Charlie's (217 Broadway E.) finally reopened after a change of ownership (taken over by the folks who run The Lodge in Pioneer Square and some remodeling. Some, not too much. They added a second bar, they removed a couple of interior signs; fewer TV screens but bigger ones. Much, much cleaner. The relaunch coincided with the Capitol Hill Art Walk, but the new, spruced-up Charlie's isn't going to compete with trendy hipster bars like Melusine (1060 E. Union) or studious ethnic spots like Chavez (1734 12th Ave.). It was more like the Comet (922 E. Pike) or Lost Lake (1505 10th Ave.). Hangover remedies included a $7 Mary and a $14 pitcher of Mimosas, along with a $10 Monte Cristo dusted with powdered sugar, sure to find an audience on Broadway.
At any rate, the day they re-opened in December 2015 they skipped breakfast and started serving at 3 PM. By 7:30 they were out of chicken wings. Seriously. There was also no more guacamole for the nachos. "Smothered in cheese," it said on the menu, but "dusted" would be more like it. Same for the black olives and tomatoes, barely enough to count. I grant you, it's been many, many years since I last ate here, but it will be many, more before I return. Sorry, Charlie.
With the ending of our one-year lease, we were faced with a difficult decision. Charlie's holds a special place in our hearts. However, due to economic factors of the restaurant industry, as of Tuesday January 10th, 2017 we will be closed. Being a part of the Capitol Hill community has been an honor, and we will miss the community deeply.But the fact is, noble sentiments aside, Charlie is broke. The parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in federal court last year listing ten businesses it operated including Charlie's. Capitol Hill Blog says the filing listed total liabilities of more than $5.7 million. Included in that was a nearly $2 million disputed claim from the IRS, more than $860,000 in a disputed claim from Homeland Security/ICE Investigations, and $750,000 owed to the state. The parent company, owned by (husband and wife) Shawn Roten and Elizabeth Stewart. continues to run seven restaurants under The Lodge Sports Grille brand.