Hot fashion trends out, hot sandwich shop in on the Ave (UPDATE)

This post is for you, neighborhood living UW students and staff.

Normally for new restaurant tips, we hit up the Washington State Liquor Control Board’s New Liquor License Actions web page for King County. But this time we happened upon one while browsing for construction permits for our NE Seattle Development Tracker page.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop appears to be renovating the old Pitaya clothing space at 4520 University Way NE (here’s the project page with the DPD).

Google Street View of 4520 University Way NE and a few extra storefronts to the north.

Google Street View of 4520 University Way NE and a few extra storefronts to the north.

Potbelly currently has three shops in Seattle — two downtown and one on First Hill. They’re a national chain based in Chicago, Illinois with nearly 300 locations.

The Wikipedia summary of Potbelly’s offerings says:

Potbelly’s menu features a variety of sandwiches that are all served hot on regular or multigrain wheat bread. All sandwiches can be ordered “thin-cut” style, in which one third of the bread is cut out. Potbelly began offering salads in February 2007. The menu also includes soup, shakes, malts, smoothies, and cookies. Most restaurants feature live music from local musicians during the lunch hours.

You can read all about Potbelly’s Promise, Story (they started as an antique store?), Menus, and more at their website.

UPDATE (Tuesday, March 18): The Potbelly twitter account told us that they’ve got a couple new stores coming to Washington: One in Issaquah, in addition to this one on the Ave. The opening date for the Potbelly in our area is listed simply as “Summer 2014″ so far.

Last days for Peaks Frozen Custard in Roosevelt

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Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Especially in the case of Peaks Frozen Custard (1026 NE 65th Street), closing on Sunday, September 29.

From their website:

We could not be more grateful to all of you amazing custardmers. It has been 5 years of wonderful. So why would we close? Peaks is a small family business that takes 100% of our families attention. We had fun, but now we’re on to a new lifestyle! At the same time, our lease comes to an end- so it was renew, relocate or stop!

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Hours for the remainder of their days on NE 65th Street are 6-10 PM on Thursday and Friday, and 1-10 PM on Saturday and Sunday.

And should you “custardmers” want to give the Peaks folks a good send off, a celebration is planned at the store on Saturday.

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A few glimmers of tasty frozen hope:

  1. Peaks says that, “We will, however, be serving what has become the best frozen treat in the Northwest at festivals only.” Keep tabs on the Peaks Frozen Custard website and/or Facebook page for that info.
  2. A “new and unique” frozen yogurt shop will be taking the space.

Spoke & Food: Bike to dinner for good on July 30

How about we take a timeout from bicycle infrastructure matters, and get back to basics: It’s fun to ride a bike. Especially in the summer. ESPECIALLY to go meet friends for dinner, at a local joint.

Thanks to our own sponsors in the last year, the Ravenna Blog was able to help sponsor another great local thing: The fourth annual Spoke & Food evening of dining and bikes!

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From the Spoke & Food website:

Participation is easy. All you need to do is to bike to and from one of our participating host restaurants on the evening of our event. Invite your friends or family to meet you, bring your neighbors, pack up your kids or go at it alone.

Each of our participating host restaurants have agreed to donate 20% of ALL of their patron revenues from the evening of the event directly to the local non-profit that we select each year.

 

Dine at any of the participating restaurants listed on the Spoke & Food website from 5:30-9:30 PM on Tuesday, July 30th, 2013, and 20% (or more) of your dinner bill will be donated directly to the Bike Works non-profit.

TWENTY different restaurants around Seattle are participating this year, two of which are in our neck of the woods:

50-North-Web-Logo

50 North

5001 25th Ave NE #100;

just south of the Burke-Gilman Trail at 25th Ave NE

VIOS-logo_sm

Vios Cafe & Pub

6504 20th Ave NE;

inside Ravenna Third Place Books

 

From the Bike Works About page:

Bike Works is an innovative organization centered around bicycles that combines youth development, community engagement, bicycle recycling and a social enterprise bike shop to help build a sustainable and healthy community.

We’ll be stopping by these locations on the night of the event to check in, and perhaps to nosh.

Bai Pai on NE 65th St burglarized, suspects flee to Lake City (UPDATES)

Just before 5 PM on Thursday, May 30, Seattle Police Department officers responded a restaurant burglary in Ravenna.

