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.

Police looking for driver after woman raped in Capitol Hill apartment in Sunday attack

Seattle Police say they are looking for a driver after a woman was attacked and raped inside her Capitol Hill apartment Sunday.

According to police, the victim said the attack happened after a Seattle ride-share driver “forced a woman into a Capitol Hill apartment and sexually assaulted her for hours” after picking her up Sunday afternoon.

Below is the SPD brief on the attack and investigation.

Police tell CHS that additional information like the physical description of the driver and the ride service he was driving for are not currently being released per the discretion of the investigating detectives.

Police Investigating Ride-Share Driver for Rape
Police are investigating a report that a Seattle ride-share driver forced a woman into a Capitol Hill apartment and sexually assaulted her for hours on Sunday.

Shortly after the victim, a woman in her 20s, was picked up by the ride-share on Capitol Hill on Sunday afternoon, the driver cancelled her ride and told her she would not be charged. He then reportedly drove her to an apartment near the 1700 block of Summit Avenue on Capitol Hill and forced her into an apartment, where he raped her for several hours until she was able to get away.

The woman contacted police the following day and investigators are now working with victim and the ride-share company to confirm the identity of the suspect.

 

SPD is urging customers of services like Uber and Lyft “to be aware of any attempts by a driver to cancel a ride while you are in the vehicle” and to “ensure the vehicle and driver match with any notifications you receive from the ride-share company.”

“If you have a crime to report involving a ride-share driver, please call police and file a complaint with the ride-share company as soon as possible so the driver’s information will be flagged for authorities,” SPD says.

 

2017 Primary Election Results: Durkan, Moon, Oliver lead in mayor’s race

Former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan showed off her political strength and Seattle’s progressive left now knows who it will need to rally around to defeat her following Tuesday night’s first counts in the August primary. Meanwhile, history was also a winner Tuesday: Seattle is now on its way to electing its first woman mayor since 1926.

Urbanist and civic leader Cary Moon is on track to join Durkan in the November race to lead the city after garnering 15.56% of ballots tallied, leading Nikkita Oliver by only around 1,400 votes. The top two candidates will advance through to November’s General Election.

You can read more about Durkan our CHS Q&A with the candidate here and our interview with Moon here. CHS spoke with Oliver about her candidacy here.

For the complete results including Port of Seattle and Seattle school board positions, visit kingcounty.gov.

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

Capitol Hill Community Post | Central Ridge Neighborhood Greenway Most Promising Route

From the City of Seattle

You may have recently received an invitation in the mail to one of our upcoming events for the Central Ridge Neighborhood Greenway. I wanted to also reach out to a wider group of community stakeholders with a personal invitation to attend a pop-up event on Thursday afternoon at Firehouse Park near Swedish Cherry Hill Campus.

We’ll also have a booth at this year’s Umoja Fest at Judkins Park and an option to participate online if you can’t make it.

Learn more at our project website and on the attached mailer and factsheet. Our online survey will be open from July 27 to August 20.

Public events:

  1. Pop-up lemonade stand
    Thursday, July 27: 4 – 6 PM
    Firehouse Mini Park, 712 18th Ave
  2. Umoja Fest table
    Saturday, August 511 AM – 3 PM
    Judkins Park, 2150 S Norman St

We’ve been working with community members from Capitol Hill, First Hill, Central Area, and Judkins Park since winter 2017 to identify routes for a new north-south neighborhood greenway to be built as soon as 2019. We also asked for input on route options between Lowell Elementary School and Meany Middle School (opening fall 2017). Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Melrose Promenade Community Crosswalks Project

From Mel Burchett

The Melrose Promenade Community Crosswalk Project is finally moving forward, and we need help spreading the word within the community.  If you have time and are willing to assist us, we’d really appreciate it!

The Artist Selection Committee has hired an excellent artist, Sara Snedeker, to develop 3 design concepts for us.  We are on a super-rigid timeline to get a concept(s) selected and submitted to SDOT by August 1st.

We have created an online survey to help us collect feedback: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FZTCV7W

More information about the Community Crosswalks project can be found here:

https://melrosepromenade.com/2017/07/21/public-art-hits-the-melrose-promenade/

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 Community Post | Affordable Seattle: Housing for People, Not Profit!

From Kshama Sawant

Friends,

The for-profit housing market is failing the majority of Seattleites: 92% of new units built in the last 10 years have been Luxury units! We need a Seattle that benefits the many, not the few on Wall St. 

To fight skyrocketing rents we need to build a movement, like we did to win $15 an hour minimum wage, to challenge the big developers and landlords.  Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative initiated Affordable Seattle to organize our communities to fight for a Seattle affordable for all.

Come join us at 1:00 on Saturday, July 29 for our official campaign launch at Washington Hall (153 14th Ave) to learn how you can get involved! 

Since the beginning of June, the Affordable Seattle Campaign have gone to hundreds of doors across the city to build support for three demands for addressing the affordable housing crisis: 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.