Popular South Lake Union bar Gold Bar — which helped revitalize a sleepy portion of the neighborhood during the pandemic with an outdoor dining area, food pop-ups, and music — is opening a new location in the former Dacha Diner space in Capitol Hill on August 18. Meanwhile, the original Gold Bar is shutting down permanently in October as the building is renovated for other businesses.
Gold Bar owner Zach Huntting grew up in the Seattle area. His first job was as a barista at Pike Place Market, and he went on to work at Starbucks, Lower Queen Anne bar Ozzie’s, and as a bartender in New York. Though Huntting has worked in fields like advertising and event planning and as a DJ in the past, he says being in the service industry is “good for the soul,” and he felt like he'd found his calling when he opened Gold Bar on New Year’s Eve of 2017.
That business, though, was only ever meant to be in SLU for a year. His friends who owned the building were planning on renovating it. And Huntting had only opened a bar in SLU l because he wasn’t able to compete with other bars vying for real estate in Capitol Hill. Now, the renovation is finally happening.
“We always wanted to have something on Capitol Hill,” he says.
The drink menu at the new Gold Bar will be similar to that of the SLU location, full of Latin American and Caribbean cocktails full of mezcal, pisco, and tequila, as well as a rose slushy. But the Capitol Hill Location comes with a new food menu, which veers away from the Latin and Caribbean theme into dive bar cuisine, with dishes like smash burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, and chicken nuggets with spicy aioli. The kitchen will be run by Gold Bar chef Delwyn Brooks, a former sous chef of now-closed Seattle waterfront restaurant Lecosho.
“This is leaning into the food that Delwyn wants to cook as opposed to the menu we’d already come up with,” Huntting says.
Fans of the beloved Dacha Diner will see something completely different in the new Gold Bar space, with a gold-gilded bar and plenty of open space (where there were once tables) for DJs and dancing.
Huntting plans to continue hosting pop-ups (like Tina Fahnbulleh’s Gold Coast Ghal Kitchen) at both Gold Bar locations. In the future, he hopes to collaborate with nearby restaurants like Kedai Makan to create more street-side seating for restaurants on the block, much like he did at Gold Bar SLU.
Gold Bar Capitol Hill is located at 1416 Olive Way in Seattle and will be open from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. every day.