Big, smoky fire scorches old Capitol Hill ‘dog lounge’ building

(Image courtesy Jesse Rope)

(Image courtesy Ella Li)

The building formerly home to a Capitol Hill’s “dog lounge” burned Wednesday morning in a smoke-spewing fire that sent one woman to the hospital.

Seattle Fire was called to the intersection of E Denny and E Olive Way just before 8:30 AM and began to battle a blaze from inside and on the roof of the building. The fire was upgraded to a “two alarm” response to bring in additional crews.

Seattle Fire crews reported the fire was nearly under control by 9 AM but it continued to burn and create significant amounts of smoke.

Seattle Fire says one woman was taken to Harborview from the scene. According to radio dispatches, the woman was outside the building and suffered smoke inhalation. SFD reported the woman to be in stable condition.

The building was home to the Downtown Dog Lounge until it left this summer due to what the owner said were crime and landlord issues.

The large, single-story 1924-built auto row building and surrounding property is also home to In The Bowl, the Holy Smoke head shop, and an outlet of the Beyond Vape chain. The long-shuttered Apocalypse Tattoo and Bus Stop bar spaces have also been vacant in the building for years.

UPDATE 12:40 PM: SFD says investigators have been unable to determine the cause of the fire. Damage is estimated at $500,000.

(Image courtesy Jesse Rope)

(Image courtesy Jesse Rope)

Why is Capitol Hill’s The Saint closing its kitchen? More fun, better business

(Image: The Saint)

CHS isn’t the only Capitol Hill business taking some time mid-2017 for an overhaul of its craft and a boost of new creative energy.

Who knows about the blog but we’re pretty sure the changes at The Saint bear watching.

“We can put the same amount of energy into other things and have a lot more fun,” Quentin Ertel tells us about his reinvention of the nine-year-old E Olive Way nightspot. The little blue wedge of E Olive Way will be closed into October for a light remodel and a big shift in its business model.

More tequilas and mezcales. No tacos. The Saint is going full bar, no restaurant. It closed last week for its own short hiatus. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Your Voice, Your Choice Results — Four District 3 Projects

From SDOT

We’ve counted each vote and checked it twice! And, now is the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the announcement of vote results for Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks and Streets!

DISTRICT 3  

  • Capitol Hill: Crossing Improvements at I-5 Exit on to Olive Way (Cost: $75,000, Total Votes: 240)
  • Central District: Traffic Calming on 17th Ave S between E Yesler Way & S Jackson St (Cost: $15,000, Total Votes: 200)
  • Judkins Park: Improved Connections to Judkins Park from S. Dearborn St (Cost: $90,000, Total Votes: 173)
  • Capitol Hill: Crossing Improvements at 19th Ave E & E Denny Way (Cost: $83,000, Total Votes:  171) 

As a bonus, while Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) reviewed ideas submitted by Your Voice, Your Choice participants, it ran the projects through its program priorities and was able to fund additional traffic calming and pedestrian improvement projects in underserved neighborhoods throughout the City. SDOT will work with communities to announce, design, and implement these projects in the upcoming year.

To provide some context to the results above, with $2 million to spend on park and street improvements, we allotted a maximum of $285,000 per City Council District. After the top projects in each district were selected by voters, there was $233,019 remaining in the budget. These dollars were used to fund one additional project in the three districts with the highest voter participation (Districts 1, 2, and 5).

You will also note that the number of funded projects varies per district. This is because the fund allotment is based strictly on overall cost and not the number of projects. The funding for these projects will be included as part of the Mayor’s 2018 Proposed Budget, and the work will begin in 2018.

This is the second year we have asked residents to weigh in on how to spend a portion of the City’s budget. Last year the focus was on youth, and this year anyone over the age of 11 could participate.  We are blown away by the response with 7,737 community members voting for projects in their neighborhoods! We are so grateful to everyone who participated:

  • The community members who kicked things off in February by submitting 900 ideas for projects.
  • The community members who participated on the Project Development Teams.
  • The Vote Champions who mobilized their communities.
  • The educators in Seattle Public Schools who made sure students’ voices were heard.
  • Our Community Liaisons who were out in force with translated ballots in Arabic, Chinese, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
  • The amazing City staff at libraries and community centers who facilitated in-person voting.
  • And, of course, you the voters!

Hula Hula announces ‘grand re-opening’ Friday on Capitol Hill

Like we said, CHS will occasionally kick into action for vitally important news. Like this. Hula Hula, after a “tiki the shit” out of it overhaul of the old Clever Dunne’s space — will officially open Friday and begin its new life on Capitol Hill, owner Keith Robbins has announced.

“People love gathering at Hula Hula for karaoke and cocktails and we’ve been at it for 10 years strong,” Robbins says in the announcement, below. “Capitol Hill, specifically the Olive Way corridor, is the perfect neighborhood to continue the tiki bar tradition.”

HULA HULA REOPENS FRIDAY AT ITS NEW CAPITOL HILL OASIS
Same tiki-fabulous swagger and nightly karaoke; vibrant, new party-centric spot

SEATTLE—April 18, 2017—Seattle’s legendary Tiki-Karaoke bar, Hula Hula, will be back in action Friday after breezing its way across town (1.6 miles due east) to settle into its new festive digs at 1501 East Olive Way (at the corner of E. Howell). Open 365 days per year, hours will be daily from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Continue reading

Downtown Dog Lounge leaving Capitol Hill

Just as the plans for Capitol Hill’s first cat cafe are finally taking shape, one of its longest running canine-focused businesses is getting ready to move out.