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An officer at the scene of the burglary returns to his vehicle after interviewing a group of eyewitnesses.

Witnesses reported seeing two men (described to us by a female eyewitness as “meth heads”) fleeing the Thai restaurant Bai Pai (2316 NE 65th St), getting in a red car, and driving away. A third suspect, thought to be a female, was also involved in some capacity. (UPDATE: Only two suspects involved, police now say.)

Police pursued the car north into Lake City (via, in parts, 35th Ave NE and Sand Point Way NE) before calling off the chase as the vehicle drove on a sidewalk to continue the escape (per scanner).


View Bai Pai burglary and arrest location in a larger map

A short distance later, however, the occupants of the car had left the vehicle and were observed fleeing through yards. One male suspect was arrested near the 13000 block of 26th Avenue NE.

Scene near of the arrest of one of the suspects (at 25th Ave NE near 127th St NE). Photo courtesy Lake City Live.

Scene near of the arrest of one of the suspects (at 25th Ave NE near 127th St NE). Photo courtesy Lake City Live.

At least one suspect is in custody at this time, says the Seattle Police Department’s Blotter page on the incident. Police may be looking for one or two more.

More information here when we have it.

UPDATE (7:27 PM): The Seattle Police Department’s Blotter is now reporting that a second suspect is in custody, arrested not far from the first. More:

Preliminary investigation indicates that two adult male suspects entered the back door of a restaurant and stole an employee’s backpack full of personal effects. Several employees chased the suspects, who ran to a stolen vehicle and made their escape (this event was reported to police as a robbery).

Also in the report: The getaway car was a stolen vehicle, both suspects are in their 20s and are the ONLY suspects, and no one was injured.

UPDATE (Friday, May 31): Our friends over at Lake City Live have more information about the pursuit and the capture of the suspects, including details on one of the arrests:

An alert neighbor that was watching the events unfold on the Seattle Police Department’s Twitter feed in an exchange with Ravenna Blog, happened to be on the phone with his wife when a bleeding man wandered into their yard. She told him about the man in their yard and the husband, who was not home, immediately told her to call the police when he realized via Twitter that the chase was in his neighborhood. The woman gave a description of the bleeding man to a dispatcher and then officers with guns drawn quickly apprehended the man who was at that point casually walking down the street on his cell phone.

Lake City Live also got a picture of the mark the stolen car made when the suspects tried to evade the police by driving on the sidewalk:

Damage on the Kaffeeklatsch building shows where a car squeezed between the building and a fire hydrant as it was speeding from police. (Photo courtesy Lake City Live.)

Damage on the Kaffeeklatsch building (12513 Lake City Way NE) shows where a car squeezed between the building and a fire hydrant as it was speeding from police. (Photo courtesy Lake City Live.)

 

Chef Lisa Nakamura asks us to Spread the Bucky (book signings)

Lisa Nakamura is local. So local, in fact, that she has two homes: One in the Sand Point area, with her husband, and another in the San Juan Islands, where Nakamura owns a restaurant (Allium on Orcas) and an ice cream shop (Lily).

Both Allium and Lily feature as local of food and ingredients as possible, like Allium Blend coffee from Local Goods Coffee roasters, greens from Maple Rock Farm, ice cream from Lopez Island Creamery.

But being part of a community, especially one as small and close-knit as those on the San Juans, means even more than just “Buy Local.”

It also means “Care Local.”

Lisa Nakamura (taken outside local coffee shop University Zoka)

Lisa Nakamura (taken outside local coffee shop University Zoka)

In 2012, Nakamura published a little book about a dollar bill named Bucky (illustrated by graphic designer/illustrator/foodwriter/photographer Denise Sakaki). Bucky gets passed around in a local economy, and in the process does a LOT of helping: He’s used to by a book for a construction worker, groceries for a bookstore owner, and fulfill the dream of owning a day care for one couple receiving him (and other Buckys) as a micro loan. He travels the world for 14 years helping many, many people, all the while still being a humble dollar bill.

Why did a chef write a book about a dollar bill? Nakamura discusses the answer to that question on her blog, in a post where she recalls a local woman coming into her restaurant and asking for a job — NEEDING a job — when no job was available to give.

If you think you’re doing better [than this local woman] , that it’s all going to be great, think again.  Your neighbors are still struggling.  That trip to the locally owned store, the extra dollar you tip your server, the vegetables you buy from the farmer in the field, that’s what my book is all about.

