The 50 oldest businesses in District 3

Screen-Shot-2015-10-08-at-10.19.56-PM (2)While the neighborhoods of Capitol Hill and Central Seattle continue to change and grow, not everything is glossy and new. CHS found that 45% of area business permits within District 3 have been active for 10 years or more. The oldest? Well, you’ll have to scroll to the end of our list.

Below, we’ve called out the 50 oldest active business permits in the neighborhoods of District 3 from Capitol Hill to the Central District.

The list covers businesses and organizations licensed within the area’s ZIP codes but it’s not comprehensive. There are many businesses that have been open for decades but may be registered somewhere else, so they are not included in our list. Others represent businesses that have closed up shop, but still maintain a license.

In general, the businesses and organizations with the most staying power seem to be nonprofits and offices of professional services like architects and lawyers. And food and drink entrepreneurs take note: Only one restaurant — the Deluxe Bar and Grill at 87 — cracks the top 100… not even close to our top 50, below.

District 3’s 50 Oldest Businesses

  1. Genesis House – An inpatient drug rehab center in the Laschi/Madrona area which opened in 1971. It closed in 2014.

    Country Doctor

    Country Doctor

  2. County Doctor Community Health Clinic – Serving the community since 1971, the Country Doctor on 19th Avenue East is planning an expansion, possibly next year, in order to add dental health to the list of services they provide.
  3. Group Health Cooperative – the larger group health organization was founded in 1945, but in 1971, they planted a flag on Capitol Hill.
  4. Roger Newell – the architect whose office is on 19th Avenue East has had his business license in this area since 1971.
  5. Robert E. Frey – One of the first Certified Financial Planners in the state, according to a 1975 Seattle Times article on Frey’s website.
  6. Donald Glover – not that Donald Glover. This Donald Glover was the owner behind Horizon Books, the used bookstore which used to be on 15th, in the spot currently occupied by Ada’s. Now, it operates an online business on 10th Ave.
  7. Swedish Medical Center – rounding out the businesses from 1971.
  8. Archbright – a business that seems to serve other businesses helping them with things like human resources and lots of other corporate buzzwordy stuff. Their license in the area dates to 1970, though the company has been around since 1936.
  9. Seattle Children’s Odessa Brown – the clinic, operated by Seattle Children’s has been serving children from birth through age 21, regardless of their ability to pay, since 1970 is located at 2010 E. Yesler Way.
  10. Lois Harris – proprietor of the Vogue Coiffure Beauty Salon at 1108 23rd Ave.
  11. Wilson & Hayes – A metal fabricator specializing in crafting marine furniture located on Eastlake Ave. They’ve held their license since 1969.
  12. Bush Roed & Hitchings – a land survey and civil engineering company whose website says it’s been around since 1966 (the license information dates to 1969, but they may have started in a different location). Interestingly, on their website, there is no mention of anyone named Bush, Roed or Hitchings. The company’s website says they have roots that go back to the city’s founding, and archived surveying records dating back nearly 150 years.
  13. Thrifty Park – has been running a Capitol Hill parking lot since 1969.
  14. Amadeus, Inc. – company based in an apartment building, which may have owned a restaurant in the 1980’s.
  15. Lake Union Drydock Company – self-explanitory.

    Alvin Doggett

    Alvin Doggett

  16. Theosophical Society in Seattle – has run the Quest Bookshop on Broadway just north of Roy since 1968.
  17. Alvin E. Doggett Studio – Specializing in photo restorations.
  18. Robert Cadranell – is listed as a paint and wall covering contractor with a license going back to 1968.
  19. Gracie Mae Williams – owner of Ebony Designs beauty Salon since 1967
  20. Swedish Hospital Auxiliary – their gift shop has been licensed since 1967.
  21. Seattle Curtain Manufacturing

    Seattle Curtain Manufacturing

    Seattle Curtain Manufacturing – This company has been making window coverings since 1967. According to the company’s website, the third generation of the Capeluto family is now involved in running the business which started at 3rd and Yesler before moving to their current location at 12th and Yesler.

