restobar and Grill — the Boca Argentine Bakery and Pizzeria is hoped to open there before the end of the year.

There’s no opening date yet for the new restaurant at 213 Broadway E but you can keep track of updates on pizzatwist.com.


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ridingsloth
318 days ago
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OL Reign will make long-awaited Lumen Field debut

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CenturyLink Field can't hold us
CenturyLink Field can’t hold us | Chris Coulter - SoundersPhotos.com

Reign will host Portland Thorns in Cascadia double-header.

At long last, it’s finally happening – OL Reign will be playing a match at Lumen Field. The Aug. 29 game will be part of a doubleheader featuring two Cascadia clashes – OL Reign vs. Portland Thorns at 4:00 PM PT, followed by the Sounders vs. Portland Timbers at 7:30 PM PT. One ticket will get fans into both matches.

“This is a day soccer fans in the Pacific Northwest — including me — have waited a very long time to see happen,” said OL Reign CEO Bill Predmore in a team release. “We are deeply appreciative of our partnership with the Sounders and thank Adrian [Hanauer] and his staff for their tireless effort to make this event a reality. It will be a special moment for our players, our club, our supporters, and I hope for everybody in the Pacific Northwest. We have assembled a special group of players this season, so I am thrilled a new group of fans will be introduced to our team, and I am excited that our players will be able to experience one of the most extraordinary soccer environments in our country.”

To accommodate the move, this game has been excluded from the Reign season ticket package; current season ticket holders will receive a credit that can be used for future season tickets or other single-match OL Reign tickets at Cheney Stadium. Team representatives indicated that the logistics of identifying comparable available seats at Lumen Field, as well as the number of fans who have tickets for both teams, precluded other viable solutions. Reign season-ticket holders will receive a presale code and be able to purchase tickets at a discount for the doubleheader. More details about the presale and pricing will be released in the coming weeks.

The late-August match should see the post-Olympics return of international stars for both the Reign and Thorns, and will almost certainly break the single-game NWSL attendance record of 25,218. The Sounders have already announced plans to open the entire lower-bowl to vaccinated fans when they play their next home game on June 23 and the state of Washington is expected to remove all restrictions on outdoor gatherings by June 30, potentially clearing the way to open up the entire stadium for this game.

“Sounders FC is thrilled to come together with OL Reign to offer this exceptional day of elite competition, intense rivalry and the celebration of soccer,” said Sounders FC Majority Owner Hanauer. “As Seattle continues to make its case as a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, this event provides a perfect platform to showcase the passion of the fans in the region, our amazing stadium, and the city’s position as one of the best sports sites in the country. As we look ahead to increasing stadium capacity and welcoming larger crowds back to Lumen Field as the summer progresses, I can think of no better way of doing so than by gathering together to support both OL Reign and Sounders FC on the same night.”

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ridingsloth
382 days ago
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Finally!
ojiikun
382 days ago
OMFG, we're all doing this, right?
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How One Local Game Publisher Is Working to Relieve the Stress of Quarantine

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by Matt Baume
Quantum Astrophysicists Guild in more togethery times.
Quantum Astrophysicists Guild in more togethery times. QAG

Fun has changed.

“I’ve seen more of a trend toward the wholesome side of things,” says Ty Taylor, president of the Seattle-based game publisher Quantum Astrophysicists Guild. For the last few years, QAG has been helping indie developers publish cute modest games with chill vibes; their latest, Cozy Grove, has the player restoring life to a comfy island populated by friendly ghost-bears.

“The world got harder in 2020,” Taylor says. “People don’t need that in their games as much as they used to ... They want something cozy and wholesome.”

He pauses, then laughs sheepishly, “I’ve still been playing shooters though.”

Game companies like QAG and Cozy Grove’s developer Spry Fox (also Seattle-based) are in the business of making people feel good at a time when good feelings are in short supply. So, after spending the last year trying to relieve everyone else’s stress while operating under constantly stressful conditions, how are they holding up — and what lessons have they learned?

