Joshua Henderson and Dani Cone have partnered up with Jon Milazzo and Lori Pomeranz, owners of Pike Street's Retrofit Home store, to open Cone and Steiner Mercantile at 526 19th Ave E.
As the name suggests, this project is Cone's baby. She lives nearby, opened Fuel here in 2005, and years of listening to the neighborhood grapevine convinced her that the area could use a good market. After attending a public meeting about the four-story apartment building slated for19th and Mercer, she partnered up with Henderson, Pomeranz, and Milazzo, and approached the developers with her idea.
The 1,500-square-foot market will sell mixing bowls, kitchenware, housewares, and gifty items (there's the Retrofit influence). Need to hang a picture? You can find hammers and hooks here, too. But Cone and Henderson also promise quotidian staples like milk, eggs, produce, and wine and beer (uh, other people consider wine and beer a daily necessity, right?).
"We're not going to replace Trader Joe's; we're not going to replace the four-bag grocery store on Sunday night," says Henderson. But Cone and Steiner will have fun things like a growler fill station and a counter where you can have a pint, a mill-your-own flour area akin to the coffee grinding stations in other grocery stores, plus a space out front where people can hang out. According to CHS, the partners want to bring back the stoop.
Though the prepared food will be limited, Henderson has lots of thoughts on the matter; a small counter that will dispense readymade food like sandwiches, farro salads, roast chickens, and deli items. The market will also eventually have its own line of frozen broccoli and peas, plus things like heat-and-serve mashed potatoes that can transform random fridge components into a full-fledged meal.
"Every neighborhood could use something like this," says Henderson. "That's what will end up happening down the line; it's the evolution of where I think food is going in Seattle."
The mercantile will sell coffee beans, but not actual coffee or espresso. Cone knows a good place just a few doors down the street where you can get that. However there will be cold brew on draft.
There's a pretty cool story behind the name. Cone's great grandfather and his brother-in-law had a market called Cone and Steiner down on First Avenue S in the 1920s, basically where the Starbucks headquarters is now. They opened there because some guy named Boeing was planning to build airplanes nearby, and it seemed like a sensible location. Cone grew up with a photograph of that market hanging in her house, so now she's excited to reincarnate Cone and Steiner in a different part of the city.
The building is still in the throes of construction, but Cone, Henderson, and their partners are hoping to open before the end of the year. They have some pretty great neighbors—that new space will also be home to Linda Derschang's Tallulah's and another joint effort, the Hello Robin cookie shop that's a partnership between ice cream doyenne Molly Moon and baker Robin Wehl Martin. Basically it's expanding the already pleasant stretch that's home to Monsoon, Kingfish Cafe, and Cone's Fuel coffee shop into a destination area.
Henderson's Huxley Wallace company is taking on new projects at a rate that makes Tom Douglas seem like a wallflower; his Westward and Little Gull opened September 3, Hollywood Tavern is coming this fall, and last week he announced a new bakery project called Parchment in SoDo.
Since that 1,500 of square feet will fill up fast, Cone and Steiner is taking neighborhood feedback for what residents would like to see stocked. Email [email protected] or take to Facebook to share your opinion.