#ExposeRape at V2 with artists behind Capitol Hill anti-rape poster campaign

Activists and artists behind an anti-rape poster campaign are following up on their efforts with a community gathering and art project on Capitol Hill.

The ExposeRape group is inviting the public to help create a giant display of public art while deconstructing rape culture at the V2 art space Thursday night. Creators of the #ExposeRape PSA posters seen around Capitol Hill will be at the 11th Ave space. A march through Pike/Pine is also planned.

With direct messaging like “know means know” and “don’t rape,” organizers of the campaign say they are seeking to expand the discussion of sexual assault in the city.

Our mission is to expose and broaden the way that rape is viewed and defined, bust rape myths and create consent culture through public art. We are not compromising in our message and we don’t have to divide rape by the communities it affects. By highlighting a diverse group of artists in this project we aim to represent a wide range of experiences, all with powerful messages in combating rape culture.


(Image: ExposeRape)

CHS recently wrote about Capitol Hill artist Eliza Gauger and her use of public art as form of psychic weaponry with her Hex of Obsolescence to protect trans kids. She is now fundraising to gather her Problem Glyphs into book form. The projects also harken back to the anti-gaybashing work of John Criscitello on the streets of Capitol Hill and the #CapHillPSA poster campaign.

Located in the former home of Value Village, V2 was established as a temporary art space while developers Legacy Commercial work out a way to develop the landmarks-protected building.

Thursday’s event will feature work from 13 artists, including regular CHS photographer Alex Garland.

PUSPUS, Eric Jolson Rhea Vega, Kaya Axelsson, Shogo Ota, Alex Garland, Oscar Arreguin Mendez, Ken McCarty, Crybaby Studios, CamCreature & Ms. 3, Amy Huber, Jazz Brown, Yoona Lee, I Want You Studio (Christian Petersen)

The #ExposeRape event starts June 2nd at 7 PM at V2, 1525 11th Ave. Visit ExposeRape’s website for more information. 

Oasis Capitol Hill opens, sets new record for CHS being early on a story

The Oasis Tea Zone has — finally — expanded to Capitol Hill.

“I’ve been trying to get in to Capitol Hill for over 10 years,” I-Miun Liu tells CHS. “I guess prematurely I said yes.”

The E Pine Oasis bubble tea shop opened this week — two years and two days after CHS first wrote about the project taking shape.

Liu said a regular Oasis customer offered him the space in 2014 and he couldn’t pass it up — even if he wasn’t ready to build.

“To me this was my one chance at Capitol Hill,” he said. “I rode it out for so long.”

At the time, Liu was working to open Eastern Cafe in Chinatown. A cascade of delays put the project far over budget and repeatedly pushed back the Capitol Hill opening.

Though he was concerned about the early proposals, Seattle’s march to a $15 minimum wage wasn’t part of the delay. In 2014, during the infancy of the $15 minimum wage law debate, Liu said an immediate jump to $15 wage would cripple his businesses. “The phase-in helped a lot,” he said. “The time frame has been critical.”

In the end, Liu said the two year pause was worth it, giving him time to come back to Capitol Hill with a stronger footing and more resources to put into designing the space that has transformed what was once a video rental store. The new shop neighbors Fogon, Rudy’s, Stumptown, and Capitol Loans. Across the street is R Place and Suika.

Hours for now are 11 AM to midnight every day — no plans for late night hours here, yet.

The space might be the most elegant and fully designed of the now four Oasis locations. A rocket man art installation, created by Electric Coffin, fills the back wall.

Liu said the shop will expand to Asian-inspired desserts and loose teas in a collaboration with his sister’s Ballard tea shop, Miro Tea.

Liu said his opening day went off without a hitch and the nighttime crowd, including many regulars from the International District location, nearly filled the shop.

“A lot of people who knew that we were about to open were excited to see us,” he said.

Oasis Capitol Hill is located at 606 E Pine. You can lear more at facebook.com/oasiscapitolhill.

