Zhang (Image: CHS)
As what could be the biggest change for the street in decades plays out, the community around 15th Ave E’s shops and restaurants is coming together to help make a smaller change in the neighborhood work out for a longtime neighborhood business.
In October, CHS reported that mailing and package services stop Postal Plus was faced with doubling rent and needed to find a new home. Sunday, a neighborhood meeting organized by resident Ellen Taft is being held at Victrola to help postmaster Ed Zhang find a new home:
SAVE OUR POST OFFICE
Sen. Patty Murray Rep. Pramila Jayapal aide Raman Khanna will be on hand for the meeting.
The business situation around Postal Plus is more complicated than most small ventures on the street. Continue reading
“Everybody keeps bugging us, so we decided to throw out a number,” owner Ian Eisenberg
told CHS Tuesday about a report
that he is teaming up to put the two largest marijuana retailers in the state on the market. The price tag for a combined Uncle Ike’s-Main Street Marijuana
Washington pot empire stretching from Seattle to the ‘Couv?
It is hard to tell just how seriously to take the asking price from Eisenberg. His two shops are the highest grossing in Seattle with sales of nearly $1.4 million in December while the Main Street chain’s three locations clocked in with more than $2.2 million during the happy holiday period. But there also might be some politicking going on. Continue reading
This post has been updated with information from Top Tree’s management
A new media venture powered by Seattle’s burgeoning legal cannabis culture is hard at work on Capitol Hill in a space that was once home to an upstart campaign headquarters and an equally rebellious drag queen-inspired cosmetics company.
Top Tree, a marijuana-focused culture magazine and digital advertising agency, has quietly moved into the overhauled retail space at Pike and Boylston formerly home to the Bernie Sanders campaign’s Seattle headquarters and, before that, Jen’s House of Beauty. Glimpses of the now-bustling office can be seen through the art wrap-coated windows. A new keyless security panel guards the front door that had become a favorite camping spot for people on the street in the months since the campaign workers departed earlier this year.
“It’s definitely changed,” Top Tree director of operations Benito Ybarra tells CHS of the neighborhood he grew up hanging out in. “But to be represented on Capitol Hill and on Pike Street specifically, we’re very proud of that.”
While its office space is secreted away, Top Tree’s presence on Capitol Hill is unmissable. The company has been responsible for the series of large murals on the E Pike wall of Neumos since summer — including a recent edition featuring Mariner great and Seattle icon Ken Griffey Jr. Meanwhile, stacks of the free zine-sized publication with day glo colors, a healthy selection of local advertising, and trippy cover imagery can be found in cafes and shops across the neighborhood and beyond.
“I always believed in being physically real for people,” Ybarra said.
Eisenberg inside the new shop Friday morning (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)
Seattle’s largest pot purveyor and the city’s oldest shoe cobbler are finally ready to make their improbable double-header debut on Capitol Hill.
Ian Eisenberg opened his third Uncle Ike’s marijuana shop at 15th and E Republican Friday at 8 AM while Ray Angel debuted his re-opened Angel’s Shoe Repair next door after closing last year.
Eisenberg said he expects his Capitol Hill shop, the neighborhood’s second, will be less of a destination than the first Uncle Ike’s on 23rd and Union. “Probably more of a neighborhood feel, more people walking in because there’s less parking,” he said. Continue reading
The largest pot retailer in Seattle — and the second largest I-502 shop in the state — is set to open its Capitol Hill expansion.
Uncle Ike’s announced Monday that its 15th Ave E location will be open for business starting Friday. Continue reading
Ed Zhang, a familiar face on 15th Ave E (Images: CHS)
March 31st to be exact. That’s when owner Ed Zhang said he will close the 15th Ave E’s neighborhood’s Postal Plus after running the “contract postal unit” and retailer for 17 years. It could also present an opportunity for 15th Ave’s current pot shop to expand ahead of a major competitor opening across the street.