The various pivotings that 2020 called for were a mixed success, Taylor says. “We’re so fortunate that we can go remote and it’s fine. We’re not a retail shop,” he says. The team consists of seven people in Seattle, and one in Chicago who’s planning to move here as soon as things are … you know, different. Switching to remote work was doable, but not optimal.

“Everything’s so much more fluid when you’re in an office in person,” Taylor says. They’ve done their best to stay connected with periodic check-ins throughout the workday; some of his colleagues at other companies tried to replicate an in-person vibe by having everyone on the team screen-share with everyone else, which sounds like a nightmare.

Maintaining a casual, collaborative atmosphere is vital to QAG’s work. Since their first release in 2012, an Escheresque puzzle game called The Bridge, the company has worked with various developers to release games that have a general feel-good vibe: Space Otter Charlie, where cute prettily-animated otters follow humans into space; Breakpoint and #Funtime, 4/20-appropriate shooters full of bright glowing shapes; and Roundguard, an adorable dungeon-crawler. One of their next big releases is Sail Forth, a procedural sailing game that looks a bit like the boaty bits of Windwaker.

When the quarantine began, Taylor was moments away from signing an 18-month lease on office space, and was able to avoid what would probably have been a disastrous deal. (They’re hoping to find space in Madison Valley once they can return to an office.) Now the team’s hard at work on a new project: Rather than just helping other developers release indie titles, they’re producing their own game called Freshly Frosted, a factory-builder where chaotic conveyor belts fling donuts in every direction.

Their most recent release, Cozy Grove by Spry Fox, is a real pleasure — a sort of watercolor Animal Crossing, but modest in scope. I’ve been playing 15 or so minutes every morning before I get to work, shaking pears out of trees and digging twigs out of the ground while chilling to the gentle music. Looking forward to it helps me get out of bed.

Blake Dove, who manages marketing and communications at QAG, has been putting in over an hour a day on Cozy Grove since before its release, which frankly seems excessive to me, but he prefers more of a grind. During quarantimes, he’s been playing a lot of old-school shooters like Doom, Quake, and Unreal Tournament. Apocalyptic games, sure, but as comforting to him as games about tending a campfire are to me.

“That was my very first set of games,” he says. “I really want to play comfortably at home. … I’m returning to my childhood.”

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ridingsloth
432 days ago
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Oh hay
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MLS to introduce “Concussion Substitute Initiative” in 2021

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MLS: MLS Media Day
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Soccer is participating in FIFA’s new pilot program to address concussions

Major League Soccer announced Monday that its teams will “participate in FIFA’s concussion substitute pilot program,” according to a release. Teams will be able to make up to two concussion substitutes per game, regardless of how many substitutions have already been used up until that point.

Types of substitutes

There will be three different types of substitutes in MLS play this season.

  • Normal substitutes are... well, normal. Teams will continue to have five normal substitutions available throughout the game.
  • Concussion substitutes. Each team gets two per game and can only be used to address an issue in which a player is suspected to have a concussion. Concussion assessments can take place both on and off the field. Concussion assessments can also take place after a player has already been checked out by medical staff and returned to the field.
  • Additional substitutes are the great equalizer in all of this. Should a team withdraw a player for a suspected concussion, the opposing team will be granted an additional substitute after to use after all five normal substitutes have been utilized. This also applies to a second concussion substitution.

Who decides who comes off?

Referees will continue to wield the power when it comes to halting play for head injuries and potential concussions, but referees will not be involved in any decisions regarding making substitutions.

“Medical professionals in the facility, including team athletic trainers, team doctors and the Venue Medical Director, will continue to follow policies and protocols established by the MLS Concussion Committee for on-field and off-field assessment and management,” according to the release.

Why is MLS introducing this?

MLS disclosed they are participating in FIFA’s concussion substitute pilot program, which will undergo a 20-month trial period. The trial is set to end Aug. 31, 2022.

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ridingsloth
447 days ago
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Finally.
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