About Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen is a CHS reporter. Reach him at chasecohen@gmail.com and @bchasesc

Rudy’s Barbershop opening on 15th Ave E

(Image: Rudy's)

(Image: Rudy’s)

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

A familiar Capitol Hill-headquartered barbershop chain is expanding its stylish empire this summer into a 15th Ave E space with deep roots in the hair business. CHS has learned that Rudy’s Barbershop has signed a lease to open a new location at 15th and E Republican.

The 15th Ave shop will be the 10th Rudy’s location in Seattle, and the first to open in the same neighborhood as an existing shop. The E Pine Rudy’s first opened its doors in 1993.

“We just thought we could use more business up there,” Rudy’s spokesperson Alyssa Dykgraas told CHS. “It’s far enough away that it’s not going to take away customers from our other Capitol Hill shop.” Continue reading

Mayor Murray calls for 20K more affordable housing units in next decade

IMG_3672Following his pledge to provide an “aggressive” goal for new affordable housing units in Seattle, Mayor Ed Murray announced Thursday he wants to create or preserve 50,000 new housing units in the city over the next decade, 20,000 of which would be income restricted. Murray is directing his Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee to come up policy proposals by May to meet the target.

“Seattle is facing a serious lack of affordable housing options that displace families and people in this city,” Murray said.

The 20,000 income restricted units would be for individuals and families making 80 percent of the area median income and below. The other 30,000 units would be market rate. Murray didn’t specify where those units would be built or preserved, only that they would be within the city limits.

Here’s a look at the income levels for one and two person households that the committee will be targeting:


Continue reading

As Seattle task force ponders a queer youth homeless shelter on Capitol Hill, LGBTQ community center is back on the table


Jackie Sandberg (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

Having lived on the streets as a queer youth, Jackie Sandberg says she’s all too familiar with the hate crimes inflicted on the city’s disproportionately LGBTQ homeless population. Unfortunately, Sandberg says the situation isn’t much better when she and others seek refuge inside the city’s shelters.

“So much of what holds us back is not having a place where we feel completely safe,” Sandberg said at the recent LGBTQ violence forum at Capitol Hill’s All Pilgrims Church. “A LGBTQ youth shelter is an essential step to saving youth from experiencing the level of hatred and indifference that we currently do.”

Creating a city-funded queer youth shelter in the neighborhood was one of the most concrete ideas to emerge from the forum. The idea was roundly applauded throughout the evening and in her closing remarks, council member Kshama Sawant vowed to fight for city funding to make it happen.

“Often, queer youth experience harassment at shelters,” Sawant told CHS. “It’s a serious enough question that elected officials should be exploring.” Continue reading

Vivace creating Broadway roasting facility

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

Espresso Vivace owner David Schomer knows as well as anyone that Capitol Hill’s upheaval can threaten even the most established neighborhood businesses. In 2008 Vivace had to move into the Brix building when its longtime Broadway home was torn down to make way for Capitol Hill Station.

For years, Vivace has roasted its coffee inside an 11th Ave warehouse in the heart of Pike/Pine. With no retail component to help pay the rent and demand for space at a premium, Schomer told CHS he knew his time on 11th Ave might also be limited.

So when owners of the Garage pool hall and bowling alley told Schomer they had an unused basement space that could accommodate the roasting operation, Schomer jumped on it. Vivace will take over the underground Broadway space in August with plans to start roasting in December. Continue reading

LGBTQ safety shuttle starts nighttime test runs on Capitol Hill

Seeking to quell an uptick of attacks on Capitol Hill’s LGBTQ community, a small group of anti-crime advocates have started running a shuttle service to get neighborhood residents home safely at night.

The nine-passenger van donated to Social Outreach Seattle made its inaugural run through the neighborhood Thursday night, primarily to start spreading the word on the new service. According to organizers, the donation-based service did not require any special permits to start picking up passengers.

SOSea founder Shaun Knittel said the pilot shuttle will run for the next two months, from 9pm-4am Thursday-Saturday. During the pilot phase, Knittel said the shuttle won’t have any designated stops and will take people right to their door. The plan is to have a series of stops worked out in time for Pride this June, Knittel said.

“Most of the people are getting attacked are alone walking at night,” Knittel said. “(Criminals) are honing their skills and they know who to attack.”

Knittel first announced the shuttle during the recent LGBTQ violence forum at Capitol Hill’s All Pilgrims Church.

Eventually, Knittel said he wants to add several more vans to better serve the neighborhood. Knittel said the drivers will be paid and the suggested donation for a ride is $5.

On the List | Magmafest does Cockpit, Metro open house, Smash Putt opens, BadWill Market Spring Edition

Magma_Fest_Cockpit_3.20_show_posterThe eighth annual Magmafest wraps-up at the end of the month, meaning there’s just a handful of opportunities left to support the fundraising effort for the Central District’s Hollow Earth Radio.

On Friday, the Oakland-based experimental trio Religious Girls are headlining a show at the Cockpit. Organizer Adam Way says the show will be one of the most raucous of the month-long festival.

The event comes as Hollow Earth is ramping up for its recently acquired low power FM license from the FCC, and the opportunities, growth, and challenges that it has created. Specifically, raising a “ridiculous” figure to pay for an expensive new transmitter and antenna to broadcast Hollow Earth’s wide range of community programing.

“It allows people who wouldn’t be heard anywhere to be heard,” Way said. “If Hollow Earth was a person, they would have a heart of gold.”

