Maple Leaf Coffee Shop Opens Sister Store In Queen Anne

If you’re a fan of Maple Leaf’s Cloud City Coffee, you’ll be pleased to know that the owners have swooped up a storefront in Queen Anne- the El Diablo Coffee Company!

The 12 year old Queen Anne coffee shop was purchased last week by Jill Killen, owner of the Maple Leaf shop she started 10 years ago. El Diablo will have the same baristas, and staff as it had before, and will host the same menu focusing on Cuban food and drinks. Killen plans to expand the menu, offering some of the favorites from her Cloud City store like morning glory muffins, and various breakfast and made-to-order lunch sandwiches. The drink menu will also undoubtedly expand to offer a full espresso bar and chai tea. If you’re looking for a new caffeine fix, find out all of Killen’s plans for El Diablo here.

Kickin Boot Whiskey Bar Comes to Ballard

There a new hole in the wall bar in Ballard, soon to open this month called the Kickin Boot Whiskey Kitchen. It’s going into the historic Henry Whyte Building, right on the corner of 22nd Ave NW and Shilshoe Ave NW, and serves up Southern comfort food like house smoked BBQ and fried chicken. According to their website, Kickin Boot is scheduled to open sometime in mid July. 

The bar will be on the second floor of the building, and will hold up to around 75 guests; 50 in the dining room, and 50 more on their open air patio. Along with the southern meal, guests cal choose from a hand selected list of whiskeys, cocktails, and local beer and wine! Stay connected through their Facebook page to find out the exact opening day.

Cupcake Royale Now Offering Ice Cream!

Is it summer yet? We’ve seen a glimmer here and there, but the folks at Cupcake Royale are happy with what they can get this summer, and taking the opportunity to launch ice cream in all 6 of their store fronts.

The delectable cupcake gurus are now offering flavors such as “cupcakes n cream” as their signature flavor, and will have many other unique flavors such as their “whiskey maple bacon crack” made with locally sourced Woodinville Whiskey, and Zoe’s meats bacon, “Bonanza” made with bananas homemade brownies and caramel, burnt caramel and sea salt, and red velvet cupcake; yum! The newest store front is located at 108 pine street downtown and will open this Saturday, but until then will have a food cart outside the store front serving scoops from noon-8pm. The Ballard, Capitol Hill, and Bellevue locations will have scoops, shakes cones and sundaes on their menu, and all other locations will have pints to go.

Seattle Spoke & Food Event Tonight

It may appear to be a dreary wet morning, but that shouldn’t stop any diehard Seattleite from going out tonight  for the third annual Seattle spoke & food event! Grab your raincoat and bike to one of the participating restaurants between 6-10pm tonight, and 20% of your bill will be donated to the FamilyWorks food bank and resource center. FamilyWorks is a Seattle based food bank that intends to nourish and strengthen local families by connecting them with the support, resources, and community they need.

The restaurants participating in the event tonight seem to be spread all over the major neighborhoods in Seattle, so if you live in and around the city, you shouldn’t have trouble finding one near you. Participating restaurants include Serious Pie on South Lake Union, St Clouds in Madrona, The Shelter in Ballard, Julia’s in Capitol Hill, Stumbling Goat Bistro in Phinney, Emmer & Rye in Queen Anne, and Duke’s on Green Lake among others. For a bike map of participating restaurants, or for more information click here.

Tom Douglas Receives Downtown Champion Award

Mr. Tom Douglas, the Seattle all star Restauranteur was recently awarded Downtown Seattle Association’s 2012 Downtown Champion for his continued support of the downtown Seattle restaurant scene and his community involvement in the area. For example, outside of Douglas’s restaurant realm (which includes Lola, Palace Kitchen, and Serious Pie) he also hosts events such as the Enchanted Salmon

Photo Courtesy of Seattle Met

Evenings in Victor Steinbrueck Park at the north end of the Pike Place Market. The Enchanted Salmon Evenings take place once a month during the summer with proceeds going towards the Seattle Parks Department. Read more about Douglas’s recognition as 2012 Downtown Champion here; it’s also noteworthy to mention one of Douglas’s introductions. Tom Graff, President of Commercial Real Estate of Ewing and Clark, has represented Douglas by finding space for his new restaurants. Graff gave amusing descriptions of some of these real estate transactions – including interpretive impersonations of when they were searching for new restaurant locations. A great segway to honor a deserving award winner. Congratulations Tom Douglas for your recognition as 2012 DSA Downtown Champion!

