First look inside The Lounge by AT&T and Ada’s Discovery Cafe

(Images: CHS)

Company executives were on Capitol Hill Friday for the telecommunication giant’s unveiling of its glossy new retail experiment, The Lounge by AT&T.

Morgan Collins, vice president for AT&T’s Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and Hawaii markets, tells CHS the company took the risk of trying to launch the new retail concept in an area like Capitol Hill because the neighborhood is home to “creative innovators.”

“I want us to be part of the community,” she said.

Another AT&T rep on hand put it more succinctly. “We are meeting people where they are.” Continue reading

Broadway Whole Foods to open October 30th

Plan your monthly grocery budget now. The under-construction Whole Foods at the edge of Capitol Hill and First Hill has announced it will be open by the end of October.

The opening will come four years and a week after CHS broke the news on the project, planned, at the time, to be the company’s ninth store in Seattle. “We have been interested in the Capitol Hill and First Hill communities or a long long time,” a company spokesperson told CHS back in November of 2014. “We couldn’t be more pleased about the location of the new store.” Continue reading

The Lounge by AT&T will have a local guide in its Capitol Hill retail experiment — Ada’s Discovery Cafe

(Image: Ada’s Discover Cafe via Instagram)

For most of us, getting an email out of the blue from AT&T probably means that our bill is due. For Danielle Hulton of Capitol Hill’s Ada’s Technical Books, an email from the telecommunications giant this spring was an invitation to talk about a life and business changing opportunity.

“They’re evolving and want to be considered more of a tech company,” Hulton said of the conversations that started with that email. “In order to reach customers in places like Capitol Hill, a traditional retail store isn’t going to work.”

So, in the rare case of a corporate giant making a mutually beneficial pact with a locally focused neighborhood merchant, Hulton, her husband and business partner David Hulton, and the growing crew at Ada’s joined up with AT&T and a champion barista for a coffee-focused adventure in small business that pretty much only could play out here on Capitol Hill. Continue reading

Created by a chef at the top of his game, Poppy marks 10 years on Capitol Hill

(Image: Poppy)

Capitol Hill was a very different place when Jerry Traunfeld opened his restaurant, Poppy, a decade ago on Broadway. As he and his staff prepare to celebrate the restaurant’s 10-year anniversary on Sunday, Traunfeld said it was a quest for independence that led to his choice to open a business on Capitol Hill.

“I wanted to do something on my own. And I wanted to do it in the city and I wanted to do something that was more accessible,” Traunfeld said. “Something that was more of my own personality.”

Before Poppy, Traunfeld worked as the chef at the Herbfarm for 17 years where he says he reached the top of his game. He had built a reputation for himself, won the James Beard Award and published a few cookbooks. Despite his success, he still felt that he wanted to create something he could call his own.

But independence has its price. Traunfeld opened the restaurant on September 18th, 2008 — just as the global economy fell to pieces. Continue reading

Mental health arrest after man reported with bow and arrow on Capitol Hill

A man who caused a bit of a stir Tuesday night as he roamed Capitol Hill with a bow and arrow was taken into custody for evaluation of a possible mental crisis, SPD tells CHS.

911 calls began coming in around 9 PM Tuesday reporting a male carrying a bow and arrow and behaving oddly near north Broadway. Police searched the area but could not locate the man.

Ten minutes later, a caller reported a man shooting an arrow near Boylston and Republican. Police responded to the area and learned the man had entered a nearby building.

Responding officers located the resident inside and took him into custody for mental health evaluation.

Police tell us nobody reported being directly threatened or harmed by the man.

Consulate of Mexico in Seattle and its Mexican Cultural Institute celebrate nation’s arts — plus, Mexican wine and mezcal

Capitol Hill’s Harvard Exit didn’t just become the new home Consulate of Mexico in Seattle when the diplomatic facility moved in this summer.

The Mexican Cultural Institute also now calls the building home.

