Uncle Ike’s might soon have company. In the same week the 23rd and Union store became home to only the second retail marijuana shop operating in Seattle, CHS has learned that the I-502 lottery winner for a license to operate in the Central District has purchased a nearby property.
Mello Times owner John Branch has secured an E Union-facing storefront just down the Hill from Uncle Ike’s. According to King County records, Branch bought the 4,800 square-foot property in the 2400 block of E Union this week for $590,000.
The E Union building has served a variety of capacities over the years. Around five years ago, it transitioned from a restaurant to a mosque, according to city records. The Masjid Taqwa continues to hold services in the building, according to a phone message.
Branch, a Seattle attorney, has been mostly mum about his plans for the business and has not responded to CHS inquires about whether he plans to transfer his I-502 permit to the new location. The state liquor board does allow lottery winners to work with the state on changing locations.
In May, Branch told CHS that the process to setting up the shop was going smoothly and he was simply taking his time. If and when it opens, Mello Times would join Uncle Ike’s as the only other retail pot shop in central Seattle.
On Tuesday, Uncle Ike’s officially opened for business after a soft opening on Saturday. Unlike Uncle Ike’s owner Ian Eisenberg, Branch was one of the 21 people in Seattle to win a I-502 retail permit during the May lottery.