Two Central District cafes facing closure point finger at Seattle City Hall

They both have become familiar faces whenever Central District small businesses are being discussed — usually in the context of the next big development or the next big infrastructure project promised to bring change to the neighborhoods their cafes have called home. Neighbors are now saying their goodbyes to Felix Ngoussou’s Jackson St. Lake Chad Cafe and Sara Mae’s 701 Coffee.

The 23rd and Cherry cafe owner Mae said she takes personal responsibility for 701’s closure but said she also lays blame with Seattle City Hall and District 3 representative Kshama Sawant for what she predicts will be a wave of Central District closures:

701 is just one in a line of real small businesses in the Central District that have been forced to close. We aren’t the first, and certainly won’t be the last. I firmly believe this trend will continue. There’s certainly no elected official—Kshama—that is going to give two shits about the plight of Central District Small Businesses. We have an elected official in the Central District who isn’t willing to devote some of her time and political capital to assuring that there is prosperity on the horizon for Central District small businesses. Instead she has created a movement that is based on resentment, and divisive political rhetoric that serves no purpose but to hold power, and keep people who are struggling trapped in a cycle of spinning their wheels, waiting for her precious cake. Frankly, all we have received in the aggregate from Kshama in all of this is Central District small business circumstances that has worsened under her reign.

Continue reading

With approvals on expansion, schools-friendly lease, Seattle Asian Art Museum set for 2019 reopening after $54M overhaul

Closed for renovation (Image: Alize Asplund)

By Alize Asplund, UW News Lab/Special to CHS

The Seattle City Council unanimously approved Monday two pieces of legislation that open the way for a $54 million overhaul and a new 55-year lease for the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park after years of community meetings and negotiations.

“A lot of what is driving this project is the need to serve audiences that want to participate and the project will allow us with a new education space to serve broader and bigger audiences,” Seattle Art Museum director Kimerly Rorschach said prior to a council committee vote on the plans last week.

Construction on the $54 million project is set to begin as early as February with the overhauled facility projected to open in October 2019, when it will be open to the public 40 hours per week for 50 weeks out of the year under the new deal. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Holy Names hopes to rise above neighborhood parking problems with underground garage

Capitol Hill’s Holy Names, reportedly Washington’s oldest continually operating school, has a modern problem: parking. Officials from the all-girl, private Catholic high school will meet with neighbors Tuesday night to discuss its plans to demolish and rebuild the 21st Ave E’s campus’s gymnasium with a new gym built on top of levels of underground parking for around 240 vehicles.

“As you well know, parking has increasingly become more difficult in the neighborhood due to increased housing density, new businesses, and people parking for other reasons,” head of school and principal Liz Swift writes in a letter sent to neighbors earlier this month informing them of the project and community meetings to collect feedback. Continue reading

Seattle Women’s March 2018: Why did you march? (Plus, our 10 favorite signs)

By Frankie Godoy, UW News Lab/Special to CHS

Thousands of people from in and out of the Seattle area made their way to Cal Anderson Park Saturday morning for this year’s Seattle Women’s March with strollers, signs, pets, and pink hats in tow. Everyone gathering in the park had a reason for marching. Some wrote out their reason on their clothing or carried it on a sign.

Janet Caragan, from Gig Harbor, Washington, was among the people in the largest rush arriving at 9 AM. Caragan was unable to attend last year’s march, but said she was excited about attending more Women’s Marches in the future. She said she wished more young people would participate in the march and other political movements.

“Young people need to get out here to make changes,” said Caragan. Continue reading

New owners, new chapter at Capitol Hill classic the Canterbury

Just under four years after reopening with new owners and a major overhaul, 15th Ave E medieval dive bar turned medieval not-so-dive bar the Canterbury Ale House has new ownership.

Business partners Pavit Jagga and Ryan Lewis are taking over the 15th at Mercer watering hole. You might hear Capitol Hill favorite yo, son Macklemore on the sound system but, no, it’s not that Ryan Lewis.