You make a reservation and you no-show?  Guess what?  You just cost a small business money in labor and time.  That server that was hoping for a good table and a good tip will now have to figure out some other way to make rent, to make ends meet.  You decide to save a couple of dollars by shopping at a big chain store instead of the mom and pop one down the street?  When that small store shuts down, you can take responsibility for it, because you helped its demise along.

Would you rather save a few bucks, and watch your local neighborhood wither away, struggle and scrape?  Or would you rather spend with more thought and consideration, and watch your community flourish?

 

All our Buckies add up. Each one has its own story, as do the people we pass them to. Keep the cycle going.

Nakamura will be selling and signing copies of her book, “Bucky the Dollar Bill,” at the University Village Bartell Drugs (2700 NE University Village St) today, from 3:30-5:30 PM. She’ll also be signing at the Bellevue Village Bartell Drugs (10116 NE 8th St, Bellevue) on Tuesday the 23rd, also from 3:30-5:30 PM.

One buck from each “Bucky” sale goes to support the Orcas Island Family Health Care Center, a non-profit rural health center providing access to primary healthcare and related medical services to island residents regardless of their ability to pay.

 

bucky

New eats and treats coming soon to Northeast Seattle (UPDATE)

Our favorite kind of news? NEW RESTAURANT NEWS.

And we have LOTS.

Coming soon, to the old Pied Piper Alehouse space (2404 NE 65th St) is…

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a Patty’s Eggnest.

There are currently nine Patty’s Eggnest locations in Washington State, all of which are independently owned and operated. Patty’s specializes in breakfast. So much so that their Eggs Benedict have their OWN MENU. NINE different kinds, people.

Here’s more about their menu, from the About page:

We serve delicious, hearty meals made to order and made from scratch with fresh, choice ingredients. In a comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere, we’ll be happy to fill your table with home-cooked breakfast favorites. Fresh-squeezed orange juice, Swedish pancakes, scrumptious scrambles, and hearty chicken-fried steak are just some of the dishes that we feature on our menu at all locations. We also feature tasty lunches, like hot delicious sandwiches, big burgers with seasoned fries, and fresh salads. For several of our locations, we are open for dinner hours as well, serving fresh roasted turkey dinners and soup made-from-scratch.

Headed into some of the new restaurant space in the new south building at University Village is a new restaurant by Beecher’s Cheese Head, Kurt Dammeier: Liam’s.

Via Eater Seattle, Dammeier says:

We’ll serve all Northwest wine and our basic food I describe as ‘upscale homestyle’ — mostly dishes that are familiar or reasonably familiar to a suburban crowd, but made better.

Dammeier is also the guy behind Pasta & Co., which already has a home at University Village.

That same Eater piece claims that “a Joey’s and a Din Tai Fung will also be moving in.” That’s a lot of restaurants. But with 24,626 sq. ft. of restaurant space available in that new building, anything is possible.

Over in the Laurelhurst direction, Bill the Butcher is getting a new, unlikely neighbor:

Violet Sweet Shoppe, a vegan bakery and cafe, plans to open along NE 45th Street in May. If you’d like to help them along, financially, they’ve got a Kickstarter going.

I can't believe it's not butter. (Cake picture courtesy Violet Sweet Shoppe.)

I can’t believe it’s not butter.
(Cake picture courtesy Violet Sweet Shoppe.)

The old Casa D’Italia location (2615 NE 65th St) has been leased again, to a business under the name “Conception Hermosillo” (according to records with the Washington State Liquor Control Board).

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But this is about all we know so far. TO BE CONTINUED.

The overlap section of a hypothetical Northeast Seattle Venn diagram of “Cloud City Coffee” and “Magnuson Park” will be excited about this last one.

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Another find from the Washington State Liquor Control Board’s list of new liquor license applicants: CLOUD CITY SAND POINT.

O RLY? What’s the address? “6327 NE 74TH ST?”


View Cloud City Sand Point location? in a larger map

Hey, that’s inside Magnuson Park! What’s that address look like right now?

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Oh my.

Let’s zoom out.

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I don’t think it’s ready yet, do you?

Another one for the TO BE CONTINUED pile. We’ll contact Cloud City and Seattle Parks and Recreation on this one and report back.

