About jseattle

Justin is publisher of CHS. You can reach him at chs@capitolhillseattle.com or call/txt (206) 399-5959. Follow @jseattle on Twitter or be best pals on Facebook.

Stumptown E Pine set for closure

(Images: Stumptown)


Last summer, the Big Coffee(tm)-owned indie chain stopped roasting beans on 12th Ave. Later this summer, Stumptown will close its E Pine cafe to focus on its remaining Capitol Hill location.

The coffee industry-focused folks at Sprudge confirmed the news sent to CHS Tuesday morning by employees and customers that August 20th will be the final day for the E Pine cafe that neighbors Rudy’s and the Capitol Loans pawn shop. Sprudge reports that a company spokesperson tells them Stumptown “made the painful, yet considered decision to focus our efforts on our 12th Street cafe and our operations within the Seattle market.”

Stumptown became a wholly owned subsidiary of Peets Coffee and Tea in 2015 after the coffee chain obtained a partial ownership in 2011.

What the Capitol Hill Station development will probably* look like

The design process to create 400 affordable and market-rate apartment units and 59,000 square feet of commercial and community space around Capitol Hill Station will move back into motion next week. Here is what the Capitol Hill Station “transit oriented development” is planned to look like.

Architects for developers Gerding Edlen and Capitol Hill Housing have submitted the second — and final — round of design proposals for the project planned to create four new seven-story buildings on Broadway and 10th Ave just north of Cal Anderson Park. The full proposal is available here (PDF).

Design Review: Capitol Hill Station

Continue reading

19th and Madison’s Mount Zion to be considered for Seattle landmark protections

With more than 125 years of history in Seattle, one of the largest black churches in Seattle will soon find out if its 1962-built home qualifies for landmark protection. The Mount Zion buildings at 19th and Madison will be considered by the Landmarks Preservation Board in September:

Landmarks Preservation Board to consider nomination of Mount Zion Baptist Church for landmark status

SEATTLE (August 4, 2017) – Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board will consider nomination of the Mount Zion Baptist Church (1634 19th Avenue) located in Central Area on Wednesday, September 6 at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in Seattle City Hall (600 4th Avenue, Floor L2) in the Boards & Commissions Room L2-80.

The public is invited to attend the meeting and make comments regarding the nomination. Written comments should be received by the Landmarks Preservation Board at the following mailing address by 3:00 p.m. onSeptember 5:

Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
PO Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649

You can also submit comments via email.

According to our Re:Take history of the church, Mount Zion was founded in the 1890s, and for its first decade rented a few different spaces downtown. Church members date Mount Zion to 1890 when “a small group of African Americans held prayer services in their homes.” The church eventually bought its own property and moved to 11th and Union joining another African American — First African Methodist Episcopal (First A.M.E.) at 14th and Pine. 24 years later, Mount Zion moved to its present day home.

As development on East Madison has risen around it, Mount Zion has also been making longterm plans for redevelopment. The church has also recently sold off nearby property. In 2015, CHS was there as Mount Zion celebrated its 125th anniversary.

The full nomination document is below. Continue reading

Woman critically injured in E Denny Way apartment building fire

A resident trapped in the flames was rushed to the hospital in critical condition as crews battled a serious fire at the top of Capitol Hill’s more-than-90-year-old Roxborough Apartments building Friday afternoon.

Seattle Fire was called to the building in the 1700 block of E Denny Way just before 3:30 PM Friday and found the injured woman in the third floor apartment where the fire was believed to have started. The woman in her 60s was rushed to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition. Continue reading

Queer/Bar set to replace Purr in Pike/Pine

Guild Seattle’s Burgess speaks about how the ownership group bucked bad trends during a 2015 release event for a report on wage theft and paid sick law violations (Image: CHS)

How do you replace a Montlake-bound Capitol Hill gay bar? With a Queer/Bar.

Here is the announcement on the new 11th Ave venture from one of the partners behind the Lost Lake family of businesses about the upcoming Pike/Pine hangout:

 In the wake of rumors of LGBTQIA businesses leaving the traditionally gay neighborhood of Seattle, a new-to-the-scene QUEER/BAR announces its plans to open in the coming weeks. QUEER/BAR intends to foster an inclusive gathering space for the LGBTQIA community and strives to have a team, ownership, and clientele reflect the diversity of the city, while retaining Capitol Hill’s foothold of being the premiere arts and queer neighborhood.

