by Dikla Tuchman
North Seattleites — who have long enjoyed the convenience of a small corner store which also provides over 30 craft beer taps, reasonably priced growler fills to-go, and a wide selection of nearly 1,000 craft beer bottles (with an emphasis on local beer) — will now be sharing the wealth with Capitol Hill and the Central District.
Last week, Chuck Shin, owner of the above described Chuck’s Hop Shop — aka, Chuck’s 85th Street Market, signed a 10-year lease to open another venture at 20th and Union, across the street from Katy’s Corner Café and replacing the empty Copymaster building at the corner.
While the new construction will not begin until April of this year, Shin anticipates a quick buildout and hopes to open Chuck’s Hop Shop CD to the neighborhood by May 2013.Boasting the slogan “the best bar that isn’t really a bar,” Shin anticipates success for the new location of his winning concept, which has garnered popularity and success in the Crown Hill/Greenwood neighborhood over the last three years.
When starting out with Chuck’s on 85th, Shin had a fairly modest goal in mind: Build a place where he and his family would want to hang out. “I have a three-year-old, a seven-year-old and a dog. When we try to go somewhere, my options are really non-existent! Usually we come here (to the shop) on my day off so that the kids can have ice cream and they’re happy to leave us alone for a half an hour so that we can sit down, have a beer and talk. It’s been a very nice oasis for us, too.” With his own needs and desires in mind for a family-friendly beer bar, Chuck’s Hop Shop turned out to be just what the neighborhood wanted.
CHS sat down with Shin at his current Greenwood store and chatted with him about his plans for the upcoming space.
“I think we’re expecting something like here. We’re going to be open to dogs and families – that’s our thing,” Shin said. “One of the reasons we decided to open up [this new shop] was when I was spending some time looking around, I saw a lot of strollers [in the area]. On Broadway, there’s no place to go with kids. For this area it works really well to have a place where you can bring kids. That’s why we’ve decided to open up there. I feel like it’s kind of a similar neighborhood.”
“A lot of people in Ballard can’t afford the house they want, so they’re moving out this way. Same goes for Capitol Hill – people who have a family and can’t afford the house they want there move to the CD. I definitely see that migration,” said Shin.
Like the positioning of the 85th Street store, Shin expects to pull from several surrounding residential neighborhoods. “We’re hoping that we can attract people from Beacon Hill, Madrona, Capitol Hill, etc,” he said.
In the new space, Chuck’s will actually have a larger parking lot compared to the tiny, three-space parking lot in front of his 85th Street store. “We have eight parking spots, and we’ll have space for rotating food trucks every day. We’re also hoping to build a bit of an outdoor seating area,” Shin said.
As for its offerings, Shin has a similar plan for the store on E Union. “We’ll have ice cream for kids and we’re planning fifty taps.”. This is a marked difference from Chuck’s on 85th as the tap count grew fairly organically – starting with three and growing to a now impressive 38 taps. And not to worry; the selection of bottled craft beers in the new space will be just as large, if not larger.
The new location is a 3,100-square-foot stand-alone space, about 700-square feet larger than the Greenwood location. “We’re hoping to use that extra space to provide more seating areas for people. Here we have only one bathroom; there we’ll have three bathrooms,” Shin said.
Chuck’s will also continue to provide a similar schedule of events at the new shop: Tastings, trivia nights, and, hopefully, a weekly Euchre night (a big hit with the Midwestern Seattelites up at the 85th Street shop). Shin also plans on hooking up with some local Capitol Hill and Central District nonprofits to hold regular fundraising events which he’s had success with in Greenwood.
“We’re basically trying to copy whatever we’ve been doing here and see if it works similarly in the new location. We’re hoping to see a lot of kids come up,” says Shin. The plan continues to be an unassuming, laid-back locale that is in no way focused on décor or pretentiousness, but rather on quality beer and a quality hang-out for families and neighbors. “We’re going for homey and comfortable,” he said.
As for grub, Shin is hoping to host two food trucks a day – a lunch truck and a dinner truck – on a regular rotation.
Hours will likely be daily 10 AM to midnight, with slightly shorter hours on Sunday from 11 AM to 11 PM.
“We take possession of the space April 1, we hope to open by the end of May,” says Shin. He plans to start off slowly with a quiet, soft opening at first and then six months later, a larger, grand opening for the neighborhood. “We need to figure out the customer base before we do anything too crazy,” he said.