After 15 years, Metro Clothing is closing but won’t leave another hole in Broadway retail

Changing neighborhood dynamics and shifting fashion styles have conspired to end Metro Clothing’s 15-year run of selling alternative and goth clothes on Capitol Hill.

Last week, owner Angel Theurer began putting up signs announcing a liquidation sale in order to bring on new line of spring clothing. But Theurer and Metro founder Carl Medeiros have now decided to close Metro and start fresh with a new clothing store in the same space.

“A lot more New York influenced, edgy but not gothic, and definitely low price points,” is how Medieros described the new direction he wants to take. Medieros said the new offerings will be a higher-end complement to Panache, his clothing shop next door. Continue reading

Capitol Hill 12s, ‘Tattered’ Seahawks flag, free 12th Man cake await you

Sunday is a big day for sportsball. The Seattle Seahawks will battle in Super Bowl XLIX for the rare opportunity to be crowned back-to-back NFL champions. Sure, the sport is brutal, causes brain damage, and treats its players as human collateral. But the rise of the Seahawks and the communal power of the “12th Man” is also a fantastic shared cultural experience for a city with major insecurities. As you wait for the big game, your Friday on Capitol Hill will feature two opportunities to let your 12 flag fly.

  • From 10:30 to 11 AM, the folks at the Seattle Space Needle will make a Pine and Broadway stop with the “Tattered 12″ — the Seahawks flag that was ripped to shreds by fierce winds atop the Needle the day the team staged its incredible comeback in the NFC Championship game:B8jzAAJCQAAHmGn
  • unnamed (2)Meanwhile, at 5 PM on E Pike, Cupcake Royale will be handing out celebrity-sliced pieces of “the largest 12th Man cake”… ever:
    Cupcake Royale invites everyone to be a 12th Man and to celebrate with the city’s LARGEST 12th Man cake! Celebrity cake cutters will be on hand to serve you a FREE slice.

Looking for ideas on where to watch Sunday’s game? Here’s our Capitol Hill Super Bowl XLIX open thread.

Stout brings big space, lots of beer to 11th and Pine

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

IMG_7499Capitol Hill hasn’t always been kind to concepts or chains — large and small — involving multiple locations. The recent reboot of World of Beers is one example. The implosion of Varro on 12th Ave represents maybe the most dramatic meltdown example.

But Paul Reder’s concepts are doing pretty well elsewhere in Seattle. And while he already has plans for more, his first Stout opening on 11th Ave inside the Sunset Electric building Friday seems too big to fail.

From the four screens combined to create the largest television display on the 5,000+ square-foot pub’s eastern wall, to the bottled beer list, Stout is a new spin on Reder’s successful downtown Tap House Grill pared down for a more utilitarian neighborhood like Capitol Hill. The new corner of 11th and Pine has none of the grit from the old poster wall days — and that’s probably a good thing. That building is gone. A new version rises. It feels like 12th Ave has moved into Pike/Pine.

Continue reading

What’s a better name for the Chop Suey?

8445101719_f5b8f866a2With a new life and overhauled venue in the works, it might be a good time to do something about the name. Artist Andy Panda thinks so. Panda has posted an open letter asking the new owners of the Chop Suey to do away with the venue’s name.

“As a Chinese person, seeing fake Chinese decor in a club that is not owned by Chinese people makes my heart sink,” Panda writes. “No one should have to see their own race caricatured in a venue that hosts so many great touring bands.” Continue reading

With SPD’s use of force in MLK Day protest ‘under review,’ Garfield High teacher suing city

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 9.39.48 AM Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 9.38.50 AMGarfield High School teacher and activist Jesse Hagopian says he is suing the city after a Seattle Police officer hit him with pepper spray during a protest following this year’s MLK Day march and rallies earlier this month:

The James Bible Law Group will be filing a tort claim against the City of Seattle and the Seattle Police Department in relation to the senseless pepper spraying of a prominent Seattle School Teacher and activist shortly after his MLK day speech.  Jesse Hagopian had finished giving a powerful speech about how black lives matter when he was sprayed with pepper spray by a Seattle Police Officer.  He was on the phone with his mother and make plans to be at his two year old child’s birthday party when he was sprayed.  It is notable that this irrational police action occurred while he was several feet onto a Seattle Sidewalk.

Continue reading

What have Nick Licata and Tom Rasmussen ever done for Capitol Hill?

