What will it take for Orion to outrace Sawant in D3? Business, bravery, and ‘a queer voice on council again’

Orion was introduced Tuesday by Aleksa Manila, “drug counselor by day, drag diva by night,” before his campaign announcement on Broadway

Walking through the Emerald City chaos of Broadway and its glorious mix of the glamour and the squalor of Seattle on a Tuesday morning is one thing. Holding a press conference to announce your candidacy for City Council at the corner of Broadway and Harrison in the middle of it all is quite another.

There is one thing for certain in the just-starting race for the District 3 seat at Seattle City Hall. The campaign will include two of the bravest politicians in the city. Continue reading

A changing of the bar taco guard on Broadway as El Xolo joins Nacho Borracho

With his ball cap, tattoo-covered arms and small black studs in each ear, having a beer at the bar of Nacho Borracho on a Saturday afternoon, Ricardo Valdes could be any regular customer.

But he’s not. Starting Monday night, the chef will be whipping up tacos behind the flower-adorned walk-up counter in the back of the Broadway bar. Continue reading

Spring has sprung on Broadway with flowers — and trees now surrounded with recycled tire pavement

Dirt is out on Capitol Hill. Cork covers Cal Anderson’s sports field. And “flexible porous pavement,” slowly but surely, is surrounding Broadway’s trees.

Along with larger efforts like winning the return of homelessness outreach services on the street, the Broadway Business Improvement Area also is marking a smaller win with spring as the first phase in a two-year effort to fill in the street’s tree wells is complete. Continue reading

Next affordable project for Capitol Hill Housing? Station House

CHS began the week with coverage of hope for a new start in the Central District with the opening of the equitably developed affordable housing and mixed-use project, the Liberty Bank Building. We also noted that Africatown and nonprofit developer Capitol Hill Housing were looking forward to another possible collaboration with a new Africatown Plaza project at 23rd and Spring.

But CHH’s next addition to the area’s housing mix will come at Capitol Hill Station.

Station House will create 110 homes affordable for “working families” – people making roughly between $19,000 to $55,000, depending on family size. “Units will be a mixture of studios, one, two and three bedroom units,” Capitol Hill Housing says. “The first floor will include a 1,400 square foot community space open to the neighborhood.”

The project is currently under construction at 10th and John on the northeast corner of the housing, community plaza, and retail development rising around the light rail station. CHH says the final concrete deck will be poured in early April and then the wood framing will go up. The project is currently expected to be complete in spring of 2020.

Capitol Hill Housing is also working on plans for new affordable, LGBTQ-friendly housing for low-income seniors at 14th and Union.

Last week, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan signed the city’s new expansion of its Mandatory Housing Affordability expansion into law in the lobby of Capitol Hill Housing’s 12th Ave Arts building.

$3.2M deal puts Broadway Grill property back in motion

(Image: CHS)

There isn’t a month that goes by that somebody doesn’t ask CHS what is happening with the old Broadway Grill. For six years, the answer has been nothing. That is about to change.

“It definitely will be kicking back into life,” prolific Capitol Hill real estate investor Ron Amundson tells CHS. “Paint, lights, a clean-up. It’s time.”

According to King County records, Amundson purchased the property home to the 1936-built restaurant building for $3.2 million in February. Continue reading

Homeless outreach workers returning to Broadway starting in April

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The three neighborhood plan that will bring homeless outreach services back to Broadway has a start date — and by April 1st, the organization providing that outreach will be in place to make it happen.

“It’s not a solution to chase away homeless to another neighborhood,” Egan Orion, the new executive director of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and administrator of the Broadway Business Improvement Area, “At least having outreach workers on the ground, being able to connect them, getting to know them, helping them navigate system, some folks will be helped out of that situation.” Continue reading

Yes, there is a Nazi connection to these Capitol Hill chains

Craft beer. Journalism. Coffee. Sometimes issues in the global industrial marketplace reverberate all the way to 12th Ave thanks to Capitol Hill business connections to worldwide conglomerates.

Fascism watchers of Seattle social media, you can stop messaging CHS. We’ll make sure people are aware. If it helps inform your latte buying decisions, know that Panera Bread and Stumptown Coffee have, well, a Nazi past:

“It is all correct,” family spokesman Peter Harf, who is one of two managing partners of JAB Holdings, told Bild. “Reimann Senior and Reimann Junior were guilty. The two men have passed away, but they actually belonged in prison.”

Reports document the use of forced labor and support for Hitler by the German family whose company owns controlling stakes in a massive portfolio of companies with brands familiar to Seattle consumers including Stumptown. Continue reading

Aoki Sushi, under new owner, saying hello — again — on Broadway

Hitoshi Nishitani has retired and his Broadway sushi bar did, indeed, close after 33 years of business. But Aoki Sushi wasn’t saying goodbye, it turns out.

Reopening under new management, Aoki is being reborn and putting the old sushi bar at 621 Broadway E to the same use. The new owner is a company registered to an Alex Bae but we don’t know any more than that.

Aoki’s revival along with longtime HaNa and newcomers like Noren keeps Capitol Hill in the $ to $$ sushi game as $$$ and $$$$ options increase.

Meanwhile paperwork is also flying down the street at the another Broadway oldtimer. Jai Thai has a new ownership structure, CHS is told, but the same people are involved. The owner remains founder Duangjit Alberts, according to state corporation filings.

With city nixing plan for car charging station on Broadway, extended bikeway still no closer to reality

(Image: Seattle Bike Blog)

City officials are backing off the plan to add a new electric vehicle charging station to Broadway outside Capitol Hill Station that would have kinked up any future plans for extending the Broadway bikeway. Here — we’ll let Seattle Bike Blog and its infographic goodness tell you the news:

In an email to people who submitted feedback on the plan, the agency cited public concerns about the bike lane (and increased costs related to relocation) as primary reasons for the change. As Seattle Bike Blog and many others noted, the presence of a car charger would likely serve as an additional barrier to a sorely-needed bike lane extension on Broadway. Moving the charger if/when a bike lane is completed would also cost City Light unnecessary expenses.

In its update, Seattle City Light said it heard three priorities from feedback on the proposal:

  • There is a preference for the City of Seattle to focus on transit, pedestrian, and biking options for this intersection.
  • Installing the EV chargers in a location where the community desires a protected bike lane extension would create a hurdle for the community’s continued appeal for the protected bike lane extension.
  • Installing the EV chargers in a location where future uses possibly include a protected bike lane or a loading/unloading zone could result in unnecessary expenses for City Light.

In selecting the location, City Light points out that extending Broadway’s protected bike lane was not included in the Seattle Department of Transportation’s six-year project list.

Seattle City Light could choose a new location for a Capitol Hill charging station. “If we find a feasible site in the Capitol Hill area, we will engage the community and stakeholders again,” City Light says. Continue reading

Blade and Timber axe-tossing bar hopes to hit mark with Capitol Hill nightlife crowds

The key to tossing an axe, Blade and Timber’s Jessie Poole says, is like most things in life. Most people are trying too hard. Instead, try to make your motion more of a smooth, continual arc and let the heavy blade do most of the work. K-thunk.

Also, wear appropriate footwear.

Friday, the newest addition to the nightlife carnival that is Capitol Hill debuts. Blade and Timber adds to the neighborhood’s midway of fun things to do while you drink. Worrywarts, though, probably won’t be surprised to hear that the debut of an axe-tossing bar in Seattle, Washington will come with the bar completely dry — the state process to secure a liquor license for the new venture is taking longer than expected. Continue reading