Capitol Hill’s Redhook Brewlab in middle of big decision in big beer as Anheuser-Busch passes on purchase of Portland’s Craft Beer Alliance

Inside the Brewlab

Corporate beer, supposedly, sucks. Does smaller corporate beer suck… less? The Capitol Hill-based future for Redhook’s Brewlab isn’t exactly independent but it won’t fall fully under the shadow of global beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev now that the international behemoth has let the deadline pass for an option to fully purchase Redhook’s Portland parent, the Craft Brew Alliance.

“While disappointing, with this decision made, management can turn its attention to refining strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value,” CBA head Andy Thomas said in a statement. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Gary Manuel Aveda Institute is making a two-block Pike/Pine move

The black-clad students of “The Harry Potter of hair schools” are on the move (Image: Gary Manuel Aveda Institute)

By Maggie Holland for CHS

In the wake of Seattle Vocational Institute discontinuing its School of Cosmetology, a new neighbor is moving onto the block at Harvard and Pike to fill the creative space left behind. The Gary Manuel Aveda Institute is packing up and moving a few blocks down to explore opportunities on a new frontier: the Seattle Central campus.

Along with the institute comes Elizabeth Noblitt, who first stepped into her role as director of the Gary Manuel Aveda Institute when it debuted on 10th Ave in 2004. Now, 15 years later, she is spearheading the move to the former E Pike at Harvard cosmetology school space that will keep the small armies of black-aproned beauty school students in the neighborhood.

Noblitt said the target opening date is the first week in October, depending on construction.

Despite being on the doorsteps to the campus, Gary Manuel is not affiliated with the college. But this positioning is intentional on part of Aveda, whose institutes are often located close to college campuses to increase clients and interest from students. Continue reading

Portland’s Sizzle Pie says can’t cut it in Seattle, shutting down Capitol Hill pizzeria and Dark Bar

Burnside-born Sizzle Pie could make its recipe of metal and pizza work in Portland, Eugene and even Reno. But Seattle? Not so much. The pizzeria chain announced Tuesday it is closing its Capitol Hill joint and sister venue Dark Bar at the end of August due to what it says are the rising costs of doing business in Seattle:

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the imminent closure of our Capitol Hill location on August 31, 2019. We are eternally grateful for all of the wonderful years that we were able to be a part of the Capitol Hill community. We’ve worked alongside so many great organizations and local businesses in our time here and we will miss you all dearly.

“Unfortunately, the continually rising overhead and operating costs in Seattle have brought us to the very difficult decision to close this location,” the statement reads. Continue reading

Visette Boutique new home like a luxury closet hidden in the middle of Pike/Pine’s growing fashion retail scene

(Image: Visette)

Four years after its opening, Capitol Hill dress design shop Visette Boutique will be moving up the Hill.

Capitalizing on an expiring lease, owner Visal Sam took the opportunity to move locations and, in turn, expand her store.

“It was a perfect storm for us,” she said. “The situation provided us with an option to go with it and benefit from it.”

Sam, whose boutique primarily focuses on special occasion dresses, aims to push women out of their “fashion box.” She feels that everyone has their own style and it is very difficult for industrialized and mass-produced clothes to truly fit someone’s look.

“If you want something really beautiful you don’t know where to go because everywhere else is generic” she said. Continue reading

Bai Tong owners plead guilty in $1M ‘cash suppression’ scheme

(Image: Bai Tong)

12th and Pike’s Bai Tong Street Cafe remained open and busy Thursday as the Department of Justice announced two of the restaurant chain’s owners had pleaded guilty to using point of sales software in “a multi-year scheme to hide cash sales” totaling more than $1 million in income.

Kent residents Pornchai Chaiseeha, 41, and Chadillada Lapangkura, 40, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to defraud the government.

Bai Tong opened at 12th and Pike in spring of 2017 in the space left empty when Boom Noodle closed last summer after a decade of shifting concepts by its tech-powered investors behind the Blue C sushi restaurants. Noi Lapangkura told CHS at the time the business had come a long way since her family started on Pacific Highway S in 1989. “Bai Tong has always been a family place,” she told CHS. “We think, with the demographics on Capitol Hill, this one will be different.”

