Customers young and old have been lured in by the sweet pie aroma coming from Capitol Hill’s new Pie Bar since it opened on May 1.
The new business, at 1361 E. Olive Way, combines the award-winning pie-making talents of Alyssa Lewis (who owned and operated the Seattle Pie Co. in Magnolia) and the mixology skills of her twin sister, Natalie Delucchi (who managed a bar in Arizona).
Lewis bakes an assortment of fruit pies, while Delucchi makes a variety of savory pot pies, quiches and cream pies.
Delucchi also uses her skills as a mixologist to offer a twist to the menu with “Pie-tinis,” pie-infused martinis. Pie Bar also offers a full bar with microbrews on tap, wine, cider and imperial stout floats.
For those on-the-go, as well as those under 21, Pie Bar also offers a walk-up window for pie.
Inside, the business resembles a dinner party for 25 guests, Lewis noted. With a sidewalk café, Pie Bar can accommodate up to 40 people total.
“Everyone ends up talking with each other at the end of the night,” Lewis said. “It’s a social experience.”
A newer presence
The idea for the Pie Bar came about after Lewis and her husband, Patrick, who helped her start the Seattle Pie Co. in 2009, took a 15-month hiatus from the Seattle Pie Co. The Seattle Pie Co.’s retail store went on hiatus in January 2012, and its wholesale business followed in March 2012. It had grown to the point where they were making 1,500 pies a day, and the company was even approached about doing a reality TV show, Lewis noted.
But the mass production of pies took away from the one-to-one contact with the customers that Lewis craved.
“At the end of the day, if you’re not doing what you enjoy doing, you shouldn’t do it,” she said.
With her father dying (he passed in July 2012), Lewis decided to take a break. She took more than a year off in the San Juan Islands to fish, learn how to fly an airplane and finish her memoir, “Piecology,” for which she is currently looking for publisher.
She returned to Seattle, inspired and rejuvenated. Her passion for making pies never stopped, though, and upon her return to Seattle, Lewis and her sister decided to go into business together.
“I just want to have fun with my sister and make 30 pies a night and have a beer and enjoy my customers,” Lewis said.
She explained, “I took all of the things I loved about Seattle Pie and brought them to an environment that better shows who I am, including my other half, a presence that Seattle Pie didn’t have.”
Destined for pies
This is the first time the twin sisters have gone into business together. However, for both of them, it was a natural fit. They grew up in the restaurant business together, working as milkshake girls at Zeke’s Drive In in Gold Bar, Wash., for their first jobs.
“We never argue or fight. We always say, ‘Whoever is more passionate wins,’” Delucchi said.
Throughout high school and college, Lewis worked at Snohomish Pie Co., under the mentoring of Pamela Mack, and developed a passion for pie making.
“She taught me everything I knew,” Lewis said.
Though she was offered an opportunity to take over the business after Mack passed away, Lewis was still discovering her calling, and instead, she continued her studies at the University of Washington to major in communications and German.
“I didn’t know that was what I would do when I got older, but there’s nothing I would rather do than make pies for people,” she said. “What I do makes people happy, and that’s so cool.”
Business has been booming since the Pie Bar opened its door on May 1.
“We have a packed house every night. We’re so excited,” Lewis said. “We’re on a high. We haven’t slept in a week.”
If the business continues to grow, the sisters have considered having a Pie Bar in Ballard, a few years down the road. They have also considered offering merchandise, such as aprons and pie-flavored lip balm.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/pages/Pie-Bar/141289719604.
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