  22. Casey Family Programs – a charitable trust with a $2.2 billion endowment started by the family that founded UPS. They’ve been around since 1966, and do work in all 50 states.
  23. Richard Haag Associates – the landscape architect behind Gas Works Park, among other national and international projects.
  24. Seattle Mental Health Institute – Sound Mental Health has been providing an array counseling services since 1966.
  25. Seattle Art Museum – More precisely, the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park, licensed since 1965.
  26. Centerstone of Seattle – a social services organization providing food and financial relief to help pay energy bills, it’s been operating since 1964, and it helps more than 20,000 people a year.
  27. Milkie Studio – Photographers. Though they’ve retired, it seems.
  28. Robert Lester –  physician8445661312_8789e36b95
  29. Perkins Glassanother multi-generation outfit here on Capitol Hill. Perkins Glass originally opened in Post Alley, near Pike Place Market. According to Brian Perkins, they have paperwork dating back to 1906. There’s a family legend that his great-grandfather built the case for the mummy in Ye Olde Curiosity Shop on the waterfront. Their business license on Capitol Hill dates to 1963. Brian said the family has no plans to move its business anytime soon.
  30. Presbyterian Retirement Communities NW – They’ve operated the Parkshore Retirement Communities in Madison Park since 1962.
  31. Northwest Kidney Center
  32. Philip Williams – Attorney

    Russian Community Center

    Russian Community Center

  33. Russian Community Center – they took over what had been a movie theater on 19th Ave E in 1961.
  34. Junior League of Seattle – dating back to 1960, the Junior League is part of a national women’s group promoting community service.
  35. Kelley Ross & Associates – A pharmacy with a license dating to 1959. The company started in 1925.
  36. Northwest Administrators – A company that helps other companies manage their employee benefit programs and claims. They now have primary offices in five western states.

    Auto Accessories

    Auto Accessories

  37. Auto Accessories – The business selling car parts opened in 1958, back when the area (it’s on 13th between Pike and Pine) was still auto row.
  38. Kelly Ryan – a contractor which specializes in building things in Alaska. Their website says they opened in 1976, though there’s a business license dating to 1958.
  39. Richmark Label Company – A company still run by its founding family operates out of a building on Pine Street just east of Cal Anderson Park. Their license dates to 1957. As you might imagine, they make labels.
  40. Knights of Columbus – the local chapter of the international Catholic fraternal service organization.
  41. Polish Home Association – The Polish Hall on 18th and Madison has been around since 1954. Two words: pierogi festival.


    The Bullitt Foundation’s fancy new home

  42. The Bullitt Foundation – long before they built the greenest building ever, the Bullitt foundation started in 1952. Dorothy Bullitt, the foundation’s namesake, was the original owner of KING, the first TV station in Seattle.
  43. Swedish Medical Center – Yes, the hospital. Its license dates to 1951.
  44. Seattle Tennis Club – In Madison Park on Lake Washington, the club has been around since 1943.
  45. Lake View Cemetery Association – the group which runs the cemetery just north of Volunteer Park, where dozens of local luminaries are buried — along with 40,000 (and counting) more. The cemetery itself is much older.
  46. College Club of Seattle – The private club which touts its rowing is located in the Eastlake neighborhood on Lake Union. While the club has been around since 1910, its license dates to 1943.
  47. YWCA of King County – The East Cherry branch of the YWCA, it was one of the first branches in the country to allow members of different races. It now houses administrative offices for five programs run by the YWCA.
  48. Professional and Technical Engineers Association, local No. 17 – The union represents public sector workers in engineering and IT fields in Washington and Oregon. It’s been here since 1930.
  49. Seattle Hebrew Academy – The private school for orthodox Jews located right next to Interlaken Park, The school’s website says it opened in 1947. Business License records date to 1921.

    Broadmoor Homeowners Association

    Broadmoor Homeowners Association

  50. Broadmoor Homeowners Association – License records for the homeowner’s association surrounding Broadmoor Golf Course, adjacent to the Arboretum, date to 1900. The golf club’s website says the land for the course was donated in 1924.

First Hill Streetcar Safety Day planned to help keep tracks safe as SDOT works on line’s parking problem

First Hill Streetcar - Trainset Test Run

Streetcar-11-15As Seattle Department of Transportation officials are preparing the First Hill Streetcar for the start of service, they are also ramping up the process of educating people who are living, going to school, and working around the 2.5-mile Capitol Hill to Pioneer Square route about how the system works — and, importantly, how to be safe around the tracks and trolleys. They are also working to address a major hindrance to efficient service — an ongoing spate of poorly parked cars and trucks that have repeatedly caused the trains to come to a halt during testing in recent weeks.