10835436_936780426345580_6092801022932393784_oMore weekend highlights:

For more to do on and around Capitol Hill, check out the CHS Calendar.

Continue reading

Undaunted by new minimum wage, Seattle restaurant entrepreneurs make plans to extend Capitol Hill food+drink ‘boom’

A few of the Capitol Hill captains of food+drink industry

Not only are Seattle restaurants not closing down because of the “$15 minimum wage” but a wave of entrepreneurs and investors is pushing forward on plans to open more food+drink joints around the city. And they’re looking at Capitol Hill for how to do it.

Nearly 200 restaurant owners, developers, and brokers gathered at The Triple Door Wednesday morning for the second annual restaurant industry summit put on by Bisnow, a Washington D.C.-based trade publication outfit.

“Prices will increase, but I’m full steam ahead,” said Capitol Hill, Pioneer Square, and the New Restaurant Boom panelist Josh Henderson to the crowd of $80 ticket attendees. Henderson ain’t kidding. The prolific entrepreneur behind the Skillet-sprouted empire of the Huxley Wallace Collective just announced details of a fleet of new ventures he plans to launch in the city over the next year.

The “$15 minimum wage” — really, $10 an hour at businesses employing fewer than 500 people and providing healthcare or tips starting April 1st — doesn’t seem to be stopping him.

Continue reading

LGBTQ and black young people disproportionately homeless as numbers rise in King County

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 2.30.47 PM

This year’s One Night Count of homeless youth and young adults in King County zip codes

The Central Area has one of the highest concentrations of homeless youth and young adults in King County, a population that is a fifth LGBTQ and a third African American, according to results from a survey released this week.

The county’s annual One Night Count found a total of 824 people between the ages of 12-25 were homeless on Wednesday, January 21st. That’s up from the 779 youths and young adults that were counted in 2014 and included a 21% jump in the overall homeless population.

Building a LGBTQ youth homeless shelter on Capitol Hill was on of the most applauded suggestions discussed at a recent Capitol Hill community forum on ways to stop LGBTQ hate crimes. City Council member Kshama Sawant said she would do everything in her power to get it into next year’s budget. Mayor Ed Murray will announce details of a task force this week to address LGBTQ hate crime. It’s not clear at this point if planning for a shelter will be part of the anti-hate crime plan.

Continue reading

Killer Infographics brings more daytime desk action to Capitol Hill


Inside Killer Infographics above Six Arms (Image: Killer Infographics)

One of the latest to companies to move its offices to Capitol Hill and bring more daytime activity to the neighborhood is Killer Infographics. The company moved its 23-member staff from Fremont to an office space above Six Arms last month.

To celebrate the move to Melrose and E Pike, the graphic design agency specializing in infographics created this Capitol Hill-inspired timeline:

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Check out the full INFOGRAPHIC: A HISTORY OF CAPITOL HILL from Killer Infographics

For co-founder Nick Grant, moving to Capitol Hill brings the business closer to its downtown clients while putting his designers in a more dynamic urban environment. Continue reading

First Hill apartment asbestos issue a cautionary tale for tenants in old buildings

Cadence acquired The Broadmoore four years ago (Image: King County)

Cadence acquired The Broadmoore four years ago (Image: King County)


When the property managers at a First Hill apartment building recently began drilling holes in the walls to install a new heating system, resident Eric Stapelman was immediately alarmed.

Worried that the dust flying around contained asbestos, the chef-owner of E Pine’s Shibumi called the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to have the Terry and Jefferson building tested. Initial results found asbestos levels in remnants from drilling were two times the allowed limit, according to the agency’s report obtained by CHS. The agency ordered Cadence Real Estate to stop the work.

Cadence acquired the 1911-built building in 2011 for $5.1 million, according to county records. The company has acquired property across the area including E Pike’s The Winston which it acquired for $4.3 million in late 2011.

While a second round of testing with more precise instruments found levels were not actually harmful, a PSCAA spokesperson told CHS the stop work order at The Broadmore will stay until Cadence hires an asbestos contractor to do another round of testing. Candence did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

In the meantime, Cadence put up plastic containment areas in some units where work remains unfinished. “The fact that they’re having people live in the apartments and not offering them a place to go… they’re turning people’s lives upside down,” Stapelman said.

UPDATE (3/20): In an email to CHS, Cadence principal Barrett Johnston said the company has been working with tenants to get the new heating system installed as fast as possible.

I have my EPA RRP certification for lead paint abatement, and we test for this prior to working in units as well. We have spoken with the PSCAA and EPA and have done what they have asked of us. It is unfortunate that we attempted to do everything required of us, and keep the residents safe from any potential hazardous substances, but are still being seen as trying to do things improperly.

By its nature construction is invasive and can be a burden for people living in a work area and we are aware of this and try to make the living environment as comfortable for people as possible. Unfortunately the continued blocking has caused the project to be delayed and some tenants are living in spaces with dust screening still up and no progress being made.

Cadence will also be required to obtain a construction permit from the agency, which it failed to do prior to starting work. Nearly all apartment building owners are required to get a permit from the PSCAA if they are doing significant work inside their buildings.

Once the final round of testing is complete and Cadence performs any necessary asbestos abatement work, the PSCAA spokesperson said the agency would issue a permit which would allow work to continue.

According to PSCAA, a property management company should be able to confirm if its secured the proper clean air permits to do work inside a building. If you’re unsure, contact the agency here.

Stapelman told CHS Cadence has refused his request for the company to pay for a temporary relocation while the work gets completed. He said he will be moving out as soon as he can. “This should not have happened,” he said.