Attention Capitol Hill QFC shoppers who carry reusable bags while shopping…

Last Drinks with Donna Summer

While you’re finishing shopping for your Friendsgiving feast, be aware of this note just sent to CHS from QFC HQ about upcoming changes:

Beginning late next week, customers at our QFC stores may notice some new signage asking them to only use shopping carts or hand baskets while shopping in our stores. With our busy stores, especially during the holidays, we want to ensure that all of our customers have a pleasant and easy shopping experience. At times, the process of unloading and reloading reusable bags at the register slows down the checkout process and causes delays.

The spokesperson tells CHS that the Ohio-based grocery chain is “not the only retailer to implement this change.” We asked if “lost prevention” was also a factor in the decision. “There are other benefits to this policy,” the spokesperson said, “but the main reason is customer convenience.”

Now you’ll just need to find an unused basket or cart. Good luck.

The move follows some more customer experience streamlining after QFC stores on Capitol Hill shifted from 24-hour operations to closing at 1 AM earlier this year.

UPDATE: E Madison’s Central Co-op weighs in: “We do prefer that people use shopping carts and baskets instead of shopping into their personal re-useable bags. It helps to prevent confusion at the registers.”

 

Patrick J. Sullivan House hits market just in time for Hilloween

The house in 1975 (Image: Seattle Municipal Archives)

Nearly 120 years old, the spooky Victorian at the corner of 15th Ave and E Olive St has hit the market. With an asking price of $2.2 million, the sale of the “Patrick J. Sullivan House” is clearly more about the property’s future than its once elegant past:

The home was originally commissioned by successful boilermaking businessman Patrick J. Sullivan, who owned Queen City Boiler Works in Pioneer Square. Architects Josenhans and Allan designed the home. They also designed many other prominent buildings in the area, including multiple buildings on the University of Washington campus, many historic Pioneer Square buildings, and other grand Victorian homes around Capitol Hill and Queen Anne.

(Image: CHS)

Despite the property’s recent lonely years, neglect, and deterioration, Capitol Hill-based broker Marlow Harris is looking for a buyer interested in restoration. “Today, there is an opportunity to renovate this home, bring it into the new millennium and share it with the citizens of Seattle,” she writes.

The property has never been nominated for city landmarks protections.

That lonely old house might also know a busier, more people-filled future. Across 15th Ave on the westside of the street, a four-unit rowhouse is currently under construction. Zoned for three story buildings, the Patrick J. Sullivan House land might also eventually be home to new multifamily housing.

 

 

Dance Underground, an open space for Capitol Hill dance communities

In an underground dance studio on 15th Ave E, you can find Ilana Rubin — hair wisped and face flush — running around or behind her desk fresh out of one workout or another, her office strewn with Halloween decorations.

Rubin runs Dance Underground, a 14-year business running a 45-year-old dance studio. The studio was first opened by Shirley Jenkins when it was called Strong Winds Wild Horses. In fact, it’s the very place Rubin met her partner more than two decades ago doing Argentine tango. Rubin herself has been a dancer all her life, harking back to her roots in Israel.

The space itself contains two spacious studios with christmas lights lining the wall-length mirrors. It certainly has a homey, lived-in feel to it through the walls and the ceiling but it’s welcoming.

“To me it’s just a part of that old Seattle that we keep talking about that’s disappearing,” said Barb Duff who uses the space for BaDi dance and exercise. “From what we do for a living, you’re just not going to find a 2,000-square-foot, unobstructed studio with a hard sprung wood floor anywhere with these cookie-cutter Ikea showrooms.”

Duff and her BaDi coworker Dina Love came to Seattle from the East Coast a while back. For them, the studio is reminiscent of New York’s “gritty dance studios” because of its ambiance. Continue reading

With staff become owners, Capitol Hill’s Liberty Bar carries on

As Capitol Hill craft cocktail bar Liberty transfers over to new, younger hands, founder Andrew Friedman plans on starting a new company allowing restaurants and bars to brand their own drinks. It’s called Industry Spirits.

“It’s very difficult for them to legally own their own brands,” Friedman said. “We’d work with them for brand identity and sell and distribute for them…  it’s never been done before.”

Last year, CHS reported on the changes as Friedman worked on a plan for Liberty Bar to be cooperatively purchased and operated by the staff. After working out the details, though, it turned out only two staffers wanted the responsibility: Andrew Dalan and Brandon Paul Weaver.

New Liberty manager Dalan said the hardest part about the transition has been paperwork. Continue reading

Hope for Hilltop: ‘Save Our Station’ community meeting planned

Earlier this month CHS reported on the end of gasoline sales at 15th and Mercer as ownership of Hilltop Service Station ponders its future under a looming property sale and redevelopment. A Capitol Hill neighbor is organizing a community meeting to help “Save Our Station.”

“The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the future of our ‘urban village.’ So far we have lost our hardware store, our post-office and now our a full-service gas station, what’s next?,” neighborhood gadfly Ellen Taft says in the announcement of the October 28th meeting at nearby Victrola Coffee.

SOS Save Our Station

Taft, also known for her efforts to advocate for stricter laws regarding dogs and breeds like pitbulls in Seattle, also hopes to help shape any new development lined up for the corner. “If businesses cannot house their workers, they may go out of business, and then we will live like people in the suburbs in the 1950’s, living in residential neighborhoods and having to drive to everything else,” she says. “Development will come to 15th, we the people, just need to plan now for the future.”

Hilltop Service Station has provided the neighborhood with tune-ups, oil changes, and more since 1966-1967 on the corner of 15th Ave E and E Mercer. Owner Mike Burke says he will continue to operate the service garage even as a developer is preparing to purchase the property from the family who has owned it for decades.

