SPD uncovers large stash of guns, drugs in Capitol Hill storage facility

Police uncovered a major stockpile of drugs and guns after the drama-filled apprehension of a wanted felon outside a Capitol Hill storage facility last week.

According to SPD, detectives seized two assault rifles, ammunition, stolen credit cards and checkbooks, a dozen stolen laptops, 30 stolen smartphones, passports, expensive handbags, $5,600 cash, power tools, a bicycle, more than 20 fake ID cards, and a motorcycle from inside the man’s 13th Ave storage units. 

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Sweatbox trying to hang in until Pike/Pine development means new customers, not torn up streets


(Images: Sweatbox)

10542681_4272840075181_1655506004600303129_oCapitol Hill’s Sweatbox, one of the first purveyors of Bikram Yoga in Seattle, is in a fight for its life to survive years of 10th Ave construction. Thousands of new residents — and potential yoga students — are coming to Pike/Pine. The studio’s Laura Culberg is doing everything she can to hold the pose until they get here.

“We’re just trying to get a breath,” Culberg told CHS.

Culberg said that ongoing construction and torn up streets for infrastructure upgrades to support new Pike/Pine developments have severely damaged Sweatbox’s Capitol Hill business. It’s a similar situation at the other businesses on 10th and 11th just south of E Pike though the likes of Neumos have so far weathered the challenges. There is no public mitigation money for the private projects necessitating the work. Instead, Culberg said she was forced to file a claim with the city asking for more than $11,000 for lost business — one life raft she has been hoping for to help Sweatbox survive the ongoing lean times.

But in the course of reporting this story, CHS had the sorry business of informing Culberg that the city had rejected her claim. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Value Village building — auto row-era home of Kelly-Springfield Motor Truck Company — considered for Seattle landmark protection

The building in 1937

The building in 1937

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 12.40.15 PMMaybe this one will be different. The 11th Ave auto row-era home to Value Village and lined up to be part of a massive, mixed-use office and retail development is slated to come before the Seattle Landmarks Review Board this week.

Dubbed the Kelly-Springfield Motor Truck Company building for its first tenant after construction in 1917, the property will be weighed against six “designation standards” in a hearing Wednesday afternoon to determine if it worthy of moving to the nomination round of the process. Public comment is part of the hearing.

CHS asked developer Legacy Commercial about the landmark application but a representative did not reply with comment. UPDATE: A Legacy spokesperson tells CHS the company’s hopes are for the board to determine the property is not a landmark:

Legacy elected to be proactive in addressing the City’s request for the Landmark’s Board to review the site, to provide additional clarity during the planning process. The review is an important component of working in the Pike Pine Triangle. However, we are hoping that the site is not determined to be a landmark to provide us the opportunity to realize our vision and the neighborhood’s vision for the block.

The hearing comes amid increasing recognition of the economic and cultural value of preserving older buildings intact in neighborhoods like Pike/Pine where a “conservation overlay” provides incentives to developers for including the components of historic buildings in modern structures. The auto row building is planned to join the neighboring White Motor Company building at 11th and Pine — currently home to The Stranger and the Rhino Room — as part of a development taking advantage of these incentives to create a 75-foot tall office building above street-level commercial space.

The landmark nomination is a required part of the development process and, if designated, won’t necessarily rule the old building out for redevelopment. Even so, the odds aren’t in favor of the building making the cut. Recent Capitol Hill properties falling short of the board’s protection include The Pinevue Apartments building and 11th Ave’s Hugo House.

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L.A.-based footwear and apparel boutique BAIT to open in Pike/Pine

The BAIT x Brooks Chariot "Centennial" (Image: Bait)

The BAIT x Brooks Chariot “Centennial” (Image: Bait)


BAIT in Los Angles via Facebook

At at time when independent Capitol Hill retailers are fighting to maintain their presence among a food+drink frenzy, one outgoing retailer won’t mean a net loss for neighborhood shops.

CHS has learned that BAIT, a Los Angeles-based footwear and apparel boutique, is planning to open its fourth location in the former Platinum Records space on E Pike. According to BAIT’s blog, they plan to open in Seattle on November 22nd.

BAIT specializes in street shoes, sneakers, toys, and apparel. We’re trying to connect with the owners to learn more about their Seattle plans. City records indicate the shop is well on its way to opening in the space sandwiched by Neumos and Via Tribunali.

UPDATE (11/20): BAIT’s Paul Baclawski said part of the company’s reason for expanding to Seattle was the 2012 closure of GOODS and the “sneaker-head” void it left on Capitol Hill.

“Expanding in L.A. is tough,” Baclawski said. “There are a lot of people who are fans of the sneaker industry here.”

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Seattle Police can now do more to help when victims ‘Find My Stolen Phone’

Holy shit, my phone is in SF :( (Image: Apple)

Holy shit, my phone is in SF :( (Image: Apple)

SPD is taking a new tack to address situations CHS hears about on a regular basis throughout the East Precinct as owners track stolen phones and tablet computers — only to find police can do little to help get them back.

