Capitol Hill food+drink | Last night at Piecora’s

(Images: Suzi Pratt for CHS)

(Images: Suzi Pratt for CHS)

We interrupt this stream of news about new restaurant concepts, craft cocktails and farm-to-table creativity for an unusual dollop of food+drink nostalgia. Here’s a look at some of the sights from Tuesday’s last night of service at Capitol Hill’s Piecora’s Pizza after 33 years at the corner of 14th and Madison.Final Night at Piecora's Pizza in Capitol Hill Seattle

CHS wrote here about what comes next after the Piecora family sold their building to an apartment developer for $10.3 million.

Many others have, of course, stopped in to say goodbye and share their thoughts on the end of the Capitol Hill institution. Not completely satisfied with nostalgia, we can’t resist the urge to look for a trend others might have missed in the change. One that comes to mind is the death of simple places to eat that kids like on Capitol Hill. You can call it a childless neighborhood but you would be wrong. Still, places like Chutney’s, Boom Noodle, Montlake Alehouse (yes, the alehouse had a kid pit), and, now, Piecora’s are gone. Watch your backs El Gallito, Vios, and Genki Sushi.

Final Night at Piecora's Pizza in Capitol Hill Seattle

More pictures of the final night at Piecora’s are below. Continue reading

Neighbors question Seattle design review as very brown Capitol Hill apartment building moves forward

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

The City of Seattle will — at least temporarily — let work get back on track at a nearly completed, six-story Capitol Hill apartment development brought to a halt by a dispute over the color of the building’s siding. Meanwhile, we have the letter from the project’s neighbors that helped spur the Department of Planning and Development to act — and might prove a type of manifesto for those in the neighborhood that would like to see greater efforts to create higher quality, better looking developments on the Hill.

In late March, CHS reported that Alliance Residential, the developers who acquired and are now constructing the Viva project at 12th and Madison, had been denied a temporary certificate of occupancy over an issue with the a discrepancy between the building’s approved design and its final form.

“The building was approved with an accent color, but was built all one color,” a DPD representative said about the dispute.

According to DPD, Alliance will now be issued the temporary permit which will allow work to continue as the project transitions from construction to finishing and preparation for new apartment and commercial tenants. DPD says “the applicant will address the accent color siding issue” before a final “Certificate of Occupancy” is issued for the 105-unit mixed-use apartment building.

Alliance development manager Dave Knight called the situation as “unfortunate misunderstanding” resulting from the building’s long path from original plans in 2007, to a new architect, then a new owner in Alliance. “You think you’re doing the right thing,” Knight said. “Then the planner came out and said what was built didn’t match renderings.”

But, according to a lengthy letter sent to DPD by residents of the Union Art Coop across the street from the Viva, the issue with the discrepancy over the approved siding color is only one of a list of problems with the new building.

“It appears that the builder has violated several conditions of their Master Use Permit,” the letter reads. Continue reading

1,000 feet of electrical wire replaced under north Capitol Hill

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More showing than telling in this press release gem (Photo: Seattle City Light)

It won’t do anything to stop the next Crow Blackout, but recently replaced electrical cable under north Capitol Hill should mitigate other types of blackouts for several decades to come. Seattle City Light announced crews recently completed construction to replace 1,000 feet of failing 30-year-old underground high-voltage cable under East Boston Terrace.

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For the few that live along the little kidney bean-shaped loop perched above Interlaken Park, work stoppage will be a big relief. And architecture buffs can get back to snooping around Capitol Hill’s modernist enclave.

Work to replace the conduit system began in October and was completed in March. According to Seattle City Light, the upgrade was an important part of maintaining service reliability. The final street and sidewalk restoration will be scheduled and completed by the Seattle Department of Transportation

Plot twist: SIFF’s boozy Cinema Seattle clue of what comes next for The Egyptian

(Image: @HueyJune via Twitter)

(Image: @HueyJune via Twitter)

As CHS reported earlier this month, SIFF is making preparations for a return to Capitol Hill’s shuttered Egyptian Theatre for its 2014 festival. Tuesday, the marquee went back into motion for the first time since last summer.

