Signs announcing closing sales are up in the windows of neighboring Broadway thrift and fashion shops Red Light Vintage and Aprie as higher rents and trailing business prospects have conspired to execute a full turnover of the longtime tenants on this block of Capitol Hill. To the north, the former home of the Broadway Grill has been empty and tenant-less since spring of 2013.
CHS has not yet spoken with ownership of the stores but people familiar with the situation confirmed that both Red Light and Aprie will only have until early winter before moving on. Red Light and Aprie are owned by the same company. In the meantime, both are holding sales to clear out merchandise. It’s not clear what’s next for the spaces and we haven’t yet verified rumors of new tenants.
A check of permits shows no upgrades or tenant improvements currently planned for the building. The block’s three main components — the northern Terriyaki restaurant, the former Broadway Grill, and the Red Light/Aprie/Julia’s building –have three separate ownership groups at this time, according to county records.
It’s been a rough couple of months for Broadway fashion retail. Earlier this year, CHS reported on the closure of the Seattle outlet of the Tatyana Boutique chain. Its space one block north of Redlight remains empty. Tatyana ownership blamed a lack of Broadway shoppers for its failure on the street. We talked with Aprie’s buyers this summer about the boutique and the state of its business on Broadway. Aprie’s U District store has also shuttered.
Founded in 1996, the Red Light Vintage company will continue to operate its U District location and does a reportedly robust online business at redlightvintage.com. Acknowledged as the longest running thrift shop on Capitol Hill, it will leave behind a void in the vintage retail scene in the neighborhood. Saturday, a new venue will join the scene as Out of the Closet opens on E Pike.