Philadelphia Fevre closes bringing 30 years of cheesesteaks to an end in the Central District

(Images: @jlunz via Twitter)

“Closed for business” (Images: @jlunz via Twitter)

2014 will go down as a sad year for legendary Central District restaurants as 23rd and Madison’s Philadelphia Fevre has served its last “authentic Philly-style” cheesesteak after 31 years of business.

Here’s the legend Philly Fevre ownership tells of the sandwich shop’s birth:

Philadelphia Fevre was started by Renee LeFevre in 1983.  Ms. LeFevre moved to the northwest from Philadelphia with an idea of starting the first authentic Philly steak shop in the Seattle area.  Renee was a stickler for Philly authenticity and tradition.  Through Renee’s leadership the restaurant quickly established itself as a favorite stop for east coast transplants homesick for an authentic Philly-style meal.  The restaurant received numerous awards and recognition for its great food and unique offering.  Ms. LeFevre created a strong base and long standing tradition that is still felt by many of the shop’s customers today…

B5Eyqc6CAAAnPKrCHS is working to have more on what lead to the closure and the history of the shop soon but it looks like the restaurant’s end was anticipated by its owners. The Fevre’s liquor license was discontinued earlier this fall, often a sign of a business winding itself down. But we hope to be able to report more on the circumstances later this week.

There is no word, yet, on anything lined up to take over the space. If you need to get your Fevre fix, you can visit sibling Philly Fever Restaurant and Bar on 3rd St. in Renton. We don’t know why the sister location opted to change her name from Fevre. Philly owners say they are looking for a new Seattle location in which to reopen.

The 23rd/Madison shop’s closure follows this summer’s end of Catfish Corner which shuttered at MLK and Cherry after 30 years of business. That restaurant space remains empty.

#blacklivesmatter: A look at the covenants on Capitol Hill


“The Communist Party Newspaper, New World, published articles attacking racial restrictive covenants in 1948″ — Racial Restrictive Covenants: Enforcing Neighborhood Segregation in Seattle

In 1927, a small group of white homeowners on Capitol Hill had a problem: How to keep the Central District’s black population corralled to the “ghetto” south of Madison.

Gone were the days when whites could simply pass a law prohibiting blacks from moving into their neighborhoods. The Supreme Court had ruled such restrictive ordinances unconstitutional 10 years earlier.

So some of Capitol Hill’s forefathers (and foremothers) discovered a work-around: They went door to door getting their white neighbors to sign a covenant promising not to sell or rent their houses to people of “negro Blood” for at least 21 years. The effort appears to have been lead by a group called the Capitol Hill Community Club. In 1947, the covenants covered 183 blocks around the neighborhood. Continue reading

‘We have a right to be angry’ — Hundreds march from Central District to SPD HQ

IMG_9947“What do we want?”


“When do we want it?”

The answer, of course: “Now.” An estimated 1,500+ strong crowd of marchers gathered at Garfield High School at noon Saturday for a protest against police brutality as part of ongoing actions in Seattle to bring attention to the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of police.

IMG_2083While organizers vowed that Saturday’s march would be peaceful, the promises didn’t mean participants aren’t angry about police violence and its impact on the Black community. “We have a right to be angry as we march in the streets today,” one speaker shouted as the crowd prepared to move out. Continue reading

Police investigating 23rd/Jackson shooting

With reporting by Bryan Cohen

Police are investigating a shooting at 23rd and Jackson after gunfire rang out and cars sped from the area.

One possible victim in the shooting arrived at an area hospital by car after the 1:30 PM shooting but we don’t yet know if police have confirmed any connection to the 23rd and Jackson shots fired.

30 minutes earlier, a massive, student-led “Protest Against Police Brutality” march had passed through the area with hundreds of elementary and high school students included.

There is nothing to indicate that the shooting was related to the protest.

Police were examining a late-model Cadillac with damage from the gunfire in the parking lot behind the 23rd and Jackson Starbucks.

One witness told police the shooter was accompanied by three other young males. They reportedly left the scene in a red Camaro-type car with a black roof while the shooter ran from the scene, according to witness accounts.

UPDATE 12/8/14 1:45 PM: Police have confirmed details of the shooting initially reported by CHS and tell us that they have — as of yet — not been able to connect the man who arrived at Harborview with a gunshot wound to the scene at 23rd and Jackson. Police say the man arrived and walked into the hospital by himself with a gunshot wound to the lower back. We do not have information on his condition. Police also said both the suspect vehicle and a victim vehicle were seen speeding away from the scene. The car with the bullet hole being examined at 23rd and Jackson was apparently parked in the lot and not directly involved in the shooting. There have been no arrests.

Uncle Ike’s back in court to fight church’s attempt to shut down 23/Union pot shop — UPDATE

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 10.47.39 AMHaving put down the neighboring church’s first attempt to shutter the shop with a temporary restraining order, the Central District’s I-502 pot shop Uncle Ike’s was back in court Friday as lawyers for Mount Calvary Christian Center made their case again that the marijuana store never should have been allowed to open in the first place at 23rd and Union.

UPDATE: Ike’s camp tells us the temporary injunction was denied and that the shop will be open as usual to serve your holiday shopping needs. The larger case against the shop, state, and city isn’t scheduled to go to trial until next year.