Images: Kirkland Rocket Fizz

Images: Kirkland Rocket Fizz

Rocket Fizz Broadway is now open across the street from Capitol Hill Station.

We told you about the soda pop and candy shop earlier this year:

Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Shops offers one of the largest and craziest selections of glass-bottled soda pops and retro candies for sale in America

Aged five years, Sun Liquor and OOLA are still pioneers of Capitol Hill spirits

Kirby Kallas-Lewis (Image: Alex Garland)

Kirby Kallas-Lewis (Image: Alex Garland)

In 2011, OOLA and Sun Liquor both fired up Capitol Hill’s first legal stills, launching the post-Prohibition era of neighborhood-made spirits. Five years later, the two businesses are growing, but while new coffee and beer production operations continue to open around Capitol Hill, new distilleries have not.

Huge startup expenses, navigating a restrictive legal framework, and high state taxes can be daunting barriers to entry despite the seemingly insatiable demand for craft cocktails and spirits.

“We keep trying to get parity with beer and wine,” said OOLA owner Kirby Kallas-Lewis. “A lot of people do their due diligence and they find out it’s not worth it.”

In 2008, the state legislature relented slightly by passing a craft distillery law, which made small batch distilling a viable business by lowering minimum production requirements. The state went from one distiller to over 100 by 2015. With few mentors in the local industry, Sun Liquor head distiller Erik Chapman said trial by fire was the primary learning tool.

“In five years we have learned so much, and most of it the old fashioned way. Everything from packaging issues, equipment failures, shipping disasters, flooding, you name it.” he said. “There’s no handbook for this business.” Continue reading

Northwest Film Forum tabs next executive director

unnamed-1There is hope, graduating art students of 2016, that those series of unpaid internships will eventually land you a dream arts organization job and Courtney Sheehan is living proof.

Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum announced Tuesday that the 27-year-old one-time college intern, who got her first full-time gig with the 12th and Pike nonprofit in 2013, has taken over as the new executive director.

“Courtney is really good at building relationships, understanding the importance of new ideas, and celebrating the kind of art that draws people together,” said NWFF board president Peter Vogt.

Sheehan’s appointment comes a year after Lyall Bush stepped down as the forum’s previous executive director. Bush, who had been involved with the forum since it opened 20 years ago, now leads the film program at Cornish College of Arts.

The NWFF stands out among film organizations in that it not only screens a wide variety of independent film, but also offers filmmaking classes, rents equipment, and funds local projects. In addition to expanding those elements, Sheehan said she is excited to program more events that mix film with performances and speakers. Continue reading

Own a piece of Rodeo Donut — or another Capitol Hill food+drink startup, soon — thanks to federal law change

A platform allowing ordinary people to invest in startups launched this month and a Capitol Hill donut operation is among the first companies to have its shares up for sale.

Rodeo Donut opened last year as a popup project inside Cupcake Royale. Since then Rodeo has expanded to Cupcake Royale’s Ballard location and developed a diehard donut following with creations like apple bacon bourbon fritters, and caviar and cream donuts.

Now owners Nicki Kerbs and Jody Hall want to venture further into the donut frontier by opening a brick-and-mortar shop with a focus on “fresh fried buttery brioche donuts, fried chicken and strong whiskey drinks.”

To do it, Rodeo is taking advantage of new crowd investing platform called WeFunder and a federal law change allowing startups to raise capital from non-credited investors (typically defined as those who make less than $200,000 a year). In October, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved rules for crowd investing, first approved in the 2012 JOBS Act.

In other words, you can now buy shares of Rodeo Donut and throw your financial lot in with Seattle’s cowgirl donut slingers. The popup donut shop will also be offering its employees stock options.

“We’ve had so many that have wanted to take us to other cities or other states or wanted to invest,” Hall said. “We like that this kind of levels the playing field.”

