Capitol Hill’s Thudsuan hopes to stand out in sea of great Seattle Thai

Sivatitikul (Image: CHS)

Sivatitikul (Image: CHS)

Boyd Sivatitikul is working to make sure Capitol Hill’s Thudsuan doesn’t get lost in Seattle’s wealth of Thai restaurants.

“For us, it’s not just another Thai place,” he said.

Opening Thudsuan at 19th and Madison, Sivatitikul said he wanted to create a more adventurous experience. While he used his wife’s family name to make sure people would be aware of the restaurant’s Asian roots, he didn’t put the word Thai in the name.

“We try our best to make it traditional and modern,” Sivatitikul said.

While there are the staples like pad thai, tom yom soup and a host of curry dishes, there is also a menu section called modern twists. There, diners will find things like a papaya salad, but added to it will be soft shelled crabs. Or a pad kee mao made with fettuccine instead of the typical noodles (traditional pad kee mao is also available). Continue reading

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

wired(less) (Image: Dean Forbes via Flickr)

wired(less) (Image: Dean Forbes via Flickr)

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 18,000 19,000 20,000 21,000  22,000 23,000 24,000 photographs -— most of Capitol Hill images, many glorious, some technically amazing. The pool is a mix of contributions from Capitol Hill — and nearby — shutterbugs. Interested in being part of it? If we like your photo and it helps us tell the story, we may feature it on CHS so please include your name and/or a link to your website so we can properly credit you. Interested in working as a paid CHS contributor for scheduled assignments? Drop us a line –- our roster is full for general assignments but pitch us on an idea.

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The Pike/Pine bucket drummer honor code

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 2.08.31 PMSPD has its own problems to solve right now. And while there are bigger questions about our neighborhood identities, and smaller but important questions about those identities, too, CHS has another riddle of living in the big city to solve: At what hour should the bucket drummers of Pike/Pine cease operations?

Here’s an email we received from a reader:

I live on the corner of E Pine and Broadway.  Bucket drummers have been playing at all hours and the SPD have done nothing about it. This has been going on since the summer.  I figured that when the weather turned cold it would cease but that has not been the case.   It is my impression that during the day this may be legal but that noise ordinances kick in at 11pm.  Last night they started at 10:30pm and ended a little after 4am.  This has become the norm.  Sometimes they start around 1am or so.  Myself and other tenants have called the police many times (including last night) and nothing is ever done.  I have asked officers about how this gels with noise ordinances and have not once been given a straight answer.  Can you assist? Can you throw this problem out there so more people who are affected by it can chime in?

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Capitol Hill Pride Festival to add rally, Broadway parade in 2015

Capitol Hill Pride Festival 2014 including plenty of sunny people watching on Broadway (Images: CHS)

Capitol Hill Pride Festival 2014 including plenty of sunny people watching on Broadway (Images: CHS)

Slowly but surely, Charlotte LeFevre is bringing Pride back to Capitol Hill.

Growing steadily from its grassroots start in 2009, plans for this summer’s Capitol Hill Pride Festival announced this week detail an event that continues to expand in scope and purpose. This time, the longtime curator of north Broadway’s long-gone Museum of Mysteries is bringing a Pride parade back to Capitol Hill:

10-11am Capitol Hill Pride Festival March Seattle Central Campus to Main Stage on Harrison St. “Never Forget” 1969 Stonewall with speakers and history. The Capitol Hill Pride Festival March will be an all ages, all orientations, all gender/transgender civic march with no fees open to the public. The march has no fees as the Directors of the festival feel an individual should not have to pay a fee to march, demonstrate or show civic and community pride.

“Seattle has not had an all gender inclusive LGBT march for many years since the Parade started charging fees thereby shutting out individuals and low budget organizations. Marchers are encouraged to bring hand written signs,” the announcement of the 2015 event notes.

Organizers say SPD estimated 25,000 people attended the Broadway festival in 2014.

The 2014 Seattle Dyke March -- More pictures here (Images: CHS)

The 2014 Seattle Dyke March — More pictures here (Images: CHS)

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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

First Hill group makes final push to stop preservation of Harborview art deco building

Harborview Hall, on the left, in 1935.

Harborview Hall, on the left, in 1935. (Image: King County)

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 5.46.04 PM

King County’s Harborview Hall preservation plan. Plans initially included leveling Harborview Hall for a plaza. (Image: King County)

It’s rare that a neighborhood group in Seattle would push for a historic building to be demolished, but the fight over First Hill’s Harborview Hall is not a typical one.

Members of the citizens advisory committee for Harborview Medical Center’s major institutions plan say they are on the ropes in a last ditch effort to have the art deco hospital building torn down to make way for some much needed public open space.

On Friday, a city hearing examiner will hear testimony over whether plans should move forward for a Harborview Hall preservation project. Continue reading

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


Capitol Hill turned out on Friday to sign the #tattered12 flag, which will be raised one last time above the Space Needle the day after the Super Bowl. (Image: CHS)

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.

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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.

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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)

“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.
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‘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