Entrepreneur Jagga tells CHS that this Ryan Lewis is the owner behind Belltown’s Amber and that the two friends will be working together to bring new energy to the “one of a kind” 15th Ave E bar that Jagga has long coveted. Expect a new food menu soon and a wider selection of beer, wine, and booze.

The new owners take over from two big players in Capitol Hill nightlife. Continue reading

State budget deal brings more than $200M to power Capitol Hill projects including new Hugo House, County Doctor dental clinic

Coming soon: the Hugo House Writers Center on 11th Ave (Image: Weinstein A+U)

While Washington D.C. struggles to keep the government open, our Washington has sorted things out enough to agree on a new $4.2 billion capital budget including nearly $1 billion for schools, and $205 million in funding for projects in our own 43rd District.

“Our top priority when we returned to Olympia last week was passing the state capital budget, which funds the construction and renovation of our schools, public health facilities and community projects,” 43rd District Sen. and Capitol Hill resident Jamie Pedersen wrote to constituents about the agreement. “The legislature adjourned in July with no enacted capital budget for the first time in living memory, because the Senate Republicans refused to bring it to a vote due to an unrelated dispute involving rural water wells.”

With the water squabble solvedGovernor Jay Inslee’s new budget includes nearly $2 billion for the construction of new school construction across the state. Pedersen also points out $106 million in the budget earmarked for the Housing Trust Fund, “the second-highest such investment in state history.”

The new budget helps push a handful of Capitol Hill area projects forward. Continue reading

Broadway Bonney-Watson developers back with new plan to better connect project to Cal Anderson

A second attempt at a design for the development which will rise from Broadway’s Bonney-Watson funeral home seemed to impress members of the Pike Pine Urban Neighborhood Council last week. The design review board will consider the new plan this week.

Project architects from the firm Weber Thompson presented a plan at PPUNC’s January meeting last Tuesday night and showed off a different take on the market-rate apartment buildings set to rise where the funeral home and its parking lot stand today. The architects had come before the council in October 2017, and then before the East Design Review Board in November but the board wasn’t entirely happy with what they saw and sent it back for more work on the project’s connections to nearby Cal Anderson Park.

Design Review: 1812 Broadway

Continue reading

Thousands fill streets of Capitol Hill for 2018 Seattle Women’s March

The view up E Pine (Image: CHS)

Tens of thousands of people filled the streets of Capitol Hill, stretching from Cal Anderson Park to downtown Saturday for the 2018 Seattle Women’s March. It was the start of a weekend of activism and, officials, say the largest event the neighborhood’s central park has ever hosted.

“We stand together with one heart, one mind,” Deborah Parker, legislative policy analyst for the Tulalip tribes, said in her time at the microphone addressing the massive crowd assembled on the park’s Bobby Morris playfield.

Parker and tribal representatives from across the region began the day’s event with songs and prayers for missing and murdered indigenous women.

“It is time we stand together,” Parker said.

Saturday’s march comes after one year of Trump’s America with the federal government shut down in a budget impasse. It’s been a year of battles over women’s rights, immigration, and health care but also of movements like #MeToo against sexual assault. Sunday, neighborhood “hubs” and forums will focus on organizing, voter registration, and education at locations across Seattle. “March on Saturday, act on Sunday,” one organizer told CHS. Continue reading

CHS History | Seattle Women’s March 1.0, First Hill Streetcar launch, Elysian acquired

First Hill Streetcar service began this week in 2016

Here are the top stories from this week in CHS history:


Women’s March stretches from Central District to the Seattle Center — UPDATE: 120,000

After 41 years, Dilettante leaving Capitol Hill

Continue reading

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

Take a knee for Justice

The CHS Flickr Pool contains nearly 36,000 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.

BREAKING NEWS! We also keep our eyes on the #capitolhillseattle Instagram tag — you should, too! Below are this week’s best Capitol Hill shots. Thanks for sharing!
Continue reading