After more than two decades, sandwich destination HoneyHole is undergoing big changes. This January, founding brothers Sean and Devon London and co-owner Hannah Roberts sold the place to new owners Kristin and Patrick Rye. Now, for the first time, the restaurant is expanding, and will debut its large new East Jefferson Street location in the Central District Friday, May 27.
The Ryes are doing their best to retain the playful spirit that has made the Capitol Hill version of HoneyHole so popular. On the walls are a selection of vintage movie and rock posters, bird statutes, and a boombox right out of the 80s front and center, with colored lights decorating a bar that wouldn’t seem out of place at a beachside dive. Fans of the old school HoneyHole may also recognize the restaurant’s old sign, which is hanging out front. “We did some basement digging,” Patrick Rye says, noting that there are a few personal touches as well, including bamboo that was grown from the Ryes’ yard and an Amelia Earheart poster as a nod to Kristin’s mom, who’s a pilot.
There’s plenty of room to roam, since the space — formerly occupied by Central Smoke — is nearly three times the size of the original location. The attached patio should be ready for the summer, although it’s empty at the moment (the furniture is still in transit), and there’s room for private dining, plus a kitchen that can handle catering orders.
The food and drink offerings won’t be as dramatic a shift for customers accustomed to the generously portioned sandwiches. Diners will find pretty much the exact same menu at the East Jefferson spot as the one on East Pike, with favorites like the Emilio Pestevez (smoked tomato field roast, pesto, and goat cheese), the Bandit (beef brisket with barbecue sauce, coleslaw, and cheddar cheese), and the Gooch (a hot tri-tip beef monstrosity with au jus) on offer. The Ryes plan to continue HoneyHole’s commitment to local sourcing and sustainable ingredients (Kristin has previously operated a heritage breed chicken farm).
Like the Capitol Hill restaurant, there are a selection of cocktails, too, but the Central District restaurant also has beer on draft (Manny’s and two Seapine choices to start). Once things get ramped up, there should be more activities planned besides lunch and dinner service, as the owners have indicated a desire to host pop-ups, live music, and other community events. When Eater Seattle visited, Patrick was already in the process of setting up the sound system. “My staff said it was way too quiet,” he says.