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Monday, June 23, 2008

Now Where Will the Glowering Vegans Go?

posted by on June 23 at 16:11 PM

When the KFC on East Pine Street shut its doors a couple weeks ago, it was another nail in the coffin for fast food chains on Capitol Hill. Taco Bell on Broadway was demolished recently for a six-story mixed-use development; Jack in the Box closed in March at the light-rail station site. Now only litter from Dick’s, Seattle’s hometown gristle hut, has made its way into the trash can in front of KFC.


KFC “was doing fine,” says Karen Gutke, director of real estate for poultry franchisee Harman Management Corporation. The building required an upgrade to meet contractual obligations, but “the site’s too small to do a scrape and rebuild,” she says. Colonel Sanders’s placid smile is absent from the sign pole at 10th Avenue and East Pine Street, and so are the PETA volunteers passing out scornful pamphlets.

“My business partners and neighbors are all happy that fast food will no longer be the use for that site,” says Ted Schroth, owner of the Oddfellows Building across the street. According to Schroth and sources in the neighborhood, the site will be developed into (what else?) a multi-story building with retail on the ground floor and apartments up top.

But they may be counting their fried chickens before they hatch. Before the site’s big transformation, it could be home to another fast food joint—albeit temporarily. The buyer (rumored to be Ron Amundson, who owns the adjacent property and storefronts on Broadway) is reportedly known to take his time redeveloping new properties. And workers in coveralls last week were painting the telltale red roof with tan paint; they said the new owner is seeking a new fast-food tenant.

Jack in the Box was rumored to have plans to move into the site. However, company spokespeople did not respond before I posted this and, if the JB lounge was interested, the owner probably wouldn’t be putting his building on the market.

Regardless, given pedestrian-friendly requirements for new construction in the Pike-Pine corridor and the demand for high-density developments, there are few sites in the neighborhood where zoning or economics would allow a new drive-through restaurant. “If I could find another site, we would build another store,” says Gutke.

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Speaking of places on Capitol Hill, why did Dilettante close? And, where is the place to go for late night desserts now that it is closed?

Posted by PopTart | June 23, 2008 4:17 PM

I thought that the entire city was being overrun by an infestation of rabid Quiznos... Have they not invaded Cap Hill yet? And if not, why? Do you Cap Hillers have some secret anti-Quiznos forcefield or death-ray???....

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | June 23, 2008 4:21 PM

Dilettante is moving to the new Brix building and B&O is taking their old spot. There will be plenty dessert after the reshuffling

Posted by jonglix | June 23, 2008 4:22 PM

Now no one will ever know if Taco Bell is closed or not, before heading back to Dick's.

Posted by Cato | June 23, 2008 4:24 PM

good riddance. all kfc can go, and dicks' just spreads trash all over the neighborhood, too.

why are there no falafel carts?

Posted by PC | June 23, 2008 4:25 PM

Oh, that's where B&O went ...

I'd rather see couscous carts ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 23, 2008 4:29 PM

location, location, location!!!

to hell with fast food, build that apartment!

Posted by joe | June 23, 2008 4:30 PM

1)There is a Quiznos on the Hill now at Harvard and John.
2)Granted, fast food is, for the most part, not very healthy but if you're a minimum wage worker or resident on the Hill you deserve a couple places to have a quick, cheap meal.
3)Food snobs are assholes.

Posted by michael strangeways | June 23, 2008 4:32 PM

@3 Thanks!

Posted by PopTart | June 23, 2008 4:34 PM


"Deserve"? Really? Why?

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | June 23, 2008 4:39 PM

Poor Century Ballroom. Anyone who was present at the city council cultural overlay meeitng a few months back will remember her speech, in which she said (paraphrase) "god forbid the KFC be torn down to be developed into housing, where residents will complain about the sound of swing music coming from my windows and shut me down". This will also be very bad news for the Cap Hill Block Party.

Posted by genevieve | June 23, 2008 4:43 PM

Why not?

Posted by COMTE | June 23, 2008 4:44 PM

And it's Comte @12 for the win!

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 23, 2008 4:59 PM

Dominic, glowering vegans may report to Taco Time over on Madison, if they must. Although it doesn't really have the anti-meat cache of KFC. Good mexifries, though.

Posted by rb | June 23, 2008 4:59 PM

I just can't fathom what the poor have done to DESERVE a diet of fast, cheap and unhealthy food to shorten their lives...

