The Electric Tea Garden wasn’t really dead and it’s still not but it does need a new Hill home

(Image: ETG)

(Image: ETG)

Though CHS reported its closure at 14th and Madison in October of 2013, the Electric Tea Garden wasn’t really gone. But it wasn’t really there, either. We’ll let founder and flipper of the ETG switch Bruce Mason explain.

“We were working on something different,” Mason tells CHS.

295943_291193720906938_687513709_nSome of that different emerged at one point when we noticed a new liquor license application for the eclectic dance club that made its home above the Artificial Limb Co. But, in the end, Mason says, reopening a dance club wasn’t really the direction of things, either, despite a few underground shows in the club here and there over the years since its “closure.”

In January, the venue got slapped with a land use violation and Mason with the building’s ownership started the process of looking into officially changing the use of the building and putting it in compliance for operating a club. But Mason said what followed was a growing realization that ETG wasn’t going to be able to stay in its longtime home.

“Despite some excitement from the new owner, the fire department came through and decided we needed a fire suppression system and that was really it,” Mason said.

Now Mason and his wife Suzanne are moving out of the old space — contact them for some deals on furniture, etc. — and beginning the search for something new, hopefully on Capitol Hill. “We’re trying to get away from the nightclub and get back to our gallery and internet radio roots,” Mason said. If you know of a space, drop ETG a line.

After 18 years on the Hill, Electric Tea Garden is in search of a new home. Our hope is to stay on our beloved Capitol Hill. But other up-and-coming areas of this great city are on our short list — SoDo, Pioneer Square, International District?!

To get all the lastest on ETG Events, plans, and launch date, make sure you update your email on our list at Contact Us.

In the meantime, come to the corner of East Pike Street and 14th Avenue from today until Tuesday, June 30th, to rummage through our well-loved furniture and curiosities. While our doors will not be open, feel free to drop off love letters and farewells in our mail box at the front entry at 1402 E. Pike Street.



Blotter | SPD looking for suspects in Pike/Boylston Pride gay bashing

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

  • Pike gay bashing: Seattle Police are investigating a gay bashing reported early Sunday morning near Pike and Boylston:

    In the first incident, officers responded to Pike St. and Boylston Ave around 2 AM Sunday after a gay couple reported they had been attacked by a group of suspects, who told them they were “celebrating Pride, too.”

    The victim told police he was sitting on the street when one of the victims struck him in the hand.

    When the victim asked the suspect what he was doing, he responded “we’re celebrating Pride, too,” followed by an anti-gay slur. The suspect then punched the victim in the face, knocking him to the ground.

    The victim’s boyfriend intervened, but the two other male suspects joined the attack, knocking the second victim to the ground as well. The suspects then repeatedly kicked the victims as they lay on the pavement.

    One victim sustained a possible broken nose and scrapes in the assault. The other victim had a tooth knocked out in the attack, and sustained possible broken hand.

    The victims described the three attackers as a black male wearing a blue and white striped shirt and jeans, a heavy set black male wearing a white shirt and jeans, and a white male, approximately 5’11, 140 pounds, with blonde hair. The victims also said two women accompanied the suspects during the attack. The victims were only able to describe one woman as asian, and the other as black.

    SPD says the Capitol Hill attack is one of three malicious harassment investigations underway from Pride weekend incidents around the city.

  • Broadway phone robberies: SPD responded to two reports of Pride Weekend cell phone robberies along Broadway early Saturday morning. In the first incident near Broadway and Denny, the victim reportedly was choked in a phone robbery around 3 AM. Police also were called to Broadway and Pike later in the morning around 3:50 AM to a report that a male suspect had grabbed the victim’s phone and ran. There was no additional suspect information available and there were no immediate arrests.
  • I-5 fall: Seattle Police were investigating after a woman was reported to have jumped from the Madison overpass and was struck by a vehicle on I-5 late on the night of Friday, June 26th. According to police radio dispatches, the woman had been reported distraught and had been talked from the ledge of one overpass by a 911 caller earlier in the night. CHS has not yet verified if the woman survived the incident.
  • Pride drone knockout: Police are searching for the pilot of a drone that reportedly fell from the sky during Sunday’s Pride parade downtown and knocked a woman unconscious.

