Capitol Hill food+drink | Little Lionhead sprouts next to Poppy

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 2.44.23 PMWith some of Seattle’s super chefs storming forward with concept after concept, Capitol Hill resident Jerry Traunfeld has taken a different path. His Poppy debuted on Broadway nearly seven years ago. Lionhead, the little, 47-seat, Sichuan sibling to his popular Pacific Northwest thali restaurant on the north end of Broadway, is now softly open:

Lionhead serves familiar Szechuan (aka Sichuan) dishes like ma po doufu, gung bao chicken, anddan dan mein. The James Beard–winning chef spent four years thinking about a Chinese restaurant; he’s always been a fan of the cuisine and cooks it often at home. Originally Traunfeld figured he’d do some sort of fusion; “that’s what’s expected from a chef,” he muses. But after a trip to China lead by esteemed food writer Fuschia Dunlop, he returned to Seattle seeing little reason to tinker with classic Szechuan flavor profiles.

Last December when CHS first reported on the project, Traunfeld told CHS he was happy to have the opportunity to take his passion for cooking Chinese at home to the next level — all within walking distance of his own Capitol Hill few-block radius. Traunfeld can now “literally be two places at once,” he told CHS. “It will be exciting to create a restaurant serving my take on traditional Chinese dishes, using quality ingredients and my personal approach to the flavors and cooking methods of this cuisine,” Traunfeld said. Continue reading

150+ care packs for people living without a home in Capitol Hill Community Council drive


(Image: @CHCCouncilSea via Twitter)

With the candidates vying to lead District 3 making plans for how to address homelessness in Central Seattle, the Capitol Hill Community Council last week took some direct action.

The organization’s giving drive to assemble care packs with items like socks, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and band aids raised $1,500 — enough to put together more than 150 packs at the council’s July meeting last week.

The care packages will be distributed through Community Lunch on Capitol Hill and YouthCare. To learn more check out and

New mystery tenant lined up for Charlie’s on Broadway space


Thanks to CHS reader Doug for the picture and tip!

Something is definitely afoot inside the former home of Charlie’s on Broadway, just not a resurrection of the recently departed restaurant and bar.

Property owner Johnny Limantzakis was tight lipped Monday on the details of the construction going on inside the longtime restaurant space. Though he didn’t specifically rule out the possibility of the Charlie’s name sticking around, he did dispel rumors that the same restaurant was making a comeback after closing in June.

“There will be something good coming out in the next 30 days,” he said.

Limantzakis Properties plans to continue to hold on to its only Capitol Hill asset as the new project gets underway.

On Monday, the windows were covered up on both sides of the building, but workers could be heard banging away inside. We got a peek of some of that work thanks to CHS reader Doug.

Ken Bauer helped open Charlie’s in 1976, taking it over in 2000 after the restaurant’s namesake owner passed away. As the end of the lease agreement approached five years ago, Bauer started looking to sell to no avail. Limantzakis couldn’t find a new tenant, either.

CHS broke the bittersweet news of Bauer’s long-awaited retirement and Charlie’s closing in June.

The large restaurant and bar space sits on a mid-Broadway block that’s poised for plenty of foot traffic when the Capitol Hill light rail station opens down the street in early 2016, not to mention the 418 apartment units, community spaces and new retailers to open in the following years.

CHS Pics | First Hill Fidos — Plus, Tuesday is Seattle Night Out 2015


Here are a few scenes from last week’s first ever First Hill Fidos event, part of a busy summer in the neighborhood making space for street parks and gathering for events to celebrate the community. Tuesday brings another night of community to First Hill and beyond as Seattle celebrates the annual Night Out event with block, street, sidewalk, etc. parties.

Here is a look at the “official” map for Central Seattle parties in 2015 — click for the live version to get more details.Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 3.09.09 PM

You’ll also possibly find a few “unofficial” parties — like the annual good times at City Market’s party:


It’s time for the City Market block party- cook out! Tuesday August 4th 5:00-10:00 next to the store. Free burgers and refreshments. We also need a few neighbors to volunteer to help out.

Apparently, you can also sign up through 5 PM Monday night to make your party “official” and maybe get a visit from a big shiny fire truck or Officer Friendly from the SPD. You can also leave a comment below if you’d like to spread the word about your neighborhood party.

Not all Capitol Hill art galleries are extinct: Dendroica opens on E Olive Way

11709674_836231833121732_370723725343431239_nMartha Dunham is a lifelong art lover. As a child, she wanted to become an artist but her parents said no. Artists didn’t make money. So she focused on school, earning advanced degrees in ecology and zoology, including a Ph.D from Brown University. Now, after building her career in the sciences, Dunham is returning to her first passion with force, opening a new gallery on Capitol Hill with her own savings.

“People are excited for me, and I’ve been told I am bold,” Dunham told CHS.

Dendroica Gallery is taking flight on E Olive Way in the same location as the former Blindfold Gallery which shuttered last December after just under three years in operation.

