Today, chocolatier Autumn Martin opens the second location of her Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery at 1650 E Olive Way. The shop has built an ardent following by inhabiting the dual worlds of daytime sweets stop and nighttime hangout; some people describe it as a "dessert bar," though that term carries a whiff of OMG ladiezzz out for a night of OMG chocolate and unfortunately sugary cocktails. Hot Cakes is pretty much the opposite of that scenario...and damn those desserts are good.
Hot Cakes Capitol Hill occupies a prominent corner space in a new apartment building, formerly the site of the venerable B&O espresso. It's a more spare, spacious take on its cozy predecessor on Ballard Ave, with taller ceilings and a supersized chalkboard menu that lists the selection of desserts, shakes, cocktails, flights, and the little molten cakes that started it all back in Martin's days as a farmers market stand. There's also a Seattle-appropriate neon sign out front.
The larger space comes with a few new developments. Like the indoor/outdoor s'more-roasting capabilities. Toast those marshmallows over the outdoor firepit, or on a tabletop hibachi inside. The other major difference from the original Hot Cakes is the presence of soft-serve ice cream tricked out with everything from potato chips to peanut butter fudge, fresh fruit and even Martin's organic smoked chocolate version of old-school magic shell. To drink: Batched cocktails, beer, wine, and Blue Star espresso.
The new Hot Cakes has seating for 35 people, plus a covered 25-seat patio that would be the envy of most restaurants. And yes, you can find all the Hot Cakes merch here, from those cold-smoked chocolate chips to some new more outdoorsy gear.
Hot Cakes opens today at 4pm; hours are 4-11pm weekdays (staying open til midnight on Friday), Saturdays tfrom 10am to midnight and Sundays from 10am to 11pm. Keep tabs on the Facebook page for more details.