Madison Park to Leshi: The Best Restaurant Patios to Dine Outside for the Summer

Summers is upon us; or at least it is in theory and we’ve compiled a list of all the best places to dine out around Madrona and the surrounding lakefront Seattle neighborhoods. Most of the hot spots in Madrona line 34th Avenue, such as the all time favorite St Clouds establishment, which along with front patio seating, also has a hidden back patio which might be overlooked by the everyday passerby. Everyone also knows about the pint size mimosas served ice cold at the Hi Spot Cafe; perfect spot for brunch and lunch out on their open air patio which doubles the Madrona restaurant’s space in the summer. If you’re in the mood for a fun evening out, the Bottlehouse wine bar has a comforting home-like appeal; probably because it seats guests on the main floor of an old Madrona home. Their deck is a perfect place to enjoy some meats and cheeses while you drink from their wine and beer selection and your kids enjoy a root beer float.  And do not forget Cafe Soleil which offers outside dining along Union Street.  Enjoy brunch on a sunny summer Sunday.

Cactus Restaurant

The Leschi neighborhood also has a few wonderful noteworthy spots along the waterfront, such as the Blue Water Bistro, which sits on the site of the old Leschi Lake Cafe that ran successfully for an eternity. The Bistro has a cozy fireplace setting for dreary days like today, but is also favored for their beautiful waterfront setup. They even serve the ever popular “Lake Cafe Fish and Chips” a tribute to locals who were sad to see the place turn over.

Madison Park also has their share of outside dining whether it be at the Cactus, Bings, the Attic, or McGilvras to name just a few. Watch the people go to and from Madison Park beach while you sit along the sidewalk on the restaurant patios.

The Seattle summer will get here eventually and when it does you do not want to waste any of it.  Madison Park, Madrona, and Leschi all offer outside restaurant patios to enjoy the summer sun.

St. Clouds Music Scene

St CloudsNot only does St. Clouds Restaurant have good food and fine spirits, the Seattle restaurant has great music as well.  Nearly every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday St. Clouds features live music.  The live music sets up just to the left of the restaurant’s main entrance where it can be enjoyed by the patrons in the bar area, and also can be heard in the main dining area as well.  Tom Bennett and The Rolling Blackouts are regulars on Mondays with various bands playing Thursday through Saturday.  This weekend Tim McHugh plays Thursday, The Wiretappers play Friday (as they do every 3rd Friday), and Saturday is Courtney Andrews.  The music usually plays from 8 PM to 10 PM.  Click the link to see St. Clouds Seattle music schedule and find the best time to enjoy music, food, and drink at St. Clouds in Madrona.

Pagliacci Pizza Coming to Madison Valley

Zaw PizzaI never have recovered from when Kentucky Fried Chicken moved out of their location from the Madison entrance of the Arboretum.  I was only a kid when they moved, but I still refer to it as the old Kentucky Fried Chicken location.  The tenant currently is Spotless Cleaners, but after so many years, a wrong is being righted with the news that Pagliacci Pizza is coming to the space.

Pagliacci Pizza needs little introduction to Seattleites.  Started in 1979 in the University District which is about the same time Kentucky Fried Chicken left the location on Madison where Pagliacci is taking over.

From its new location, Pagliacci will deliver to such Seattle neighborhoods as Madrona, Madison Park, Leschi and Capitol Hill.

Restaurant Bea Opens Friday

Restaurant Bea

Photo by Julien Perry

Good friends Kate Perry and Tom Black are opening their new restaurant, Restaurant Bea, this Friday, March 30th.  Taking over the space once occupied by Cremant and later June, Kate and Tom have a created Bea from their restaurant expertise – Tom as a chef, Kate as marketer of restaurants.  “We have been looking to open a new restaurant for over a year,” explained Tom. “We flirted with the idea of taking over the space where Dulces once was [now Pritty Boys Pizza], but we are happy to finally be in our new space.”

Tom and Kate’s created Bea to be a neighborhood restaurant that is inviting for all of Seattle. “We want to be able to know our customers by name, but to also treat our first-time customers with the same attentiveness,” said Kate. To do that, Tom and Kate plan to be very involved in the restaurant. “We both live in Madrona so we will be here all the time,” explained Kate, “and we will be attentive to the entire dining experience.’

The restaurant space itself has been made over. When I was there the other night for the soft opening, the restaurant had a whole new aesthetics including and open kitchen and a larger bar area than what the previous restaurants featured.

The food is polished comfort food that is hyper-seasonal and uses ingredients from small, trusted farmers. Entrees are in the range of $18 to $22.

Be sure to make a reservation to try out one of the newest Seattle restaurants: Restaurant Bea.

Businesses No Longer Collecting Safeco Field Tax

Next week, the 0.5 percent tax on food and beverages in restaurants and bars in Seattle collected to pay for Safeco Field construction will no longer be collected.  King County has advised businesses to stop collecting effective Monday, October 3rd. This 0.5 percent tax has been collected since 1996.