Rhein Haus, Derschang bar managers team up to create ‘Capitol Hill exclusive’ Perfect Strangers beer

(Image: Perfect Strangers)

(Image: Perfect Strangers)

Ryan Minch (Rhein Haus) and Myles Burroughs (the Derschang Group) two of the guys on the other side of the bar making the Capitol Hill food and drink economy click have teamed up with a Washington State brewery to create a new beer. And you’ll only find it on Capitol Hill:

Perfect Strangers IPA No. 1 is the product of a collaboration between Myles and Ryan with Everybody’s Brewing using a 15 barrel brewing system. When approached, Everybody’s Brewing responded with great enthusiasm allowing Ryan and Myles to collaborate with head brewer Jess to conceptualize and execute a unique grain mash and hop profile to be finished with Washington-grown, organic, granny smith apples to create a refreshing, bright IPA meant to be drunk fresh during the late summer and early fall.

Minch tells CHS he and Burroughs turned to White Salmon, Washington’s Everybody’s Brewing to create their brew with a recipe using “malted barley, rye, and wheat in the grain bill” that gives the IPA “a dark, golden bronze color with a combination of American Cascade Hops and German Merkur Hops.”  The brew was finished with Washington grown, organic apples. “Although the apple flavor is subtle, the juice quietly provides just enough bright acidy to complete the beer,” the press release reads.

Minch said the deal with Everybody’s Brewing called for the partners to purchase all beer brewed from the collaboration through the distributor — you brew it, you buy it. The partners are planning to create more “unique, limited-release offerings” in the future.

The beer is now available at Rhein Haus’s Seattle location, Linda’s, Smith, and Tallulah’s “while supplies last.”


CHS Pics | Shooting the blood moon from Louisa Boren Park


Hundreds of moongazers showed up at Louisa Boren Park Sunday night — many packing rather amazing camera set-ups — for a view of the blood moon total eclipse from Capitol Hill.

Enticed by a clear-for-Seattle sky and the rare convergence of the full moon nearest the fall equinox, the moon at its closest approach to Earth for the year, and the eclipse, the Super Harvest Blood Moon shooters were joined by a crowd of skywatchers in the park overlooking Lake Washington along 15th Ave E’s eastern flank. Continue reading

Hopvine marks 20 years on Capitol Hill with week of craft brew events, special open mic

While Capitol Hill celebrates the birth of another beer-y establishment as the EuroPub opens on Broadway, the legendary Hopvine Pub is ready to mark its 20 years in the neighborhood by doing what it does best with a week of the best in craft brewing, open mic, music, and fun.

11885777_10153001283966283_3404742398035636549_oHere’s the lineup for Hopvine’s 20th anniversary celebration week:

  • Monday September 28th 6pm – Naked City Cask Night .
  • Tuesday September 29th 7pm – Two Beers Brewing
  • Wednesday September 30th 8pm – Anniversary Open Mic Sponsored by Black Raven
  • Thursday October 1st 7pm – Stoup Brewing Hopvine Beer Release
  • Friday October 2nd 9pm – Anacortes Karaoke
  • Saturday October 3rd 8pm – Anniversary Week Finale with Schooner Exact Brewing and the Lonely Mountain Lovers Band.

The Washington Beer Blog has all the details about the hoppy events.

CHS visited 15th Ave E earlier this year to tell the story of 20 years at the Hop:

Two decades of ‘American beer and American comfort food’ at the Hopvine
Bob Brenlin
loves to talk about beer. He has spent nearly three decades in the business of selling suds as a co-owner of three pubs in Seattle, including 15th Ave East’sHopvine, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015.

When he opened the Hopvine in September 1995, he had already been running the Latona Pub in Green Lake since 1987 (the third pub is the Fiddler’s Inn in Wedgwood), so he had time to get the business model down. When he opened, he said he hoped to accomplish two goals.

“We wanted to be part of a local community, a nice neighborhood, and introduce them to interesting craft beer,” he said.

The Hopvine’s open mic events, meanwhile, have become a showcase for up and comers — and everyone in between.

Over the years, the comfy pub on what used to be the comfiest commercial strip on Capitol Hill has also become known for its simple pizzas and warming soups that were made to accompany a pint — or two. “Pairing is a bonus, but at the end of the day, it’s about what you like,” the Hopvine’s kitchen manager Michael Congdon told CHS. “It’s American beer and American comfort food. It’s kind of tough to screw up.”