According to U.S. District Court documents in the whirlwind case opened and wrapped up in mere weeks this summer, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations found that point of sales software used to hide the cash transactions was installed at Bai Tong restaurants off the Hill since at least 2010. The chain has operated restaurants in Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii, including four Bai Tong around Seattle and the Eastside. Continue reading

Downtown ribbon cutting includes good vibes for new bike projects including Pike protected lanes

Now on 8th Ave (Image: SDOT)

Mayor Jenny Durkan and SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe weren’t out for a ride but they did come out to celebrate Wednesday’s opening of a new 8th Ave protected bike lane with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The redesigned 8th Ave includes a “one-way northbound protected bike lane between Pike St and Bell St, one travel lane, paid parking and load zones, and new bike signals at busy intersection,” SDOT reports. “This project completes a two-way couplet for people biking with the existing one-way southbound 7th Ave protected bike lane.” Continue reading

Remember the Capitol Hill deli+speakeasy financial mess? Sibling fashion boutique Estate now shuttered over unpaid rent

Estate, a Capitol Hill street fashion boutique started by people involved in the By the Pound financial implosion on E Olive Way, has suddenly shuttered and owes $10,000 in unpaid rent according to a county eviction notice posted at the 10th Ave retailer’s now emptied Pike/Pine location.

The shop opened in April with “mostly American street style brands in the $40 to $200 range” and managers who said they had put earlier financial issues behind them. “Burrowed in perhaps the coolest stretch of Capitol Hill on 10th Avenue just south of Pike, Estate radiates the ’80s and ’90s pop culture that owner David Lee grew up with,” Seattle Met gushed.

According to King County Superior Court records filed last October, the companies behind Estate owed around three months in in unpaid rent for the Pike/Pine shop before it even opened.

But later court records show a new agreement for the ground floor retail space in the Jack apartment building came with a short leash that required the business to pay off previously unpaid debts — and not fall behind on its lease again. Continue reading

Capitol Hill car chase involving suspected DWI driver ends with Cal Anderson crash — UPDATE

(Image: Gregory Fenno with permission to CHS)

A car chase involving multiple police vehicles, the Sheriff’s Guardian One helicopter, and a suspected DWI driver in a pick-up truck raced around Capitol Hill for nearly 30 minutes just after midnight Wednesday morning before coming to a crash ending and arrest in Cal Anderson Park.

According to police radio updates, the chase began around midnight near Westlake where police began pursuing the suspected under the influence driver in a 2015 Nissan Titan. With the driver refusing to yield, the truck headed east on Denny and onto Capitol Hill where a circular chase played out with police dropping spike strips at main intersections and the Guardian One helicopter doing what it could to follow the action and help herd the driver toward police. Continue reading

About that early Saturday morning gunfire you heard on Capitol Hill… — UPDATE

If there is truly a staffing issue at Seattle Police and in the East Precinct, it wasn’t evident early Saturday morning after a bout of nighttime gunfire drew a small army of officers and ended with at least four people cuffed and in custody.

Five or so gunshots reportedly rang out across Pike/Pine just before 3 AM from the area near the Harvard Market parking lot. Police had already been responding to a large fight disturbance in the Broadway Mud Bay parking lot when East Precinct radio dispatches reported the firearm activity nearby. Continue reading

La Dive bar to bring natural wines and frozen wine cocktails to the ‘grown-up’ block of Pike/Pine

Watch out, kids, you newborn legends of Pike/Pine. While you are busy getting your drink and dance on around 10th and Pike, the grown ups are gathering to the west. And they’re bringing natural wines and frozen wine cocktails with them.

La Dive will be the latest edition to E Pike’s maturing nightlife scene when it opens in an art gallery, turned sandwich shop, soon to turn natural wine and frosé bar. But even on the most grown-up block of E Pike, the folks behind La Dive don’t want to be known as a wine bar.

“That term sounds a little too formal for me,” nightlife entrepreneur and La Dive co-owner Kate Opatz tells CHS.” It will be a little dive-y. But you can also get an interesting glass of wine there.”

The new bar’s ownership acquired the Other Coast sandwich shop which had been on the market. Continue reading