Joey Burgess, a partner at nearby Grim’s and part of Guild Seattle, the group behind Lost Lake Cafe, The Comet, and three Big Mario’s locations across Seattle, says he is excited to “finally be executing a project that marries his love for social activism and his passion for running bars and restaurants.”

“He is proud to own and offer a space that will serve his fellow LGBTQIA community,” the announcement of the new bar reads.

Citing a surge in Pike/Pine rent, Purr closed in July after more than 10 years on 11th Ave and has announced it will soon reopen in Montlake.

Queer/Bar is expected to open by “fall” and is lining up to be a busy place:

QUEER/BAR will make its mark by bringing together local artists, performers, and non-profits to create a community space for all things queer. The calendar of events will cover the spectrum from day and night. The space plans to launch a Queer/Chef series that focuses on the culinary talents of LGBTQIA chefs and Queer/Hall which will serve as venue for queer-focused issues in politics, activism, and community driven forums.  Additionally, Queer/Bingo, Queer/Dance nights, and local Queer/Art performances, including drag shows, are on the docket. Of course, Queer/Bar will fit right into its neighborhood nightlife by offering a full bar, plenty of music, dinner, and brunch.  The space will be designed by Burgess’ husband and partner, Murf Hall, a local designer at a large retailer that is home-based in Seattle, WA. Burgess says, “It’s been 12 years of planning, scrapping, and conceptualizing amongst friends and colleagues.  I’m over the moon to launch in a neighborhood that has felt like home for years.”

Burgess, described as an “LGBTQIA advocate” in the Queer/Bar news release, serves on the boards of Three Dollar Bill Cinema and Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce.

The mayor of Capitol Hill 2017: Mike McGinn Q&A

CHS: Where have you been?

“Come on guys, listen. I know you guys wanna be mayor, but this is a real issue. Get serious about it.”

McGinn: I’ve been here in Seattle. Probably the thing I’ve worked the most on is still climate, fossil fuel divestment. Working on the Gates Foundation campaign, as well as working with other divestment activists, kinda helping other activists around the country. That’s been one thing. My podcast also, which has been fun and writing in Crosscut.

I also found myself getting deeply involved in the last election cycle, with helping city council candidates that I liked.

Unchained by a damaging sex abuse scandal that removed incumbent Ed Murray from a powerful pole position, 21 candidates are vying this summer to be the next mayor of modern-day Pacific Northwest boomtown Seattle, Washington. Of those 21, only two will survive the first round cut from the August 1st primary. CHS may be on a summer news break but we couldn’t resist opportunities to talk with the candidates most likely to be on the mind of Capitol Hill voters in the coming weeks: Jenny Durkan, Nikkita Oliver, Cary Moon, Bob Hasegawa, Mike McGinn, and Jessyn Farrell. The interviews were conducted in recent weeks at locations across the city including coworking spaces, campaign offices, and a diner. The talks varied but revolved around a core set of Seattle issues: Black Lives Matter, affordability, addiction, and homelessness. We have edited the conversations for clarity and length.

In this Q&A, CHS talks with former Seattle mayor Mike McGinn about his campaign to return to City Hall and — apparently — settle a few scores along the way. Our conversation included a roster of Seattle politicians on McGinn’s shit list and the causes he has pledged to fight for even harder a second time around. You can learn more at mcginnformayor.com.

CHS: How so? Doing what? Knocking on doors? Making phone calls?

McGinn: No, no, no. I get a lot of people asking me what it’s like to run and how do you do it? And what do you need to do to run? And so, that was one of the things I talked to candidates about. The other thing I was talking to them about was, besides kind of the practical aspects of running, I was really trying to use, particularly the last election cycle, I was trying to use it around some causes. And one of them was CareerBridge.

When I was mayor, we launched it, it was a program for returning felons. And so, I’m kind of proud of what we did there. Burgess blocked it. I worked with (John) Roderick, and then, (Jon) Grant, to make it an issue in that race. I made it an issue. I helped Tammy Morales in her race against Bruce Harrell. It wasn’t just CareerBridge, it was also the extension of Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative to 18 to 21-year-olds. Both of those, the Council blocked. So I worked with the candidates to make that an issue, because I knew that if we did that, it’d probably get fixed. And you know what? CareerBridge was expanded. Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative has now been expanded up to 24-year-olds.

