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Whats missing in Queen Anne??

desertruger7 Feb 17, 2009 04:05 PM

Hey everyone! I would love to open a restaurant, cafe or bakery in QA and was wondering what you all think we are missing... We have a surplus of Asian influence cuisine, so what don't we have? What's just satisfactory?

I love really love ANY feedback or help!


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  1. natalie.warner RE: desertruger7 Feb 18, 2009 10:04 AM

    A cozy bakery with an emphasis on sweet ethnic things- a place people would want to bring their kids or stop off at to pick up a treat for someone

    Or... a local ingredients- focused dressed up soup, salad, & sandwich place

    18 Replies
    1. re: natalie.warner
      desertruger7 RE: natalie.warner Feb 18, 2009 11:25 AM

      Thanks Natalie! That is what I was thinking too! Somewhere to pick up healthy salads, sandwiches and soups but also have a bakery side for deserts, breads and sweets.

      1. re: natalie.warner
        cocktailhour RE: natalie.warner Feb 18, 2009 11:51 AM

        What about Macrina--one of the best bakeries in town. I am not sure what you mean by "ethnic" things, though. They do salads and and sandwiches, and the place always has kids in it.

        1. re: cocktailhour
          natalie.warner RE: cocktailhour Feb 18, 2009 02:17 PM

          You are right. But to me Macrina is not cozy- it is very urban... I was thinking something with a different vibe-

          1. re: natalie.warner
            bluedog67 RE: natalie.warner Feb 18, 2009 03:04 PM

            We are in desparate need of Ice Cream! I keep hoping that Molly Moon will take pity on us and move in......we would gladly accept gelato, too!

            QA is thriving w/ families these days, so anything that is kid friendly but quality (chow worthy). I think that natalie is right, that something cozy (like Hilltop but for families). There used to be this awesome soup place where 10 mercer is now. Short menu, big rustic tables - great soup, salads, sandwhiches. that would be great. with an ice cream counter in the corner :)

            Top of the hill has no Indian or Vietnamese. Despite two italian restuarants, there is no good italian. Really good homemade pasta would be great. Oh, and hardly anyone delivers, so that is somthing to think about.

            1. re: bluedog67
              cocktailhour RE: bluedog67 Feb 19, 2009 08:19 AM

              Wolf has excellent pasta, but it is not Italian overall and not kid friendly. I just mention it in case someone wants to eat good pasta now!

              I still think between Macrina and all the coffee shops with comfy seating, that market is tapped out for the HIll, but I am no restauranteur.

              I am not sure how you are defining the Hill. If you mean both lower and upper QA, then for Indian there is Chutney's on lower QA, which I really like. You can get delivery from them through restaurants on the run. Some good Chinese and or Vietnamese would be nice. And Chinese should have delivery! The only one I know of is Pandasia and I don't like it very much.

              isn't the Hilltop but for families the 5-Spot?

              1. re: cocktailhour
                bluedog67 RE: cocktailhour Feb 20, 2009 11:07 AM

                I am so over 5-spot. the food is increasingly inconsistent and really expensive for what you get. Oddly, I find Hi-Life to be the "Hilltop for families", despite the same Chow ownership. It is cozier, better food.

                1. re: bluedog67
                  cocktailhour RE: bluedog67 Feb 20, 2009 04:08 PM

                  Hi Life down in Ballard? I should try it.

                  1. re: cocktailhour
                    bluedog67 RE: cocktailhour Feb 21, 2009 02:20 PM

                    Yes, it is in the old firehouse. Really pleasant interior, xwood oven for pizza, etc, and rotating menu with interesting family style and traditional entrees. Not blow-your-mind good, but we don't resent the check when we go with the family.

              2. re: bluedog67
                staffstuff RE: bluedog67 Feb 19, 2009 06:18 PM

                Ice Cream doesn't make money during most of the year when it's chilly weather in Seattle so how would a place in a high-rent district like QA make it in the long run? There was a gelato place next to Paragon a few years back.....high-quality stuff, too....not there anymore.....FYI.

                1. re: staffstuff
                  broksonic RE: staffstuff Feb 19, 2009 08:04 PM

                  Molly Moon's is packed every evening in Wallingford. So good ice cream makes money - or at least I have to presume.

                  1. re: broksonic
                    Lauren RE: broksonic Feb 20, 2009 08:38 AM

                    I don't get Molly Moon's. Unless the quality has increase tremendously since it opened - it just isn't that good. I figured it will be crowded until "everyone" had tried it once. I can't imagine it getting return business.

                    1. re: Lauren
                      akq RE: Lauren Feb 20, 2009 12:19 PM

                      Totally agree. I don't understand Molly Moon's popularity at all. Also, last I knew there were two gelato places on Queen Anne. Are they both gone now? If so, that's probably a pretty good indication that there isn't enough of a market for ice cream/gelato up there.

                      1. re: akq
                        Bethwick RE: akq Feb 20, 2009 01:02 PM

                        Ice Cream?? What a waste of retail space, buy a pint in the grocery store. In reply to this thread, I think 5 Spot is horrible and Macrina overrated

                        1. re: Bethwick
                          bluedog67 RE: Bethwick Feb 24, 2009 09:44 AM

                          People used to say that about lattes, and now you can't escape them. Quality small batch ice cream is a worthy destination to me, and the perfect scoop is an art; hard to come by.