The Downtown Dog Lounge has been getting its furry clients ready for the big change on E Denny Way for a while now but officially announced its planned departure this week after 10 years on Capitol Hill: Continue reading

Club-focused 1923 Management, food-centered F2T Hospitality locate offices on E Olive Way (But you probably want to know about The Harvard and Olive Delicatessen)

A group specializing in Seattle’s nightclub scene and another working to bring farm-to-table food concepts to the city have located their shared office on E Olive Way between Broadway and Harvard Ave. There aren’t any plans for them to open another Capitol Hill nightclub, yet, but the two-headed set of businesses will bring a new menswear shop to the neighborhood — and an E Olive Way deli.

Signs went up for the Harvard and Olive Delicatessen earlier this week.

Matt Mead, marketing director for both 1923 Management and F2T Hospitality — two separate ventures aside from the connective element in Mead — said the groups have called Capitol Hill home to their management offices from about two months.

1923 Management’s management team has more than doubled from about four to five people to around 12 and working out of the company’s Aston Manor nightclub wasn’t functioning for the growing business. The former Liberty Tax Service location has provided them with enough room to sublet to friends at F2T Hospitality, which is in the process of opening three drinking and eating establishments — two in West Seattle and one on the Hill, conveniently enough, just down the street. Continue reading

Dino’s Tomato Pie baking plan for new music venue below E Olive Way

Dino’s Tomato Pie is kind of like a Denny at E Olive Way time machine. Its next stop is a small start in reversing the neighborhood’s trend of restaurant concepts and developments pushing out the last vestiges of the Capitol Hill music scene.

“One, I like the idea of anti-gentrification, where small music venues are closing, we can actually add something,” Brandon Pettit tells CHS about a project he hopes will eventually create a new music and events venue at Dino’s.

Two, Pettit has a Dino’s-sized underground level to work with below the bustling pizza joint. Continue reading

Seattle Fire handles gas leak outside E Olive Way commercial building

The streets stank of natural gas but there were no reported injuries or damage as Seattle Fire responded to a leaking gas pipe early Tuesday morning outside an E Olive Way commercial building.

A 911 caller reported the leak just before 4 AM at the 1700 block building. Seattle Fire units arrived and found a heavy smell of gas coming from what was described as a small leak near a meter.

Once the leak was sealed, firefighters searched the commercial building’s upper and lower levels and a nearby residential building but found no significant concentrations of leaked gas, according to SFD radio dispatches. There were no evacuations during the response but E Olive Way was closed for around an hour while crews checked out the area.

In the wake of the March 2016 gas leak explosion in Greenwood that destroyed several businesses, leaks in commercial areas with aging infrastructure draw increased concern. Puget Sound Energy was called to the scene to “secure” the leak and “there was no danger to the public at the time,” a Seattle Fire spokesperson tells CHS. State regulators found that PSE violated safety rules, leading to the Greenwood explosion.

The upper level of E Olive Way building where Tuesday’s leak occurred was formerly home to Zhu Dang restaurant which went out of business in fall of 2015 and has remained empty since. The lower level of the building includes a collection of small businesses including the Artful Dodger tattoo parlor.

We’ve asked PSE for more information on what caused the leak.

SDOT plans additional analysis of Broadway-John-E Olive Way for all-walk intersection

Gridlines at Broadway and John

Call it an all-walk, a scramble intersection, or a diagonal crossing, some community members say the intersection at Broadway, John, and E Olive Way needs one. But the Seattle Department of Transportation isn’t quick to OK an intersection that would stop cars in all directions and allow all pedestrians to cross.

Dongho Chang, a city traffic engineer, said those kinds of crosswalks can have unintended consequences and increase delays for everyone. But Chang said the increase in foot traffic in the last year since Capitol Hill Station opened in March does warrant additional analysis of the intersection.

“We definitely want to look at how to improve conditions for them,”  Chang said of the increasing number of pedestrians traveling through the intersection.

Chang said a new analysis was planned to begin this week. Continue reading

From Melrose to 19th, Capitol Hill Chamber launches campaign to create $1.6 million Business Improvement Area

The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce is ready to start its campaign to build a $1.6 million a year program to help fill empty store fronts, attract visitors, expand street cleaning, improve public safety, advocate for affordable housing and improved service from City Hall, and make local attractions like Cal Anderson Park more inviting. Now the nonprofit just needs 390, or 60%, of some 650 commercial property owners to sign on to its plan to expand the neighborhood’s Business Improvement Area across Broadway, 12th Ave, 15th Ave E, 19th Ave E, Melrose, Olive/Denny, and Pike/Pine. If it can hit that threshold, all commercial properties in the BIA will be required to pay into the program.

“It’s gonna be a lot of groundwork,” director Sierra Hansen told CHS about the expansion campaign. Starting with Wednesday night’s announcement of the campaign’s launch, the chamber this week is delivering petitions to the 650 property owners within the proposed new BIA boundary. “I’m a very stubborn person,” Hansen said.

She is also already half way there. Continue reading