CHS: So, as a portal into your soul, what is it about CareerBridge? Why do you think it’s important in Seattle right now?

McGinn: Well, we have systems for arrest, prosecution, and incarceration, mass incarceration. And primarily of the people of color: Black people, Latino. And it kind of became impressed upon me when I was mayor. I was meeting with the black pastors. We were talking about a spike in shootings that occurred. And they said, “A lot of this are people who come back to the community. We know the people who wanna be serious about not returning to crime, who want to make a life for themselves. But they need help.” And it’s not just job training, or social services, it’s a community support network around it as well. And we can help provide that.

So that inspired me. I also went to Mary Flowers, who has worked for HSD, invited me and others from the program to go to meet with the Black Prisoners’ Caucus in Monroe. And that had a deep effect on me too. It was both talking to the men about how they felt and what they’re trying to accomplish, we had a circle. But it was also hearing Mary talk about what it meant to the black community with so many of our men ripped out of it. If we’re gonna be a successful community, we have to address all the reasons at the front end. But all the men and women returning from incarceration to our community, we need to figure out where their place is in this community. That benefits all of us. So, yeah, I just felt really passionate about it. And I’ll be honest. I was still angry at Burgess and Harrell for blocking that then, because they were doing it for political reasons. And they were lame reasons around data. Or it’s not proven itself effective yet. And it’s like, “Come on guys, listen. I know you guys wanna be mayor, but this is a real issue. Get serious about it.” Continue reading

The mayor of Capitol Hill 2017: Jessyn Farrell Q&A

CHS: Alright, I’m a professional, you’re a professional, we’re ready to roll!

Farrell: Alrighty! Good! Good, good! Excellent!

CHS: So tell me about your district. Who do you represent right now?

“There are fewer Title 1 schools in my district now. Title 1 schools are schools where there’s 50% free or reduced lunch or higher. There are fewer than there were when I started out as a legislator because it’s really hard for poor people to afford to live in the city.”

Farrell: Up until when I resigned from my seat, I represented Northeast Seattle, Lake Forest Park, and Kenmore in the legislature. I’d done that for five years. I have been a transit advocate for my career. I’ve gone to law school, worked at WashPIRG, and then, ran Transportation Choices Coalition. When I ran Transportation Choices Coalition, our motto always was, “Holding the line until 2009,” when light rail would open, and then, we would be able to stop fighting over whether Sound Transit should exist or not. We’re still having that fight, but it’s a little different now that people actually get to take light rail and see what it’s like.

CHS: Well, can you tell me about the people you have represented in that part of the city? Way north, that’s super north! It’s like in Canada.

Farrell: North of the Ship Canal, what is it? It is, it’s almost Canada. Okay, so Northeast Seattle is, basically, I have the athletic portion of the U-Dub, not the academics. So that’s very important. I have football and baseball and all the other programs. And then, it goes all the way up to 145th, including all the way out west to Aurora. So there’s Northgate. It’s a really diverse district in that it has some very, very rich parts of town like Laurelhurst and Windermere, and then, some real pockets of poverty in the far north end. I actually grew up there. I was born in very glamorous Lake City.

CHS: I have friends in Lake City. Lake City’s more of my people than Windermere.

Farrell: I’ve lived in and out of that part of town my whole life. I have lived on Capitol Hill as well. And the real issues that people are facing in the north end are not unlike what people are facing in the rest of the city around affordability, as an example, and it comes, I think, in three different flavors.

Unchained by a damaging sex abuse scandal that removed incumbent Ed Murray from a powerful pole position, 21 candidates are vying this summer to be the next mayor of modern-day Pacific Northwest boomtown Seattle, Washington. Of those 21, only two will survive the first round cut from the August 1st primary. CHS may be on a summer news break but we couldn’t resist opportunities to talk with the candidates most likely to be on the mind of Capitol Hill voters in the coming weeks: Jenny Durkan, Nikkita Oliver, Cary Moon, Bob Hasegawa, Mike McGinn, and Jessyn Farrell. The interviews were conducted in recent weeks at locations across the city including coworking spaces, campaign offices, and a diner. The talks varied but revolved around a core set of Seattle issues: Black Lives Matter, affordability, addiction, and homelessness. We have edited the conversations for clarity and length.

