tōk, Capitol Hill’s first pot shop, to open in longtime home of Angel’s Shoe Repair — UPDATE

IMG_4970When his target location for a recreational pot store on 15th Ave E was snatched up in an 11th hour deal earlier this year, Samuel Burke scrambled in search of a place to open Capitol Hill’s first I-502 shop. He may have found it across Republican at Angel’s Shoe Repair.

If all goes according to plan, Burke tells CHS he will open tōk by the end of June in the space that Ray Angel has occupied since 1980. Customers may also find a familiar face behind the pot shop’s counter: Burke says he wants to sign on Angel to work in his shop.

“I’m always looking for a win-win situation,” Burke told CHS.

Angel, a third generation cobbler, declined to comment on the future of his shop or his involvement with tōk. The family shoe repair business first opened in 1912 and has been on Capitol Hill for nearly 70 years. Joel Ostroff, who manages the property for Stanley Real Estate on behalf of the real estate investors who own the building, also declined to comment.

State Totals via the WSLCB’s Marijuana Dashboard

Burke told CHS on Thursday that he was prepared to sign a lease that day with the 1463 E Republican property owner. The state liquor board has already conditionally approved the new location, which Burke hopes could open as early as next month after he submits a copy of his lease and security plans to state regulators. However, Burke has reason to be cautious. Continue reading

Two decades of ‘American beer and American comfort food’ at the Hopvine

Bob Brenlin and Michael Congdon in front of Hopvine's evergrowing photo wall (Images: CHS)

Bob Brenlin, left, and Michael Congdon in front of Hopvine’s evergrowing photo wall (Images: CHS)

WP_20150312_004Bob 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’s Hopvine, 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.

Brenlin has no sense of how many different beers he’s been able to introduce to the neighborhood over the years, but with 12 ever-rotating taps multiplied by 20 years, the number is well into the thousands. In particular, all of his pubs feature what he called “creative, hop-forward” beers, particularly IPAs which he called the perennial best sellers from all of the craft breweries.

Brenlin always tried to focus on breweries from Washington and Oregon, he said, and it has been fun watching the number of small breweries grow. When the Hopvine opened, there were around 12 craft breweries in the state, now there’s more than 200 with more added regularly, he said. And when one of his bartenders pours one of those beers, Brenlin said they have one goal.

“Try and get the best pint as possible. Try to pour a beer as close to what the brewer intended as possible,” he said. Continue reading

Chocolate bunnies pop up on Capitol Hill

(Image: Dolcetta Artisan Sweets)

(Image: Dolcetta Artisan Sweets)

Whatever your level of faith, it’s difficult to resist a chocolate bunny. Saturday, Capitol Hill will again host the annual pre-Easter pop-up of Dolcetta Artisan Sweets:

It’s almost time… stop by Sole Repair Shop tomorrow (Saturday) between 11 and 4 for handmade Easter treats – decorated chocolate bunnies, Easter egg macarons, chocolate covered nougat, colorful bonbons, and your favorite Dolcetta bars, truffles, and caramels.

11134090_910351475681913_579227808923137028_oMeanwhile, a more permanent provider of sweets and amazing chocolate creations just might have something left for your basket at Bakery Nouveau. Here are a few treats we found on Nouveau’s Facebook page:

Bakery Noveau is open 7 AM to 9 PM at 137 15th Ave E. Dolcetta Artisan Sweets pops up at Sole Repair at 1001 E Pike from 11 AM to 4 PM Saturday.

Here’s the 2015 list of 2015 Capitol Hill-area egg hunts.

Police arrest 15th Ave E 7-Eleven robbery suspect

The suspect in a 15th Ave E convenience store robbery was arrested by police Thursday afternoon only a few blocks from the scene of the crime.

Seattle Police were called to the 7-Eleven at 15th and Denny Thursday around noon after a clerk was found inside the store with minor injuries to his head.

Seattle Fire was called to the store around 12:12 PM to treat the clerk. The clerk told police the suspect had assaulted him and robbed the store.

Police searched the area for the suspect. A man matching the suspect description was taken into custody just minutes later near 12th and Howell. According to police radio, a witness was brought to the scene to identify the suspect.

Station 7 boutique to join 15th Ave E in former home of Capitol Hill’s ‘last video shop’

Sorry to Ethan Stowell and the other food and drink barons of Capitol Hill on a seemingly neverending quest for new spaces to conquer — 15th Ave E’s old fire station will not be yours.

Station 7, a “really fun art gallery with furniture, jewelry, and home goods,” will open this spring in the ground floor of the brick building at 15th Ave E and E Harrison formerly home to On 15th Video.

“I really wanted it to be close to home,” Danielle Yoakum Tilden tells CHS. “I wanted it to be a neighborhood thing.”