Zhang tells CHS he was recently notified by the building’s owner that rent at the 15th and Republican space would be doubling to match market value. The math to stay open, Zhang said, did not add up.
The US Post Office pays contract retailers like Zhang a flat fee, regardless of other expenses, to independently run a de-facto post office with the ability to offer other services. While the shop includes mailboxes, a UPS and FedEx drop-off, a notary, and retail component offering books and gifts, Zhang said those services would not be enough to cover the rent hike. Continue reading
The new look at 15th and Republican is finally nearing the end of construction (Image: CHS)
Angel in his old shop (Images: CHS)
“No, we haven’t talked about that,” Ray Angel
tells CHS in response to our jackass-level question about whether his about to re-open 105-year-old Seattle shoe repair business is planning any, um, joint promotions with new landlord Uncle Ike’s
Growing accustom to dumb pot jokes will only be part of the changes the Angel’s Shoe Repair cobbler will face when his shop in the overhauled building at 15th and Republican opens soon.
“It’s really a great thing he’s done for me,” Angel said about Ian Eisenberg’s offer to lease a small portion of the building where he is building the new Capitol Hill pot shop. Angel said he will have his own entrance and will be fully separated from the high security retail cannabis operation. He’ll have a little less space than his old location on E Republican but will fill the shop with his old machines and cobbler gear. Continue reading
After three improbable years, Capitol Hill’s marijuana delivery service is putting the brakes on its bike-powered co-op. Club Raccoons is still taking orders, but the co-op’s organizer says the operation will grind to a halt sometime this summer.
With an active Twitter presence and daily menu postings on Craigslist, the Raccoons made headlines in 2013 for openly advertising pot delivery that was as easy as ordering a pizza. It was also illegal, according to law enforcement officials. Continue reading
Draze (Images: CHS)
With Bryan Cohen and Alex Garland reporting
Protesters targeted 23rd and Union’s Uncle Ike’s I-502 marijuana shop Wednesday afternoon, disrupting business on 4/20, the biggest stoner shopping day of the year.
“The most important thing he could do, and I know this is harsh, is move,” performer Draze told the large assembly of media as groups met at Garfleld Community Center for the march a few blocks north to Uncle Ike’s.
Draze’s recently released album features Irony on 23rd, a scathing rap about Uncle Ike’s owner Ian Eisenberg and the history of segregation and heavy anti-drug policing in the area.
Draze tells CHS that he has been told accounts of the impact of increased marijuana use on students at Garfield High. “We have seen an uptick in marijuana use since he’s been there,” Draze said he has been told.
“That directly ties to the issue we’re talking about.”
As he watched a few dozen protesters link arms to block of his 4/20 party entrance Wednesday, Eisenberg was mostly nonplussed.
“Hey, it’s 4/20, everybody should be having fun celebrating,” Eisenberg told CHS. The business owner and real estate investor has made I-502 retail a major part of his recent investments as a new Capitol Hill shop is set to open in a building Eisenberg owns on 15th Ave E. Continue reading
The East Precinct learns about weed
Last week, East Precinct community members heard from and asked questions of a panel of city and state officials regarding the condition of Washington’s developing legal recreational marijuana market.
From the community conversation with the East Precinct Advisory Council-convened panel of experts, there is still a fair amount of confusion and regulatory kinks to be worked out in the recreational marijuana system established by Initiative 502 back in 2012.
“With liquor, we’d been doing this for 70 years with a lot of [legal] changes so it’s not an overnight fix,”said Justin Nordhorn, enforcement chief with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB). “We hope people will bear with us as this progresses.”
Nordhorn said that the WSLCB has licensed 800 producers and processors across the state, and has around 500 slots for licensed recreational marijuana retail stores across the state. So far, 250 are licensed with 209 currently in business. Seattle, as of right now, has 45 licensed retail stores, though only a fraction of those are currently making sales. Continue reading