Portland’s Little Big Burger coming to Pike/Pine

If 2016 was the year of the Capitol Hill pizza boom, 2017 might be the year hamburgers broke. Portland export Little Big Burger is expanding to Seattle with a wave of 10 locations — including one being planned for 12th and Pike:

Like their Portland predecessors, Seattle’s Little Big Burgers will be all about truffle fries, tall but slender burgers made with a quarter pound of Cascade Natural beef, cans of beer—and let’s not forget the root beer floats made with Tillamook ice cream.

The chain expects to be open here on the Hill and at a new Green Lake location by spring. Judging by permits for the project on the ground floor of the Beryl Apartments project on the northeast corner of the intersection — there aren’t any yet — that will be a bit of a rush. Continue reading

Madison BRT, now RapidRide G, rounding out pedestrian, bike elements with aim for 2019 start of service

Seattle is ready to put the final design touches on a powerful new east-west public transit corridor set to be carved out of Madison from downtown through First Hill and Capitol Hill to MLK. The Madison Bus Rapid Transit project will be known as the RapidRide G Line when it begins serving riders along its 11-stop route in late 2019. In addition to more reliable bus service, transportation planners say the line will bring needed improvements to sidewalks and crossings along the route — and add a new protected bike lane, likely on E Union.

In March, you will have an opportunity to add your feedback to help planners shape final elements of the project including those pedestrian and bike improvements along the corridor:

We’re holding in-person and online open houses this March to share the updated project design.

IN PERSON

Thursday, March 9
11 AM – 1 PM
Town Hall, Downstairs
1119 8th Ave

Wednesday, March 15
5:30 – 7:30 PM
First African Methodist Episcopal Church
1522 14th Ave

ONLINE
MARCH 8-22
Give feedback online!
MadisonStreetBRT.participate.online
(Link will go live March 8)

Stretching from 1st Ave to Madison Valley, the future Madison BRT will travel in a dedicated center lane with island stops from 9th Ave to 14th Ave while the rest of the route will run curbside with right-turning traffic or in mixed traffic.

Under the “locally preferred alternative” design adopted by City Council last year, transit travel time from 23rd to 1st Ave is expected to improve by 40% from 16 minutes to 10 minutes while single occupancy vehicle travel time will increase by 4 minutes. Sorry, cars.

Once the project opens in 2019, people riding the bus are expected to travel the corridor 5.2 and 7.3 minutes faster (eastbound and westbound, respectively) than they would if the project were not built. People driving are expected to travel the corridor 5.6 and 2.9 minutes slower (eastbound and westbound, respectively).

The project’s traffic analysis will be available later this year but the draft of the study found “some traffic will divert to other streets,” while identifying “several key intersections SDOT could improve through various treatments.”

Some of the biggest questions about the coming RapidRide G Line are already off the table: Continue reading

Another Capitol Hill re-start, Adana reboots at 15th and Pine

There is another Capitol Hill food and drink opening we should recognize and this one also represents a re-start, of sorts. But unlike Contadino where a new chef/owner came in to launch a new concept, Adana at 15th and Pine is fully Shota Nakajima’s reboot.

The young chef/owner unveiled his second play on traditional Japanese earlier this month and is now running at full speed with the new, more comfortable, reportedly more affordable take.

“I am simplifying everything. Simplifying labor, simplifying food,” Nakajima told CHS in January as he closed down the meticulously fussy Naka to make way for the new Adana. “But I haven’t given up on what I wanted to do.”

Adana is centered around a $37 three-course menu of classic Japanese with dishes fully based around Nakajima’s focus on details and quality. The dishes will rotate seasonally so expect a shift from month to month as the availability of fresh ingredients changes. After early feedback, Adana will also loosen up and offer items a la carte. To really loosen up, head to the bar where favorite katsu sandwiches are planned to be a holdover from the Naka days with quality drinking food like yakisoba also available. Meanwhile, Nakajima’s new project is also open seven days a week — 5 PM to midnight.

One thing not part of the change: Adana has no plans to add a service charge, a restaurant rep tells CHS.

In the end, the shift at Adana is a matter of degrees. It has dropped a $ from its $$$$ ranking at review sites and, Nakajima hopes, made itself an easier place for his neighbors to stop by.

Adana is located at 1449 E Pine. You can check out adanaseattle.com to learn more.

‘Fictitious’ porn recruiter may owe thousands in sex scam case

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Via Hickey’s Twitter account

Former Capitol Hill resident Matt Hickey and what prosecutors say was his “fictitious talent recruiting company” may be forced to turn over photographs and track down and remove images that have spread across the internet after failing to respond to a consumer protection lawsuit brought by the Washington Attorney General.

Last week, Hickey was found in default in the case in which the tech blogger and photographer was alleged to have created a fake porn business “solely for his personal gain and sexual gratification.”