SASG says goodbye to the Dunshee House, seeks new Capitol Hill home

Seattle Area Support Groups and Community Center, a collection of groups that has evolved with community needs over the past three decades on Capitol Hill, is losing its longtime home at 17th and Thomas and has begun a capital campaign to secure a new one.

“We have been leasing this space for the last 26 years and it pains us to bid farewell after cultivating so much rich history between these walls,” the group’s announcement, below, reads. “However, with the rapid growth and new development in this area, a move was inevitable.”

SASG says it hopes to find a new home on the Hill — with a little help:

A very generous donor has pledged $300,000 towards the purchase of a new space for SASG and is issuing a challenge to the community to match this gift. Any donations, large or small, will be matched by this gift dollar for dollar up to $300,000.

You can learn more or donate at

The group will remain in the house through the end of the year — possibly into early 2016, according to the announcement. You might know the old house best for the organization’s annual Christmas tree lot. Organizers say they will be able to hold the sale in the same location this year in the Group Health parking lot behind the house.

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First Hill Streetcar service to begin in August… hopefully

May testing of the streetcar on Broadway got everybody a little too excited

May testing of the streetcar on Broadway got everybody a little too excited, apparently

In the odd world of Seattle Department of Transportation planning, First Hill Streetcar officials have announced the line will apparently miss a milestone for the start of service that hadn’t been discussed publicly. The goal, now, SDOT director Scott Kubly said in his monthly briefing of the City Council transportation committee, is August.

“Once the qualification testing has been completed, we will be in a better position to establish the opening date,” the director’s briefing reads. “We are making every effort to be ready to start service in August, but cannot fix the date with certainty until the testing and safety certification has progressed a bit further.”

Here are more notes from the document outlining Kubly’s latest update on the rail trolley line connecting Pioneer Square to Broadway via First Hill:

  • The manufacturer has made significant progress in final assembly and testing, but they are about 30 days behind their original commitment to have all the cars ready by the end of June.
  • Six cars have been delivered to Seattle, and a seventh is en route via ship.
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‘One of the last remaining large developable sites’ in Seattle hits market at 23rd and Union

Developments planned and in motion around 23rd and Union (Images: Kidder Mathews)

Developments planned and in motion around 23rd and Union (Images: Kidder Mathews)

You’ll have to call to find out an asking price, but 23rd and Union’s hallmark property is officially for sale. Last week, realtors for longtime MidTown Center owner Tom Bangasser released some slick marketing materials with sweeping aerial photos solely dedicated to selling the property.

“We have unprecedented interest around the world on this site,” said Jason Rosauer, partner at realtor Kidder Mathews. “I anticipate it will be a record setting price.”

(Image: Kidder Mathews)

(Image: Kidder Mathews)

The 106,000 square-foot MidTown property currently includes a downsized U.S. Post Office, a handful of small businesses, a liquor store, and Smash Putt (until July 31st, anyway). The materials call MidTown “one of the last remaining large developable sites” for sale in Seattle and make a big pitch for the block’s potential given its central location in the city:

For the first time in over 70 years, the MidTown Center property, one of the last remaining large developable sites in Seattle, WA, is on the market for sale. This offering includes more than two acres of flat land on a full city block in the center of Seattle.

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CHS Pics | Capitol Hill Pride 2015

Seattle Dyke March 2015-15As the 2015 celebration of LGBTQ love and life — and historic court rulings — continues with the big parade downtown and party at the Seattle Center, here is a look at Saturday’s Capitol Hill Pride including the Capitol Hill Pride Festival on Broadway, PrideFest in Cal Anderson, and the annual Dyke March. We’ve posted even more pictures here on the CHS Facebook page. Happy Pride.IMG_1690


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Capitol Pill | Silence = Death


We’ve asked Karyn Schwartz, owner of the Sugarpill apothecary on E Pine, to contribute to CHS about health and Hill living on a semi-regular basis. If you’re an expert and want to share with the community in a recurring CHS column, we’d like to hear from you.