UPDATE (5:35 PM): We’ve heard back from one of the Sand Point Tennis Center managers, Scott Marshall, who said, “Cloud City will be the cafe operator inside of our 6-court building. We are extremely excited about this partnership.”

Learn more about the Sand Point Tennis Center being built at Magnuson Park here.

Timeout to say THANK YOU, on behalf of the Schulte family (UPDATES)

What follows is a compilation of the ways that neighbors and local businesses have helped the Schulte family since Monday, March 25.

We do not claim to know every story of giving surrounding the days and weeks after the tragedy, but this post is our attempt to list as many as we can.

If we’ve left anything out, feel free to leave your stories of kindnesses and thanks in the comments below.

During the last week of March, in the first days after the tragedy, local businesses stepped in and donated food to the family:

  • Grateful Bread (7001 35th Ave NE) donated sandwiches, salads and soup on March 28.

Grateful Bread_crop

  • Eat Local (nearest location at 503 Broadway E on Capitol Hill) donated six meals to the family on March 28.
  • When we found out that Karina’s birthday was on March 28 (mentioned by Schulte family friend Adrienne Bergman on one of the medical fundraiser sites for the family), we contacted Trophy Cupcakes (Northeast Seattle location in University Village). They graciously and swiftly donated a dozen cupcakes, which we were able to get to the family at Harborview Medical Center that day.

Trophy_crop

  • Cafe Javasti (8617 35th Ave NE in Wedgwood and 8410 5th Ave NE in Maple Leaf) donated pastries and coffee for breakfast on March 29.

After the first few days of meals were covered by local businesses, Wedgwood resident Jess Creach set up a site for the Schultes at Take Them a Meal. People interested in helping the family with food can sign up for a specific date and meal (lunch, snack, dinner), which can be delivered in advance to the Sand Point Community United Methodist Church for pick up.

ttamlogo

 

At the time of this writing, the meal calendar for the Schultes was full through April 27. So far, 61 different people have signed up.

You can still sign up, too, if you’d like.

By the time we contacted the manager of Sand Point Metropolitan Market (5250 40th Ave NE), Mark Marsh, on Thursday, March 28, his store had already contributed flowers to the memorial site and food for after the prayer vigil.

On Friday, March 29, his store began taking donations at their checkstands from community members. Marsh told us on the morning of Friday, April 6 that the total amount donated by community members at their checkout stands so far is $7,434.00. This total does not yet include the $1,000 that Metropolitan Market will also be donating on top of that.

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With the hope of reaching $10,000, the store will continue taking donations at the registers for one more week, until Friday, April 12.

Thank you to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Car Free Days, Eckstein Bikes, the Wedgwood Community Council, the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association, and anyone else who helped organize the Memorial Walk on Monday, April 1.

Thank you to the Seattle Police Department for closing off roads and providing an escort during the walk. And thank you, Mayor Michael McGinn, for attending.

Thank you to the Wedgwood Top Pot Doughnuts location for supplying participants of the Memorial Walk with doughnuts and coffee. And thank you for the use of your property as a gathering, starting, and ending point for that walk.

Furthermore, Top Pot, thank you for walking, too.

Top_Pot_Memorial_Walk

Wedgwood Top Pot manager Jennifer Surbaugh and one of the owners of Top Pot, Mark Klebeck, on the walk.

Other local fundraising:

  • The Wedgwood Safeway (7340 35th Avenue NE) donated a gift card for $100 on March 28. Also, thanks to  Bridgette in the floral department for donating buckets and food for flowers left at the memorial site.
  • The employees at the Wedgwood QFC (8400 35th Ave NE) made a donation to one of the funds for the family set up at the Wedgwood branch of HomeStreet Bank on March 28.
  • The Van Gogh Coffeehouse (8210 35th Ave NE) donated all their tips from Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30, for a total of $786.48.
  • Thank you to the (as of the publishing of this post) 989 people who donated $59,492 to the medical fund for Karina and Baby Elias that friends of the family Adrienne and Brett Bergman set up.

UPDATE (11:12 AM): We’ve been told by Per Johnson that the online amounts for the funds at HomeStreet Bank are only the online totals. “There have been a ton of people who have donated in-person to the tune of $5000,” Johnson says.

We’d also like to thank the staff of the Wedgwood Branch of HomeStreet Bank for all of their assistance.