The Hopvine is located at 507 15 Ave E. You can also learn more about its anniversary week events on the Hopvine Facebook page.

CHS Pics | Sidewalk fest a party for 15th Ave E’s new businesses and old institutions

DSC06008 DSC05962DSC05943The 15th Ave E Merchants Association held its annual sidewalk festival Sunday, welcoming a new start for one business in the commercial village. Meanwhile, a core element of the street is also lined up for some behind the scenes changes.

Sunday’s party had 15th Ave E businesses spilling onto the sidewalk with treats to share from Shop Agora’s paella to the live band playing in front of the Hopvine.

All treats were free at Sugar Plum, Makini Howell’s vegan desert and sweet shop that replaced her longtime cafe on 15th Ave E. We missed out on meeting Stevie Wonder, however, as the frequent Howell supporter dropped by the party Sunday afternoon.

The businesses of 15th Ave continue to shift but without some of the major tectonics found elsewhere on the Hill like Pike/Pine. Eventually, there will be at least one pot shop at 15th and Republican. A Rudy’s has opened. And the banks and financial services players on the street are making some large — and small — changes. The Salal Credit Union has pulled out of the 15th Ave building slated to make way for a new four-story apartment development. An insurance office on the same block has shuttered. The Wells Fargo branch inside the Safeway is expanding and getting an overhaul. And the old Key Bank — once slated for demolition itself — is being lined up for an interior refresh according to permits.

Meanwhile, one of the buildings at the center of 15th Ave E’s smaller-scale development is in the middle of some behind the scene changes. Monday, the City Council approved legislation allowing easements on the Fire Station Seven building to be transferred to Environmental Works as the nonprofit community design center completes a deal to purchase the property from co-owners Capitol Hill Housing and the County Doctor. The three community-driven entities moved into the old firehouse together in the ’70s. EW and director Roger Tucker continue to be headquartered in the building that’s ground floor is now home to boutique Station 7. In 1971, when Environmental Works first took on preserving Fire Station Seven, Tucker tells CHS the groups were up against an effort to acquire the property for an expanded QFC.

With Central District I-502 retail a $1M+ a month business, 15th Ave E pot shop maneuverings play out

The free-play Capitol Hill Family Arcade has to be one of the more peculiar manifestations of Seattle's pot economy (Images:  Capitol Hill Family Arcade)

The free-play Capitol Hill Family Arcade has to be one of the more peculiar manifestations of Seattle’s pot economy (Images: Capitol Hill Family Arcade)

There will not be a pot shop ready for business in time for the 15th Ave E Merchants Association’s 2015 Sidewalk Fest. The ongoing saga of who will open Capitol Hill’s first recreational pot shop has hit a bureaucratic lull. Two competing potreprenuers on 15th Ave E are waiting to obtain licenses from the state as two other businesses in the mix — a third generation cobbler and a punk rock arcade/ice cream shop — await permits from the City.

Ian Eisenberg tells CHS he plans to apply for a new I-502 license next year to open a second Uncle Ike’s pot shop in his building at 15th Ave E and E Republican.

“The more time I spend on 15th, the more I love it,” Eisenberg said. “I really want to open second shop there.”

The 15th Ave E Merchant Association has an interesting year ahead

The 15th Ave E Merchant Association has an interesting year ahead

For now, Eisenberg is operating the Capitol Hill Family Arcade — a business that he says was a quick and fun way to activate the space while he waits to open a pot shop.

But for Sam Burke, an I-502 permit holder who’s attempting to open tok pot shop across the street, the arcade was simply a maneuver to keep his doors shut. Under state zoning regulations, I-502 shops cannot be located within a 1,000-foot buffer of places where children gather, like schools, parks, and arcades (those rules could soon change with new zoning authority available to local municipalities). Continue reading

Board votes unanimously to move 111-year-old Capitol Hill B&B forward in landmarks process


(Image: The Gaslight Inn)

(Image: The Gaslight Inn)

“It’s not common that people see something in the rough and decide to take it on and spend three decades bringing it back to life.”

Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board unanimously approved the nomination of Capitol Hill’s Gaslight Inn for landmark status Wednesday afternoon. The board will meet again on October 7th to consider the nomination.

Board member (and CHS contributorRobert Ketcherside said the Gaslight Inn had “emotional and personal significance,” citing longtime owner Stephen Bennett’s efforts to make it a haven for members of the gay community during the 1980s AIDS epidemic. His colleague Nicholas Carter said the Inn was “a very important part of our cultural history.”