Chief Kathleen O’Toole will now make the department’s Technical and Electronic Support Unit available to SPD officers:

Effective today, a supervisor in the department’s Technical and Electronic Support Unit will be available to officers around the clock to guide them through the technically and legally complicated process of zeroing in on a stolen phone. Officers will now have a new resource available to help them locate stolen phones and get warrants, as they search for smartphones stolen in robberies, thefts and car prowls.

The announcement comes after a Seattle Times columnist documented his family’s experiences trying to recover a stolen phone they were able to track to a north Seattle parking lot. Long story, short, police said there was little they could do and that the family should stop risking their lives following the suspected thieves. Continue reading

After five years on E Pike, Lobby Bar looking for new home on Capitol Hill

The Lobby Bar in the midst of Capitol Hill Block Party mayhem (Image: CHS)

The Lobby Bar in the midst of Capitol Hill Block Party mayhem (Image: CHS)

(Image: Lobby Bar)

(Image: Lobby Bar)

The Lobby Bar, a bastion of LGBTQ nightlife smack in the heart of Pike/Pine, is leaving its E Pike birthplace and taking the next step in its search for a new Capitol Hill home.

“The Lobby Bar is not finished,” longtime manager and bartender Dave Orton said. “In the long run, it will be really nice to move into a fresh space.”

Management says the 900 block E Pike bar will celebrate one last weekend with November 22nd planned as its final day of business. The five-year-old night spot must be out of the 1910-built building by December. Orton said the Lobby’s employees were informed about the closure so there would be no surprises as rumors began to spread about the changes.

The building’s owners want to “cash in on the changing neighborhood,” a person familiar with the situation who declined to speak on the record tells CHS about the rising rent and what is coming next. There are no plans currently on record for the space to indicate any planned construction but Lobby’s Orton said it is clear that the landlords already have something lined up. “We were not given the option to renew the lease,” he said. Continue reading

Out of the Closet thrift, AHF Pharmacy join Lifelong on E Pike

A window dipslay at Out of the Closet Brooklyn (Image: Out of the Closet)

A window dipslay at Out of the Closet Brooklyn (Image: Out of the Closet)

A new Pike/Pine headquarters for LGBTQ advocacy, health, and, yes, thrift and vintage shopping will celebrate a grand opening this weekend. Seattle’s first Out of the Closet thrift shop and the relocation of its sibling AIDS Healthcare Foundation pharmacy will be officially opened with a Saturday morning ribbon cutting.

“We’re proud to partner with Gay City and provide an additional access point to testing and prevention services for community members,” said AHF’s Ses Soltani in a statement on the grand opening. “Gay City has a rich history of advocacy in King County and remains solid proponent of wellness in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.” Continue reading

On the streets of the Capitol Hill Arts District, ‘contemporary artists’ and the Woo! Girl creator


Criscitello (Images courtesy the artist)

“I hope no faggots look at me,” said the young man to his fellows. They were bar hopping through late-night Capitol Hill, strangers in a strange land. Funny thing: One faggot was looking at him — an angry one, local poster (and tattoo) artist John Criscitello. “I was like, ‘What are you doing here?’” he says.

Criscitello — middle-aged, lanky, more ink than flesh — offered this anecdote as an example of the drunk, out-of-town brats who are reportedly ruining the Hill’s nightlife — and believed by some to be behind increasing gay bashings. But the best in art comes from the worst in life. Criscitello turned this experience into a poster: a dude-bro swigging a brewski beside the words “No faggots better look at me.” Other pieces include drunk Kardashian lookalikes proclaiming “WOOO!!” and a sign informing would-be dilettantes that “WE CAME HERE TO GET AWAY FROM YOU.” (“You have the rest of the whole world,” Criscitello adds, referring to straight supremacists. “Try going to a club in Snohomish and doing some PDA with your [gay] partner, and see how that goes.”) After a Jagermeister mural at 12th and Pine was interpreted by many as glorifying homophobic violence with the tagline “Relive the Night You Became Legends On Cap Hill,” Criscitello responded with a “Legendary” dick pic.

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Capitol Hill infill fills in with seven stories on Boylston, four off Broadway

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 3.15.31 PM

The “site analysis” for the 1404 Boylston project is AWESOME and worth clicking to see a larger version (Image: S+H Works)

It will be a real-world lesson in neighborhood infill development — and the work of E Pike-based architect Hugh Schaeffer — as the East Design Review Board gathers Wednesday night to assess two proposed development projects that will create another 140 or so apartments on Capitol Hill in exchange for one two 1900s-built single family homes and a 1905-built, 8-unit apartment house.

(Image: S+H Works)

Coming soon to Boylston just off E Pike — seven stories (Image: S+H Works)

1404 Boylston
On Boylston just off E Pike, the Emerald City Manor building has provided a place to live on Capitol Hill since 1905. Today’s Hill calls for a bigger solution.