The minimum investment is $100. So far Rodeo has raised just over $7,000 towards its $50,000 – $100,000 goal. The Rodeo owners are currently shopping around for their first location. Hall said Capitol Hill would be a “no-brainer,” if they could find the right space.

WeFunder was one of the first companies out of the gate to offer crowd investing, where investments and contracts are all drawn up and exchanged on the site. The company selected Rodeo as one of the first companies to feature on its new platform.

Of course the risks with startup investing are substantial and even more so for those who can’t afford to loose all the money they put in. According to WeFunder, “Startups either win big or go bankrupt. You could lose all your money. Consider them more like socially-good lottery tickets.” Existing crowd fund platforms like Kickstarter allow fundraising, but do not facilitate investing. You can read more about WeFunder investing here.

Meanwhile, Hall is privately fundraising to expand The Goodship, her marijuana edibles company. Since marijuana remains illegal the federal level, you’ll have to wait for WeedFunder to become a reality.

What’s next for the Pike/Pine pedestrian zone plan

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What does City Hall do when “the community” seemingly disagrees on how to move forward on a civic project? When it comes to the Pike/Pine pedestrian zone and its wide support among nightlife and entertainment patrons and owners, and street activation activists and less enthusiastic elements like some of the daytime-focused businesses and developers of the neighborhood, the answer will be a “community” meeting to set a new course for the plan.

Last month the Office of Economic Development released its comprehensive report on last year’s Pike/Pine street closure pilot project — otherwise known as the “pedestrian zone.” The city says a community meeting on the plan will be held soon.

OED spokesperson Joe Mirabella tells CHS that they’re still working on nailing down a location and exact date for the first public community meeting as recommended in the report. Sometime in “mid-June” is the current plan. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Big turnout as Capitol Hill hosts first ever Seattle Ice Cream Festival


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Sunday’s first ever Seattle Ice Cream Festival might be the first when the exaggerated number of people claiming to be interested in a Facebook event may have been close to accurate.

It’s unlikely that 55,000 or even 15,000 attended — but if enthusiasm is any sign, the second festival might be a slightly larger production.

Sunday, a few thousand people stuffed 11th Ave and filled in the open marketplace of Chophouse Row to sample a taste or buy a scoop or three of the frozen treats from some of Capitol Hill and the city’s leading ice cream producers: Sweet Bumpas, Molly Moon, Bluebird, Cupcake Royale, Gelatiamo, Balleywood Creamery, Kurt Farm Shop, Full Tilt, Parfait, Half Pint, Trove, and Pink’s. Songs will be sung of the dozen first year providers who braved the pandemonium. Even neighboring doggie daycare Play on the Hill got in on the act with frozen treats for canine pals. Continue reading

A new life for Old School Frozen Custard on Capitol Hill

CJ and Meg Chaney (Image: F-Stop Seattle courtesy of Old School Frozen Custard)

CJ and Meg Chaney (Image: F-Stop Seattle courtesy of Old School Frozen Custard)

Like another cool character recently back from the dead, you might have some questions after this E Pine resurrection.

Where did you go? What did you see?

Capitol Hill’s Old School Frozen Custard is risen. With a week or so of quiet return to service under their belts, new owners Meg and CJ Chaney plan to bring cookie and software startup savvy to the “unpretentious flavors and big sundaes” of the creamy frozen treat hangout.

“We’re not changing the recipes,” CJ tells CHS. “We’re not touching anything on that side.”

But new things are ahead for Old School. The reboot is actually an acquisition. Meg’s Retro Cookies is taking over the company and now stands around 10 employees strong. CJ says the plan is to increase the presence of cookies and baked goods at the E Pike and 14th Ave shop. Increased cookie production is also on the horizon with baking already happening on site. CJ’s company Smartwhere, meanwhile, isn’t yet part of the Old School plans though we imagine its proximity marketing technology could be useful in alerting passersby to the frozen treats within. In the meantime, expect a lot of connection with followers through social media including new “fan flavors” on the Old School calendar.