UPDATE (1:38 PM): We’ve learned that the Wedgwood Drama Studio also donated money to the Schulte family. You can read about the studio’s mission here.

Bike to Bryant was started around 2007 by parents of Bryant Elementary students. The group’s goal is to encourage families to walk and/or bike to school together on a more regular basis.
This year’s big spring ride, scheduled for Friday, March 29, was almost canceled, in light of the tragedy. But organizers went forward with the ride and turned it into a moving memorial to the Schulte family. One hundred and fifteen riders participated. A moment of silence was observed at the start, and $106 was collected for the Karina & Elias Ulriksen-Schulte Medical fund.
Also, the Seattle Police Department provided an escort for the group, and closed down 35th Avenue NE during the ride to school.
Police closed down 35th Ave NE for the annual Spring Bike to Bryant Elementary ride. Photo by Car Free Days, used with permission.

Police closed down 35th Ave NE for the annual Spring Bike to Bryant Elementary ride. Photo by Car Free Days (carfreedays.com), used with permission.

Thank you to National Barricade (6518 Ravenna Ave NE) for donating use of some of your street signs (a pair of SLOW DOWN and yellow pedestrian signs) at both the east and west ends of NE 75th Street (at approximately 27th and 34th Avenues NE).

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Thank you to the community members who attended the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association Spring Community Meeting on Tuesday, April 2. And thank you to the officials who attended or participated in some way, including (alphabetical by last name):
Rachel Cormier Anderson (City Attorney’s Office)
Nancy Bolin (View Ridge Community Council)
Tim Burgess (Seattle City Council President, mayoral candidate)
Dongho Chang (Seattle Department of Transportation)
Sally Clark (Seattle City Council President)
Captain Robin Clark (North Precinct, Seattle Police Department)
Rebecca Deehr (Mayor’s Office)
Dr. Beth Ebel (Harborview Medical Center)
Senator David Frockt (46th Legislative District)
Beth Goldberg (Mayor’s Office)
Peter Hahn (Seattle Department of Transportation)
Beth Hester (Mayor’s Office)
Gina Iandola (HomeStreet Bank)
Sherri Kokx (Eckstein Middle School)
Officer Eric Michl (North Precinct, Seattle Police Department)
Sergeant Dianne Newsom (North Precinct, Seattle Police Department)
Representative Gerry Pollet (46th Legislative District)
Tom Rasmussen (Seattle City Council)
Sergeant Don Smith (North Precinct, Seattle Police Department)
Peter Steinbrueck (mayoral candidate)
Eileen Whalen (Harborview Medical Center)
RBCA_75th_meeting

Thank you also to the staff of the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center, the respective board members of the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association and Wedgwood Community Council, and Jenny Frankl with the Department of Neighborhoods for help making the meeting happen.

Thank you to the two women on 33rd Avenue NE who, very late on the night of Tuesday, March 26, worked together to scrub NE 75th Street clean with soap and water, and their own loving hands.

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Thank you to the three neighbors on 33rd Avenue NE who made the two white crosses for Judy and Dennis Schulte at the memorial site, added on Friday, March 29.

Thank you to the sixth grade class in one of Seattle’s middle schools who wrote a card for the family.

Thank you to Lacia Lynne Bailey for taking on the role of caretaker for the memorial on the corner of 33rd Avenue NE and NE 75th Street. Thank you for respecting every last flower petal, slip of paper, and stuffed animal left at the site, in honor of the victims.

Thank you to Judy’s Truffle, for being such a comforting (and fuzzy) presence at the memorial site, hugged and cried upon by countless people.

And finally, some thank-yous from the Schulte family, conveyed through Lisa Schulte (wife of Mike Schulte, a cousin of Dan).

Here are some thank you’s the family would like mentioned locally!!

Addy and Brett Bergman (set up the donation site)
Pastor Cathy and Sand Point Community United Methodist Church
The awesome neighbors and dear friends of the family including Daniel and Jennifer, Trevor, Felipe and Indre
Seattle Fire Department and EMTs
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways walk coordinator
EMI
Wedgwood/Ravenna Community, Jess Creach, Per Johnson (Wedgwood Community Council) & Rebecca Nelson (Ravenna Blog)
Harborview doctors and nurses
Seattle Children’s Hospital (Karina’s work)
Colehour and Cohen (Dan’s work)
Sand Point Metropolitan Market
All the incredible people who have donated time, money, food etc.