                          1. re: bluedog67
                            jalebiwallah RE: bluedog67 Jun 18, 2009 01:58 PM

                            Soon there will be ice cream on QA, albeit in the guise of a weekly visit from a new artisan ice cream truck. They will be scooping beginning the Middle of July and will be near Caffe Fiore on Friday afternoons. Their website address is http://parfaiticecream.com

                            1. re: jalebiwallah
                              bluedog67 RE: jalebiwallah Jun 18, 2009 02:12 PM

                              Thanks for the udpate. I will check it out. But really 2-5? Doesn't help anyone w/ a job.

                              I was at Molly Moon's yesterday, and noticed there is a gelato shop across the street. Magnolia has 2 that are 3 doors apart, and Cap Hill has like 3 new spots. It is so frustrating not to have a scoop shop on QA!!!

                              1. re: bluedog67
                                jalebiwallah RE: bluedog67 Jun 20, 2009 08:32 AM

                                remember the Gelato shop years back across from Safeway? Why did it close? Seems like a good fit. Maybe rents are too high and margins too low for an ice cream shop, though I expect a Molly Moon's one of these days (she's going to be the Starbucks of decent ice cream I fear).

                                1. re: jalebiwallah
                                  mrnelso RE: jalebiwallah Jun 20, 2009 11:16 PM

                                  For myself, I hope Ici beats her to it.

        2. b
          Bethwick RE: desertruger7 Feb 19, 2009 05:20 PM

          I have lived in Queen Anne for over 20 years. Before that I lived in Park Slope in Brooklyn NY and still have fond memories of neighborhood eating places in the slope. I often eat dinner out twice a week and try to support neighborhood places one of those nights. What I would like to see in QA is the following:

          A space large enough that you can almost always be seated for dinner without a wait or reservations.

          All ages, I really like Hilltop but can’t take my 19 year old son.

          A changing menu that reflects the produce of the season and chef’s whim.

          A good/wide menu…. Too many restaurants today have a too small menu, there needs to be selections for vegetarians, vegans, diabetics and other dietary needs. A good kitchen should represent a variety of eating concerns.

          Comfort. A place to connect, have conversation –too many restaurant are too loud!!!, And a place to feel warm/appreciated. This is tricky, but if you can nail this and good food at reasonable prices you will succeed.

          1. s
            savvy savorer RE: desertruger7 Feb 22, 2009 08:12 PM

            for your info.. someone is in the process of opening a kid friendly cafe.. i tihink another restaurant with casual dining but great food is needed

            1 Reply
            1. re: savvy savorer
              bluedog67 RE: savvy savorer Feb 24, 2009 09:42 AM

              Into which space - the nail salon across from ken's?

            2. j
              jayni RE: desertruger7 Feb 24, 2009 11:50 AM

              Does anyone remember Still Life in Fremont, or Surrogate Hostess on Cap Hill. Both places were "cafeteria style" Both had great bakery items all day. Still Life had daily vegan offerings--a little hippy-dippy, but also had great soups. I think a concept like that, specializing in off-the-wall good hearty soups and sandwiches, plus bakery items, would be a big hit in any of Seattle's city neighborhoods. Be sure it is kid-friendly. A popular top of the hill restaurant is currently having a tough time getting clientele back after proving unfriendly to the tykes. Sandwiche like "Bunk" in Portland (see website) would be great!

              1. d
                dimsumfan RE: desertruger7 Feb 24, 2009 01:01 PM

                Why so secretive, everyone?

                Savvy, tell us more about the kid-friendly place you teased.

                Jayni, tell us more about the kid-unfriendly place you mentioned.

                1. Square Business RE: desertruger7 Feb 24, 2009 03:59 PM

                  We've already got Asian, bistros, casual cafe's, bakeries, breakfasts, pizza all covered. What we need, at least on top of the hill, is a decent Mexican.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Square Business
                    fooddawg RE: Square Business Feb 24, 2009 09:45 PM

                    I second that. Gordito's was all wrong though I love the owners. I'd love to see someone like Malena's (McGraw street hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint) open a sit-down restaurant with margaritas, etc. on QA Ave. We don't need another Peso's and we don't want a Jalisco's but something solidly in the middle would do well.

                    1. re: fooddawg
                      bluedog67 RE: fooddawg Feb 25, 2009 10:47 AM

                      Good call on Mexican! Like Peso's was when it first opened, before it became a bar scene, maybe 6 or 7 years ago.

                      1. re: bluedog67
                        TacoBusHound RE: bluedog67 May 25, 2009 08:51 AM

                        Just saw on Nancy Leson's blog that a new Mexican taqueria is opening in the old Veil...the For Lease signs are up at Vincenzo's so hopefully a family friendly pub like Hilltop or Buckley's takes advantage of the outdoor deck. Bustle is opening across from Ken's and is a wine bar/cafe. Anything else?