These places are the reason that obesity is, for the first time in history, an affliction of the poor.

Seems to me that justice and equity would demand that a products cost would be correlated to its unhealthiness (the more deadly, the more expensive and the more healthy the less expensive)... That is what I would think the poor (that all of us) would DESERVE.

So I was wondering how @8 justifies making the statement that the poor DESERVE "quick", "cheap" and "for the most part, not very healthy" food.

All I can guess is that he thinks the poor DESERVE to die slowly of heart disease...

That's cold dude.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | June 23, 2008 4:59 PM

What we really need is Dick's carts. Downtown and at Safeco. Also one in downtown Ballard.

Posted by joykiller | June 23, 2008 5:09 PM

A nice flat parking lot would be great there. I just love what they did with the block that used to have the Cha Cha!

Posted by wf | June 23, 2008 5:09 PM

Soo... poor people need our options limited to the ones that are good for us? Fuck you very much.

Posted by tomasyalba | June 23, 2008 5:26 PM

fewer fast food restaurants = less dirtballs on the hill.

Posted by max solomon | June 23, 2008 5:27 PM

fewer fast food restaurants = fewer options for lunch/dinner/late night hot food under $5 for those who lack the funds to eat in gentrification-land.

Posted by Mr. X | June 23, 2008 5:45 PM

Mr. X) What about the two 24-hour grocery stores on Capitol Hill that sell cheap food? We still have the Hurricane and IHOP. And the 13 Coins, but that's always been returdulously expensive.

Posted by Dominic Holden | June 23, 2008 6:06 PM


I stand corrected. Your right. Apparently the poor do truly deserve fast food. (And obesity, and heat disease, and diabeties, and a slow, painful, early death. You've convinced me!)

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | June 23, 2008 6:23 PM

"hart" not "heat"... GD PDA.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | June 23, 2008 6:26 PM

15: Oh, you elitist snob you! Didn't you get the memo? Public health and good taste are total left coast fag-loving liberal bullshit.

Posted by Jay | June 23, 2008 6:55 PM

Is Quiznos (and the even more ubiquitous Subway) part of Fast Food Nation? I must confess a weakness for a hot sub now and then. M-M-M-M-M...

There are still plenty of places to get a cheap, fast and unhealthy meal on Capitol Hill. Dick's, for instance. Look around. As for falafel, I suppose there's Ali Baba on Broadway...

Posted by RainMan | June 23, 2008 7:39 PM

Someone sprayed the Stranger box outside of work here Jackson Pollock-style. There's corn dripping down the front of it. A dog walked by it, looked as if to sniff, but decided against it and walked on.

Posted by Keep up the good work! | June 23, 2008 8:26 PM

@ 24 - no. Saying that people who eat fast food are too stupid to know any better, on the other hand ...

Posted by UnoriginalAndrew | June 23, 2008 8:57 PM

"..the trash can in front of KFC.."

Oh No You Di'hnt!!

Posted by merry | June 23, 2008 11:07 PM

Half the fun of eating at Dick's is watching the teary eyed vegans try to vibe you as you eat a hamburger. I figure they really want a big Dick's Delux. BTW, bwsides wanting to control what we eat some vegans now want control of the language. They object to having veganism described as a dietary choice. Which of course it is and nothing but a choice.

Posted by Heather | June 24, 2008 4:59 AM


Ideally, there'd be a multitude of CHEAP, and HEALTHY, fast food chains to choose from but that seems to be a concept that hasn't quite taken off yet.

If you're a poor schlub making minimum wage your options on the Hill are few. Believe it or not, there are quite a few folks who don't have the cash or the time to go to a sit-down restaurant. I'm not proposing that Capitol Hill needs a dozen fast food joints or that people should eat such food on a daily basis but I AM saying, don't begrudge the few that remain for people that can't afford the money or time to eat elsewhere, or WANT to eat an occassional $5 meal of greasy chicken or hamburger and fries.

AND, the McDonald's Southern Chicken Sandwich fuckin' ROCKS!!

Posted by michael strangeways | June 24, 2008 10:13 AM

It sucks that these affordable places to eat are closing and all that is left for a late night fast food bite it Dick's. The Hill is becoming too expensive for those who make it the great place it is.

Posted by Eric | June 30, 2008 1:23 AM

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