Longtime Seattle City Council members Tom Rasmussen and Nick Licata both announced — here and here — last week that they will not seek reelection this fall. As of October, Licata was the Council’s most beloved member, while voters felt much more ‘meh’ toward Rasmussen. Licata says he wants to concentrate on building a national network of progressive city leaders, while Rasmussen says he wants to concentrate on policy rather than campaigning during the coming year.

But before they bow out, CHS asked both councilors: What did you ever do for the Hill?

Inside the Sunset Electric (Image: CHS)

Inside the Sunset Electric (Image: CHS)

Rasmussen
“This was graffiti covered,” says Rasmussen, pointing at the Sunset Electric building. The top five stories are an exoskeleton of shimmering glass and metal balanced upon two bottom stories of quaint, old brick. “It was going to be bulldozed,” he says. “It was going to be torn down by the developer.”

But the building — which now resembles a titanic computer chip perched atop a frontier supply store — still stands, a physical manifestation of Capitol Hill’s future balanced on the shoulders of its past. This is due, Rasmussen says, to the legislation he championed to give developers a way to add to the Hill, rather than replace it. The result: a fast-growing brick-and-steel jungle which “preserves the character of the neighborhood,” rather than an asphalt savanna which erases it. Pointing out another old/new building on the northeast corner of the Madison/Union/12th intersection, Rasmussen says, “Extra floor on top, beautiful brick; I think it’s just inspiring.” Continue reading

On the List: Super Bowl XLIX Capitol Hill, Zapoi! at Annex, kids film fest continues, Kingfish Garage Sale

Not to jinx anything, but here’s what it looked like last year. Here’s our Capitol Hill Super Bowl XLIX Open Thread with a selection of fun times, etc. to be had on gameday.

If you’re already sick of it, you’re too jaded. It’s pretty great to have a sports team so successful that we have a full roster of soundtracks to choose from.

Looking for things non-sportsball to do? Check out the CHS Calendar, below.
Continue reading

‘SPD returns man’s golf club’ — Police video shows disturbing 2014 arrest at 12/Pike


SPD's report on the situation puts on a happier face: "SPD Commanders first became aware of the incident in October 2014 after receiving an inquiry from former Washington State Representative Dawn Mason in which she raised questions as to the necessity of the arrest and charges. The 69-year-old man had already accepted a plea offer in this case. Dawn Mason worked with Chief Kathleen O’Toole and Deputy Chief Carmen Best to broker an organized discussion between residents and police about this case specifically as well as the relationship between the department and the community in general."
SPD’s report on the July 2014 incident puts on a happier face: “SPD Commanders first became aware of the incident in October 2014 after receiving an inquiry from former Washington State Representative Dawn Mason in which she raised questions as to the necessity of the arrest and charges. The 69-year-old man had already accepted a plea offer in this case.
Dawn Mason worked with Chief Kathleen O’Toole and Deputy Chief Carmen Best to broker an organized discussion between residents and police about this case specifically as well as the relationship between the department and the community in general.”

Tuesday, in advance of “a media outlet” reporting on video released “as a result of a public disclosure request,” SPD posted this update its Blotter blog with a line you don’t see every day in police announcements: “Deputy Chief Best personally met with the man, returned his golf club, and offered an apology for his arrest.”

Wednesday, The Stranger’s Ansel Herz reported on this video of Officer Cynthia Whitlach’s July 2014 arrest at 12th and Pike of William Wingate, a black, 70-year-old veteran who happens to take very long walks while carrying a golf club as a kind of multi-purpose walking stick:

On the video, Officer Whitlach can be heard insisting that the recording would show Wingate swinging his golf club at her and hitting a stop sign with it. According to the SPD, there exists no video to back up this claim. (SPD did not make Whitlach available for comment.)

“The allegation that he swung at the police car,” said city council member Bruce Harrell, who subsequently got involved in the case, “wasn’t corroborated by any other facts and was not caught on any video. What was caught on video was him minding his own business with the golf club at his side.”

Whitlach, standing behind her car, shouts at Wingate to drop his golf club 17 times, and claims that “it is a weapon.”

“You just swung that golf club at me,” Whitlach yells.

“No, I did not!” exclaims Wingate.

“Right back there,” Whitlach says back. “It was on audio and video tape.”

Wingate ended up in jail and charged with unlawful use of a weapon for the incident on the same block as East Precinct’s 12th and Pine headquarters. According to muni court records, he agreed to a conditional continuance. In September, a judge dismissed the case at the “satisfactory completion” of the agreement. Continue reading

Seattle City of Literature will have center on First Hill

8445863019_336acfdb40Seattle’s quest to become an International “City of Literature” will have a home on First Hill.

