10 Things to Know About Cafe Solstice, Now Open on Capitol Hill

By: Julien Perry | Posted July 01, 2014
Cafe Solstice Capitol Hill

Cafe Solstice, which started out as a modest coffee cart on Broadway back in 1993, has opened a full-fledged restaurant/coffee shop in the Lyric Apartment complex on Capitol Hill (corner of 10th and Thomas). They opened softly on June 21 (summer solstice) and officially opened this past Friday.

Here are 10 things to know:

  • Joel Wood ran the Solstice coffee cart outside of what is now Jai Thai (formerly Angel's) until 2001. 

  • Joel and his business partner Doug Sowers opened their first brick-and-morter coffee shop in the U-District in 2000. 

  • Paul Stevenson, who was the bartender at Angel's, gets credit for naming Solstice and remains a regular customer.

  • The new Solstice is located across the street from Jai Thai, where it all began. 

  • Joel says they opened a second location because "We've always wanted to come back to Capitol Hill."

  • The guys actually opened a Solstice in Seward Park back in 2007, but the logistics of commuting from the U-District was too much and they sold it. 

  • The new Solsitce is about 3,000-square feet, has 12 beers on tap, 9 wines, 10 bottled beers and full Lighthouse coffee service. The pastries are made on-site at the U-District location. 

  • The jukebox upstairs in the mezzanine is filled with old school country. 

  • The buffalo head on the wall was purchased from a taxidermist in North Carolina. His name is The Mighty Mighty Chief Chilliwack.

  • Joel, forever in love with making coffee, still works a couple of shifts behind the bar.

Solsitce is open M-F, 6 a.m. to midnight and Sat-Sun, 6:30 a.m. to midnight.