THE PIKE/PINE NABE is evolving so fast that, when we set out to record all the new restaurants, bars, and shops that have opened since about 2009, we realized we’d have to list a few sight ­unseen—since we couldn’t travel into the future to visit the places coming in July and August.

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For starters, there was the remodel that showcases the pasta-making skills of pastaiolo Victor Ramos at a glassed-in station. Then, in June, the Piedmont-focused Spinasse restaurant opened an Italian aperitivo bar next door called Artusi, where the magic is a little less expensive and the food is more casual and from all over Italy. 1535 14th Ave, 206-251-7673;

Auto Battery

Now residing in an old auto parts shop on Union is a sports bar with 10 flat screens showing everything from the Sounders to the Red Wings, drinks redolent of Motor City (Backfire, anyone?), shuffleboard, and Wii gaming. Auto Battery serves up Po Dogs from next door, too, which means this is the place to get your game on and a gourmet dog. Talk about the new hybrid. 1009 E Union St, 206-322-2886;

Bar Ferd’nand

As if the bacon drippings and vintage sheets at Melrose Market weren’t enough, here comes Bar Ferd’nand, where Matthew Dillon, of the newly relocated Sitka and Spruce and more, partners with Corson Building sommelier Marc Papineau and friend Jared Baily for a wine and snack bar. Surely a great waiting spot for those who fail to reserve at S & S. Melrose Market, 1531 Melrose Ave, 206-623-5882;

Big Mario’s

For Hilligans needing a pizza fix comes Big Mario’s, located in the once dungeonlike space sandwiched between Bimbo’s and Caffé Vita. The New York–style pizzeria is open for slices or 18-inch pies until 2am Sunday through Wednesday, and until 4am the rest of the nights. Other perks: a full bar and a takeaway window. Hello beer munchies. 1009 E Pike St, 206-922-3875;

Bluebird Homemade Ice Cream 
and Tea Room

This is the place to go when you want Elysian Stout in a cone. Be prepared to rub elbows with your neighbor on the church pew while ogling the work of a local artist (all for sale) on the walls. Come for the pasta salads by day, the CD release parties at night, or the rotating ice cream flavors anytime. 1205 E Pike St, 206-588-1079;

Cupcake Royale

Batter up. What may be the city’s most ubiquitous cupcake purveyor has sweet digs in the Tom Kundig–designed Eleven Eleven East Pike building. The space is the work of Roy McMakin (friend and customer of Royale owner Jody Hall and the guy who made that Love and Loss piece in the Olympic Sculpture Park), and the sprinkles come in every color imaginable. 1111 E Pike St, 206-328-6544;


Cure is one to get excited about. It’s small, but that adds extra charm and exceptional people-watching opps—when you’re not indulging in Calabria cherry peppers stuffed with tuna and capers, an Italian prosciutto, a triple cream cow’s milk cheese from France, or a nice glass of gruner veltliner, that is. 1641 Nagle Pl, 206-568-5475;


Finally, a decent bagel place on the Hill! The staple of Eltana’s hand-rolled menu is the Montreal-style wood-fired bagel, which comes in seven varieties. And while they’re modest in size, they’re nicely topped with a savory and sweet ingredient-forward spread for around $4. Rounding out the menu is Eastern Mediterranean street-style fare: a couple of salads and soups and sweets. If you’ve got a five spot, you’ve got enough for one of these tasties. 1538 12th Ave, 206-724-0660;


The long communal tables make it easy to meet new friends at Grim’s, and the grilled cheese sandwiches are a perfect way to soak up beer (served in mason jars). For a more intimate conversation, head upstairs—where the walls are lined with jars of butterflies. 1512 11th Ave, 206-324-7467;


Bummer news, boozers, last winter Homegrown on Capitol Hill nixed Friday and Saturday late-night hours. Still, during daylight this is the place where the sandwiches built sustainably are actually succulent. Now, if only they’d return the deep-fried Bluffernutter. Melrose Market, 1531 Melrose Ave, 206-682-0935;

Kiki Tap and Eatery

Kiki is one of those rare places where the owner, as he passes with a steaming bowl of noodles, actually looks you in the eye when you walk in the door. It’s a taproom, but also a place to find unusual bites (pork belly, egg, and bruschetta). It’s also economical and inviting and, centrally located on Pine, oh-so-close to everything else. 600 E Pine St, 206-320-7777;

Knee High Stocking Co.