You can join the effort to embrace and growth Mexican culture and arts in the Northwest this month with El Festival MEX AM Northwest events across the neighborhood including a reception on Thursday along with the monthly Capitol Hill Art Walk showcasing the work of sculptor Adrian Gomez in the institute’s gallery inside the consulate:

NosotrUS: AdrĂ­an GĂłmez

Meanwhile, you can enjoy some more of the nation’s creations with a Mexican wine tasting event at Capitol Hill’s Aluel Cellars and a night of mexcal at Mezcaleria Oaxaca on E Pine.


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Thief makes off with Amazon delivery van in Capitol Hill carjacking — UPDATE

UPDATE 9/10/18: New information in the SPD report on the carjacking clarifies the location of where it went down and reveals that the ripoff appears to have been a targeted heist.

According to the report, the suspect wore a green motorcycle helmet to cover his face as he attacked the driver from behind, smashing him in the back of the head before leaping into the van and speeding away.

According to the report, Amazon valued the loss at $30,386 but it’s not clear if that included any packages stolen with the van.

As of last week, the vehicle had yet to be recovered, according to Seattle Police.

Original report: Amazon did not become a one trillion dollar company by losing packages but the retail giant is down a full delivery van in a carjacking Wednesday afternoon that began at E Roy and Harvard in the 200 block of 10th Ave E on Capitol Hill and had SPD and Washington State Patrol searching I-5 and area streets.

Police were called to the area just off Broadway around 1 PM to a report of an Amazon delivery driver who said his van had just been stolen from him. The van suffered damage to the driver side as the thief smashed into a vehicle or two as he fled the scene. Continue reading

Barbara Bailey, founder of Broadway’s much-loved Bailey/Coy Books, remembered

(Image via Facebook)

Barbara Bailey, a Broadway business and property owner who created one of the city’s most loved book shops, has died. She was 74.

Friends have posted tributes to Bailey on social media. There has not yet been an announcement regarding services.

Mayor Jenny Durkan noted Bailey’s place in the formation of the Capitol Hill we know today. “Her mark on Seattle cannot be overstated; Capitol Hill would not be Capitol Hill, were it not for Barbara,” Durkan writes. “She went to school there, lived there, built a business there and cheered the neighborhood on like few others.”

“No LGBTQ+ person would have been elected to any office in this region were it not for Barbara Bailey,” the mayor said. “She always stood by her principles, and she inspired others through her work.”

Bailey is remembered on Broadway for her Bailey/Coy Books, an important part of the street’s culture and LGBTQ communities through three decades at the end of the 20th century.

Her contributions to the neighborhood were remembered when Michael Wells, who took over Bailey/Coy ownership from Bailey, announced the shop’s closure in late 2009: Continue reading

Waiting for its light rail station plaza future, Capitol Hill Farmers Market still thriving on Broadway

Leah Litwak, Capitol Hill’s market manager (Images: CHS)

Someday, Capitol Hill’s farmers market will stretch out inside the plaza in the middle of the under construction development projects around Capitol Hill Station. The expansion will also likely mean added days of market shopping. For now, you can find the market every Sunday along Broadway just north of Pine.

“For 25 years we’ve been running markets with the core of providing a direct, sustainable marketplace for farmers,” said Leah Litwak, Capitol Hill’s market manager for nearly two years following her tenure at the parent organization. Continue reading

Even with new acting director, Seattle Department of Transportation seems unlikely to unstick work to speed up First Hill Streetcar

(Image: SDOT)

A project to speed up the notoriously pokey First Hill Streetcar remains stuck in neutral on Capitol Hill and the mayor’s new choice for an interim leader for her transportation department seems unlikely to kick the work into motion.

Seattle Department of Transportation officials have responded to CHS inquiries about the project to streamline the streetcar’s route with a proposed four-block southbound “Business Access and Transit” lane on Broadway that would shave off three minutes of travel time and be part of a package of changes hoped to boost ridership by about 10% — 350 riders — per day.

Property owners and business representatives tell CHS that SDOT has remained silent on the project that had been planned for construction this summer. The department said Monday that the project isn’t dead. Continue reading