Next week, SDOT will host a “First Hill Streetcar Safety Day” to help make sure the line gets off to the safest start possible as the streets along the line mix with streetcar, motor vehicle, and pedestrian traffic:

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will host a “First Hill Streetcar Safety Day” on Thursday, December 3 from 11a.m. to 3 p.m. at three station locations.

The Safety Day will feature Metro streetcar operators onboard stationary streetcars at the Broadway & Denny, 14th & Washington, and Occidental & Jackson stations. The public is invited to come aboard to check out the new streetcars, ask questions about how they work and learn streetcar safety tips. Continue reading

You’ll have to wait a little bit longer for the new Charlie’s


The old Charlie’s (Image: CHS)

33fc02_654fdf1b50f7495e965cdad0329db76fCharlie’s — the legendary Broadway restaurant space poised to transcend ownership and continue a new lease on life — will have a few more weeks to enjoy its rest following longtime owner Ken Bauer’s June retirement after one last Pride weekend. The new owners tell CHS the new Charlie’s won’t make its planned Friday-after-Thanksgiving opening.

The new ownership from the Lodge Sports Grille family of restaurants says it will need around two more weeks to get the rehabilitation and upgrades of the old Capitol Hill restaurant complete and make sure service is up to the necessary Charlie’s standards. Don’t chuckle, old timers.

When it reopens in December, the space will have all the same old stuff but cleaned-up, we’re told. The menu will be pared back and overhauled, however — new co-owner Kelli Kreiter said part of the reason for the changes is they couldn’t get some of the old recipes. Bauer and management did have an agreement over continuing the Charlie’s name but Kreiter said she couldn’t discuss if there was any financial implications to the deal. Bauer helped open Charlie’s in 1976, taking it over in 2000 after the restaurant’s namesake owner passed away. As an end to his lease agreement approached five years ago, Bauer told CHS he started looking to sell but found no buyers. The Lodge Sports Grille deal to lease the space followed.

Kreiter said the new ownership loved the quirkiness of the longtime Broadway watering hole and wanted to bring “new light” to the space without changing the nature of the restaurant. She also said she is aware of concerns about higher prices and that she and the new owners hope to keep Charlie’s an affordable, “fair” place to hang out and enjoy a meal or a drink.

You can stay tuned to for updates on a new opening date.

Pride 2015, Capitol Hill Seattle

Pride 2015, Capitol Hill Seattle

Here is why news is wrong about SPD’s Capitol Hill patrols

Seattle Police gang detectives believed they were circling in on suspects involved in Sunday morning’s drive-by shooting at Pike and Broadway as the investigation continued Tuesday but reports of increased patrols in the neighborhood in response to the incident are not accurate.

“In response to the shooting, police plan to increase nighttime foot patrols in the area,” the Seattle Times reported. Other media outlets have followed.

But a SPD spokesperson tells CHS that no actual increase in the number of patrol officers is hitting the streets in response to the shooting — ongoing weekend emphasis patrols started earlier this year to curb nightlife-related crime, however, will continue.

“We increased the number of officers on foot beats earlier this year and have kept them in place because we know they’re important,” a SPD spokesperson said in a statement.

Continue reading

A 30-resident ‘tiny house’ encampment is rising at 22nd and Union

“We really want to get people into these houses with the idea that they will transition into permanent housing.”

A new homeless encampment featuring 15 “tiny homes” is getting underway on a church-owned property at 22nd and E Union. So far, the new encampment has one house ready to go, put up in September and built by a group of teenagers working with the nonprofit Sawhorse Revolution. The two-person homes don’t have much in the way of amenities, but they are waterproof and lockable, two major benefits over tent living.

The empty lot owned by the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd had recently been used as parking lot for construction workers during the week and overflow church parking on weekends. From 2013-2014, the church hosted a Nickelsville camp on the empty lot. That camp, and two others in the Central District were all built as a result of the closure of the longtime Nickelsville camp on Marginal Way.

