Tougo Coffee owner ready to open charcuterie and wine spot Bannister next door at 18th and Union

10614401_830753826945957_8340438683110826654_n

(Image: Bannister)

(Image: Bannister)

The Central District’s one-block commercial stretch along 18th Ave at E Union is one of the quaintest and most neighborhood-y around. Since 2007, Tougo Coffee has anchored the stretch as a neighborhood hangout. Now owner Brian Wells says he’s hoping to cultivate the same sense of community one door down at Bannister, his new charcuterie-wine-cocktail venture.

Wells tells CHS he’ll hold a reservation-only soft open starting October 24th and a grand opening on November 1st.

On the menu, Wells said to expect fine cheese, cured meats, olives, made-in-house pickles, and a full bar.

The restaurant is named after Edward Mitchell Bannister, a 19th century artist Wells said he has long admired.

Wells started his coffee career in Boston in 1991. He moved to Seattle in 1996 and spent most of his time in the service industry. In 2010 CHS reported on financial and tax troubles at Tougo. The 18th Ave cafe closed temporarily while Wells fundraised to pay back business taxes in order to renew his license. Since, Wells shuttered his Westlake Ave location. Wells said these days everything is going swell at Tougo and he’s ready for the expanded business venture. Continue reading

‘Scrunched’ on Capitol Hill

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 11.11.05 AMMaybe it’s a sign of fatigue in people’s interest level after years of debate — CHS’s first major examination of aPodment-related development came way back in the summer of 2012 — but this epic Politico examination of Seattle’s microhousing is worthy of more attention on Capitol Hill.

For one, you’ll learn more about the people behind the debate…

Like Jim Potter:

The roots of micro-housing in Seattle can be traced to a single developer named Jim Potter. At 6 foot 6, he was the movement’s Johnny Appleseed, an imposing presence with a booming voice, an aggressive businessman who owned properties up and down the state of Washington. But his true claim to fame, at least in the Seattle real estate world, was his compulsive study of the city’s zoning code.

Continue reading

Day of anti-police protests planned with marches on Capitol Hill’s East Precinct — UPDATE

2010's October 22nd events followed the killing of JT Williams by an SPD officer that summer and marked the start of a busy few years for anti-police protests around Capitol Hill

2010’s October 22nd protests followed the killing of JT Williams by an SPD officer that summer and marked the start of a busy few years for anti-police protests around Capitol Hill. After years busy with Occupy Seattle, anarchist and anti-cop rally activity around the Hill, 2014 has been a relatively quiet period for protest. (Image: CHS)

UPDATE 4:18 PM: A group of about 30 protesters marched from Garfield with chants of “Hands up, don’t shoot” and “Being black is not a crime” before assembling in front of the East Precinct around 4 PM. “We the community will police the police,” one speaker said, addressing the crowd and the group of police officers assigned to the protest. Streets in the area were partially closed but the rally has been peaceful and there have been no arrests.

Original report: The heartiest of activist souls will take to the drenched streets of Seattle’s Central District and Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon and into the evening as part of protests against “police brutality and harassment of youth of color in Seattle.” The Garfield High School Black Student Union’s March for Ferguson begins at the 23rd Ave school at 3:30 PM. Organizers tell CHS the plan is to march to SPD’s East Precinct headquarters at 12th and Pine. Meanwhile, the annual October 22nd anti-police rally and march will again gather at Seattle Central starting at 5 PM and also is planned to include a march on the East Precinct.

In a statement sent to CHS by the group’s vice president, the Black Student Union organizers are asking participants to congregate “in front of SPD East Precinct to assert our rejection of the police force here and nationwide” —

Some are under the impression that Seattle is some sort of liberal Utopia where police brutality does not exist, despite the fact that the Seattle Police Department was under the investigation of the United States Department of Justice within the last three years for excessive force and concerns of discriminatory policing. The Department of Justice Findings Letter stated
“This perception is rooted in a number of factors, including negative street encounters, recent well-publicized videos of force being used against people of color, incidents of overt discrimination, and concerns that the pattern of excessive force disproportionately affects minorities.”

“We are using this march to call attention to the mass amounts of police brutality that happen in our country every day,” Black Student Union vice president Issa George said in a statement emailed to media.

The full BSU statement is below. Continue reading

Seattle’s bus funding ballot measure *could* resurrect the 47 with sales tax hike and car tab fee

15371675562_581b7c5aa5_z

The 47 taking its final run. (Photo: CHS)

After months of warning, Metro’s funding woes finally came to Capitol Hill’s doorstep in September when the the 47 bus was discontinued along with 28 other routes around the regional bus system.