Board chair Alison Walker noted how unusual it was for a property owner to self-nominate for a landmark designation and thanked Bennett for his efforts to maintain the 111-year old property: “It’s not common that people see something in the rough and decide to take it on and spend three decades bringing it back to life,” she said.

Most landmarks hearings related to Capitol Hill properties in recent years have been part of clearing the way for planned development.

“I feel so lucky to have lived there for the last thirty five years. It’s a wonderful place, it gives me back much more than I put in,” Bennett told the board after it cast its vote.

He was there with John Fox, a onetime employee of the Inn and local preservation advocate who helped prepare the proposal. Both men were overjoyed at the board’s decision. CHS spoke with Fox about the proposal prior to Wednesday’s meeting. “It’s how the gay community used to live,” he told CHS. “We remember a time when you weren’t necessarily welcomed everywhere and this was our way of making something nice in our neighborhood.”

The Gaslight Inn was built in 1904 and was originally the private residence of Paul Singerman, a prosperous Polish-born Jewish businessman. Singerman sold the property two years later in 1907 and it changed hands several times before being purchased by Bennett in 1983, who turned it into a bed and breakfast. The Inn is constructed in the “American Four Square” architectural style.

In order for a building to be designated as a landmark, it must be at least 25 years old and meet one of six criteria outlined in the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Ordinance. The board determined that the Gaslight Inn met criteria C and D of the ordinance:

C) It is associated in a significant way with a significant aspect of the cultural, political, or economic heritage of the community, City, state or nation.

D) It embodies the distinctive visible characteristics of an architectural style, or period, or a method of construction.

15th Ave’s Gaslight Inn to be considered as landmark

15th Ave’s Gaslight Inn will be considered as an official landmark later this month. But don’t worry, good neighbor — nobody is planing to tear it down.

In a process that often portends doom in Capitol Hill’s hyperactive environment of redevelopment, the 1904-era bed and breakfast is being nominated because the man who has owned it for more than 30 years and restored it to what the nomination backers claim is near-original condition, honest to goodnessly believes the old house should be a protected Seattle landmark.

Neighborhood preservation activist and area resident John Fox helped prepare the nomination for the Singerman Residence/Gaslight Inn house and tells CHS owner Stephen Bennett is pursuing the designation “because he does NOT want it ever torn down.” “He wants to be sure it stays part or the architectural fabric of the neighborhood,” Fox writes.

It is also, the proposal contends, a symbol of how gay and lesbian residents revived, and reshaped Capitol Hill starting about 40 years ago: Continue reading

Full Tilt bringing punk rock ice cream pop shop with a spin to Capitol Hill

Punk rock ice cream arcade purveyor Full Tilt is coming to Capitol Hill. A new shop dedicated to Full Tilt’s nearly legendary, long in the offing ice cream bars is planned to open mid-August in the 15th Ave E space where Capitol Hill Family Arcade has been entertaining Capitol Hill families ever since… a week or so ago.

“I have prepped my best games for this location,” Bobby Conover from 20XX Amusements is quoted as saying in the announcement sent to CHS. Full Tilt says the new space will have a larger arcade section than any of the other Full Tilt shops. The new store will feature about 20 arcade and pinball machines, according to the announcement.

“I wanted to use this location to focus more on our ice cream bars and games,” Full Tilt’s Justin Cline said. “To make it a fun spot for families on the Hill.” Continue reading

Last of the Hill area collectives, Best Buds has one year to sort out new medical pot rules

With the tussle over who will become the first I-502 marijuana retailer to open on Capitol Hill continuing on 15th Ave E, the area’s last of the old school medical marijuana collectives Best Buds is trying to raise funds to stay in business at 23rd and Madison.

Friday, a roster of new laws regulating medial marijuana went into effect in Washington including the official new name for the state liquor board:

For medical pot, the big change doesn’t happen until July 1st, 2016 when the medical system is rolled into the new retail system and collectives and co-ops are shuttered.

