Capitol Hill food+drink | A new start at Poco

It all began about six months ago when Tramale Turner noticed a clandestine post advertising the sale of a mysterious wine bar. The post included pictures of the space and Tramale’s wife Jackie immediately recognized the oddly shaped room with the loft-like mezzanine level as E Pine’s Poco Wine + Spirits.

Jackie and Tramale made a few clandestine visits to Poco and liked what they found.

“We wanted to see if it was something we saw ourselves doing,” Jackie said. “The staff were wonderful, kind and friendly; they seemed like a little family.” Continue reading

Pike/Pine vs. Pike-Pine

(Image: Downtown Seattle Association)

(Image: Downtown Seattle Association)

There is a subtext to the tussle over the design and “public benefits” planned for the $1.4 billion Washington State Convention Center.

Pike-Pine is downtown turf:

This week new banners will appear along Pike and Pine streets from Pike Place Market to Capitol Hill as part of the Downtown’s Pike Pine Renaissance. More than 60 banners now line Pike and Pine, complementing the private investments that Nike, Nordstrom and others are making to improve the experience along this corridor. The banners are the latest in a series of investments that were generated from a 2013 planning effort lead by the DSA and local landscape architecture firm, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. This plan includes streetscape improvements, public area amenities and activation, light installations, community events and more.

Up the Hill, Pike/Pine is watching.

The new banners are a small battlefront but there is the potential for a border skirmish. Especially with the Downtown Seattle Association putting dollars behind the initiative:

As a part of this effort, the DSA is also working to activate public space and recently signed a management agreement with the City of Seattle to program Westlake Park. With private investment, the DSA purchased new furniture and games to activate Westlake Park year-round.

With the Pike-Pine Renaissance project to create “higher quality, more consistent pedestrian space through upgraded standards for sidewalks and intersections” also comes a branding effort. Will Pike/Pine mean Seattle’s old auto row transformed into bars, restaurants, and independent shops? Or Nike and Nordstrom?

Meanwhile, the downtown push to get the convention center expansion moving passed one important milestone Tuesday night when the design review board voted that the project can advance to its “master use permit” stage. The project’s city planner tells CHS there will be more opportunities for public feedback as the design and approval process plays out and who owns Pike/Pine — or is it Pike-Pine? — and where the borders are drawn fall into place.

One person reported shot in foot after Harvard gunfire — Also, overnight shots in the Central District

A Seattle Police officer heard multiple, rapid fire gunshots ring out across Pike/Pine early Sunday morning and Seattle Fire treated a victim reported to have been shot in the foot in a second night of gunfire in the area. Meanwhile, police found shell casings and a large crowd following a second reported “assault with weapons” incident in the Central District — but, fortunately, no victim.

In the Pike/Pine incident, police converged on an area near Harvard and Union around 2:45 AM as Seattle Fire was called to treat a male with a reported gunshot wound to the foot outside the west entrance of the nearby QFC. The injury was apparently not serious but we have not yet confirmed details with Seattle Fire or SPD. Witnesses reported at least two vehicles that may have been involved were seen leaving the area of the shooting.

Later Sunday morning, a fight near 23rd and Jackson ended with gunfire in a disturbance just before 4:45 AM. According to East Precinct radio, police arrived to find around 20 people remaining in the area but no victim.

There were no immediate arrests in either incident.

According to SPD data, gun incidents including shots fired with and without victims are up 36% in the East Precinct vs. 2014.

UPDATE: SPD has posted a report on the Pike/Pine incident:

Officers are investigating after a man walking in Capitol Hill was shot in the foot early Sunday morning.

Police Sgt. Michael Renner was standing at the corner of Broadway and Pike St. Sunday morning at 2:45 when he heard gun shots to the west. Additional officers flooded the area and found a man who had been shot in the foot while walking in the 1400 block of Harvard Ave. Officers were also approached by the owner of a car who said that as he sat in the driver’s seat bullets hit his car and lodged in the seat.

Medics took the man who was shot to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries. Officers scoured the block and found several 40 caliber and 9mm shells which were all taken in as evidence. Despite an extensive area check, they did not find the suspects.

If you have any information in this case please call the Homicide/Assault tip line at (206)233-5000.

UPDATE 10/5/2015 9:27 AM: Seattle Central officials contacted East Precinct Monday morning to report a possible bullet hole found on the Pike side of the school’s Harvard Ave building.