Continue reading

Uncle Ike’s owner snatches up 15th Ave E property sought by tōk pot shop owner

Samuel Burke was well on his way to opening Capitol Hill’s first retail marijuana shop this spring, but a curveball from a surprising source is putting his plans on hold.

Late last month, Uncle Ike’s owner Ian Eisenberg bought the 15th Ave E and E Republican building where Burke has been planning to open tōk. Eisenberg bought the Capitol Hill Veterinary Clinic for $1.5 million under his company Capitol Hill Holdings, LLC.

The acquisition gives Eisenberg a potential contingency plan if Uncle Ike’s is forced to move, though he didn’t rule out the possibility of leasing the property to Burke. “I have a lawsuit trying to force me to move as well as a state senate bill forcing me to move,” Eisenberg told CHS. Continue reading

First look: Sur 16’s ‘New World’ flavors join the scene on 15th Ave E

IMG_8579IMG_8403For Capitol Hill restauranteurs Javier Dalzell and Mariana Martos, it is finally time to put the struggles of a first-time buildout aside and enjoy the creation. Sur 16 is open — finally! — on 15th Ave E.

“All of the neighbors have stopped in,” Martos said of Sur 16’s quiet opening over the weekend. “It’s an amazing feeling. Some have come in for a drink, then had another, and ended up staying for dinner.”

After nine months of a sometimes overwhelmingly frustrating buildout challenged by the expenses and administrative overhead of the local permitting process required to create a restaurant in the big city, Martos and Dalzell’s vision of a restaurant flavored by the Mestizo “conflict and resulting clashes and harmonies between the Old World and the New World” is now a reality in the former home of the old Bagel Deli. Continue reading

Capitol Hill gets ‘efficient’ as two new-era microhousing projects face design review

"It doesn't feel like microhousing at all!" -- Guy in rendering

“It doesn’t feel like microhousing at all!” — Guy in rendering

As CHS reported last fall, Seattle’s new microhousing rules left plenty of room for aPodment-style development on Capitol Hill. One of the biggest asks for microhousing critics was to subject the “efficiency unit” building type to the Seattle design review process. Critics — and the rest of us — can see their dreams become reality at Wednesday night’s meeting of the East Design Review Board.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 2.13.46 PMBoylston Flats
1404 Boylston is familiar territory for the board. The seven-story “affordable” apartment building with 105 units averaging around 440 square feet a piece and slated to replace the 1905-built Emerald City Manor apartments took its first run through early design guidance back in November.

At that meeting, the board didn’t like what it saw and kicked the project back to microhousing developers Tyler Carr and Kelten Johnson and architect S+H Works to sort out the issues for another EDG round. Continue reading

Goodbye to 15th Ave E’s eclectic Cafe Abodegas


(Image: CHS)


(Image: Cafe Abodegas)

A small, entirely eclectic cafe in one of the most space-challenged food and drink venues on 15th Ave E quietly closed to start 2015. It shut its doors a couple weeks back but we didn’t want Cafe ABoDegas and its funky capitalization to leave without saying goodbye.

Here’s a note posted by the cafe’s owners announcing the closure of the 15th Ave and downtown locations:

We’re so very sorry to let everyone know that Uriah and I have made the final decision to close our doors. We tried super hard to make it work and we unfortunately could not. We love every single one of our customers and want you to know you will be in our hearts forever. Good bye and good luck to all of you.

The 15th at Denny cafe in the street level commercial component of the Group Health Capitol Hill campus opened on Capitol Hill in 2013. Owner Jazmine Knaggs explained the name represented a triumvirate of ideas:

  • Abode — to evoke the feelings of home and shout out to the homeys in Sandpoint, Idaho where Knaggs and ABoDegas partner Uriah DuPerault hail from
  • Bodega — to evoke a sense of the corner market
  • Degas — to evoke the French impressionist

Abodegas, old timers, will recall, replaced Insomniax Cafe — another name dear to CHS’s obsessive heart. Meanwhile, the most exciting thing to ever happen in the cafe space remains this briefcase full of pot found there in 2011.

Goodbye, Abodegas.

CHS Re:Take | Capitol Hill — Fancy groceries since 1912

Augustine & Kyer in its final days at 15th and Republican (SMA)

1936 Augustine & Kyer in its final days at 15th and Republican, jammed in with Walgreens’ 2000 building.

We are awash in groceries! The recent headlines are amazing with the $43 million sale of Broadway Market, and Whole Foods with plans over on First Hill. Central Co-op and Cone & Steiner have set the tone for the high-end markets already but disposable income keeps moving into the neighborhood.

The same was true in 1912. The prior few years brought easy access to downtown with regraded streets and new streetcar lines on Pike, Pine, Summit, 19th, and 23rd that filled empty lots with houses and apartment buildings. As in other parts of Seattle, grocery stores were small, independent businesses. And then two branches of Augustine & Kyer — Seattle’s “Pure Food Purveyors” — upset the balance. Continue reading