Hickey is currently being held on three second-degree rape charges in King County Jail and faces charges in a string of sexual assaults in which women said they worked with the photographer “under false pretenses or stated Hickey had sex with them when they were too intoxicated to give consent.”

The Stranger reports that Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says Hickey’s lawsuit “marked the first time that state consumer protection laws were invoked to respond to a scam like this one.”

The court must now rule on what punishment Hickey will face in the consumer protection case in which the attorney general’s office asked Judge Jeffrey M. Ramsdell to establish that Hickey violated the Consumer Protection Act, block him from any similar activities in the future, “restore” property to victims including electronic and physical copies of photographs taken of the victims, order Hickey to relinquish any rights to those photos, order “that the Photos Defendant obtained through unfair and deceptive conduct are removed from the internet,” and, the kicker, nail Hickey for $2,000 for every violation of consumer laws. The AG also is requesting “reasonable costs and attorney’s fees.”

Why Capitol Hill’s newest restaurant — and plenty of others — are adding service charges

Chef and owner Brian Clevenger is celebrating the opening of Contadino and its sibling pizzeria on 19th Ave E. While he would prefer to talk about fresh pasta and pizza, he, like a growing number of Capitol Hill food and drink owners, is answering questions about an italicized note at the bottom of his menus notifying diners of a “5% service charge” that is “distributed in full to the employees you do not see” —

Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 12.00.52 PM

While pro-labor advocates call the new crop of service charges added by owners like Clevenger protests of “the fact that they have to pay their workers a living wage,” the Contadino restaurateur says he is trying to find a new path to solve an issue close to his heart. And he might soon find some help from the last guy you might expect to lend a hand to a restaurant atop Capitol Hill, Seattle. Continue reading

Africatown, sustainability nonprofit Forterra make offer to buy 23rd and Union’s Midtown Center

There is a new deal in the works to purchase the Central District’s Midtown Center that would put Africatown at the center of redeveloping the 2.4-acre property while giving a nonprofit dedicated to sustainability an even greater new focus beyond the region’s forests on the streets around 23rd and Union.

“Whether proving a home for old growth forest, or preservation of the African American legacy in Seattle,” Forterra’s Michelle Connor tells CHS a deal with Africatown to purchase the property would be about “preserving places for people to have thriving assets.”

The organizations have submitted a letter of intent to purchase the property, Connor said Monday.

Acceptance of the offer would mean “a greater chance for inclusive development at 23rd and Union that provides sanctuary for a valuable part of the community that is being pushed out,” Africatown head K. Wyking Garrett tells CHS.

Continue reading

After two years of East Precinct testing, SPD can roll out $2M body cam program

Despite concerns remaining about when the devices will be turned on (and off), how privacy issues will be handled, and how the recordings might be made available to federal authorities, a 2016 Department of Justice survey showed Seattle residents want their police to wear body cameras. Monday, the City Council voted 6-2 to lift budget restrictions and allow the Seattle Police Department to move forward with a $2.3 million plan to outfit every officer with the devices starting later this year. Continue reading

City planning 2017 changes to speed up First Hill Streetcar

Denny-and-Broadway_6033-600x400Capitol Hill pedestrians you might soon have to up your pace to beat the First Hill Streetcar in a footrace.

The Seattle Department of Transportation is planning a roster of changes in three sections of the 2.5-mile line to help boost the performance of the streetcar connecting Pioneer Square, the International District, First Hill, and Capitol Hill including the addition of a “southbound Business Access and Transit lane” to Broadway. Continue reading

Contadino and its sibling pizzeria begin new story on 19th Ave E

After “a thoughtful but speedy remodel,” a classic Capitol Hill restaurant space is ready to go back into motion. Contadino and its sibling pizzeria make their 19th Ave E debut Monday night:

Contadino is an intimate room that offers seating for 45 in an understated space defined by simple lines and shades of gray and white. A banquette runs along the north wall with marble table tops and black bentwood chairs adding a bistro vibe. The open kitchen has a bar height four-person chef’s counter, where diners can enjoy a $70/person tasting menu, plus a full bar with seating for 12. There is also a semi-private dining area for up to eight guests. Continue reading

‘The project pause has been lifted’ — Officials satisfied for Volunteer Park museum expansion to move forward

Over the weekend, CHS reported on the last visits to the Seattle Asian Art Museum before two years of construction and word from Seattle Parks official Michael Shiosaki of an “un-pausing” of the $49 million plan to overhaul the infrastructure of the 1933-built museum and expand it 3,600 square feet into its home Volunteer Park.

Monday morning, a spokesperson for parks and rec head Jesus Aguirre confirmed that the superintendent is ready for the project to get back on track.

The responses that SAAM provided to the issues raised by the community display an alignment with the mission and values of Seattle Parks and Recreation. The museum contributes to the use and activation of Volunteer Park and is an asset of our parks system that we treasure. We look forward to continuing public discussions about the project and have communicated to SAAM that the project pause has been lifted.

Continue reading