Dunham isn’t fazed by her predecessor’s demise and believes that she can make it work, signing a two year lease. “I got a two year lease because one year is not enough to get established. I’ve watched other galleries come and ago, so I know it takes more than a year to build up a clientele,” she said.

"Martha Dunham, Forge A Bridge For Peace, 2009, Bronze, w 48 x l 96 x h 31 inches" (Image:

“Martha Dunham, Forge A Bridge For Peace, 2009, Bronze, w 48 x l 96 x h 31 inches” (Image:

There were several other businesses interested in the space, including a bike shop, according to Dunham. She says the building owners were “very particular” about who they would rent to and believes they favored her gallery because it would be “low wear and tear” on the building. Meanwhile, E Olive Way’s food and drink growth continues. Dunham’s new neighbor, Andrew Friedman has created a new bar and coffee shop next door. Good Citizen opened for private events earlier this year but hasn’t officially opened for business.

Dunham is also a bit of a maverick. “I’ve been known to place artwork in museums and galleries where I shouldn’t,” she told City Arts recently.

Dunham said her gallery’s main mission will be to show art that can best be appreciated in person rather than digitally. This will include “sculpture, cartoons, collage art, projection art, paintings, and two-dimensional paintings.”

The gallery’s grand opening will be Thursday August 13th from 5-8 PM as part of the August Capitol Hill Art Walk.

You can learn more at

Establishment not a dirty word for Banks heading into Tuesday’s District 3 primary

What can you learn about candidates based on the institutions they come from?

Last week CHS looked at Socialist Alternative, the grassroots — and growing — activist group that helped catapult District 3 incumbent Kshama Sawant from an Occupy Seattle speaker to City Council. The institution that molded challenger Pamela Banks for Tuesday’s top-two-move-on primary could not be more different in its approach to civic engagement.

Prior to taking over Seattle’s Urban League in 2012, Banks spent nearly her entire adult career working for the City of Seattle. While her opponents have recently heightened their criticisms of Banks’s soaring campaign contributions from large donations, she says it’s only a distraction from her long history of serving the City.

“This idea that I’m a corporate sellout when I’ve spent my entire career in public service is hilarious,” she said. “I could’ve went into the private sector, but I decided not to.”

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Banks started in what was then called the Department of Housing and Human Services, working as a community organizer and spreading the word out about energy conservation in poorer neighborhoods. She then spent over a decade in the Department of Neighborhoods. She was a neighborhood district coordinator in the Northeast and Southeast districts and later oversaw the coordinator program. Continue reading

Pikes/Pines | How the Hill’s creatures beat the heat

So, it’s summer, and it feels even warmer than last year and it’s barely rained. Most of us don’t have air conditioning at homes, but we can still go places that do to beat the heat, and (for now) it’s easy enough to turn on the water. Wild species don’t have those options. How do they combat high temperatures and lack of water in the summer?

Puget Sound’s climate is technically Mediterranean, with warm and dry in the summers that are exacerbated by the city’s cement and our control and capture of water for human use. Summer heat can be a serious challenge for plants and animals a like, and adaptive behaviors and physical traits help them avoid overheating or loosing vital moisture. Below are a few examples we can see on the Hill.

The Mid-Day Siesta
Many animals have figured out that being active during the height of the day ends with overheating and dehydration. We hear birdsong in the morning and evening because it’s less costly to be active then. Coyotes don’t simply retreat into the night as crafty little brigands, avoiding detection, but also because it’s far simpler to hunt using other senses and beat the heat. An extreme example of lowering activity levels in the face of higher temperature and drought is called estivation. Essentially a version of hibernation that addresses moisture levels by lowering vitals to a bare minimum, many invertebrates, like earthworms, slugs, and snails find a quiet places to wait out the drought and estevate. Continue reading

This week in CHS history | Summer robberies, Central Agency plans, ‘Indie’ Starbucks on Broadway

IMG_1289-600x400 (4)Here are the top stories from this week in CHS history:


Police investigate Broadway knock-out beating

Police arrived at a last call assault to find the victim in a beating unconscious and not breathing in a Broadway parking lot between Pike and Pine early Saturday morning.

Medics were called to the scene of the fight reported around 1:45 AM in the parking lot on the east side of the 1500 block of Broadway where the victim was reported unresponsive. Arriving medics reported the victim was breathing and that the injuries were not life threatening.

Police and a K9 unit searched for the suspect reported to have punched the male victim in the head. The suspect was last seen fleeing northbound on 10th Ave between Denny and John. He was identified by witnesses at the scene but police had not made an arrest as Saturday morning.


CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

Block Party Clean Up

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 27,000 photographs -— most of Capitol Hill images, many glorious, some technically amazing. The pool is a mix of contributions from Capitol Hill — and nearby — shutterbugs. Interested in being part of it? If we like your photo and it helps us tell the story, we may feature it on CHS so please include your name and/or a link to your website so we can properly credit you. Interested in working as a paid CHS contributor for scheduled assignments? Drop us a line –- our roster is full for general assignments but pitch us on an idea. Continue reading