Seattle Transportation Benefit District Proposition 1 asks Seattle voters if they want to buy back some of those services in Seattle and improve existing routes with a $60 annual vehicle license fee and .1% sales tax hike. If enacted, the measure is expected generate around $45 million annually for the hamstrung bus system.

Some of those funds could be used to restore Rt. 47 and others that were among the lower performing routes in the system, though the plan does not spell out which routes would get funding. Those decisions would likely be left up to the City Council. The group Yes For Seattle Transit has identified several existing Capitol Hill-area routes that would likely be improved or expanded, including routes 2, 8, 9x, 10, 25, 43, 48, 49, and 60. Continue reading

City has failed to enforce paid sick leave, says auditor report

Mike McGinn signs paid sick leave into law in 2011 at Plum Bistro (Photo: CHS)

Mike McGinn signs paid sick leave into law in 2011 at Plum Bistro (Photo: CHS)

In 2011 when Mayor Mike McGinn signed mandatory paid sick leave into law on Capitol Hill, it was hailed as a major progressive victory and a crowning achievement of his administration. Then there was that small bit about actually putting it to work.

From when the law went into effect in September 2012 to December 2013, workers made 143 valid complaints about paid sick leave enforcement, but a recent report found none of those resulted in fines on employers or anything more harsh than an advisory letter. Continue reading

Metrix Create:Space celebrates five years of DIY tech on the Hill

"Soldering is easy" (Image: Metrix)

“Soldering is easy” (Image: Metrix)

(Image: Metrix)

(Image: Metrix)

Most of the year you can walk the north end of Broadway barely hearing a peep from Metrix Create:Space – a DIY haven for robotic tinkering — outside of the occasional churning of machines and project chatter but last Friday  the business celebrated its fifth anniversary of being with a rambunctious crowd of makers, geeks and the people who love them filling the subterranean space.

Illuminated with green laser tubes — and free booze — the crowd included Boeing and Google employees, the DIY techs, students and a couple of noobs.

“I’ve met a lot of really great people… seeing them through a portion of their life, being a part of that is the most rewarding thing,” owner Matt Westervelt said. Over the past five years he’s seen a shift from clientele simply exploring, to those utilizing the space as a work station while at the same time promoting exploration and learning. Continue reading

‘Too Capitol Hill to Schmapitol Hill’

We don’t know what this means! But tonight’s edition from (soon to be resident in 12th Ave ArtsWashington Ensemble Theatre’s “exciting new literary event series” (as of 2012) sounds fun! (probably!) Also, we don’t know how you get an un-free ticket but, reportedly, you can get a “free ticket” by posting a picture “of you in your favorite Cap Hill place” here:

(Image: WET)

We don’t know who these people are (Image: WET)

The super cool kids from Washington Ensemble Theatre are back with a brand new stupid smart Six Pack Series! This time we’re holding a mirror up to nature, letting ALL the world be a stage, and poking some much needed fun a the hipster haunt we call home

<<< SIX PACK SERIES: TOO CAPITOL HILL TO SCHMAPITOL HILL >>>

And because you can’t appreciate “the hill” from one place alone we will be taking you on a tour of Capitol Hill. That’s right: hold on to your norm core Nikes, your kimonos, and your air plant necklaces, and jump on a tour of the magical land of street dogs, Manny’s, and the future home of the Bellevue douche bags you dated in high school.

You want a free ticket? Post a picture of you in your favorite Cap Hill place on this invite and we’ll save you spot on the tour/party bus.

Meet at St. John’s at 8:30 pm on Oct 21, 2014 and come on tour with the super fabulous and fine Hillebrities:
Sarah Galvin
Kim Selling
Yussef El Guindi
Wayne Rawley
Lillian Ruth Nickerson
Noah Benezra

If nothing else, it will be good practice for Thursday night’s LitCrawl.

Capitol Hill food+drink | What’s it mean to be home to the 6th best bar in the world? 12th Ave whiskey and bitters emporium Canon will show you

IMG_0278Ask two people on Capitol Hill for the best bar in the Seattle Inner City and you’ll get three different opinions. But somehow, the industry journal Drinks International is able to rank the 50 best bars in the entire world. This year 12th Ave’s Canon came in at number 6.

What does that mean for you, dear Capitol Hill drinker?

Since it opened in 2011 with a 12-page menu, Canon has steadily grown and tweaked its dizzying selection of spirits, bitters, and ornate cocktails. It now boasts one of the largest spirit menus in the country — a 130-page tome (PDF) that represents around $1 million worth of inventory.