We also reported that the movie-focused non-profit SIFF has been the only bidder to take over the old theater long-term as Seattle Central searched for a new tenant. Officials wouldn’t confirm a long-term lease but it looks like SIFF, managing director Mary Bacarella, and artistic director Carl Spence are making plans to open a new Cinema Seattle in the Egyptian according to, of all things, a liquor license application for the theater.

The application listing SIFF and the directors’ names is a request for a beer and wine license specifically issued for theaters. It was filed on Monday.

It’s possible — but not likely — Bacarella and Spence are pursuing the license just so festival goers can enjoy beer and wine during the Capitol Hill screenings of the 40th annual Seattle International Film Festival this May. Here’s hoping, instead, the application is another plot device in the Egyptian’s epic tale of loss and triumphant return to glory.

Vibrations Festival forgoes corporate sponsorship, looks to the crowd for return to Capitol Hill

Witch Gardens @ Cairo's Vibrations Festival

Witch Gardens (Image: CHS)

552012_10151170273376351_2115913652_n Speaking of good times at Capitol Hill music festivals, a free celebration of music makers, poets, filmmakers and artists is being planned for a comeback in Volunteer Park. After a one-year hiatus in 2013, organizers of Cairo’s summer Vibrations Festival are looking beyond the corporate sponsorship that has helped make the event happen in the past and are turning to the crowd to make a 2014 return of the event a reality:

After two years of collaborating with corporate sponsors, the Cairo team has decided to go DO IT YOURELF this year!

We need YOUR help to make Vibrations a reality.

This Indiegogo fundraiser will allow us to create the budget we’ve always wanted for Vibrations: with money to pay for top performers, sound equipment and engineers, visual artists, and staff for the event, Vibrations will be bigger and better than ever before.

2014 Vibrations is YOUR event! Help us make it happen!

We like that typo — we also like Vibrations.

If you want to “do it your elf,” you can give via this Indiegogo site.

The perks include limited edition Vibrations t-shirts, Cairo tunes, access to a special yoga session atop the Biltmore and, for the big givers, a tent at the Vibrations festival “with food and fresh watermelon juice.”

No date is yet listed for the festival which took place in August in 2011 and 2012. The campaign has its work cut out — despite some big(ger) media attention here and there, Cairo is currently at $261 of its $10,000 goal.

CHS Pics | Seattle U rallies for fossil fuel divestment

(Image: Suzi Pratt for CHS)

(Image: Suzi Pratt for CHS)

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Seattle University students and supporters rallied at the campus quad Monday night to bring attention to a recent decision by school administrators not to join a push for schools across the country to divest in fossil fuel companies.

The school’s student-run Spectator reported on the failed talks between the administration and the Sustainable Student Action group that has called on the university to end its investments in companies that generate revenue through the sale and production of fossil fuels, the source of the majority of the greenhouse gases impacting the planet. Some argue that as a Jesuit Catholic university, Seattle U has more than an intellectual obligation for the divestment. Nearly 8,000 students attend the school located just south of E Madison on the edge of the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The school continues to grow and is planning to add 13 new projects as it expands into the surrounding neighborhood.

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Monday night’s rally comes a week before next Tuesday’s Earth Day, the 44th anniversary of the worldwide event celebrating environmental protection.

A letter from Sustainable Student Action sent to media about the group’s continued efforts to push for the divestment is below — along with more pictures of the rally. Continue reading

Capitol Hill says goodbye to Piecora’s, hello to familiar national apartment developer

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

IMG_0809A thick chapter of Capitol Hill history will close Tuesday night when the final slice of Piecora’s pizza is polished off, and a new story will open when the nation’s largest, publicly traded, owner of apartments gets to work on its fourth Capitol Hill property.

Equity Residential purchased the 14th and Madison pizza property from the Piecora family in April for a whopping $10.3 million, adding to Equity’s 30+ residential properties in the region. The Piecora family paid $3,045,000 to purchase the property in 2002. Soon after the Equity sale, Piecora’s announced April 15th would be their last day.

So far Equity has not filed any paperwork to indicate their plans for the site — or if they’ll honor the Piecora name in the new building. Representatives from Equity has not yet responded to CHS requests for comment. Given Equity’s regional properties, it’s safe to assume another mixed-use project is on the way. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Block Party readies for 18th annual neighborhood invasion — UPDATE: 2014 lineup announced

The explosion of fun that was CHBP 2013 (Image: CHS)

The explosion of fun that was CHBP 2013 (Images: CHS)

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The hopefully sun-drenched days of the Capitol Hill Block Party are just three short months away and the festival’s producers have been busily making new plans for the three-day Capitol Hill celebration of Pike/Pine’s nightlife culture.