                        1. re: TacoBusHound
                          bluedog67 RE: TacoBusHound May 27, 2009 10:32 AM

                          That is actually quite sad hat Veil will be a taqueria. I just loved Veil.....lower QA has plenty of Mexican.

                          Yoga studio went into Jamba Juice. That's OK, but I was hoping it would be ideal for a scoop shop. We need ICE CREAM!!

                          1. re: TacoBusHound
                            Square Business RE: TacoBusHound May 28, 2009 02:07 PM

                            Saw Nancy Leson's report on the Veil thing. She says it's the people behind BluWater Bistro, so that should be cool. I also heard, through unofficial channels, that Vinenzo's is being scouted for a family Mexican and that perhaps, the folks behind Rosita's (in Green Lake) may be involved.

                            1. re: Square Business
                              staffstuff RE: Square Business May 30, 2009 04:35 PM

                              oh dear.... not another Rosita's....their 'mexican' food is so ordinary.....diplomatically stated.

                    2. t
                      tilt RE: desertruger7 Feb 25, 2009 09:48 PM

                      I've lived on QA for 15 years...have a 12 year old, and love the being here.

                      two words...Papa Hayden. http://www.papahaydn.com/

                      If you are truly serious, do some due dilligence and go to Portland and go to Papa Hayden on 23rd . Great food, and great desserts, a weekend bruch that provides additional revenue, and a side spot called jo bar.......

                      You put that concept on QA and you'd make the community very happy , !!!!!!!!!

                      1. malarkey RE: desertruger7 Jun 21, 2009 02:01 PM

                        So, got anything in the works desertruger?

                        With all due respect bluedog, I just don't get the ice cream thing. At one point, there was THREE ice cream places on top of the hill and ALL have failed. Its just too damn cold most of the time here for ice cream.

                        Me, I'd love to see good Vietnamese on the hill. I don't want to go all the way to the ID to get bahn xeo!

                        I walked through Bustle this morning just to check it out. I don't think this place will make it. There is nothing special about what they are offering. Coffee, pastries that look the same as the ones in Starbucks, and sandwiches (which are probably of the same quality) and a few wines. Eh.

                        Now, if they offered pastries from Besalu, then we'd have something. I bet QA'ers would flock to somewhere offering that because they don't want to drive to Ballard in the morning to get good croissants! (James doesn't wholesale his stuff though).

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: malarkey
                          tilt RE: malarkey Jun 21, 2009 10:30 PM


                          Have to agree.......Nice enough fellow, but no drip coffee, Also go in and one entire display case is empty.....Tofu or eggplant sandwiches from Baggette Box, but no Salumi ? No soda either...

                          Oh well, the floor is nice.............

                          1. re: tilt
                            bluedog67 RE: tilt Jun 22, 2009 06:00 PM

                            Thanks for the due respect malarkey. I guess you just have to be an ice cream person. Nothing is better than a freshly scooped cone IM (not so humble )O.

                            The scoop shops on QA closed for different reasons: Pat's closed for personal family reasons, Scoops closed b/c the ice cream was AWFUL freezer burned ick. Not sure what the gelato story was, but have to say that i never worked it into my rotation b/c our loyalty was to Pat's. They closed at the same time, unfortunately.

                            My point is that if multiple scoop shops can exist in other neighborhoods, why not on our family friendly hill?

                            1. re: bluedog67
                              malarkey RE: bluedog67 Jun 24, 2009 03:17 PM

                              I always wondered why Pat's closed. I thought he did a pretty good business. I was a loyal Patist till I realized that I needed to stop spending so much money on lattes. There was always a lively group there in the mornings. I actually liked it better when he was still with the QA Thriftway.

                              The gelato shop was a weird story. They started out selling coffee, donuts & gelato, then added more things (sandwiches) and at the end it was only gelato. They made a donut with lemon zest in the icing that was killer good.

                        2. m
                          melapin RE: desertruger7 Jul 28, 2009 02:30 PM

                          My wife and I loved Dolce Vita, we never really had ice cream at Pat's and Scoop was just selling Dreyer's. We would pay for good ice cream or gelato , along with coffee, and other sweets. The fireplace in Dolce Vita was great for eating gelato by during the winter. I spent a lot of time on the East Coast, and have had Ben & Jerry's, Steve's, Herrell's, and others all during the year. Locally I like Mollie Moon's and wish they had opened up a shop across from Ken's.
                          Not sure what that new little place is doing - did we need another place with sandwiches (like Ken's and Macrina's), coffee (like Ken's and Macrina's), and pastries (like Ken's and Macrina's). Maybe the alcohol is a draw, but not doing it for me.
                          And, I think Dolce Vita got killed by having a division amongst the owners (one wanted to focus on catering and one wanted to focus on retail).

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: melapin
                            bluedog67 RE: melapin Aug 21, 2009 11:41 AM

                            rumor has it that QA will be in the cupcake game - wink to open this fall. http://www.winkcupcakes.com/index.php...

                            and to my delight - they may have ice cream service. and to all you who doubted my business advice, there is yet another creanery open on cap hill, and i heard a piece on NPR that Seattle is the second or third highest per captia consumption of ice cream in the country. lickity split!

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