The connections for Meg and CJ run deeper than the obvious business opportunity that presented itself with Rick Drouet and his business partners decided to hang up the Old School custard cutting scoop. CJ said Old School was the site of one of the couple’s first dates and they served the custard at their wedding.

CHS rather unceremoniously marked the closure of Old School in March buried in this post about the new “plant-based” ice cream shop Frankie and Jo’s coming to Pike/Pine. The shop opened as part of a small chain of Old Schools in the summer of 2009 back when frozen treats were still a rarity on Capitol Hill.

This Sunday, Capitol Hill will mark its ascendancy to the top of the city’s ice cream throne with the first ever Seattle Ice Cream Festival at Chophouse Row. Here’s the royal lineup: Sweet Bumpas / Molly Moon’s / Bluebird / Cupcake Royale / Gelatiamo / Balleywood Creamery / Kurt Farm Shop / Full Tilt / Parfait / Half Pint / Trove / Pink’s

While Old School won’t be scooping at Chophouse Row this weekend, they’re still ready for a crowd. CJ said he has been most surprised by how many fans the chain developed over the years and how many have been overjoyed to visit the reopened remaining Old School.

“There’s definitely an opportunity here. The amount of love for this IP is amazing,” CJ said, mixing a little software engineer into his new role as a frozen custard shop owner.

Old School Frozen Custard is located at 1316 E Pike. Learn more at facebook.com/OldSchoolFrozenCustard.


Two charged in Friday the 13th armed robbery at Pike/Boylston

The two men arrested following a reported gunpoint theft of a bottle of vodka from a man walking on the street at Pike and Boylston early on Friday the 13th have been charged with first degree robbery.

Cordero Duckworth, 27, and Anthoney Moss, 29, have each been charged in the crime and are now being held on $250,000 bail.

Police say the men are being investigated “for ties to other recent crimes” after officers found “they were carrying a gun, a ski mask and gloves” during the Friday the 13th incident involving a bottle of Cinna-Sugar Twist vodka.

The victim told police he had just been kicked out of his girlfriend’s house and was trying to sort out what to do next. His first move? Buying a bottle of flavored vodka. Things got worse when he encountered two men who police say were Duckworth and Moss:

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Police tracked down Duckworth and Moss nearby and found Moss was carrying a holstered 9mm pistol. The victim identified both as the men who had held him up. Police say they found a bottle of Cinna-Sugar Twist (inaccurately identified as “Brown Sugar” in the police report above) in Duckworth’s backpack. Duckworth told police the victim offered to sell him the vodka and mushrooms and that he had only purchased the booze. He couldn’t explain how the victim knew Moss was packing a pistol. Police say Moss claimed not to have been involved and to only have known Duckworth as “O.”

According to prosecutors, Moss does not have any prior felony convictions. Duckworth was convicted for second degree manslaughter in 2007 and a drug charge in 2014.

Value Village development could become next Capitol Hill ‘marketplace’

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Capitol Hill, the land of Seattle’s new ‘marketplaces,’ could be getting another indoor retail experience in the heart of Pike/Pine.

Thanks to its landmarks designation, current development designs for the former Value Village building on 11th Ave call for maintaining the expansive open floor plan in the building’s street level space. Developers from Legacy Commercial are exploring the possibility of transforming that 12,000-square-foot area into the type of food and retail destination most recently popularized by Chophouse Row just up the street.

“That is one of the options that has been discussed, but there is no decision on what type of tenants will occupy the space,” said Phillip Bozarth-Dreher, an architect on the project with Ankrom Moisan.

It has been over a year since plans to redevelop the The Stranger and Value Village buildings were stalled due to the 11th and E Pine buildings winning landmark status. Since then developers have ditched plans to build over The Stranger’s White Motor Company building and have focused on a 5-story office and retail project next-door at the 1918-built Kelly Springfield Motor Truck Company building. Continue reading