Planned as a seven-story affordable apartment building with 105 units that will replace the old manor, the developers of the Boylston Flats project promise some lofty goals –including helping to connect Capitol Hill to First Hill: Continue reading

Cherry Street Coffee — home of the US barista champion — opens on E Pine

Some Cherry Street folk welcome you to the new cafe (Image: Cherry Street Coffee)

Some Cherry Street folk welcome you to the new cafe (Image: Cherry Street Coffee)

Is Capitol Hill so coffee-rich that we can ignore the opening of another new Pike/Pine cafe? Sprudge says nope — especially when you’re talking about a new Cherry Street Coffee bar and cafe designed to (some of) the exacting specifications of the current United State champion barista:

This will be the first cafe we open with me on staff. I was not as involved with this location’s build out as I would have liked to because let’s just say life has been pretty busy since I became the US Barista Champion. But I’ve had a lot of say in the design and flow. In the future, we have at least three locations slotted to open in the next two years, and I will be 100% involved from start to finish. Thats the direction I see my role at Cherry Street going.

You can read more of the interview with Laila Ghambari here on sprudge.com. She also notes that Cherry Street has “a large food selection” including “breakfast sandwiches on bagels” and house-made sandwiches, soups, and salads.

The 320 E Pine cafe is located in the newly constructed Three20 Apartments. CHS first wrote about the plans for the 10th Cherry Street here last spring. The E Pine and 12th Ave cafes are the only Cherry Streets east of I-5.

Laila’s father, Ali Ghambari, opened the Cherry Street on 12th Ave in 2012. “Business has been kick-ass, if I’m just telling it like it is,” Ghambari said in an interview with CHS best described as colorful. The business owner has found himself in hot water for more than colorful language from time to time. In 2013, Cherry Street was one of a handful of Seattle businesses that briefly experimented with charging customers a “sick-leave surcharge” before a wave of bad press convinced most to take the signs down. At one point, Laila also said the family-owned company might have to reconsider expansion plans because of Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law. With three more locations planned to open, that concern has either passed, was overblown — or Cherry Street will be branching out beyond the city for the first time.

UPDATE: We should note that Porchlight Coffee, the Capitol Hill cafe that has experienced probably the nicest, friendliest displacement ever due to development, is back at its 14th Ave birthplace as part of the newly completed REO Flats building.

"In case you haven't heard, we're back open on 14th Ave between Pine and Pike. Head to www.porchlightcoffee.com for all the info you could possibly need!" -- via Facebook

“In case you haven’t heard, we’re back open on 14th Ave between Pine and Pike. Head to www.porchlightcoffee.com for all the info you could possibly need!” — via Facebook

Construction delays push back ambitious Pike/Pine marketplace + office space Chophouse Row to early 2015

We found Dunn, center, in a hard hat this summer (Image: CHS)

We found Dunn, center, in a hard hat this summer (Image: CHS)

Chophouse Row, right, will inject some 27,000 square feet of commercial space into  Pike/Pine

Chophouse Row, right, will inject some 27,000 square feet of commercial space into Pike/Pine

You’ll have to wait a few more months for the ambitious Pike/Pine marketplace, mews, and office space development Chophouse Row.

Developer Liz Dunn tells CHS that construction delays and issues with street work in the area have pushed the project back from its planned fall 2014 opening to a debut in early 2015.

Leasing materials for Chophouse Row now advertise a February 2015 move-in target. Continue reading

Manao Thai Street Eats: Lots of experience, lots of spices at 13th and Pine — UPDATE: Thudsuan Kitchen & Bar now open

(Image: Manao)

(Image: Manao)

A new Thai restaurant opening up on Capitol Hill may not be the biggest news but Manao Thai Street Eats owners Montida Lertkiasakul and Teeraya Cezaux are passionate food lovers with a lot of experience in the restaurant business. Manao opened in a new apartment building at 13th and Pine earlier this fall.

“We used to hang out here  and we love the neighborhood. People walk around all the time. It’s a busy place,a fun city and people look for a good place to eat, rain or no rain,” Cezaux said.

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Police say charged 17-year-old responsible for string of Capitol Hill robberies — Plus, a look at stats after emphasis patrols

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 1.55.05 PMDid those Pike/Pine emphasis patrols work to quell street robberies on Capitol Hill? SPD said yes in early October. CHS looked at the numbers. As the patrols played out, a quieter October did, indeed, reverse the summer’s rising robbery and pickpocket/phone grab trend. Overall, however, 2014’s robbery totals are nearly identical to the totals through October 2013. Meanwhile, a 17-year-old police say was one of the main perpetrators in this year’s string of Capitol Hill street robberies has been charged in a late September carjacking.

Here’s a look at at the monthly tallies from 2013 to through October 2014:Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 1.51.38 PM

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