Marijuana powered media company Top Tree puts down roots on Capitol Hill

14344906_1751160281801142_1287610356336041428_nThis 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.

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Sugar Hill ‘Thai chicken and rice’ restaurant and bar ready to join Capitol Hill 2016 openings

Sugarhill, not open quite yet, at 414 E Pine

Sugar Hill, not open quite yet, at 414 E Pine

The waves of new openings across Capitol Hill have definitely slowed — but not by much. A few more Capitol Hill joints might make it in under the 2016 wire including E Pine’s Sugar Hill.

It hasn’t been an easy sprint to the finish for the “contemporary Thai chicken and rice restaurant and bar” from restaurant veteran Guitar Srisuthiamorn. The buildout of the former Bauhaus space — and onetime Capitol Club — has stretched out longer than planned but she tells CHS an opening is in site with hopes to begin service in the next week or so. The liquor license for cocktails, beer, and wine is in place. The permit for a new sign out front has been issued. The buildout is nearly complete. The plan is to be open from 11 AM to 2 AM, every day.

UPDATE: They’re open.cyokx95viaawp9r

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Judge refuses to lower bail for Capitol Hill photographer accused of rape

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-12-14-24-pmFormer Capitol Hill resident and Pike/Pine regular Matt Hickey was in a King County courtroom Tuesday morning after extradition from Las Vegas to face accusations he raped incapacitated victims he allegedly lured with promises of work in the porn industry.

The 40-year-old appeared with his court appointed lawyer who argued unsuccessfully for Hickey’s bail to be lowered as he entered the initial “not guilty” pleas on behalf of his client.

Hickey remains in the King County Jail, held on $200,000 bail.

The sometimes journalist and photographer is charged with three counts of second degree rape. Prosecutors allege the crimes were part of a string of sexual assaults in which women said they went with Hickey “under false pretenses or stated Hickey had sex with them when they were too intoxicated to give consent.”

Hickey was arrested in Las Vegas in October where the Stranger reports he had continued his online search for women to photograph.

King County Superior Court Judge Julie Spector also approved protection orders prohibiting Hickey from contacting his alleged victims.

Design review: What could be Capitol Hill’s (and Seattle’s) first Passive House-certified mixed-use project

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-4-43-51-pmWednesday night’s session of the East Design Review Board includes what could be the final session before construction can begin on the Liberty Bank Building, a project that many hope can be a model for inclusive development in the Central District. Another trailblazing project — this one at 13th and Pike — could also pass through its final review Wednesday night.

Design review: 1300 E Pike

The project hoped to become Seattle’s first Passive House-certified mixed-use project will come to the board with developers Maria Barrientos and Cascade Built teaming up with architects Weber Thompson to take another crack at approval after falling just short in September. Continue reading

95 Slide throwing one last party Saturday bringing decades of nightlife at Harvard and Pike to close

Capitol Hill sports bar 95 Slide will never see the Mariners make it to the World Series. Born in 2012, the Slide never saw the Mariners even make the postseason.

It will close Saturday with one final party.

Owner Marcus Lalario tells us circumstances around the Harvard and Pike club have changed after he and the property’s developer owners reached an agreement for 95 Slide to leave the building a year before its lease was up. “I wanted to purchase the building, but I’m more than happy to leave,” Lalario tells CHS. “It’s just change.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | First look at Frankie and Jo’s

Capitol Hill’s first plant-based ice cream shop is now open and CHS was there the Friday after Thanksgiving for its first hours of business to see what the hubbub was all about.

Let us introduce you to Frankie and Jo’s salty caramel ash so you can get acquainted:

grey ice cream? yep! we mix autumn’s famous dry-burned caramel with our cashew and coconut milk base, sea salt, and then fold in our activated charcoal caramel sauce called *moon goo.*

The new shop debuted Friday in the mixed-use, preservation incentive-boosted Broadstone Infinity development on E Union between 11th and 10th where it joins Soi and Rene Erickson’s battery of projects General Porpoise, Bar Mesuline, and Bateau as well as the new Capitol Hill location for Sweet Iron around the corner. Designed by H2 Design & Build, the new shop intends to bring a “Palm Springs-feeling” to this stretch of Union. Continue reading

Rocker’s New Mexican comfort food popping up at Pike/Pine’s Pettirosso

Let’s see if we can keep this straight. Dave Hernandez is a rock and roll guitarist of some renown. See also: The Shins, The Intelligence. He has Albuquerque roots. He now calls Seattle home. And he makes sopapillas, New Mexican comfort food stuffed with “Green chile shredded chicken verde,” “slow roasted pork marinated in NM red chile,” or the “the more traditional beans/cheese/chile” veggie option. You missed his first Barelas Sopapillas pop-up a few weeks back in Ballard, of all places. You don’t have to miss his second.