The 18th annual installment of the festival will once again fall on the last full weekend of July, this year the 25th, 26th, 27th. Block Party producer Jason Lajeunesse told CHS that permits have been issued and most of the bands are booked. The main stage acts and ticket prices are expected to be announced Tuesday morning. The festival annually draws more than 30,000 attendees.

UPDATE: Spoon, The War on Drugs, and Sunday closer A$AP Rocky will be among the Capitol Hill Block Party 2014 headliners, organizers revealed Tuesday during their ritual announcement on KEXP. Three-day passes also went on sale for a limited time discount of $99.

Here’s the list of headliners being announced Tuesday morning:

A$AP Rocky, Spoon, Chromeo, Matt and Kim, The War on Drugs, Odesza, Sol,  A$AP Ferg, Beat Connection, Star Slinger, Budos Band, Tanlines, XXYYXX, Angel Olsen, Poolside, Cymbals, Shy Girls 

The full lineup and schedule is typically released by early June.

Tickets can be purchased here.

“The Block Party is a boisterous and spirited event that takes place right in the heart of Seattle’s artistic community,” Lajeunesse said in a statement released along with the 2014 lineup tease. “This year’s headliners like Chromeo and Matt and Kim will transform the intersection of Pike and Broadway into a giant dance floor. I can’t wait.”

In December Lajeunesse went before the city’s Special Events Committee to assure the city’s party police that there would be no major logistical changes from last year’s festivities. Over recent years, Block Party planners have attempted to do more with less, packing more music and art into the same confines and doing more to mitigate the festival’s impact on the neighborhood by keeping a lid on attendance and last call. Ticket prices have also climbed with single-day access reaching $40 last year. 2014 three-day passes will start at $99 for a limited time, organizers say. Continue reading

Capitol Hill cacti lovers visit soon, Volunteer Park Conservatory construction to begin

A multi-million dollar restoration of the more than 100-year-old Volunteer Park Conservatory is slated to get underway at the end of the month. Capitol Hill fans of the seasonal house and the cactus house are advised to head to the park soon — the east wing work on the conservatory is scheduled to close that part of the facility starting April 28th through the end of November.

The entire glass, aluminum and wood structure will be shut down for work to upgrade the popular attraction for wheelchair and disabled access from October through November, Seattle Parks has announced.

While work has begun to create a tax district to support Seattle parks, the $3.5 million for the conservatory projects was raised over the course of a three-year capital campaign mounted by the Friends of the Conservatory community group.

8543028795_8a72b63d93 8444157685_7576faf696_oThe work is vital for the 1912-built conservatory’s long term health and finishes a project started way back in 1993 to transition the building’s slender frames from wood to aluminum.

In 2013, the conservatory began charging admission in its transition to a more self-sufficient model under an increasingly restricted Seattle Parks budget.

The $3.5 million for the project raised by the Friends group came from community donations large and small.

“We went out to ask for the larger gifts  and every donor we talked to already knew the problem to be solved,” a spokesperson told CHS last year. “Many Seattleites have a deep connection to the Conservatory, as it turns out.”

The Conservatory will celebrate its reopening with a “gala reopening event” on December 4th. You can visit volunteerparkconservatory.org for updates.

Blotter | Group robs disabled Capitol Hill man, parties in his apartment

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

  • Unwanted visitors rob disabled man: Police are looking for a group of thieves that robbed a disabled Capitol Hill resident and forced their way into his apartment this weekend where they partied, took drugs and boozed it up — apparently enjoying fine food and drink thanks to the victim’s bank account.
     
    According to the report on the incident, the mentally disabled man told police he was hanging out at a club in Pike/Pine Saturday night and was walking home through Cal Anderson just before midnight when three young males and a female near the basketball court started following him. The victim told police the group surrounded him on Broadway near Thomas and demanded money or “they would do something to him.” The victim told the four he had no money but the suspects then demanded he withdraw $100 from a nearby ATM. The victim told police he was afraid and complied with the demand. Continue reading