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Police Beat Special Edition

Honeyhole, a three-year-old sandwich shop on Capitol Hill's Pike Street, recently underwent a dramatic--and sudden--transformation. The once- sunny yellow walls turned a deep red, lush booths replaced small tables, and a full bar sprang up in the corner. Honeyhole's owners redid the space, extended the hours, and turned the sandwich joint into a watering hole. They still serve sandwiches--but once the day crowd has trickled out, a black curtain is drawn to hide the kitchen, and someone slips behind the tiny bar to pour drinks for the night crowd.

Co-owner Devon London, 27, was behind the bar last week, his second time ever mixing drinks.

"I'm winging it," said London. "It's a trial by fire."

London and the other two owners weighed a few options for expanding their business--they could open a second sandwich shop, or expand their hours to fully utilize the space. They decided to go with the expansion, and have fun with it.

London said the switch to a full-bar license wasn't hard. Honeyhole has always stocked bottled beer to go with their sandwiches--a cooler by the counter held Corona and Pyramid. Getting their new license was actually the easiest part of the remodel, London said.

"It only took two or three months," he said. "I guess it's a lot easier than it used to be."

London said the Washington State Liquor Control Board ran a background check on the three owners and looked over the business' finances. "They need to make sure the numbers add up, so there's no Mafia stuff going on," London joked. The only problem was Honeyhole's pinball machine--the Liquor Control Board said they'd need a separate room for the "gaming device," so they had to get rid of it.

They also had to repaint the place, build the bar, and change the seating. They started serving drinks about a month ago, but it took a few weeks for the night business to pick up. Last weekend, the place was packed most of the night.

"We've got a little regular crowd," said London, "but we're still the new kids on the block."