Capitol Hill has been cursed in recent years. Developers trying to cash in have kicked everyone out of apartment buildings intending to rebuild or remodel into condos, only to abandon the projects halfway through leaving empty lots or deserted buildings. Those of us who live here are left to wonder what they were even trying to accomplish. Why try to sell a neighborhood if you're closing its signature businesses and bringing in tenants who won't like living there anyway?
The last year or so has brought about a nice change, though. Businesses who were shooed away have found new, better homes. Empty storefronts are becoming cool new businesses.
The biggest cultural shift is the auto business exodus. Capitol Hill was at one time a major car dealer and auto shop destination, but several have left and others are on their way out. These are large spaces and properties which are ideal for dining and nightlife conversions. One such conversion which is coming along nicely is the Melrose Project. Still Liquor is mentioned in the link, but is already open.
I got the feeling last night at Still that it's not quite done yet, but that they were excited to open and to become a part of the neighborhood. The only real decor aside from some of the furniture is a lovely hammered copper bar.
The rest? An open, airy room tucked below sidewalk level with some windows to peer up. A better view than Laverne and Shirley had, but one where you still feel hidden away. As of this posting, the bar's sign has not yet arrived, so visitors really are hidden, if they manage to find the place.
The bathrooms are clean and lovely, but again, I'm not sure if they plan to decorate them more. If they do, and I'm back with my camera, I'll have a small challenge: photograph a bathroom with a glass door while hoping nobody outside sees the flashes. How embarrassing.