Lisa has acted as the main point of contact with the family during the last two weeks, and we (and other community members and organizations) are very, very thankful for her and the role she has played.

More on this story on Ravenna Blog:

Memorial service in Indiana for Judy and Dennis Schulte (last updated on Thursday, April 11)

Arraignment of NE 75th Street DUI homicides suspect on Thursday (last updated on Thursday, April 11)

Hundreds walk to remember, honor the Schulte family (PHOTOS) (last updated on Monday, April 1)

Prayer Vigil for mother and child this Thursday night (PHOTOS) (last updated on Friday, March 29)

Memorial to the family at NE 75th St grows (PHOTOS) (last updated on Sunday, March 31)

Memorial and medical funds set up for victims of Monday’s traffic tragedy (last updated on Thursday, March 28)

Suspect in Monday’s traffic fatalities no stranger to DUIs (last updated on Sunday, March 31)

Multiple casualty incident on NE 75th St near Eckstein Middle School (PHOTOS) (last updated on Wednesday, March 27)

Hungry for a business opportunity? Three Ravenna restaurants for sale (UPDATE)

As we mentioned in our newly returned Sunday Edition, there were some local restaurant sale mysteries we were puzzling over. Then, on Monday afternoon, we had a break-through: There were not TWO Ravenna restaurants looking to change hands, but THREE.

The first local restaurant for sale is the Pied Piper Ale House (2404 NE 65th St).

The family friendly pub and Geeks Who Drink pub trivia spot has been closed with no explanation since the end of 2012. Then, this week, we learned from a follower on twitter who spoke to the Pied Piper manager on what happened to be their last day of business (the end of December, either the 27th or 28th).

Here is the listing for the location, with the name included in the picture, leaving no mystery:

Commercial Brokers Association listing for the Pied Piper Ale House (click to read the full listing)

Commercial Brokers Association listing for the Pied Piper Ale House (click to read the full listing).

The second closure is a long-time Ravenna neighborhood fixture: Casa D’Italia* (2615 NE 65th St).

We were first alerted to this closure via a Craigslist post just last week, which included the ominous line, “We are no longer able to run the restaurant due to family issues but the restaurant has great potential for the future.”

Since then, three more Craigslist posts have popped up: Two on Saturday, February 16 (one showing the furniture for sale, the other listing other fixtures), and a final one on Monday, February 18, stating that the location is for lease.

We visited the location Monday evening, and found this note on the door:

To all our guests,

On February 16th, we made a family decision to close Casa D’Italia. We would like to thank everyone for your support throughout the last 12 years. We will be keeping our website running so check us out at www.casaditaliaseattle.com to keep up on our next venture and find out where Anthony is cooking next.

Again, thank you for your support.

God bless,

- The Donatone Family

Turns out the closure seems fast because it was.

Casa_DItalia_closes2

We’ve reached out to the family for more information, and will update this post if we hear anything back.

UPDATE (Thursday, February 28): From Angeli Donatone, wife of Chef Anthony (via email):

Yes, it was a sudden closure but one that had been looming for awhile. Like so many others, we have been affected by the changing economy, both personally and professionally. It was a challenge for us to say good-bye to Casa D’Italia, which grew in 11 years to be like family for so many. We trust that when one door closes, many others will open, and it is with this blind faith that we made the decision to close.

Our lease had been month-to-month for many years, and we felt the deferred maintenance on the building was catching up with it, and didn’t want this to become a liability to us, an independant family-run business. We are so proud of the community that was built and all of the fans of “Casa” “Anthony’s” or “the two tomatoes” among other nick-names…Please thank the neighbors for sharing their lives with us. We also have referrals for some great Italian caterers…They may contact us via our website where we will post updates to our whereabouts.

http://casaditaliaseattle.com/default.asp

The third local restaurant sale is more of a mystery.

The listing states a location of the Ravenna neighborhood, but is not any more specific. In fact, interested parties are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement before learning of its location.

Our only clues are in the description, which includes the following:

[E]xposed timber beams and soaring 18′ ceilings. Opened August 2011 after extensive remodel. 1,760 SF (restaurant) plus 220 SF (on site office and storage room). Seats 60 including 18 counter seats in bar area.

Craigslist ad for the mystery restaurant (click to read the full listing).

Craigslist ad for the mystery restaurant (click to read the full listing).