The Sorrento Hotel announced Wednesday that a new “book-filled conference room at the hotel, where readers and writers can work, meet, and learn more about the UNESCO Creative Cities network” is part of the project underway to overhaul the 105-year-old landmark.

“Cultural tourism is a major tenet of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, and the Sorrento understands the impact cultural tourism can make, both here and abroad,” Seattle City of Literature director Ryan Boudinot is quoted as saying in the announcement. “For those who love books and writing, in Seattle and beyond, this is going to be a destination unlike any other.”

CHS reported last fall on the “Pike/Pine-style” makeover for the Sorrento with a new management company, overhauls of The Hunt Room restaurant and Fireside Room lounge, and a new look for the hotel’s Madison-facing courtyard. You’ll also soon see a giant mural on the hotels parking garage.

The Seattle City of Literature initiative seeks to include the city’s writers and literary history in the United Nations’ Creative Cities program. According to the announcement, Seattle City of Literature will organize readings, conferences, book clubs, festivals, and more at the hotel. The new meeting space is scheduled to open by spring.

In the meantime, a longtime favorite Sorrento event for lovers of literature won’t be taking place this month. January’s Silent Reading Party has been canceled, organizer and Stranger editor in chief Christopher Frizzelle announced, citing the work underway to update the Fireside Room. “I am sad to say they’re getting rid of that carpet. I love that carpet. I really wish they wouldn’t get rid of it,” he writes. “But seasons change, carpets change… Happily, the new management is not getting rid of the silent-reading party.”

Capitol Hill food+drink | Thomas Soukakos’s friends will like Omega Ouzeri and so will you

Omega opens Thursday (Images: CHS)

Omega opens Thursday on 14th Ave (Images: CHS)

Thomas and Alexander Soukakos (Image: CHS)

Thomas and Alexander Soukakos (Image: CHS)

Here’s a business model for thriving in the rich but competitive Pike/Pine food and drink economy: Earn loads of friendships in your 20 years of experience in the Capitol Hill restaurant business and then build a place where all those friends will want to hang out.

Good luck to you!

But Thomas Soukakos has it down.

“I’m all about my friends,” Soukakos tells CHS summing up his two decades of Seattle food and drink experience as he prepared to open his new Omega Ouzeri Thursday on 14th Ave. “My friends will come here.”

Omega, Soukakos says, is the food and drink experience he has always wanted to create. Starting with El Greco on Broadway in 1994 and creating his two Vios restaurants took Soukakos on a path that in many ways mirrored his life with family and a cautious, humble approach to the restaurant business.

“Life gives us curves,” Soukakos said. “I forgot about it.”IMG_7376 Continue reading

Capitol Hill gets ‘efficient’ as two new-era microhousing projects face design review

"It doesn't feel like microhousing at all!" -- Guy in rendering

“It doesn’t feel like microhousing at all!” — Guy in rendering

As CHS reported last fall, Seattle’s new microhousing rules left plenty of room for aPodment-style development on Capitol Hill. One of the biggest asks for microhousing critics was to subject the “efficiency unit” building type to the Seattle design review process. Critics — and the rest of us — can see their dreams become reality at Wednesday night’s meeting of the East Design Review Board.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 2.13.46 PMBoylston Flats
1404 Boylston is familiar territory for the board. The seven-story “affordable” apartment building with 105 units averaging around 440 square feet a piece and slated to replace the 1905-built Emerald City Manor apartments took its first run through early design guidance back in November.

At that meeting, the board didn’t like what it saw and kicked the project back to microhousing developers Tyler Carr and Kelten Johnson and architect S+H Works to sort out the issues for another EDG round. Continue reading

First Hill Streetcar delays are prompting SDOT director to visit Czech manufacturer

The most useless Seattle transit tracking app ever -- Vesselfinder.com shows the Maltese vehicle carrier Tiger underway to the States with one of Seattle's streetcars aboard -- Check out the latest position at vesselfinder.com

The most useless Seattle transit tracking app ever — Vesselfinder.com shows the Maltese vehicle carrier MV Tiger underway to the States with one of Seattle’s streetcars aboard — Check out the latest position at vesselfinder.com

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 7.19.09 PM

SDOT director Scott Kubly (far right) meets with the City Council transportation committee.

City Council member Tom Rasmussen is not happy about delays with the First Hill Streetcar. While his office never responded to CHS as we broke the news last week that streetcar service won’t be started as late as the end of July, Rasmussen did have a lot of questions for the director of the Seattle Department of Transportation during a Tuesday council meeting.