Police investigate after Pike/Pine gunfire

Police were searching for the gunman witnesses reported seeing firing shots early Saturday morning near the bars and clubs of 11th Ave.

Gunfire was first reported around 1:50 AM Saturday as police in the area heard the shots and witnesses reported seeing a male firing the gun near 11th and Pine, according to East Precinct radio.

Nobody was injured in the incident but police found spent shell casings. Officers also made at least one arrest for obstruction but it wasn’t clear if the person taken into custody was believed to be the shooter.

The suspect was described as a black male, around 5’8″, wearing a dark hoodie with fur around the hood.

Ethan Stowell coming to E Pike

Michael Malone, the driving force behind Capitol Hill developer Hunters Capital, is no dummy. He and his #1 tenant Elliott Bay Book Company may be fighting for better nightlife balance in Pike/Pine but he probably already knew that, when it comes to why people go out in the neighborhood, “60% came for drinking, 41% for dining, 23% for dancing, and 21% came to watch live music.”

Those stats are why Malone is teaming up with one of the surest bets in Seattle food and drink for a premier commercial space in the under-construction Dunn Automotive building, his showcase of Pike/Pine preservation incentives and development at the corner of Pike and Summit. Continue reading

What counting every Pike/Pine pedestrian on a summer night reveals

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 10.45.47 AM

(Images: Seattle Department of Transportation)

Roughly a Key Arena full of people stream through Pike/Pine on an average summer weekend night, according to a six night night study of pedestrian activity in the area.

The study was conducted as part of the Pike/Pine pedestrian pilot project this August, which closed off three blocks of E Pike on three nights to ease crowd congestion and open the area up for street performances. The study’s findings offer an analytical look into some fairly obvious trends: Pike/Pine crowds peak around 11 PM, people use a variety of transportation modes to get there, and they are primarily showing up to drink. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | Peloton at center of bicycle cafe pack coming to Pike/Pine, 12th Ave


Team Peloton: Dustin Riggs, Mckenzie Hart, Paul Dano, and Aaron Grant

IMG_2809A tightly packed group of businesses combining passion for the bicycle with food, drink, and repair and maintenance services is pedaling its way around Capitol Hill. As the yellow jersey in the race of big city trends, you’re probably not going to be surprised to learn that the streets of Capitol Hill and the Central District will soon be home to not one, or two, but three bicycle cafes.

“Many cyclists kind of pick up the sport and it leads to a rabbit hole,” Dustin Riggs tells CHS. “There is a lot of culture around it.”

Riggs and his partners hope to clip into that two-wheeled enthusiasm as they prepare to open Peloton at 12th and Jefferson by early October.

“The coffee and the beer and the bikes. It’s just a lifestyle kind of thing,” he said. Continue reading

High Voltage shuttering on E Pike, Higher Voltager Guitar And Amp Repair opening on E Pine

Capitol Hill’s only dedicated music gear and guitar shop is closing.

The folks at E Pike’s High Voltage announced the store’s closing Friday morning. Not all is lost — Higher Voltager Guitar And Amp Repair will live on in a new home inside E Pine’s Capitol Loans:

“As a result, soon the guitars and amps at Capitol Loans will be AWESOME,” the announcement reads. There is also a “cash only” gear sale at the E Pike location today and Saturday.

Chris Lomba and his partners opened High Voltage in the summer of 2012. “If it has strings, we can fix it,” Lomba told CHS. In 2014, we talked to High Voltage about the challenges of keeping a store catering to rockers and musicians open as Pike/Pine’s entertainment economy shifted toward food and drink. With three years left on its lease, the shop was diversifying its offerings adding a workshop area for Tanner Brewer to work on guitars and amps while Lomba and Pam Stermin worked to build community around the business by bringing in bands for live music events.

But last spring, a “for lease” sign went up as the partners began looking for somebody to take the space off their hands. Despite the massive presence of Capitol Hill Block Party right outside its front door and Neumos across the street, High Voltage has now decided to shut the shop and focus the business on the more successful repair side of things.

Lomba tells CHS he is excited to move forward with Brewer on the repair venture at Capitol Loans and that the exit from E Pike will be made more smooth for the original partnership thanks to a new tenant picking up their lease. 910 E Pike doesn’t seem likely to rock in the future, however. The next business to call the shop home will be an upscale clothing retailer.

