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A New Take on a Classic Capitol Hill Café

Fuel Coffee on 19th

This reimagined café interior merges two well-loved Seattle brands into one vibrant, cozy, and welcoming space.

On 19th Avenue East — the quiet side of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood — Fuel Coffee has been a mainstay for coffee and tea lovers alike. When the brand was acquired by the owners of another principal Capitol Hill café, Ada’s Technical Books & Café, Fuel’s location on 19th Ave was transformed. The interior space was entirely reimagined to celebrate the vibrant and energetic Fuel Coffee brand while incorporating the homey and cozy elements of Ada’s.

Like Ada’s up the hill on 15th Avenue East, Fuel on 19th is now home to a collection of sci-fi, fantasy, and STEM books to both peruse and purchase. Located near the rear of the café, the bookshelves extend past the coffee bar, inviting patrons deeper into the space. While visually interesting, the bookshelves also act as a backdrop to a natural waiting area and the condiment station, where even to-go customers have a chance to explore new titles.

A bookstore coffee shop on Capitol Hill. – Interior design and retail interiors by Board & Vellum.
Eye-Catching Tile

The stand-out tile behind the coffee counter draws the eye and customers into the space. Fuel Coffee on 19th | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Eye-Catching Tile

The stand-out tile behind the coffee counter draws the eye and customers into the space. Fuel Coffee on 19th | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

A retail bookstore and coffee shop in one: Fuel on 19th – Retail Experience Design by Board & Vellum
Books While You Wait

A carefully selected collection of books for sale offer an entertaining and interactive backdrop while guests wait for their beverages. Fuel Coffee on 19th | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Books While You Wait

A carefully selected collection of books for sale offer an entertaining and interactive backdrop while guests wait for their beverages. Fuel Coffee on 19th | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

A bookstore coffee shop on Capitol Hill. – Interior design and retail interiors by Board & Vellum
A Quiet Corner

Tucked behind the bookshelves, the book nook offers a quiet spot to settle in away from the bustle of the rest of the café. Fuel Coffee on 19th | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

A Quiet Corner

Tucked behind the bookshelves, the book nook offers a quiet spot to settle in away from the bustle of the rest of the café. Fuel Coffee on 19th | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

A bookstore coffee shop on Capitol Hill. – Interior design and retail interiors by Board & Vellum.
A Comforting Color Palette

Cool mint, snowy white, and subdued evergreen hues complement the café’s relaxing environment while highlighting pops of color and texture elsewhere in the space. Fuel Coffee on 19th | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

A Comforting Color Palette

Cool mint, snowy white, and subdued evergreen hues complement the café’s relaxing environment while highlighting pops of color and texture elsewhere in the space. Fuel Coffee on 19th | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

A bookstore coffee shop on Capitol Hill. – Interior design and retail interiors by Board & Vellum.
Intimate & Active

Bright from large storefront windows, the space feels both intimate and active — a comfortable stop for conversation, study, or reflection. Fuel Coffee on 19th | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Intimate & Active

Bright from large storefront windows, the space feels both intimate and active — a comfortable stop for conversation, study, or reflection. Fuel Coffee on 19th | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

For-here customers have the option to relax along one of two booths with freestanding tables and chairs for a variety of seating configurations. The more public row of seating to the north connects directly to the activity of the café while the more private seating to the south (protected by the book display creating a protected nook) offers an intimate space for focused work or quiet conversation. This purposeful juxtaposition highlights the dueling nature of the café: a space for lively interaction and reflective contemplation alike.

Throughout, a sophisticated and cool color palette is accented by playful patterns. At the ordering counter, bright blue tile stands out against the primarily white space. Below the counter, the same tile is repeated but in negative, for a subtle repetition of pattern and shape. In the book nook, geometric wallpaper adds an understated interest without detracting from the relaxing atmosphere. Bright and breezy, the space offers guests the quintessential, comfy Seattle coffee experience with a fresh and lively vibe.

Point of sale at a coffee shop. – Fuel Coffee on 19th, Commercial Retail Design by Board & Vellum
Contrasting Colors

White tile on the coffee counter in the same pattern as the wall behind adds visual interest without overwhelming the small space in too many patterns and textures. Fuel Coffee on 19th | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Contrasting Colors

White tile on the coffee counter in the same pattern as the wall behind adds visual interest without overwhelming the small space in too many patterns and textures. Fuel Coffee on 19th | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

A bookstore coffee shop on Capitol Hill. – Interior design and retail interiors by Board & Vellum.
Bussing Nook

Though hidden away, the bussing and condiments nook offers a taste of the same detailed design seen throughout the café. Fuel Coffee on 19th | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Bussing Nook

Though hidden away, the bussing and condiments nook offers a taste of the same detailed design seen throughout the café. Fuel Coffee on 19th | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

A bookstore coffee shop on Capitol Hill. – Interior design and retail interiors by Board & Vellum.
Updating an Old Favorite

A longtime Capitol Hill coffee staple, Fuel may look the same on the outside, but inside you’ll find a fresh take on an old favorite. Fuel Coffee on 19th | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Updating an Old Favorite

A longtime Capitol Hill coffee staple, Fuel may look the same on the outside, but inside you’ll find a fresh take on an old favorite. Fuel Coffee on 19th | Photo by Andrew Giammarco.

Notes & Credits
This project was built by Promondo.
Photography by Andrew Giammarco.

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