The Central District tiny house village is the result of a broad collaboration of organizations, lead by the Low Income Housing Institute and the Nickelsville community. Several organizations, including Sawhorse, are building the 15 two-person capacity houses out of their own pockets. Each house costs roughly $2,200 in materials.

“We really want to get people into these houses with the idea that they will transition into permanent housing,” said Monica Joe, who’s helping organize the project from the LIHI. Continue reading

City Council passes 2016 budget with lone ‘no’ vote from Sawant

The Seattle City Council ended its grueling annual budget process Monday afternoon with an 8-1 vote, sending a spending package topping $5 billion back to Mayor Ed Murray for final approval. The council added just over $18 million (PDF) in spending to Murray’s original $5.1 billion budget, along with an additional $5 million to be spent on emergency homeless services this year. City Council member Kshama Sawant cast the lone dissenting vote on the final budget, saying it did not go far enough to address the urgent needs of working people

“… on balance the budget differs little from previous years, and fails to address the acute housing crisis, inadequate transit, and ballooning inequality and injustice permeating Seattle,” Sawant said in a statement.

Outgoing Council member and budget committee chair Nick Licata positioned Seattle’s 2016 budget as a response to federal cutbacks. Federal grants have shrunk from 62% to 26% of the City’s Human Services budget, a 58% decrease, while the City’s General Fund contribution to the Human Services budget has more than doubled, from 25% to 55%, according to a statement on the council’s vote.

Among all the programs and initiatives included in next year’s budget, spending on homeless services stood out as a defining feature. All told, the City Council approved more than $47 million in 2016 to fight homelessness — or, about 1% of its budget for the year. Following up on his declaration of a homelessness state of emergency in Seattle, Murray will be at a Seattle University forum December 2nd to further discuss the issue.

The full council convened Monday afternoon after a short morning budget committee meeting in the morning to consider last-minute amendments. Much of the debate focused on how best to expand paid parental leave for City employees. Continue reading

$1.6 million in grants, plus new park projects coming to Capitol Hill and District 3

We do have money for this E John enhancement, though

We do have money for this E John enhancement, though

We don't have money for this right now

We don’t have money for this right now

Last week, CHS shared the most recent vision for the audacious idea to lid I-5 with a park to better connect Capitol Hill with downtown and South Lake Union. There’s zero dollars to pay for it.

But the good news is there are more than zero dollars to pay for plenty of other parks and community projects around Capitol Hill and District 3. Here are some projects ready do dig in or already in progress around the Hill and Central Seattle plus news on new grants to help pay for more.

Summit Slope Park E John Enhancement
E John next off E Olive Way will be “enhanced” starting this winter, Seattle Parks says. The plans to “pedestrianize” E John adjacent Summit Slope Park next to the E Olive Way Starbucks were mostly finalized way back in fall of 2013 but the end product will be a $150,000 compromise version. The effort to transform the street was part of the original plans for the park as ideas coalesced in 2009 but had to be put off in early planning and construction due to costs. The plan will reconfigure sidewalks and trees along the street and eliminate parking on E John as well as close off access to the street from E Olive Way. Starbucks customers, however, will still be allowed to exit the cafe’s parking lot onto John to Summit. UPDATE: Awesome planning and development site The Urbanist has more information about the E John changes:

With the removal of parking lanes, the sidewalk will extend into John Street, with room for a bioswale, new p-patches, and even two new tables for seating.

12th Avenue Square and Broadway Hill Park
12th Avenue Square on 12th at E James Ct and Broadway Hill Park at Federal and Republican were both under construction this fall. 12th Avenue Square, with its woonerf and giant hanging sculpture, is close to wrapping up though the official opening party will probably be held in 2016. Also lined up for a 2016 opening is the long awaited Broadway Hill Park on land purchased for $2 million five years ago.

New grants
Meanwhile, $464,823 in Neighborhood Matching Fund grants were announced in the latest wave of awards for organizations across the city. With the advent of Seattle’s new district system, the Department of Neighborhoods provided this year’s roster of grants organized by district. Your home district did well — D3 raked in more than $160,000 of the funds made available in this round.