A wee bar in the space formerly occupied by Il Forno pizza, this is a speakeasy-style bar with small plates and specialty cocktails priced to move. The well-conceived little club is a bit hard to find (the sign is hung at, you guessed it, knee level), but once you’re inside it’s a convivial underground atmosphere. 1356 E Olive Way, 206-979-7049;

La Bête

La Bête transformed the former Chez Gaudy with big acid-trip art peeking out through elegant crystal chandeliers, seating for 44 and a 24-foot bar, a central open kitchen, and a dining room partly taken from refurbished church pews. The locally minded menu is divided into finger foods, plates, and platters. 1802 Bellevue Ave, 206-329-4047;

Lil’ Woody’s Burgers and Shakes

Okay, so they weren’t open at press time, but the newest of Seattle’s spate of burger joints was threatening to open in June with six Painted Hills beef signature burgers and a few less signature ones, a buttermilk fried chicken burger, hand-cut Washington fries, and handmade Molly Moon’s malts and shakes. 1211 Pine St,

The Lobby Bar

The Lobby Bar is an LGBT lounge specializing in handcrafted cocktails, Ellen on the big screen above the bar, and, if that’s not enough to get you talking to the single next to you, Big Gay Trivia Tuesdays and High Tea Thursdays. Only this isn’t the kind of tea you bring your grandma to, unless she’s looking to swing from the Lobby’s upstairs rafters. 916 E Pike St, 206-328-6703;

The Local Vine

Uprooted from Belltown last year, the Local Vine relocated to the Trace Lofts, where the atmosphere is still sleek, but now the ceiling is layered plywood and the walls move around for a space that evolves—much like the menu, which not only features bites but full Sunday suppers ($45). There’s a nightly $5 themed wine tasting, an ever-changing wine list, and even a retail shop where everything behind the bar is also for sale. Stop in for a sip, or a bottle. 1410 12th Ave, 206-257-5653;

Marination Station

Brick and mortar it be, Marination Mobile has parked. The menu is much the same as the roving food truck’s, save a few additional rotating specials, but now there’s seating and—here’s the biggie—beer and wine. A mural of the Marination Mobile—which, it should be said, will continue curbside slinging—hangs in the windows to the right, lending to the idea that the Station is the truck’s “garage.” 1412 Harvard Ave E, 206-390-8591;


Last year the Belltown restaurant owned by Donna Moodie landed in the Chloe building as a 40-seater. There are 10 to 12 seats at the bar and 30 more in the dining room, which has an L-shaped banquette lining two walls and a communal table—and expansion plans are already in the works. A roll-up garage-door entrance opens up into the courtyard. 1412 E Union St, 206-441-9842;

Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream

Cupcakes covered, Seattle has turned to the cold, creamy stuff. First in Wallingford and now in the Oddfellows Building on Capitol Hill, Molly Moon’s stays open until 11pm, serving well-balanced scoops of grown-up flavors such as balsamic strawberry and Vivace coffee to please even the most sophisticated adult.
917 E Pine St, 206-708-7947;

Old School Frozen Custard

To all the hipsters wasting precious barhopping time in line at Molly Moon’s; to all the children watching hordes of others get their ice cream first; and to the parents dealing with said children’s whining about it, take note: Old School Frozen Custard is just a few blocks up Pike. As every Midwest transplant knows, nothing compares to that thick-buttery-creamy, down-on-the-farm taste of custard. 1316 E Pike St, 206-324-2586;

Oola Distillery

Opening in midsummer, this Capitol Hill spirits maker spins Washington organic grains into vodka, gin, bourbon (to be aged in new American oak), and eventually agave spirits and brandy. There’s a tasting room up front, a distillery out back, and off to the side a daytime dance studio–cum–evening event space. 1314 E Union St,">

The Other Coast Cafe

The kitchen at the Capitol Hill branch of the Other Coast Cafe stays open until midnight daily—and the sandwiches (chin-drippy, plump) make for a tasty barhop refuel. Especially of note is the Rajun Cajun: spicy seasoned turkey, melted pepper jack cheese, and a salsa mayo garnished with tomato and onion and served warm. Keep it on your beer-goggled radar. 721 E Pike St, 206-257-5927;

Po Dog

Po Dog, a gourmet hot dog joint, sports a menu of everything from the classic to the seemingly bizarre peanut-butter-and-banana “PB Dog.” To wash it all down, there’s an abundant selection of beer on tap, as well as bottled specialty sodas. Happiest of all are the hours: late most nights, until 2:30am weekends. 1009 E Union St, 206-325-6055;


This new project from Bastille’s James Weimann and Deming Maclise is lined with nearly 15,000 Talavera tiles from Puebla and mirrors from Mexico City. Inside there’s a takeout counter and mercantile, and an open kitchen that provides hand-rolled tortillas and setups for making guacamole. Outside is a 1,200-square-foot patio, a second bar, two fire pits, and heated benches and flooring. It’s always alfresco season here. 1000 E Pike St, 206-453-4216;

