First look inside Redhook’s Capitol Hill Brewlab

Though his vats and filters are squished tightly into a Pike/Pine auto row-era building transformed into a 260-unit apartment building, Nick Crandall tells CHS there are no compromises when it comes to making beer in the new Redhook Brewlab.

“You can definitely smell when I’m brewing,” the project’s brewer said Thursday night as the new small-batch brewery and pub from the big beer brand held parties for media and the Puget Sound beer industry. More parties will follow over the next few days. The Redhook Brewlab opens officially to the public on August 17th. Continue reading

Stumptown E Pine set for closure

(Images: Stumptown)


Last summer, the Big Coffee(tm)-owned indie chain stopped roasting beans on 12th Ave. Later this summer, Stumptown will close its E Pine cafe to focus on its remaining Capitol Hill location.

The coffee industry-focused folks at Sprudge confirmed the news sent to CHS Tuesday morning by employees and customers that August 20th will be the final day for the E Pine cafe that neighbors Rudy’s and the Capitol Loans pawn shop. Sprudge reports that a company spokesperson tells them Stumptown “made the painful, yet considered decision to focus our efforts on our 12th Street cafe and our operations within the Seattle market.”

Stumptown became a wholly owned subsidiary of Peets Coffee and Tea in 2015 after the coffee chain obtained a partial ownership in 2011.

Queer/Bar set to replace Purr in Pike/Pine

Guild Seattle’s Burgess speaks about how the ownership group bucked bad trends during a 2015 release event for a report on wage theft and paid sick law violations (Image: CHS)

How do you replace a Montlake-bound Capitol Hill gay bar? With a Queer/Bar.

Here is the announcement on the new 11th Ave venture from one of the partners behind the Lost Lake family of businesses about the upcoming Pike/Pine hangout:

 In the wake of rumors of LGBTQIA businesses leaving the traditionally gay neighborhood of Seattle, a new-to-the-scene QUEER/BAR announces its plans to open in the coming weeks. QUEER/BAR intends to foster an inclusive gathering space for the LGBTQIA community and strives to have a team, ownership, and clientele reflect the diversity of the city, while retaining Capitol Hill’s foothold of being the premiere arts and queer neighborhood.

Joey Burgess, a partner at nearby Grim’s and part of Guild Seattle, the group behind Lost Lake Cafe, The Comet, and three Big Mario’s locations across Seattle, says he is excited to “finally be executing a project that marries his love for social activism and his passion for running bars and restaurants.”

“He is proud to own and offer a space that will serve his fellow LGBTQIA community,” the announcement of the new bar reads.

Citing a surge in Pike/Pine rent, Purr closed in July after more than 10 years on 11th Ave and has announced it will soon reopen in Montlake.

Queer/Bar is expected to open by “fall” and is lining up to be a busy place:

QUEER/BAR will make its mark by bringing together local artists, performers, and non-profits to create a community space for all things queer. The calendar of events will cover the spectrum from day and night. The space plans to launch a Queer/Chef series that focuses on the culinary talents of LGBTQIA chefs and Queer/Hall which will serve as venue for queer-focused issues in politics, activism, and community driven forums.  Additionally, Queer/Bingo, Queer/Dance nights, and local Queer/Art performances, including drag shows, are on the docket. Of course, Queer/Bar will fit right into its neighborhood nightlife by offering a full bar, plenty of music, dinner, and brunch.  The space will be designed by Burgess’ husband and partner, Murf Hall, a local designer at a large retailer that is home-based in Seattle, WA. Burgess says, “It’s been 12 years of planning, scrapping, and conceptualizing amongst friends and colleagues.  I’m over the moon to launch in a neighborhood that has felt like home for years.”

Burgess, described as an “LGBTQIA advocate” in the Queer/Bar news release, serves on the boards of Three Dollar Bill Cinema and Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce.

Capitol Hill Community Post | Melrose Promenade Community Crosswalks Project

From Mel Burchett

The Melrose Promenade Community Crosswalk Project is finally moving forward, and we need help spreading the word within the community.  If you have time and are willing to assist us, we’d really appreciate it!