When pressed about why the manufacturer Inkekon had still not shipped three streetcars from the Czech Republic, SDOT’s Scott Kubly said the delay was more about poor timeline setting. Inekon had to redesign several key components from their stock streetcar model and Kubly said the city had not anticipated the extra manufacturing time.

However, Kubly’s heavy handed response to the delay suggests he and SDOT are taking an even more serious response to the issues.

Kubly said he began holding daily phone calls with the CEO of Inekon last month and that he is planning a trip to the Czech Republic in February to inspect production and press the importance of delivering the cars as soon as possible.

“This is frustrating,” Rasmussen said during the meeting. “How do you know they’re just not putting you off and not making excuses, and if they really buckled down they could get this thing done sooner?” Continue reading

CHS Pics | Slummit Block Party, LLC

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

IMG_6877Last week, CHS reported that the artist enclave Summit Inn had been sold to a developer with plans to transform the Inn “into conventional apartments” with a total overhaul and inevitably higher rents.

Saturday night, some of the Inn’s remaining residents and other Summit Ave neighbors got together for a winter edition of the block’s annual music festival. Here are a few scenes from this weekend’s Slummit Block Party, LLC.

Meanwhile, the Summit Inn’s new owner Brad Padden‘s plan — “Substantial Alterations to an existing 40-unit apartment building. Renovate all units and decrease unit count to 35 small efficiency dwelling units” — is wending its way through the Department of Planning and Development.

Blotter | Hill bar burned by utility scam, 27/Yesler shooting, hate crime arrest

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

  • Bar rip-off: A Capitol Hill bar was nailed for $1,500 earlier this month in a recurring scam Seattle City Light has been trying to warn customers about. Here’s how the ruse played out:
    Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 11.41.41 AM“In retrospect it all falls apart (online billing records show no such balance, the phone number itself doesn’t show on Seattle City Lights website, etc) but it was so scary to imagine losing our ability to operate, staff losing hours, etc that we went into a blind panic,” the victim of the scam tells CHS. She said the timing of the call was unfortunately perfect with her fears about the prospect about being closed for a three-day weekend overwhelming her sense. She says the hope for nailing these bad guys is slim but that there’s a chance insurance can help them recoup the lost cash. Continue reading

Central Area Neighborhood Greenway begins with bike markings, better pedestrian crossings — and ‘speed humps’

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 10.48.31 AMcentralgreenway_map_vertical_feb27-212x550 (1)Work on the first phase of the Central Area Neighborhood Greenway is underway creating new bike route markings, new stop signs and better pedestrian crossings along a route connecting 21st, 22nd, and 25th Ave from John to Jackson. You’ll note that SDOT is also adding “approximately” one speed hump per block on the route.

CHS included the work in our list of transit projects to look forward to in 2015. The “Hybrid” option for a bicycle and pedestrian friendly parallel to the 23rd Ave corridor will begin at I-90 and pass up through the Central District along 26th and 25th Ave before a jog over to 22nd north across E Madison to Capitol Hill. Through a mix of signage, pavement markings, speed bumps, roundabouts and other traffic-calming features, the route will complement a $46 million overhaul of 23rd Ave. When complete, the 23rd Avenue greenway is likely to be the longest greenway in the city.

Seattle Bike Blog says the first phase of work is slated to be wrapped up later this winter. SBB also provides insights on some of the most important bike and pedestrian work still to come to make the greenway a reality.

If the plan doesn’t get mucked up for the northern end of the route, the area should connect nicely to Montlake’s bicycle and pedestrian resources included in the Seattle-side 520 replacement project.

Updates and more here:

Phase 1 runs between E. John Street and S. Jackson Street along 21st Avenue E, 22nd Avenue E, and 25th Avenue S. Installation elements include:

  • Bicycle pavement markings
  • Stop signs on all streets crossing the greenway
  • Flashing beacons for pedestrians and bicyclists at arterial crossings: 25th Avenue S and E Yesler Way; 25th Avenue S and E Cherry Street
  • Enhanced pedestrian traffic signal at 22nd Avenue E and E Union
  • Approximately one speed hump per block on the route

This work will necessitate some temporary on-street parking restrictions, pedestrian and cyclist detours, and some light construction noise. Access to businesses and residences will be maintained except when temporary restrictions are necessary. Normal work hours will be 9 AM to 4 PM. Installation is expected to be complete in late Winter 2015.