Chromeo... and High Voltage (Image: Jim Bennett/CHBP with permission to CHS)

Chromeo… and High Voltage (Image: Jim Bennett/CHBP with permission to CHS)

Northwest Film Forum celebrates 20 years, 2015 Local Sightings festival

In 2013, CHS looked at the future of film on Capitol Hill including NWFF and 21st Ave's Central Cinema (Image: Elisa Huerta-Enochian)

CHS looked at the future of film around Capitol Hill including NWFF and 21st Ave’s Central Cinema (Image: Elisa Huerta-Enochian with permission to CHS)

2015 marks 20 years of the most indie of indie cinema on Capitol Hill. You can celebrate two decades of the Northwest Film Forum Thursday night as its signature Local Sightings film festival commences with an opening night of shorts that “capture moments of change in Seattle from contemporary times and past eras” followed by a free NWFF birthday party:

To celebrate Northwest Film Forum’s 20th anniversary, we are throwing the most epic costume party the Film Forum lobby has ever seen! Dress up as any character from a film we’ve shown over the past 20 years. Don’t know where to start? Check out this list to find some inspiration: ABBA, Flash Gordon, Abraham Lincoln, James Brown, Norman Bates, Venus & Serena, Alien, Dr. Strangelove, Pee Wee Herman, Thelonius Monk, Princess Nausicaa — they’re all fair game! There will be prizes for best costumes and dance moves. Join us to toast the miracle of NWFF and party like it’s 1995.

As the party is Thursday night, CHS will be dressed up as Sam J. Jones in Flash Gordon as we do normally to start the weekend.

The opening night Sprawl to Action slate sounds right up your alley:

Citizens of Seattle: take a minute for your city! Tonight we marshal together short films that capture moments of change in Seattle from contemporary times and past eras. From today: the suddenly booming weed industry, rapidly transforming neighborhoods, and lyrical musings about technology in our lives. From yester-year: cultural memories long-forgotten, ideas for a future that’s now past, and a grassroots movement that physically shaped the city. Sprawl to Action includes the launch of Citizen Minutes, a new community video project of Northwest Film Forum.

Information on the opening night Sprawl to Action and the 20th anniversary party as well as the September 24th to October 3rd festival can be found at

Earlier this year, CHS talked with outgoing NWFF director Lyall Bush about his exit and the history of the film-focused organization:

NWFF traces its origin to the 1995 launch of WigglyWorld Studios, a post-production outfit that got its start on Capitol Hill. At the time, Bush was working as a film editor and was brought on as the group was primarily interested in forming a repository for film equipment.

The organization quickly grew into other aspects of film, including teaching and screening. Co-founders Jamie Hook and Deborah Girdwood — along with Michael Seiwerath, now at Capitol Hill Housing — began exploring an expansion into their own theater.

That’s when Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer entered the picture along with some deep pocket donors. After changing its name, the nonprofit took over management of the U-Districts’Grand Illusion Theatre in 1997. Two years later, it opened the The Little Theatre at 19th and Mercer. Hanauer remains involved, by the way, serving on the NWFF board.

In 2004, NWFF moved into its current home on 12th Ave between Pine and Pike.

Bush announced in spring he would be stepping down from his post this September.

“You take stock, at that point, and ask what you want to be doing, and in a sense our 20th anniversary is a good chance for the organization to hit the refresh button (so to speak) as well,” Bush told CHS. “It’s a chance for the whole operation to write a new strategic plan, craft new vision, and keep independent filmmaking going for another couple of decades.”

CHS Pics | Welcome to Henry’s E Pike jungle

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

A new Henry mural has appeared on Capitol Hill. Prolific Seattle artist Ryan Henry Ward painted this lion on the western side of the 615 E Pike condo building. According to his social media post, he’s referring to the work as his “Welcome to the Jungle” mural.

The watchful lion looks out onto E Pike. He might remind you of the prideful beast that graces The Iliad apartments above Summit. The wall where the new work appears is a frequent canvas for artists. Enjoy it while it lasts — the old garage to the west of the building is slated for a six-story development that will eventually cover up the space.

Meanwhile, the summer of 2015 brought a new selection of large-scale art to Capitol Hill highlighted by the giant “Read Up, Hands Down” work from muralist Erik T Burke and Urban Artworks on the Richmark Label factory at 12th and Pine.

You can find Henry murals in neighborhoods across the city. His fish swim along the walls near E Mercer’s Lowell Elementary where a CHS Community poster found the artist putting on the fishing finishing touches back in 2008.

The free hand process has begun

A photo posted by Ryan Henry Ward (@ryan_henry_ward) on