We have our guesses. We’ve been told we’re wrong (by a friend of friends of the owner), but with an NDA on the table, all bets are off.

____________________

*Casa D’Italia was the Ravenna Blog’s very first paying customer, in terms of advertising. We will always have a hyperlocal place in our heart for them, and we wish them the very best in the future.

Banh mi oh my: Kirkland’s Plume opening second shop in NE Seattle

I was sad to see Forza Coffee leave its space on 25th Ave NE (there is still a location in Green Lake, should you miss it, too), but I will admit that I got a little excited when I learned what would be talking its place: A Vietnamese sandwich shop* called Plume (5101 25th Ave NE Suite 4).

It all started about two years ago, when Ton Nguyen visited Vietnam on vacation. There, he fell in love with banh mi: baguettes most commonly stuffed with pickled carrots and daikon radishes, fresh cucumber, a protein (such as pork, tofu or egg), held together with mayo and topped with cilantro. He’d have one for breakfast (with fried egg), then have another for lunch, and have yet another for dinner.

When Nguyen came back home to NE Seattle, he wanted more, and he wanted to share. In more than one location. Plume Kirkland opened in late May 2012, with a menu consisting of six different sandwiches (now eight), six different spring rolls, a noodle salad and various beverages, including ca phe sua da, the coffee (dark roast, finely-ground Vietnamese beans) brewed directly over a glass containing sweet condensed milk. But where to put Plume Number 2? When the Forza space became available, the building’s owners (who happen to be the owners of Plume Number 1′s building in Kirkland) told Nguyen about the space: Similar in size and layout to the current store, with restaurant fixtures already installed. And not too far from his house. Perfect.

On my visit to the Kirkland location today, I ordered Plume’s most popular sandwich (grilled pork), one of the new ones (meatball), and a coffee. I also tried the tofu spring rolls.

I found the bread to be pleasantly soft, yet sturdy enough to hold onto the sandwiches’ ingredients; crucial details for this most beloved of street foods. The pickled carrots and daikon radishes leaned more toward the sweet end, with a gentle tang from the vinegar. The grilled pork had been sliced into fat matchstick strips. And the meatballs (made of both ground chicken and pork, steamed to keep them light, and then slow cooked in a light cream tomato sauce), were just the right size to stay in the sandwich yet not crowd out the bahn mi’s signature toppings.

The tofu spring rolls come as an order of two, cut in half. They were large enough that I would see someone ordering these as a “salad for the hands” and calling it a light lunch on its own.

Wall decal at the Kirkland location.

The bahn mi menu board. Each sandwich is available in both sizes, 8- and 12-inches long. Sliced jalapenos are available as a topping, should you be heat-inclined.

To-go bags, ready to go. Nguyen sees potential for Husky fans walking down 25th stopping in for game day banh mi at the new Plume location.

Above, Plume owner Ton Nguyen wraps up my leftovers to go. He plans to open the new location in December. Interested diners can sign up for opening week specials on the Plume Seattle website.

____________________

*A thousand thanks to Scott, my neighborhood banh mi informant.

Café Racer grand re-opening this Friday, July 20

We receive a lot of press releases from various organizations. This one is our favorite to date:

“No one needs to be reminded of what happened at Café Racer on May 30, 2012.

Each day the grief of losing our loved ones lessens, but not our love for them or the love they brought into our lives. Drew, Joe, Kim, Don and Gloria were people who gave more of themselves than they ever received. This is why the community was so devastated by their loss. This is also why that community of which they were a part of will carry on.

The outpouring of love and support from this community was astounding to me. Not only for the loss of our loved ones, but for the love and concern for Café Racer itself. It became clear to me that the café is more than just a place to pick up a coffee, food or have a drink, but it is a part of the community. The love didn’t just come from the ones we lost, it comes from everyone.

This is the main reason that I’ve decided to keep the cafe open, to forge ahead with the vision that is Café Racer by providing a place for diverse people and groups to come together and have a loving, safe place to gather. There may be some physical changes to the cafe, the main ingredient which makes Café Racer unique will remain the same, Love.

There is no way I can express my thanks to the hundreds of people who gave me, and everyone who is involved with the café, their love and support.

YOU make Cafe Racer what it is.” – Kurt Geissel Owner, Café Racer

We’ve been told that today and Thursday are both soft opening days for the reborn cafe. You should stop by.