Rock Box

This new private karaoke concept (and by private, we mean the space is full of funky little rooms where you and 10 friends can belt out Neil Diamond) has a daily happy hour from 4 to 8pm and all day Sunday. Sake sangria is $5, well drinks are $3, and karaoke is just $4 an hour. The only thing to top it is the Guns N’ Roses being sung in the lobby. 1603 Nagle Pl, 206-302-7625;

Sitka and Spruce


Sitka and Spruce is so polished and sparkly that to say it is a step up from its old location on Eastlake is a laughable understatement: Not only are the menus actually printed, the dark-wood two-tops and butcher-block communal table survey the whole European sweep of Melrose Market through atmospheric paned windows. Matt Dillon still excels with the simple, hearty seasonal plates he’s known for. Melrose Market, 1531 Melrose Ave, 206-324-0662;

Skillet Diner

The wheels have come off the bus: Skillet mobile has landed a permanent spot in the Chloe building. There’s still poutine and the incredible grilled cheese with bacon jam, but now there’s room for more: like 10 times as many menu items and 75 people. All in an upscale “diner” that serves beer in jars and is launching early and late happy hours this month. 1400 E Union St, 206-420-7297;

The Social

Think tapas dance bar. The new 8,000-square-foot nightclub the Social opens in July in two venues: The front lounge will be home to six projection screens, a center bar, and built-in seating. Once you’ve sated yourself on Mexi-Asian tapas (brought to you by co-owner and Po Dogs founder Laura Olson), wander back to the dance floor with its elevated DJ booth and curtain-enclosed VIP seating. 1715 E Olive Way,

Still Liquor

Come for a beer and a shot or a $45 bourbon. This large, bunker-style space in the lower level of Melrose Market is home to an impressive selection of whiskey, along with gin and other liquors. And while you shouldn’t expect snacks (unless you bring them yourself, which they encourage) you will find an ever-changing list of crafted cocktails. Melrose Market, 1524 Minor Ave, 206-467-4075;

Sun Liquor

For two years, Sun Liquor owner Michael Klebeck and manager Erik Chapman worked relentlessly to create their second bar, which will double as a gin distillery once they have the recipe set. Larger than its older sibling, Sun Liquor II has a handsome birch bar built by Klebeck, a wall-spanning mural made from Venetian glass, and a kitchen churning out burgers with locally sourced beef and shoestring French fries, but the menu is small to keep the focus on the booze. 512 E Pike St, 206-720-1600;

Tavern Law

The speakeasy-style bar specializes in scads of pre-Prohibition and Prohibition-era drinks and a stuffed Monte Cristo of sliced pork shoulder with maple and smoked olive oil, cooked sous vide for seven hours. It’s hardly a secret, but there’s an upstairs room called Needle and Thread, where if you make the right call from the phone by the entrance, you might nab an open bar stool. 1406 12th Ave, 206-322-9734;

Terra Plata

The contentious legal battle surrounding the proposed restaurant has kept Brasa mourners on tenterhooks: Will or won’t Tamara Murphy open her latest kitchen in Melrose Market? Murphy will, she’s confirmed. Construction is under way, hanging flower baskets line the exterior, and opening is scheduled for August. 1515 Melrose Ave,

Tidbit Bistro

Once located astride the Roanoke Tavern, Tidbit relocated recently to Broadway and Union. A perfect place for the Italian restaurant’s notable happy hour—$1 wells; $2 each crostino con funghi; $7 Caprese calda—which lasts from 4 to 6pm most days and again from 9 till close Tuesday through Saturday. Plus, there’s 90-minute free parking in the underground garage, which may make it a big draw on car-congested Capitol Hill. 1401 Broadway, 206-323-0840;


Unicorns aren’t real, but the drinks—Happy Ending, My Little Pony—are all about imagination, as is most of Unicorn. The booths are covered in zebra print, the menu items (housemade corn dogs, “Unicorn Balls”: deep-fried pork with jalapeno and ginger) are bargains and the hipsters are in the corner, sucking down $4 gourmet Jell-O shots. Come for the Pac-Man table or the scene. 1118 E Pike St, 206-325-6492;


Is that a host or a DJ by the door? No matter, he’s spinning and pointing out seats, and that’s okay. With its electric-blue and red-painted walls adorned with images of 1950s Italy, The Godfather on TV, and a menu of amari cocktails, Varro dresses up like an Italian-style aperitivo bar. Pop in for an espresso in the morning, lunch midday, and again in the evening for cocktails and dinner. 1542 12th Ave, 206-324-4400;