Owner Jamie Boudreau said the recently released top ranking took him by surprise. Even though Seattle’s high-end food+drink culture has grown by leaps and bounds, Boudreau said the city is still considered quite provincial in the craft cocktail world.

“To crack the top ten when I know the judges are always in New York, always in London, always in Chicago, it’s impressive,” he said. “To have a recognition of Seattle’s cocktail culture is really great. It’s nice that the city is starting to get noticed.”

IMG_0351

Continue reading

Seattle parents ask why school kids have to rush lunch, recess — UPDATE

This is the 938th time we've used this image of these Lowell Elementary kids. They are now grown and sporting amazing mustaches (Image: CHS)

This is the 938th time we’ve used this image of these Lowell Elementary kids. They are now grown and sporting amazing mustaches (Image: CHS)

Seattle Public School students, you better eat fast. 15 minutes into your 30-minute lunch period, a bell is going to ring. And the Seattle School Board has one question for your — do you want to play or finish eating?

Concerned parents have formed a Lunch and Recess Matters group to push for fair lunch and recess periods for Seattle kids.

“It really has become a choice between eating lunches or talking to friends because that is the only time they get to socialize,” Deb Escher, one of the group’s members said.

Continue reading

First Hill’s Stimson-Green hosts Haunted Mansion Party

(Image: Kayla Clark Events)

Inside Stimson-Green (Image: Kayla Clark Events)

Which is more frightful? The $100 ticket price *or* the marketing of the “ghosts” of “mistreated slaves” for a “haunted mansion party” Saturday night at First Hill’s landmark Stimson-Green house?

For a hundred bucks plus fees, you fan find out at Seattle event producer Kayla Cook’s October 25th Haunted Mansion Party:

Are you ready for a scare? Join us at the Stimson-Green Mansion for the first annual Haunted Mansion Party. Rumor has it, the mansion is haunted…. Continue reading

Tea Republik getting ready to blend in on Broadway

(Images: Tea Republik)

With the light rail connection to the University District right around the block and set to open by early 2016, Broadway and John’s cafe connection to places familiar to the University of Washington crowd will also get a boost before the end of the year.

The signs have gone up for Tea Republik in the 200 block of Broadway E just a block from the coming soon Capitol Hill Station.

Owner Jeffry Kurniawan confirmed the hoped-for December opening with CHS. He and business partner Anton Lim will be opening their second Tea Republik to join the original University Way NE location which opened in 2012 and got a full makeover in early 2013.

The cafe is known for its hangout vibe and “fusion” approach to tea. Continue reading

Paul Allen wants to show you movies about the economy tonight on Capitol Hill — for free

(Image: We the Economy)

(Image: We the Economy)

Capitol Hill’s only remaining chain movie theater and Paul Allen’s Vulcan Productions — yes, he makes movies, too — are teaming up for a free screening Monday night of a new short film collection about making money in America and the state of the nation’s economy. Produced by Allen’s film company and Morgan Spurlock, short film collection We the Economy screens for free at E Roy’s Landmark Harvard Exit and in brick and mortar theaters across the country Monday night, October 20th, before being released — also for free — as an online series. You can reserve your ticket for Monday’s 7 PM showing or hope to grab one at the box office at 807 E Roy. Continue reading

Former director to do time, pay back thousands she stole from Capitol Hill school program

Five years and a $125,000 civil lawsuit settlement later, a former director of a Capitol Hill after school program has been sentenced to 17 months in prison and ordered to pay another $82,000 in restitution for embezzling thousands of dollars from the program she increasingly used as her personal bank account, according to court documents.

Earlier this month, Cathy Reed pleaded guilty to multiple counts of theft from Kids’ Club, a non-profit after school program at 18th Ave E’s Stevens Elementary. From 2009-2011 Reed used Kids’ Club money to buy a new car, fund personal vacations, and even pay property taxes on her house. CHS first broke news of the allegations against Reed last October. At that time, Reed did not respond to multiple requests for comment, nor was she home when we knocked on the door of her Lake Forest Park home.

In court documents, the King County prosecutor said Reed’s actions were a clear case of a person who chose to live beyond her means.

“There is no evidence … of a gambling addiction, or of a drug problem, or of a compulsive shopping habit,” said deputy prosecuting attorney Amanda Froh. “Instead, those records tell the story of someone who was living her life, day by day, in a manner beyond what her income could sustain.” Continue reading