While other groups have closed their doors on Capitol Hill, Best Buds continues to operate in its E Madison space. And owner Jiovani McKelvy is hoping Best Buds’ buds will step up to help “save our store”5165215_1435962542.991

Please support a gay-owned local business get back on its feet! A year ago, Ian Vogue opened Best Buds, an MMJ Dispensary in Seattle, Washington. His partner and two of his friends run this quaint, LGBT friendly shop of treasures and treats every day where each patient is consindered a Bud! Their small business unfortunately fell victim of two separate robberies and has had to make major cutbacks in addition to getting a loan in order to continue providing much needed medicine to their valued patients. Best Buds is now turning to the community. Even a dollar helps! Thank you for taking the time to read this and please share with your friends!

We’ve asked Best Buds for more information about the plans for the operation going forward but haven’t yet heard back.

In February, US Marshals assisted Seattle Police in nailing the suspect in an armed robbery at Best Buds that netted more than $10,000 in pot. We’ll have more information about that case soon.

With the number of I-502 permits remaining constricted, the business competition between two marijuana entrepreneurs vying to open at 15th and Republican took a surreal turn earlier this month with the opening of a “family arcade” on the corner. Last we checked, the arcade remained open as the project looks to obtain the necessary permits to make a new space for longtime 15th Ave E cobbler Ray Angel.

Capitol Hill Family Arcade — and a new home for Angel’s Shoe Repair — latest twists in quest to open first Capitol Hill pot shop

The next chapter in the Game of Thrones-like saga playing out around competing I-502 marijuana retailers on Capitol Hill’s 15th Ave E involves a possible cutthroat business maneuver mixed with compassion for a longtime neighborhood shopkeeper.

Uncle Ike’s owner Ian Eisenberg has confirmed to CHS that the video games he is moving into the former home of the Capitol Hill Animal Clinic at 15th and Republican are going to be put to good use — starting now.

The Capitol Hill Family Arcade will open Monday night, Eisenberg said, if all goes to plan as carpenters have split the former vet clinic in twain to make way for the arcade. Eisenberg said he is making room in the building for Angel’s Shoe Repair to make the move from across the street.

“When I went to the 15th Avenue merchant meeting,” Eisenberg tells CHS, “I said I wanted to be a good neighbor. I followed the trials and tribulations at Angel’s. I have the extra space.”

Cobbler Ray Angel should be open in his new space by the end of the week, Eisenberg said.

The moves come as Eisenberg is preparing the building to eventually be home to his second I-502 marijuana retailing operation. The Uncle Ike’s entrepreneur paid $1.5 million for the property earlier this year as another I-502 permit holder was gearing up to open in the former vet clinic. Uncle Ike’s is a CHS advertiser.

The resulting cascade of activity now has Samuel Burke and his Tok shop working to open in the longtime home of Angel’s while Ray Angel was turning to the community to raise money to fund a possible move after losing his longtime month-to-month lease.

Angel will now have a new lease on business life with a space inside Eisenberg’s building that is designed to remain should the address eventually be permitted next year when new legislation goes into effect allowing the state to hand out more I-502 permits. But the appearance of an arcade could complicate the permitting process for Tok as it pushes to open this summer.

“It’s curious that a pot shop owner is trying to disallow other pot shops from opening in this  manner,” Tok representative Ben Livingston tells CHS. Livingston also expressed his doubts about whether it is legal for an arcade to operate in the building. We are reaching out to DPD to ask about permitted uses at the address.

Eisenberg says his motives are simple.

“I had some games sitting around and they were taking up space,” Eisenberg said. “It’s an easy way to activate the space.”

Meanwhile, the City Council passed a measure Monday that would close many, if not all, of the city’s medical marijuana shops that opened after I-502 was passed in 2013. Businesses able to show that they opened before January 2013 will be able to continue operations, pending their adherence to new enforcement rules.

UPDATE 7/14/2015 11:50 AM: If you had any doubts, the arcade *must* be real — it has a Facebook page:

UPDATE 7/15/2015 8:40 AM: A complaint has been filed with DPD for the building. Eisenberg says he has been ordered to stop work so construction of the Angel’s Shoe Repair component of the building must be put on hold pending permits. “It shouldn’t take too long, but it will mean Angel won’t be able to make a smooth transition across the street and he’ll probably be down for a little while,” Eisenberg said.

We’ve asked DPD for details of the complaint.

UPDATEx2: The complaint is pretty straightforward — but goes beyond the cobbler portion of the project: “Electrical and construction work without permits to create video arcade in former vet clinic space.”

“Whatever business that goes in there will need to get a change of use permit to operate as something other than a vet clinic,” a DPD spokesperson said.

In the meantime, Eisenberg says the arcade remains open.