The Artist Selection Committee has hired an excellent artist, Sara Snedeker, to develop 3 design concepts for us.  We are on a super-rigid timeline to get a concept(s) selected and submitted to SDOT by August 1st.

We have created an online survey to help us collect feedback: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FZTCV7W

More information about the Community Crosswalks project can be found here:

https://melrosepromenade.com/2017/07/21/public-art-hits-the-melrose-promenade/

Capitol Hill gay bar Purr’s new home? Montlake

Capitol Hill is down one gay bar. Purr’s July “going away” party included an announcement of its surprising new home neighborhood…

Montlake.

Seattle Gay Scene has the scoop:

After nearly a 12 year run on Capitol Hill’s 11th Avenue between Pike and Pine Streets, Purr Cocktail Lounge will be packing up the video screens and vodka bottles for a new location in…Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood. That was the surprise announcement at Wednesday night’s “Purr Going Away Party” where owner Barbie Roberts thanked her regulars and staff for a great run at the 11th Avenue location but then made the announcement that everyone had been waiting to hear…where was Purr moving to? While most expected that the new location would be either on Capitol Hill, Seattle’s primary LGBTQ neighborhood or at least adjacent to the ‘hood, no one expected to hear “Montlake” as the new location.

Owner Barbie Roberts has said the move is an economic one with the more-than-a-decade-old lounge escaping soaring Pike/Pine rents. A former employee of Manray and The Wildrose, Roberts opened Purr in 2006 in the former home of the Bad JuJu lounge. In 2011, CHS talked with her about the features of a successful gay bar and surviving the changes of growth in Pike/Pine.

While Purr’s adventure off the Hill will bring more affordable rent and more than a few interesting rides on the 43, we’re sure, its new home will also come with some economic challenges. The Montlake Pub closed in the space after a rocky year of business — it closed so abruptly, CHS never had the opportunity to run a post on the new restaurant last spring. Before the pub, the Traveler family of neighborhood grills gave 24th Ave E a run after taking over for longtime favorite the Montlake Pub in 2014. 24th Ave and Montlake, meanwhile, are set for major changes with a new 520 lid and bridge work slated to completely overhaul the road network at the key interchange. Meanwhile, the approach from the north to the area is also planned for major changes in future stages of the 23rd Ave corridor “road diet.”

No opening date for Montlake Purr has been announced.

You can keep track of things on Purr’s Facebook page.

 

San Francisco’s Good Vibrations acquires Capitol Hill-created Babeland

Born 24 years ago on E Pike when sex toys for women were still entrepreneurial concepts, iconic Capitol Hill retailer Babeland is joining a larger family of sensual positivity.

Bay Area-based Good Vibrations has announced it is acquiring the Capitol Hill-headquartered chain of three stores and the company’s online assets:

 In a merging of two of the most iconic sex toy retailers, Good Vibrations, one of the first shops to create a friendly and welcoming environment catering to women and founded 40 years ago, has entered into an agreement to acquire Babeland, co-founded by Claire Cavanah and Rachel Venning 25 years ago as an affirming, feminist, lifestyle brand. Cavanah and Venning are ready to say goodbye and move on to other pursuits after a momentous run of helping countless customers discover new pleasures and greater enjoyment in their sex lives.

Born Toys in Babeland just down the street from its current location at 707 E Pike, the first Babeland shop celebrated the business’s 20th anniversary in 2013.

“Capitol Hill in 1993 was the hub of emerging Seattle culture,” co-founder Rachel Venning told CHS at the time. “The neighborhood was packed with gay people, musicians artists, and creative people of all stripes. It was a great place to start a business that was based on a new concept: sex toys for women.”

Good Vibrations operates nine stores in five cities and will expand to include the Babeland shops including Capitol Hill’s flagship store and two Babeland stores in New York City.

“It’s been a joy and an adventure to start and grow Babeland,” Venning said in the announcement of the deal. “I have enormous gratitude for all the customers, staff, and community that have been part of this. I’m ready for a new adventure. Having Good Vibrations take over makes it easier to let go because we share so many of the same feminist values.”

According to the announcement, the Babeland brand will live on after the acquisition.

