Make a ‘special’ visit to Lao Bar, now open in the Broadway Alley

You will have different experiences depending on whether you come in to visit Lao Bar — or decide to order from the comfort of your couch. We recommend taking the real world approach and stopping by the Broadway Alley for a visit.

The new Laotian restaurant and bar debuts Friday night and owner Carrie Bowen tells CHS you are welcome to order the standards for takeout for delivery but the house specialties on the daily fresh sheet are for enjoyment at Lao Bar only.

“We only serve the specials here,” Bowen said Friday.  Continue reading

East Precinct introduces new leader at community crime meeting

Capt. Bryan Grenon (Image: Michelle MacKinnon/CHS)

With a recent run of 10 new leaders in 15 years, a change at the top of the Seattle Police Department’s precinct covering Capitol Hill and the Central District shouldn’t come as a major surprise. The 11th in 18 years is now taking over.

Capt. Bryan Grenon, a veteran officer and colonel in the Washington Army National Guard from Tacoma, joined the Seattle Police Department in 1992 and will now command the officers of the East Precinct.

“I just wanted to be a police officer,” he told CHS Thursday night after his introduction in the new role at a community crime meeting. He had one more stop to make before heading home after the meeting: the East Precinct where he told third-watch officers that he’s the commander now.

At the end of his first full day as Precinct Captain, Grenon arrived ten minutes early for the February meeting of the East Precinct Advisory Council. For a half hour, he and East Precinct Operations Lieutenant Paul Leung responded to concerns about school shootings and talk safety measures. “If we got a threat of a school shooting, we’re going to err on the side of caution and we’re going to make that arrest if we have probable cause,” Grenon said in one reply to the concerns voiced by community members Thursday night. Continue reading

17 things CHS heard at the Seattle Housing Gap meeting

(Image: CHS)

The Progressive Revenue Task Force charged with finding new source of funding to help address Seattle’s homelessness crisis is weeks away from releasing its recommendations and an important bottom line element: how much money can the task force dig up? Will it be enough? Earlier this week, Seattle City Council member Teresa Mosqueda gathered housing and homelessness experts and the Housing For All Coalition to move ahead on next steps to putting the money to work creating affordable housing in Seattle as quickly and efficiently as possible.

“It’s worth reminding ourselves that this is not a crisis because we don’t know what do do, it’s a manmade crisis of our own because we never invested the resources from the very start,” Alison Eisinger, executive director of the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, said Tuesday night during the “Seattle Housing Gap” panel at City Hall.

Headed by City Council member Lorena González, the revenue task force is on a legislated deadline: if it doesn’t deliver recommendations in March, the council will begin the process of imposing an employee head tax opposed by many of Seattle’s business communities.

Tuesday’s discussion was less about alternative sources of funding and more about the environment we’ve created for developing housing in Seattle. Here are some of the things CHS saw and heard during the panel:

  • How about some scary math to start? To build the apartment units required, the city and county would need an estimated $5.1 billion to permanently shelter the more than 30,000 individuals in the region in need, many of whom have extra needs in addiction recovery and mental health in addition to homelessness.
  • 6,300 homeless unsheltered individuals were counted within Seattle City limits during a one-night count last year.
  • Adding to her statements at a town hall last weekend that “we should not be selling city-owned land into the speculative real-estate market,” Rep. Nicole Macri talked about rezoning public land for development and progressive tax reform. Macri also has legislation in the House aimed at prohibiting income discrimination and protecting vulnerable groups who are not yet homeless.
  • “If you look at Seattle metro, more than 46.8% of renters spend more than 30% of their income on rent,” Macri said.
  • Macri’s House Bill 2578 would allow counties to bond against state sales tax revenue to finance their own infrastructure.
  • Katie Wilson of the Housing for all Coalition talked demographics: “Population is growing in high and low-income brackets, while affordable housing for those with incomes in the middle are being hollowed out — sorry this is so depressing,” Wilson said only ten minutes into the meeting. Continue reading

Police respond to Belmont Ave building for man reported stabbed in early morning robbery

Seattle Fire and Seattle Police found a man stabbed in the back inside a Capitol Hill apartment building but not much information about what happened in a reported robbery early Friday morning.

Emergency units rushed to the area just before 5 AM after a 911 caller reported that the victim had been stabbed in a robbery or attempted robbery. Their arrival was delayed by more than five minutes due to confusion over the caller’s location, according to emergency radio dispatches.

Police were able to track down the incident in the 1700 block of Belmont at the Granada Apartment building where the victim was found with what appeared to be one knife wound to the upper back.

Seattle Fire rushed the victim to Harborview. We do not have information on his condition. UPDATE: SFD tells us a man in his 40s was taken to the hospital in stable condition in the reported stabbing.

Police were attempting to piece together what happened in the incident with limited information from the victim or the caller.

