What to Expect From (the Very Ambitious) Poquitos on Capitol Hill

Look for the lush Mexican restaurant on 10th and Pike to open in several weeks.

By Christopher Werner March 14, 2011

Weimann and Maclise, the team behind Bastille in Ballard, have been hoping to open a Mexican restaurant for five years. Poquitos on Capitol Hill is slated to debut by the end of March.

Details about Poquitos, the new Pike/Pine project from Bastille ’s James Weimann and Deming Maclise, have been hard to come by, but this morning brings word that the restaurant and bar should open by the end of the month.

As they did with their French-inspired Bastille, Weimann and Maclise traveled abroad to find embellishments and take design cues for the venture at 1000 Pike Street. This go-round, the two journeyed throughout Mexico and Southern California where they acquired nearly 15,000 Talavera tiles from Puebla, for example, and mirrors from Mexico City. Such adornments will flank the 3,480-square-foot interior, which will seat 122 people. In addition to a takeout counter and mercantile, the lush space boasts an open kitchen where toques will roll tortillas and set up guacamole stations. Other decorative flairs include black-wood banquettes, cement rosettes, and large-scale ironwork.

Outside is a 1,200-square-foot patio meant for nearly 60 patrons. With a second bar, two fire pits, and heated benches and flooring, the deck will provide a welcome, year-round addition to Seattle’s too-short alfresco season.

Cheffing Poquitos is Manny Arce, a SoCal native who has cooked in kitchens in both Spain and Italy. A Union, La Spiga, and Bastille alum, Arce will helm a menu meant to represent the cuisines found throughout Mexico and Latin America, from street food to dishes Weimann and Maclise encountered in restaurants. Examples include locally sourced al pastor, Oaxacan mole verde, goat birria, pozole rojo, carne asada, and short rib tacos, complemented by made-to-order guacamole and in-house tortillas.

A takeout counter is expected to open in mid-April and will cater to Pike/Pine partiers, serving until 2am. Poquitos will serve lunch on weekdays from 11:30 to 3, and weekend brunch 10am-3pm.

You may recall the brick building in which Poquitos is situated is where Holly Smith of Cafe Juanita and Quentin Ertel (the Saint, Havana) had once hoped to open a brewpub. Obviously, that prospect never got off the ground.

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