Chef Renee Erickson and her Sea Creatures restaurant group (Bateau, The Whale Wins, and more) have now opened their Pioneer Square outpost of General Porpoise, just months after the debut of an Amazon employees-only cafe in South Lake Union. Located at the base of the historic Schwabacher Hardware building at 401 1st Ave. S, this is the third home for the Capitol Hill-born shop’s high-end custard- and cream-filled doughnuts, though an expansion to Los Angeles is in the works and the official website also reveals a Laurelhurst location is coming soon to 4520 Union Bay Place NE.
The new Pioneer Square cafe takes over a tall-ceilinged space that once housed a hair salon but has sat vacant for six years. The open, airy vibe is similar to the Capitol Hill original with white walls, a long white marble counter, and hot pink accents including the espresso machine. This location is distinct in several ways, though.
Notably, with a 30-seat capacity, it’s the largest General Porpoise yet, complete with a large meeting room in the back that can be closed off with sliding glass doors. The space is also full of design touches that reflect the building’s long history, including tiled floors and brick walls. Finally, a parade of whimsical paper elephant lanterns, custom-made by local artist Jeffry Mitchell.
The menu offers, as expected, fresh sugar-coated doughnuts filled with a seasonal selection of jams, jellies, curds, custards, and creams, including flavors like vanilla custard, peanut butter and jelly, and rose cream. A rotating selection of coffee is curated by store manager Reed McCoy. Roasted beans from Durham’s Counterculture, Bellingham’s Camber, and Grand Rapids’ Madcap will be featured for the first few months before another batch of roasters is introduced.
General Porpoise is open daily 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.