“The Washington Legislature enacted provisions to protect children from marijuana retail business operations, not to protect retail marijuana businesses, and invoke mandatory directives regarding location and distance of such exposure,” the plaintiffs wrote in the motion filed in King County Superior Court. “The defendants completely ignored that directive.” Continue reading

Central District’s farmers and boxers roll with the punches of more 23rd/Union development

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

Last week, CHS told you about how the Central District farmers of Alleycat Acres are ready to roll with the tide of development reshaping parts of their home turf by finding new neighborhood land to tend — including new pocket farms scattered throughout the area. A plan for another Lake Union Partners mixed-use development at 23rd and Union is in the works. It will eventually claim the land home to one of the community farms, a gas station, and Cappy’s Boxing Gym.

“I feel really confident that we are in good shape to make this move,” owner Cap Kotz tells CHS.

This summer, CHS reported on a fundraising effort mounted to raise $15,000 to help the 15-year-old gym prepare for the transition. “We kind of knew something special was happening,” coach Anne Bailey said about the drive. “We were really moved by what people had to say about our gym.”

Kotz said he is on the hunt for a new home for Cappy’s and zeroing in on a location near S Jackson. The new space will be larger and Kotz plans to ink a longer, 10-year lease to help give his business stability.

Cappy’s first opened its doors in October, 1999. Kotz said that he used to teach boxing fitness to people around Seattle and it seemed like a good time for him to open up a gym. “I lived in Central District. I have lived here for 35 years. We first actually opened up on East Union Street, just two blocks up and we were there for a year and half and then we moved here because of bigger space and higher ceilings,” Kotz said.

The longtime home is nearing its eight count. The lease for the building expires in August, 2015. By then, Kotz is confident Cappy’s will still be fighting.

As far as development goes, the displacement on the northwest corner of 23rd and Union seems about as positive as possible for farmers and boxers. Drivers who need to fuel up? We’re betting you won’t see a new gas station in the area anytime soon.

You can learn more at

The Central District harvesters of Alleycat Acres plant seed of idea for neighborhood pocket farms

IMG_4078IMG_4092The plan for developers Lake Union Partners to build a second mixed-use apartment project at 23rd and Union means change and some amount of displacement. But the farmers of the Alleycat Acres land at 22nd and Union, a patch of neighborhood farmland maintained by community members, seem ready for change.

“Our understanding and agreement with the developer is that they want us to stay there till the last responsible moment,” said Fisher Qua, farm coordinator of the space at 22nd and Union, told CHS. “They want the site to be active till they bring the bulldozer.”

The farm at 22nd and Union has been in existence since 2010 and has helped the community come together to produce and build relationships as well as fresh produce. The farm has yielded a variety of crops like potatoes, beans, garlic, flowers and northwest plants. Whatever is harvested is shared amongst the community members and then whatever is left is then donated to the community partners. Leftovers are often shared with various food banks and preschools and the farm in the past has even partnered up with the YWCA. Continue reading

Doubling down in the Central District, developer plans another apartment project at 23rd and Union

In 2010, things seemed bleak at 23rd and Union as even the gas station temporarily shuttered (Image: CHS)

In 2010, things seemed bleak at 23rd and Union as even the gas station temporarily shuttered (Image: CHS)

The new project on the northwest corner will join this Lake Union Partners apartment project on the southwest corner of 23rd and Union

The new project on the northwest corner will join this Lake Union Partners apartment project on the southwest corner of 23rd and Union

Last spring, change dug in at 23rd and Union as work finally began on a long-planned, six-story apartment and retail project on the intersection’s southwest corner. Now, change at the corner is rising higher. A developer already busy in the Central District is doubling down on redeveloping the blocks around the intersection with a $4.1 million-plus purchase of land currently home to a gas station and Cappy’s Gym.

Permits detail Lake Union Partners plans to build a 160,000 square-foot,146-unit apartment building with underground parking for 120 vehicles on the site. Continue reading

CHS Pics | 29th and Yesler on the five year anniversary of the Officer Brenton murder


CHS included one somber stop at 29th and Yesler on what was otherwise a fun and peaceful Halloween Friday night. Five years ago, Officer Timothy Brenton was gunned down in what investigators would call an assassination of the veteran officer as he sat in his patrol car with a trainee partner. CHS heard the East Precinct radio broadcasts that Halloween night 2009 as partner Britt Sweeney called for help. She had been grazed by a bullet and was in obvious, painful distress. Brenton died at the scene.

Friday night at Brenton’s 29th and Yesler memorial, CHS found flowers and a cup of coffee left for the fallen officer. Continue reading

Opponents shine light on Swedish Cherry Hill expansion

unnamed (35)A protest of the planned expansion of the Swedish Cherry Hill campus will lit up the facility again on Halloween night, CHS is told.

We were sent images and video of a recent “protest projection” to call attention the hospitals “major institution master plan” process slated to be wrapped up by next summer as Swedish prepares to add to its “1.2 million square-foot specialty center” to add capacity for an expected 30 to 50% increase in patients seeking services at the E Cherry facility.

The planned expansion has drawn opposition from many including neighbors in the area who are concerned about increasing the “height, bulk and scale” of the facility.