In 1985, my best friend and roommate participated in a medical trial, giving blood from his 19-year-old gay body to see if a new test for a still mysterious but very frightening disease could be detected and understood. He would become the first young man in our little college town to receive a phone call telling him, “You have tested positive for this. We are not quite sure what that means. Take good care of yourself and let us know if you ever feel sick, and don’t have sex with anyone, because they might die.”

He took their advice. He told me and a small handful of other close friends that he was “positive,” and terrified, but determined not to let this stop him from living his life. He went to Italy to study art history. He came home, caught a cold, and decided to go to therapy so he wouldn’t suffer overwhelming anxiety every time he got a sniffle. Three weeks later he called me from the hospital where he was being treated for a rare strain of pneumonia. That was the last time we spoke. He died shortly after, quite possibly alone because his family hated that he was gay.

At a routine visit to my own doctor in the months preceding his death, I was told that I should move out of the apartment we shared, so that I would not catch this disease. When I pointed out that that both my friend and I were both gay and, therefore, not terribly likely to be swapping body fluids, my doctor told me that I could get this illness by sharing the same kitchen and bathroom. She suggested that I reconsider my “lifestyle” because it was going to kill me, and recommended that I make new friends who were “normal”. She asked me if I would like referrals to some “resources.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | On day of victory for gay marriage, Trans* Pride Seattle marches forward

Someday, Capitol Hill merchants will fly pink, blue, and white along with the rainbows.

The third annual Trans* Pride Seattle took place Friday evening. Organized since 2013 by the Gender Justice League, Trans* Pride aims to celebrate and uplift trans and gender non-conforming people.

The event kicked off at 6:00 PM with a large march starting at Seattle Central College. Hundreds of people took part in the march, many waving the blue-pink-white transgender flag and chanting slogans demanding equality for trans people. The march went down a few blocks of Broadway and Pike and ended at Cal Anderson Park.

The mood was definitely elevated following Friday morning’s Supreme Court ruling that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. Many LGBTQ leaders say transgender rights issues should now become a priority. In one small example, legislation was proposed this week in Seattle that will designate single-occupancy bathrooms in the city as “all-gender.”

By 6:30 most of the marchers had arrived at Cal Anderson. There they viewed a number of performances and speeches. Numerous speakers praised Jennicet Gutiérrez, the transwoman who interrupted President Barack Obama to demand the release of trans people detained by ICE.IMG_2079



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Aiming for 2016 construction, open house will show design for new North Capitol Hill Fire Station 22

(Images: Weinstein A+U)

Design rendering of the future station (Images: Weinstein A+U)

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 2.22.38 PMFire Station 22 on North Capitol Hill will soon be demolished and rebuilt. This Saturday, the Seattle Fire Department will host a second design open house at the station. The open house will be from 10 AM to noon.

Built in 1964, the current station is considered old and inadequate. According to the City, “building systems are outdated and the building is out of regulatory compliance in many areas.”

In 2003, Seattle voters passed a $167 million levy to improve and upgrade fire stations.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 2.19.30 PMThe new Station 22 will cost a total of $11.7 million. According to David Jackson, a project manager working with the City, construction is expected to begin the first quarter of 2016.

Residents interested in understanding the architectural plans for the new station should attend the open house, says Kyle Moore, Seattle Fire Department spokesperson. “This is a chance for the community to weigh in on what the fire station will look like,” Moore said. According to Moore, the open house will give residents the chance to hear information about the project and meet with the project managers working on it. There will also be firefighters present to answer any questions.

The last open house in January was attended by approximately 250 people. This open house will bring new updates as the construction plan enters its final stages.

A Seattle Design Commission presentation about the new project from architects Weinstein A+U is below. Continue reading

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

(Image: Tim Durkan via Flickr)

(Image: Tim Durkan via Flickr)

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 26,000 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. Continue reading