Monday, 11th and Pike’s Cafe Pettirosso will host a night with Hernandez’s New Mexico-flavored creations and Miki Sodos’s specialty margaritas.

“Dave Hernandez, known most famously for his involvement in the band The Shins and for his part in the thriving Albuquerque independent rock scene, is now churning out sopapillas you wouldn’t believe,” Cafe Pettirosso’s announcement reads. “The New Mexican staple will be stuffed with carne adovada as well as a stuffed vegetarian option with New Mexican green chiles. The stuffed sopapillas will be served with homemade beans and rice.”

Sisters Miki and Yuki Sodos reopened Cafe Pettirosso in 2012 after longtime owner Robin Wright closed the original in 2011. It will celebrate its five-year anniversary in its new incarnation in 2017.

Frankie and Jo’s, Capitol Hill’s first plant-based ice cream shop, opens Friday

Ice cream “churned” from plants. What will they think of next! The wonders never cease in Capitol Hill food and drink. Frankie and Jo’s, the plant-based ice cream shop from the Juicebox’s Kari Brunson and Autumn Martin of Hot Cakes, has announced Friday will be its official opening day.

The “most decadent dairy-free ice cream on the market” might be a good call after a Thanksgiving day of indulgence.  Continue reading

Papa Bois joins Capitol Hill street food scene with a year of The Jerk at Harvard/Pike

Seattle’s start-up-y food truck scene will never match Portland’s for its dilapidated, holy shit that’s delicious but that “truck” ain’t going anywhere delights. But every now and then, a van parks, a big converted truck rumbles into place, or a trailer gets dropped along a Capitol Hill curb and offers up something special.

Papa Bois adds some diversity to what is available up there,” Hsiao Chi tells CHS about the new addition to Pike/Pine’s late night street food scene that is just settling in for a year-long tour of duty at Harvard and Pike. Continue reading

CHS Pics | ‘X’ marks the spot above Capitol Hill’s newest ‘luxury community,’ the Excelsior Apartments

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

Nope, the Paramount Theater hasn’t moved up-Hill. New eye-catching signage went up earlier this week on the newly opened Excelsior Apartments and neighbors and passersby are definitely noticing. That’s show biz.

According a person familiar with the building’s management, a small amount of complaints began after only a few days of the new signs’ debuts. The big, tall sign hanging above the sidewalk at Pine and Bellevue certainly is getting noticed. But there is also a giant red “X” now on top of the development’s southeast corner that is catching plenty of eyes.

The permanent features tie into the building’s marketing of auto row-era Capitol Hill stylings and x-themed slogans: xplore, xciting, xperience… etc. Continue reading

No, really, seriously, for real, what did you think of the Pike People Street? — UPDATE: December art walk edition

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

The Seattle Department of Transportation is asking you — one more time — what you thought of the Pike People Street pilot tests. CHS reported on the first of the new pilot runs in October as a revival of the late night format went off without a hitch. A daytime Hilloween edition followed.

You can now weigh in for your feedback to be “folded into the lessons learned from 2015 and direct conversations with organizations and individuals in the neighborhood.”

Have fun with question 13! And you know what to say for 11, yes? Continue reading

Plans for Capitol Hill Neighborhood Action Coalition, overcoming fears of a Trump presidency highlight election forum

With reporting by Alex Garland

Sunday afternoon, people gathered in Cal Anderson to show their opposition to the election of Donald Trump. Some made signs, many sang, some ended up marching downtown. Many sought to do something more, joining hundreds of people inside the old Value Village on 11th Ave destined for redevelopment but currently serving as the V2 community and arts space.

Organizers called the gathering “a post election community forum” to create a local response to the “aggressive sexism and racism displayed through the campaign.” It included people representing neighborhoods across the city.

“Many in the community have been deeply disturbed by the overt racism, sexism, xenophobia, and homophobia on display in this election,” event organizer Kaya Axelsson said in a statement sent to media. “Over fifty of us have come together organize an event focused on how Seattle neighborhoods will respond to a new administration built on the back of racism, sexism, and xenophobia.”

The format of the night presented the opportunity for the hundreds assembled — and many more from the overflow crowd who gathered in Cal Anderson — to break into smaller groups representing neighborhoods and areas across the city, discuss their worries and hopes, and report back to the larger group as part the goal of “working in coalition to uphold the shared freedoms guaranteed in our democracy and denouncing a political structure that has normalized xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia, and greed.” The big words were also met with some small, local ideas for solutions including the formation of a Capitol Hill Neighborhood Action Coalition dedicated to addressing the specific issues around the election.

Below, we’ve captured more images and some of the worries and ideas expressed by the smaller groups Sunday night during the sprawling event. We’ve also shared this Community Post for a look inside one of the small working groups and some of the solutions being talked about Sunday night. More important, of course, will be actions that grow out of the discussion. We expect to cover many of these outcomes in the coming weeks. Continue reading