Update: As is customary in Capitol Hill/Seattle, this project did not open at the anticipated time. F2T is now just stating it plans to open this fall.

The creative minds behind the future By The Pound on East Olive Way are spreading the word about what the delicatessen will be, but are also saving some surprises for opening day.

“The truth of the matter is we’re putting together what you would consider a speakeasy, but it’s not actually a speakeasy,” said Shahin Olyaie, co-owner of F2T Hospitality.

There will be a deli up front, Olyaie said, with exterior windows opening up to let passersby see meats being cut. People can buy meats, cheeses and handmade salads by the pound.

The deli could spend an entire month focused on a particular locally sourced meat for its sandwiches, said Doug McIntyre, a partner in By the Pound with fellow Upper Left event production company owner Sean Majors.

“That’s going to be a big element of what’s going on up front on the menu side,” McIntyre said.

McIntyre and Olyaie call By The Pound’s operational “front” a deli with a higher bar.

“Hopefully people would want to come in and order our version of macaroni salad, which is just kind of elevated a little bit,” McIntyre said.

“Not your typical go to Safeway and get a macaroni salad by the pound,” Olyaie said. “We’re really going above and beyond on our menu.”

Deli items will include Asian pear salad, BTP Caesar, chicken crumble pasta salad, a candied bacon turkey club, BBQ meatloaf sandwich and spicy chicken pesto sandwich.

And beyond the deli, taking up two-thirds of the former Bleu Bistro Grotto, 1801 E. Olive Way, will be a bar — a “secret society” of sorts, Olyaie said, “kind of like George Bush, what he did at Yale sort of a thing.”

How secret? The Capitol Hill Times has been asked not to reveal the secret entrance to the bar, but it should be fairly apparent to customers coming in for a grab-and-go sandwich or pound of deli meat.

“Since day one, we wanted a frontage that was kind of a front, you would say, for the bar,” Olyaie said.

He envisions people coming into By The Pound for a quick bite and seeing nicely dressed people entering an area of the deli that seems rather odd for customers to be in. They would then inquire with deli staff, at which point they would be provided with a card to guide them through the process of gaining entry in the future.

People can also simply call in or make an online reservation to receive the required passcode.

“We are just putting so much thought into this venue,” Olyaie said.

Beyond the secret room will be yet another hidden space that will serve private parties. McIntyre adds there’s another secret area beyond that.

By The Pound creators are not keen on letting all of those secrets leak out on Yelp or Instagram. Olyaie said the use of smartphones in the bar will be prohibited, though staff likely won’t 86 anyone caught with them out.

Building out the space started last October, and McIntyre and Olyaie now believe By The Pound will open in September.

The F2T Hospitality restaurant group — F2T standing for farm-to-table — just opened craft cocktail bar Alchemy in West Seattle back in May, with plans to open up a New American restaurant Vine & Spoon in the same neighborhood. That restaurant should open around the same time as By The Pound.

F2T Hospitality co-owners and chefs Chris Jensen and Larkin Young will be overseeing menus for all three businesses. Olyaie said Young will consult on By The Pound’s menu, but be mainly focused on the West Seattle restaurants, while Jensen will be involved in the day-to-day operations.

Bar menu items planned for the opening include locally sourced cheeseburger sliders with bacon jam, braised rib jiblets with juniper slaw and grilled stuffed chicken legs.

People wanting to keep up with By The Pound can follow its Facebook page or check bythepounddeli.com.