District 3

  • $25,000 to Gay City Arts to organize events exploring the experiences of three marginalized groups within LGBT communities: people of color, transgender and genderqueer people, and people over 40. The free events will include classes in visual, literary and performing arts, along with community dialogues and performances. (Community match: $33,404) Continue reading

No need for Broadway nostalgia — Tiny TNT Espresso back in business

Rock is ready to pour you a tall one (Images: CHS)

Rock is ready to pour you a tall one (Images: CHS)

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? No, really, should they? Not on Broadway where we seem to be ending 2015 with some nostalgia-erasing revivals.

TNT Espresso, the tiny, 80-square-foot coffee stand in the teriyaki restaurant parking lot at Broadway and Harrison, was back in business this chilly Monday morning, serving up hot tea and milky pours from a new owner happy to be able to keep Capitol Hill’s last* drive-thru coffee shack alive — even after CHS already wrote its obituary.

Rock Sielaff said he decided to purchase the business from longtime friend Monica Anaya and return to the Hill from Chicago after a short adventure away from his longtime stomping grounds.

Continue reading

Developer abandons plans for The Stranger building after preservation board objections


(Image: CHS)

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 9.31.39 AM

After submitting three design proposals, developers will meet with the preservation board members about their latest design that leaves The Stranger building untouched (right).

“Our hope is that by developing the Value Village building mid block, its impact is much more acceptable to the neighborhood.”

It’s been almost a year since plans to redevelop the The Stranger and (former) Value Village buildings were stalled due to the 11th and E Pine buildings winning landmark status. Since then, developer Legacy Commercial has met twice with members of the Landmark Preservation Board to hammer out how its plans for an office and retail project can move forward while still complying with the landmark protections. It hasn’t been going so smoothly.

After two meetings with the Architectural Review Committee, preservation board members said Legacy was making little progress in addressing its concerns about the proposed preservation incentive-boosted 75-foot high office and mixed-use development incorporating the two auto row-era structures and a sunken parking lot. When Legacy submitted plans for a third meeting, they were turned away.

“The third briefing packet did not appear to contain any new information and I advised the applicant that another ARC could be scheduled when new alternatives or additional information was provided,” said Sarah Sodt, a coordinator for the Historic Preservation Program. Continue reading

As investigation continues, mayor, East Precinct commander address Broadway/Pike shootings

Mayor Murray and Capt. McDonagh spoke with QFC employees Sunday night (Image: CHS)

Mayor Murray and Capt. McDonagh spoke with QFC employees Sunday night (Image: CHS)

A still from the video appears to have captured images of the assailant's vehicle heading south on Broadway (Image via KIRO video clip)

A still from the video appears to have captured images of the assailant’s vehicle heading south on Broadway (Image via KIRO video clip)

Mayor Ed Murray and East Precinct commander Capt. Paul McDonagh stood at the corner of Broadway and Pike Sunday night just feet from where one of five victims injured in a drive-by shooting fell early that morning.

The officials said they believe the neighborhood remains vibrant and relatively safe as a police department “in transition” works to solve the crime and quell a rise in gun violence in Seattle.

Meanwhile, KIRO has posted a video from what appears to be a private vehicle’s dashcam that shows the graphic shooting scene that unfolded early Sunday morning.

The car used in the attack made a slow turn onto Broadway from E Pike as a string of at least a dozen shots began and people in a group standing on the corner in front of the grocery store flailed and fell to the pavement. Four people were shot in the chaos and one was injured so badly by the exploding glass of a shattered QFC door that medics first believed the woman had been shot multiple times in the chest. Seattle Fire said the five victims in the shooting suffered minor injuries — but concern remained high in the neighborhood.

“We do see an increase in gun violence in this city and cities around America,” Murray said Sunday night to a group of business and community leaders including representatives from the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and the Capitol Hill Community Council. “It’s concerning to us.” Murray told the group the situation “has all of our attention.”

Capt. McDonagh said gang detectives continue to investigate leads in the case following the 1 AM shootings and injuries near the Harvard Market shopping center and busy parking lots used by many nightlife revelers. Plywood covered the broken QFC door but a hole employees say was caused by a wayward bullet remained unpatched inside the market Sunday night. The precinct commander said he could not share any updates on the case but the mayor said he expected to hear more about what transpired at Broadway and Pike soon. Police were looking for information about the silver sedan where the gunfire came from that was reported to have immediately fled the scene following the shooting. Continue reading