 

Capitol Hill Community Post | Redhook Brewlab to Open in Capitol Hill August 17

From Redhook Brewlab

(Image: Redhook)

Redhook Brewery is opening the doors of its new brewery and pub, called Redhook Brewlab, in the Pike Motorworks Building at 714 E. Pike Street in Capitol Hill on August 17, 2017.

A Grand Opening Party with Redhook’s radio partner KEXP will take place on August 17 from 3:00 to 10:00 p.m., with live music and a one-of-a-kind taplist featuring 16 collaboration beers brewed with some of Redhook’s friends in the industry.

The Beer

Redhook Brewlab will feature 16 taps of rotating small-batch beers, brewed on site by Redhook Head Brewer Nick Crandall, an eight-year brewing veteran who has spent his time at Redhook focused on innovation and new beer development, including two pub-favorite IPAs in Redhook’s line-up, the reformulated Big Ballard Imperial IPA and the hazy Bicoastal IPA.  Continue reading

Ollie Quinn bringing Canadian eyewear fashion to the Pike/Pine ‘neighbourhood’

Coming soon: Ollie Quinn (Image: CHS)

Some 60,000 eyeballs — 30,000 attendees with approximately two eyeballs per person — will roll through E Pike for the 2017 Capitol Hill Block Party this July. There will be a bit of side-eye — and plenty of near and farsightedness.

Ollie Quinn, the Canadian-born provider of eyewear fashion, will join the increasingly crowded field of shops hoping to serve those many, many eyes with its new Capitol Hill boutique planned to open by the end of this month in a long-empty retail space with a clear view of the Block Party’s main stage at Pike and Broadway.

“We want it to be a space that people feel drawn to and are comfortable lingering in, which is why we have a community working space built within where community members can come to study, create or chat,” a company spokesperson tells CHS. Continue reading

With new location in works, Purr plans 11th Ave ‘Going Away Party’

The rumors have become fact — or, at least, a going away party.

Purr has announced a July 19th celebration to say goodbye to its longtime 11th Ave home… and ownership says details on a new location for the Pike/Pine gay bar could be coming soon.

And the Party is just beginning…… Please join us for our “Going Away Party” on Wednesday July 19th. as we say goodbye to our “current” location. We’ve been proud to serve you here on 11th Ave for 12 strong years, and will continue to do so in our “new location”. Stay tuned for additional news as we work on solidifying details of our new home. Hope to see you all there!

Owner Barbie Roberts tells Seattle Gay Scene the move is simple economics:

Barbie also stressed to us that she’s not leaving the current location out of any bad feelings or due to the building being torn down. It’s simply the end of her current lease and she decided not to continue at that location due to the rent hike she would face under a new lease. It’s Economics 101, folks…gentrification leads to property values going up, followed by a big jump in rents which is something that effects both individuals in apartments as well as small business owners in commercial locations.

The Purr exit will leave a new space along 11th Ave without a tenant just as another moves in. In May, CHS reported that the Rain City Fit gym would soon neighbor Purr in the location left empty when kink retailer The Crypt shuttered in 2015.

A former employee of Manray and The Wildrose, Roberts opened Purr in 2006 in the former home of the Bad JuJu lounge. In 2011, CHS talked with her about the features of a successful gay bar and surviving the changes of growth in Pike/Pine.

As for where Purr, one of the Hill’s last remaining dedicated gay bars, lands next, stay tuned.

 

Warby Parker latest big brand with plans to join Pike/Pine

(Image: Warby Parker Fremont)

A burst of block-long, preservation incentive-boosted apartment buildings has already created hundreds of new — expensive — homes along Pike/Pine below Broadway. The developments are also reshaping the commercial mix for the neighborhood with big name brands and new-era retail showcases.

The next big name to join E Pine, CHS has learned, will be fashion eyewear retailer Warby Parker on a stretch of street that is meshing Capitol Hill development with downtown demographics.

While the company has not yet responded to CHS requests for information about the planned store in the eight-story Excelsior building at Melrose and Pine, permits show plans for a $388,000 buildout of a new eyeglass shop, the third Warby Parker store in Seattle. Continue reading