Blotter | Gunpoint robbery on Broadway, Garfield High shooting threat arrest, 12th Ave DUI crash

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • Broadway armed robbery: A victim told police about a gunpoint robbery early Wednesday morning on Broadway. According to East Precinct radio reports, the victim reported being robbed on the street near E Harrison just before 3 AM by a female suspect wearing a heavy green jacket and carrying a dark handgun. The suspect, described as a 5’5″ black female wearing “cold weather clothing,” was reported to have been last seen on foot northbound on Broadway. The victim went to a nearby apartment building to call police. Officers and a K9 unit searched the area but there were no arrests.
  • Garfield High shooting threat: KING TV reports that a Garfield High student has been arrested for threatening a shooting at the school just days following the Parkland, Florida mass shooting. According to the police report on the incident, students at the school persisted in reporting the suspect’s behavior even after reporting it to a teacher who took no action. The juvenile suspect was booked into the Youth Service Center for investigation of harassment. Continue reading

No Barista Boyz — yet — but a bikini drive-thru Ladybug Espresso has, indeed, opened on Capitol Hill

With Seattle’s cold snap, it might seem like a tough week to get your start as a bikini barista on Broadway but the street’s 80-square-foot drive-thru shack is actually pretty cozy, CHS is told.

“With the heaters, it’s actually hot in there,” a representative for Ladybug Espresso tells CHS. The Puget Sound region chain of 30-something bikini espresso stands has quietly expanded to Capitol Hill, opening on Presidents Day at Broadway and Harrison.

The drive-thru stand offers a full selection of coffee drinks and, yes, a smiling barista in fancy underwear or a skimpy bathing suit to send you on your way. The pay is good, the rep said, telling CHS Ladybug baristas make more than minimum wage. The tips are better. Continue reading

Hot Mama’s — the funniest pizza joint on Capitol Hill

There is a preponderance of funny people working behind the counter at Hot Mama’s Pizza. Currently three standup comics sling pie at this Capitol Hill institution. If you stop in at any time day or night, chances are you’ll encounter a local comic tossing dough or dashing out the door on a delivery run.

Robbie Schroeder is patient zero for the Hot Mama’s comic infestation. He’s been working here for twelve years and doing standup for five. A few years ago he brought in fellow joketeller Mike Masilotti (recently moved to California) and it snowballed from there. “They finally said, ‘No more comedians—it’s not funny anymore,’” Schroeder said. Continue reading

A sunny, slippery Thursday ahead after gentle snowfall on Capitol Hill — UPDATE

Take your time getting around Capitol Hill this morning. Most major streets are clear but sidewalks, stairs, and pretty much everything else is cold and icy after a gentle blanket of snowfall Wednesday night. Some areas of Capitol Hill report up to one inch fell and froze through the night.

As of early Thursday morning, there were no reports of major street or transit issues across Capitol Hill or the Central District but we will update this post as issues arise. SDOT handled one issue already this morning with signal issues at Broadway and Pine repaired to start the morning commute. Traveling off the Hill is a slightly different story as traffic is slowed by the icy conditions. Washington State Patrol reports more than 20 collisions so far due to the slippery roads. Lower traffic volumes thanks to the Seattle Public Schools mid-winter break will help.

UPDATE 8:30 AM: A large Seattle Fire response was dispatched after a car crashed into a utility pole at 12th and Republican. There was one reported injury but most SFD units were turned loose from the scene. The crash was blocking traffic in the area and a few cars backed up on side roads were having trouble with the ice.

UPDATE 8:50 AM: A stuck Metro bus was reported blocking traffic on E Cherry at 19th.

Continue reading

Capitol Hill Pets | Max the kind of a circus dog on E Roy

Max, a seven-year-old Corgi Spaniel mix and Luke were waiting on coffee outside of Joe Bar after CHS got a peek at the inside of the under-construction new home of the Mexican Consulate. Max, while adorable, was only interested in meeting on his terms. Originally from California, he made his way to Seattle and is kind of a circus dog. Like, “if you throw a balloon up, he’ll boop it up in the air with his nose.”

We ask photographer Alex Garland to follow marchers in the rain and do crazy things like trying to make yet another picture of yet another huge apartment building look interesting. We thought we’d ask him to do something a little more fun. Capitol Hill Pets is a semi-regular look at our furry, fuzzy, feathered, and finned friends found out and about on Capitol Hill.

SDOT plans summer ‘Broadway Corridor Streetcar Improvement Project’

The Seattle Department of Transportation has a plan to optimize signals, eliminate turns, and add a “Business Access and Transit” lane to Broadway between Pine and Madison in an effort to make traffic flow more smoothly and to help speed the First Hill Streetcar through the area.

Here’s SDOT on the proposed “spot improvement” project being lined up for summer of 2018: Continue reading