As neighborhoods evolve, older, established businesses will move out as daring new entrepreneurs seek to make their mark. The Garage is a concept bar/restaurant that combines big screen televisions, pool tables, and even a bowling alley. That’s the kind of risky venture that might have disappeared from view eighteen months later, but Alex Rosenast and Mike Bitondo knew pretty much from the beginning that The Garage would be a hit. Rosenast already owned one successful pool room and The Garage, located on Broadway, was in a sweet spot between Seattle U students looking for cheap suds and health care workers coming off shift at any of the nearby hospitals.
In July, 2017, The Garage celebrated its 21st birthday, but unlike adolescents making the transition to adulthood, operating a business for that long is like living in dog years. The Garage, in fact, has thrived over that period of time to become one of those joints that everybody knows about.
That’s because Rosenast and Bitondo went big, really big, when they procured an adjacent building that, according to the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, allowed the entrepreneurs to more than double their space, add a bowling alley to the pool tables and expand onto a patio. The warehouse-size space filled a need in the Seattle entertainment scene through its ability to host large groups; that’s not always easy to do in a high-rent city. Along the way, developers, builders, and new employees working downtown were discovering the neighborhood and setting off a revitalization of this part of Capitol Hill.
The Garage is getting even busier now that the First Hill Streetcar transit line is complete. Thanks to hosting large corporate groups, The Garage is known far and wide, and is contributing to the booming vitality of Capitol Hill.