In this Q&A, CHS talks with Jessyn Farrell, the three-term state legislator who stepped down from her Northeast Seattle post to be part of the 2017 mayoral race. CHS had questions about transit, development, and, of course, affordability for the urbanist-leaning Lake City native. You can learn more at jessynformayor.com.

Farrell (cont’d): If you’re a renter, you’re really concerned about rising rents, and that’s the case all throughout my district. If you are living on a fixed income, and you own your house, you’re probably worried about property taxes. That’s something that people are worried about. And then, I think traditionally, that’s been a place where families could actually go buy a house. A young family in like the Lake City neighborhood, Pinehurst, a lot of those communities up farther towards 145th, — those are getting really, really expensive as well.

So I think the affordability crisis is hitting my district. It is hitting the rest of the city. And one of the things that really propelled me to actually get into this race was that I am seeing this play out in my district in a really unfortunate way. There are fewer Title 1 schools in my district now. Title 1 schools are schools where there’s 50% free or reduced lunch or higher. There are fewer than there were when I started out as a legislator because it’s really hard for poor people to afford to live in the city. And that’s happening everywhere, right?

CHS: How do we fix it? Continue reading

Capitol Hill gay bar Purr’s new home? Montlake

Capitol Hill is down one gay bar. Purr’s July “going away” party included an announcement of its surprising new home neighborhood…

Montlake.

Seattle Gay Scene has the scoop:

After nearly a 12 year run on Capitol Hill’s 11th Avenue between Pike and Pine Streets, Purr Cocktail Lounge will be packing up the video screens and vodka bottles for a new location in…Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood. That was the surprise announcement at Wednesday night’s “Purr Going Away Party” where owner Barbie Roberts thanked her regulars and staff for a great run at the 11th Avenue location but then made the announcement that everyone had been waiting to hear…where was Purr moving to? While most expected that the new location would be either on Capitol Hill, Seattle’s primary LGBTQ neighborhood or at least adjacent to the ‘hood, no one expected to hear “Montlake” as the new location.

Owner Barbie Roberts has said the move is an economic one with the more-than-a-decade-old lounge escaping soaring Pike/Pine rents. A former employee of Manray and The Wildrose, Roberts opened Purr in 2006 in the former home of the Bad JuJu lounge. In 2011, CHS talked with her about the features of a successful gay bar and surviving the changes of growth in Pike/Pine.

While Purr’s adventure off the Hill will bring more affordable rent and more than a few interesting rides on the 43, we’re sure, its new home will also come with some economic challenges. The Montlake Pub closed in the space after a rocky year of business — it closed so abruptly, CHS never had the opportunity to run a post on the new restaurant last spring. Before the pub, the Traveler family of neighborhood grills gave 24th Ave E a run after taking over for longtime favorite the Montlake Pub in 2014. 24th Ave and Montlake, meanwhile, are set for major changes with a new 520 lid and bridge work slated to completely overhaul the road network at the key interchange. Meanwhile, the approach from the north to the area is also planned for major changes in future stages of the 23rd Ave corridor “road diet.”

No opening date for Montlake Purr has been announced.

You can keep track of things on Purr’s Facebook page.

 

San Francisco’s Good Vibrations acquires Capitol Hill-created Babeland

Born 24 years ago on E Pike when sex toys for women were still entrepreneurial concepts, iconic Capitol Hill retailer Babeland is joining a larger family of sensual positivity.

Bay Area-based Good Vibrations has announced it is acquiring the Capitol Hill-headquartered chain of three stores and the company’s online assets:

 In a merging of two of the most iconic sex toy retailers, Good Vibrations, one of the first shops to create a friendly and welcoming environment catering to women and founded 40 years ago, has entered into an agreement to acquire Babeland, co-founded by Claire Cavanah and Rachel Venning 25 years ago as an affirming, feminist, lifestyle brand. Cavanah and Venning are ready to say goodbye and move on to other pursuits after a momentous run of helping countless customers discover new pleasures and greater enjoyment in their sex lives.

