Side Dish

Good night, Ileen's; Good morning, Julia's

Habitu鳠of the old Ileen's Sports Bar (n饠Ernie Steele's) will be disappointed to learn that the space on the corner of Broadway and Thomas will not be returning to its former sordid glory. Capitol Hill eaters of breakfast out, on the other hand, will be pleased to know that after they've decided the line at El Greco and/or Glo's is too long, they will have another option besides Septi譥: Side Dish has learned that Julia's in Wallingford (and also Issaquah—who knew?) will open a restaurant there in April. The plastic Budweiser banners have been finally removed from the exterior, as has the dreadful Ileen's sign that took the place of the classic neon Ernie's signage (ah, the days of the Trophy Room) 10 years ago; a layer of fake '60s brick on the Broadway side was stripped off to reveal masonry that matches the rest of the classic 1909 building. Inside, the original hardwood floors have been located under several strata of horrifying carpeting, and layers of paneling and vinyl on the south wall have been removed to expose brick. The high ceiling is presumably being relieved of its coating of many years of smoke by some strenuous chemical process; the Western-themed murals and other furnishings were sold at a singularly depressing auction back in July. Brunch will feature the omelets and scrambles and so forth of Julia's, and dinner will be in a similar bistro mode. Late-night dining will be available (which will be nice for those faced with weird-ass Charlie's, the cumbersomely named Broadway New American Grill, and the good-in-very-severe-moderation Dick's). And there will be a bar, likely a glossy bar, with candles and people acting civilized. Overindulgence in boilermakers, shouting, and ashing of cigarettes on the floor seem unlikely. Side Dish has very mixed feelings about what is seen as progress in the way of turnover in Seattle's establishments, being still (and apparently permanently) hung up on the loss of such institutions as the Dog House and Village Lanes (and let us not even get into Belltown). The change from Ernie's to Ileen's, with its completely irrelevant sports theme and terrible spelling, marked the beginning of some sort of end on Broadway; now those in search of a cheap cocktail in old-school surroundings have only the Jade Pagoda (or as some call it, the Abe Vigoda). We'll see how Julia's eggs function as a cure the next day.

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