Volunteer Park Cafe chef/owner Ericka Burke is launching a pair of new projects in Capitol Hill this fall. Burke will open Chop Shop Cafe & Bar and Chop Shop Juice & Provisions in Chophouse Row, an upcoming mixed-use space on 11th Ave. from developer Liz Dunn that will also house Kurt Farm Shop.
With 22-foot ceilings and restored windows and floors, Burke's cafe and neighboring juice bar are Chophouse Row's anchor tenants. Offices and living spaces will be built above ground floor restaurants and other retail that open to a connecting alleyway between 11th and 12th Ave. and create a courtyard--check out the rendering for a visual.
While the design isn't finalized, Burke says, "because the space is so industrial and masculine and reclaimed I want to make sure it has some feminine vibe." She's planning to incorporate white subway tiles on the wall of the open kitchen and a install a butcher block counter.
The cafe and juice bar will be separated by a walk in wrapped with corrugated steel. It will serve as a central focal point of both spaces, with beer taps installed on the restaurant side and cut-out windows on the juice bar side that display produce.
In addition to grab-and-go items and fresh-pressed juice at Chop Shop Juice & Provisions, breakfast at the cafe will stay casual and riff off of Euro-style buffets. Lunch will include several salads and sandwiches, and the produce-heavy dinner menu will look familiar to VPC regulars. "We respect the ingredients and let them speak for themselves," Burke says. She's planning a very seasonal, rotating nighttime menu that contains between 15 and 20 items. "Because we have the juice bar I'm inspired by doing a lot of veg-based sauces, like a really rich carrot sauce," she says.
As the name suggests, the juice bar will also sell provisions. "It's not just gonna be cool sea salts," Burke says. She's co-branding knives that use reclaimed handles with a local business and plans to sell good olive oil, baguettes, and host gifts.
As more apartments are built in Pike/Pine and the area becomes even denser, Burke wants to make a real neighborhood space. "It's creating those authentic and reliable and nurturing relationships that I think make a community stronger," she says. Both the cafe and juice bar are scheduled to open in mid-October.
[Photo: Dunn + Hobbes]
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