Born Toys in Babeland just down the street from its current location at 707 E Pike, the first Babeland shop celebrated the business’s 20th anniversary in 2013.

“Capitol Hill in 1993 was the hub of emerging Seattle culture,” co-founder Rachel Venning told CHS at the time. “The neighborhood was packed with gay people, musicians artists, and creative people of all stripes. It was a great place to start a business that was based on a new concept: sex toys for women.”

Good Vibrations operates nine stores in five cities and will expand to include the Babeland shops including Capitol Hill’s flagship store and two Babeland stores in New York City.

“It’s been a joy and an adventure to start and grow Babeland,” Venning said in the announcement of the deal. “I have enormous gratitude for all the customers, staff, and community that have been part of this. I’m ready for a new adventure. Having Good Vibrations take over makes it easier to let go because we share so many of the same feminist values.”

According to the announcement, the Babeland brand will live on after the acquisition.

 

The mayor of Capitol Hill 2017: Bob Hasegawa Q&A

Hasegawa: We were lied to.

CHS: So, this is about Sound Transit and the way it’s run? Not light rail?

Hasegawa: When it went to the ballot I said “I support ST3. Even though it’s $54 billion, we need it.”

CHS: It’s an interesting fine point, and it’s a big dollar fine point and it just…

“It’s about accountability from leadership. That’s what my whole campaign is about right now.”

Hasegawa: It’s a crucial fine point. If you’re not being told the truth, when we’re passing legislation that has the huge financial impact on people who are fixed income that are already being gentrified and priced out of the city, and mind you, we had the McCleary… We knew we had to find another $4.5 billion just to fund McCleary, so how likely are we going to be able to pass a revenue package now with all the email that I’m getting with people who are angry about the price of their car tabs and all this other taxes that they’re getting hit with.

CHS: But at the same time you said you wouldn’t have done anything different.

Hasegawa: No I wouldn’t have. I didn’t.

CHS: That’s, I think, the hard part.

Hasegawa: I just wanna be told the truth. If you are coming to us, don’t lie. Tell me the truth and let me make up my mind for myself.

CHS: Alright. Alright, well we will try…

Hasegawa: See that’s why I didn’t want to get into it, because it’s too fine…

CHS: You’re telling me it’s not about factual Sound Transit package, it’s about the agency.

Hasegawa: It’s about accountability from leadership. That’s what my whole campaign is about right now.

CHS: Alright. I wonder if people will care. I’m curious to see if people will care.

Hasegawa: Accountability?

CHS: Yes.

Hasegawa: I think people want to be told the truth.

CHS: Yeah? Well I wouldn’t wanna be told the truth. I wonder if people will care that it costs $54 instead of $15 billion.

Hasegawa: You don’t think so? [laughter]

This testy exchange was just the start of things in one of the feistiest conversations in CHS’s interviews with the mayoral candidates. State Sen. Bob Hasegawa didn’t like being labelled anti-transit — his issue is with the way the transit agency is run, he told CHS, not trains. We also talked with the longtime labor leader and 11th District senator about his push to create a municipal bank and his belief that the city needs a champion for South Seattle and underserved communities in City Hall. You can learn more at bobhasegawa.com.

Unchained by a damaging sex abuse scandal that removed incumbent Ed Murray from a powerful pole position, 21 candidates are vying this summer to be the next mayor of modern-day Pacific Northwest boomtown Seattle, Washington. Of those 21, only two will survive the first round cut from the August 1st primary. CHS may be on a summer news break but we couldn’t resist opportunities to talk with the candidates most likely to be on the mind of Capitol Hill voters in the coming weeks: Jenny Durkan, Nikkita Oliver, Cary Moon, Bob Hasegawa, Mike McGinn, and Jessyn Farrell. The interviews were conducted in recent weeks at locations across the city including coworking spaces, campaign offices, and a diner. The talks varied but revolved around a core set of Seattle issues: Black Lives Matter, affordability, addiction, and homelessness. We have edited the conversations for clarity and length.

CHS: I hear people sometimes say that we should put every penny we can towards…

Hasegawa: Education. Continue reading