Capitol Hill

  • Restaurant


Client – Deming Maclise and James Weimann
Year – 2011
Status – Completed
  • Tom McKnight
  • Brian McCormick
  • Luther Chatel
  • Matthias Scheiblehner
  • Nathan Towl
  • Pat MacGregor
  • Patrick McKnight
  • Seth McCoy

The Poquitos built-out was completed in collaboration with Deming Maclise, James Weimann and Mike Skidmore of Mike Skidmore Architects.


Poquitos on Capitol Hill offers a diverse menu of both familiar and lesser-known Mexican dishes in an attractive, sprawling corner space with large windows, tortilla-makers in the display kitchen and two bars. If James Weimann and Deming Maclise hadn’t become restaurateurs they might be winning Oscars for set decoration. Their carefully curated Ballard brasserie, Bastille, perfectly expresses Parisian joie de vivre. Now they’ve become conquistadors, planting a Mexican flag on Capitol Hill and transforming a century-old timber-and-brick building at the corner of 10th Avenue and East Pike into a Spanish colonial gem. It’s called Poquitos, which translates as “a little bit,” but there’s nothing little or low-key about it. The high-ceilinged, sprawling corner space has large windows all around, tortilla-makers in the display kitchen and two bars — one on a sheltered, heated patio that features a pair of fire pits. As is typical with Weimann and Maclise, they researched the décor firsthand, scavenging for authentic vintage elements and salvaging architectural oddments. Thousands of orange and blue Talavera ceramic tiles cover the walls, providing rich contrast to lustrous black wood and scrolling ironwork.

— Seattle Times

It’s hard to believe the prime location of the insanely popular Poquitos—10th and Pike—was home to anything other than Poquitos so very recently; the place, with its soaring ceilings, blue and white patterned tiles, wrought-iron fixtures and soft terra-cotta-hued lighting, recalls privileged hotel lobbies in touristy Mexican cities. Seattleites crave a hint of warmer climes in months of dragging rain; I’ve walked by dozens of times and have yet to spot an empty chair, even in midafternoon. It’s not just the ambience, either, although with a year-round heated patio, that’s a big draw.

— Seattle Mag


The space that now houses Poquitos was once a part of the REI store that used to be located between Pike and Pine at 11th.  In 1996, when the new flagship REI store opened downtown, the space was converted for use as office space.  Located at the heart of the Pike/Pine Corridor, the space is an obvious choice for development as a restaurant/bar so, when it again became available, James Weimann and Deming Maclise set the development process in motion.  Mike Skidmore of Skidmore Architects provided a floor plan and from there design was developed collaboratively on site.  James and Deming had picked up a number of reclaimed items during their travels – including wrought iron pieces, lighting elements,  a pair of gothic doors, and enough hand painted Mexican tile to add warmth and color to even the greyest of Seattle winters.  Mētis collaborated closely with James and Deming working to restore the various reclaimed pieces and to incorporate them into the design.  One of the decorative wrought iron pieces was used to cap a unique back bar consisting of three wood columns carved out to accommodate bottles of top shelf tequila; a custom radiused jam was fabricated for the gothic door set; brick tile was added to old wood timber columns; and tiles.. lots of tiles… were added to the newly fabricated arches and just about any other surface that could take a tile.