Crunch time for effort to expand Capitol Hill Business Improvement Area

Community leaders seeking to expand a Business Improvement Area to advance clean streets, public safety, and business growth across Capitol Hill are looking for a special person to drive creation of the possible $1.6 million program. The candidate needs to be detail oriented and tenacious, able to connect with small business owners and landlords in every nook and cranny of the Hill, and able to track down every single loose end. Sorry, I already have a job.

“People are busy,” says Jeff Peletier, architect at 15th Ave E’s Board and Vellum and spokesperson for the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and the efforts to create an expansive Capitol Hill Business Improvement Area. “This economy is insane.”

In these boom times, the job listing for a new campaign manager to wrangle the expansion process is a good sign for those behind the proposed expansion. CHS reported on the February launch of the Hill chamber’s campaign to expand the existing Broadway BIA to encompass Broadway, Pike/Pine, Melrose, as well as 15th and 19th Avenues. The new manager will help drive the day to day to prepare petitions for the City Council as the campaign shifts into an all-out effort to gather signups from 60% of property owners within the proposed boundaries of the expansion. That includes “owners of business property, multi-family residential property, and mixed-use property.” Continue reading

Blotter | Police investigate ‘EAT THE RICH’ tagging spree

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • Man struck on E Olive Way: A man in his 40s was taken to the hospital in stable condition after a reported car vs. pedestrian incident at Summit and E Olive Way Friday afternoon. Police were unable to provide many details of the peculiar incident at what is known as a busy and sometimes dangerous crossing but witnesses tell CHS this appeared to be more of an assault than a crash. According to one witness, the incident included an argument and the victim getting out of the involved vehicle before being struck by the hit and run driver. Police were looking for a silver hatchback involved in the crash. Another vehicle was at the scene damaged when CHS arrived around 2:30 PM.

Continue reading

Intrigue Chocolate and Coffeehouse coming to 15th and Madison

Aaron Barthel, right, and Karl Mueller (Images: Intrigue Chocolate)

No, you can’t get coffee on every corner of Capitol Hill. But just about. Pioneer Square’s Intrigue Chocolate Co. will be putting another key Capitol Hill corner to use, creating a “chocolate and coffeehouse” at 15th and Madison.

Owners Aaron Barthel and Karl Mueller broke their own news on the project Friday with a detailed blog post:

Imagine walking through the front doors of our new chocolate and coffeehouse and being greeted by the delicious smell fresh coffee, warm quick breads, and cacao beans in the mill. Imagine ordering a cup of coffee from a knowledgeable and friendly barista that suggests you try this origin chocolate from Ghana after you take your first sip, so you can experience the chocolatey and plum notes of the coffee without distraction. Imagine sitting comfortably in a tall window with your cozy mug and small chocolate next to a warm slice of banana bread, enjoying the grey Seattle light and soft rain on the skyline.

OK, we’re intrigued.

Intrigue’s chocolate philosophy should fit nicely with Capitol Hill. The focus isn’t on mastery and repetition. Mueller says of his chocolatier business partner’s cocoa genius.

“Aaron likes to use chocolate a as medium to express what he knows about flavor,” Mueller said. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s only full service gas station up for grabs

Mike Burke (Images: Alex Garland)

The Hilltop Service Station on 15th Ave E — one of Seattle’s last full service gas stations — could be at the end of the road of more than 50 years of business on Capitol Hill. The station stopped selling gas this month though the busy garage continues to serve drivers from Capitol Hill and beyond. The land is up for sale.

Station owner Mike Burke has mixed feelings about the situation.

“I’m sad it’s a part of the community soon to change dramatically,” he said, “but at some point one has to accept the reality and move forward.”

 

Gary Bergamini, who passed away last November, owned the property since the 1960s. His assets moved into a trust operating on behalf of his heirs.

Burke came along in the late ‘70s, moving up from a gas pumper to a business partner. He will not make any new business decisions, however, until he talks with the property’s buyers. They could negotiate for the station to stay a while longer. But a developer is actively pursuing the property, according to Burke.

“So what do you think is gonna happen in Seattle,” he said. Continue reading

Blotter | Teen suspects cornered in park bathroom after Capitol Hill street robbery

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage hereYes, CHS is still on hiatus but we’ll continue to keep the news engine warm and post from time to time as events warrant.

  • 15th Ave E robbery: Police took two teenaged street robbery suspects into custody Friday afternoon thanks to an observant person in Volunteer Park. Officers were called to the area around E Highland and 15th Ave E just after 2:30 PM Friday to a report that a victim had been robbed of a bag at knifepoint by juvenile males. Police searched the area including nearby Volunteer Park where a witness said two males had headed into the bathroom. Police took the two into custody after the victim was able to visually identify them as the assailants, according to East Precinct radio dispatches. There were no reported significant injuries.
  • ‘Fast back up’ at Broadway/Pike: Police were called to assist Seattle Fire personnel responding to a reported injured person at the Shell service station at Broadway and Pike early Sunday morning. According to police and Seattle Fire radio reports, a “fast back up” call was made during the 3:20 AM incident when a female was threatening an aid crew that had “stumbled into” a fight unfolding in the gas station’s parking lot. Police arrived to find the suspect was no longer at the scene and the reportedly injured victim in the fight long gone.
  • Tattoo break-in: A burglar walked out of E Olive Way tattoo shop the Artful Dodger with the shop’s cash register and cash in a September midnight break-in, according to Seattle Police. According to the report on the September 15th burglary, video surveillance showed a male suspect wearing a dark hoodie using a rock to break the shop’s glass door before picking up the register and walking out. Police say the suspect made off with the register — and $400 in cash.