What you’ll find at the Capitol Hill WeWork

A WeWork lobby in Xujiahui (Image: WeWork)

Late last year, news spread that the preservation-boosted Kelly Springfield office building hoped to bring more jobs to Capitol Hill and help spark more daytime activity in Pike/Pine would have one gargantuan tenant — global coworking powerhouse, WeWork.

With construction on the building nearly complete, the finishing touches being put on its restored but still representative auto row-era facade, and the streetscape and rainbows restored, the company’s newest Seattle office-space location is nearly ready to offer up its first “hot desk.” When it does, want-to-be Pike/Pine workers will find five stories of dedicated WeWork space including “light-filled lounges, modern conference rooms, and sleek private offices” and some of the rapidly growing companies newest features like the Made by We store.

WeWork representatives haven’t responded to our inquiries about opening plans but the new facility is accepting sign-ups for tours and workspaces. Last year, the company said to expect workers to arrive “by late summer.” Continue reading

From the man who helped create Top Pot, small batch Half and Half Doughnut Co. to open on Capitol Hill this summer

(Image: CHS)

The entrepreneur who helped turn Top Pot into the largest scale doughnut operation in the city is, indeed, getting back into the fried dough business with a new small batch shop on Capitol Hill.

Half and Half Doughnut Co. — or, Half n Half as it appears on the signage — is being readied to open on E Pike with daily small batch doughnuts made in house and coffee and lattes to go. Half and Half will  offer filled raised varieties and cake doughnuts along with “savory options,” according to Jeanine Sbisa, director of operations. Continue reading

The Cookie Counter, a sweet new business partner with vegan ice cream sandwiches and pink walls, comes to Capitol Hill’s Gay City

(Image: Brie DiFelici with permission)

Gay City neighbor Kaladi Brothers Coffee moved back to its former, overhauled space a few doors down late last year. Now the LGBTQ+ community, resource, health, and arts center has a new business partner to add to its mix: The Cookie Counter, a Greenwood-based dessert shop and café for vegan pastries, cookies and ice cream.

The Capitol Hill outpost of The Cookie Counter, which will also keep its Greenwood shop open, is slated to open in the last week of June, with the grand opening coinciding with Seattle’s Pride weekend.

“To be in that space [Kaladi’s] will be nostalgic for us,” said Chelsea Keene, who co-founded The Cookie Counter with her husband Chris Olson. Both longtime vegans, the couple started making and selling vegan ice cream sandwiches out of their ’74 Volkswagen bus in 2014. “When Chris and I lived on the hill, the previous Kaladi Brothers Coffee space at Gay City was our favorite coffee shop.”

The couple opened their pastel-tinted shop in Greenwood in 2016. The Capitol Hill location will seat around 30 people, approximately 10 more than the Greenwood shop, though the millennial pink color palette will stay the same. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Rainbows restored in Pike/Pine

Fears that redevelopment construction also ripped away a recent but highly visible symbol of the gayborhood were painted over this week as crews restored the Capitol Hill rainbow crosswalks along 11th Ave just in time for Pride.

When the construction crews dig in on any Capitol Hill project, Seattle Department of Transportation requirements mandate the right of way and its resources be restored. It’s no different for the city’s “Community Crosswalks” program. Continue reading

With work started on new E Pike slice bar and ‘pizza testing kitchen,’ Pagliacci celebrates 40 years in Seattle

UPDATE 6/10/2019: Pagliacci has provided this rendering of what the E Pike project will look like

(Image: CHS)

As Capitol Hill-headquartered Pagliacci celebrates 40 years of pizza in Seattle, work is underway to create a new pie and slice bar perfect for research and development next door to the company’s E Pike busy offices.

“This fall, Pagliacci Pizza will open a new store on Pike Street between Crawford and Summit in the building that has long served as Pagliacci’s headquarters,” an announcement of the new project sent to CHS reads. “The restaurant will feature seating, beer and wine, a slice bar, delivery, and a state-of-the-art training facility and pizza testing kitchen.” Continue reading

With short-term plans for new protected bike lanes by end of 2019, report released on long-term community priorities for Pike/Pine

(Image: Central Seattle Greenways)

The next hill has been summited in the process to add protected bike lanes to Pike/Pine has wrapped up as Central Seattle Greenways published its outreach findings and recommendations focused on the desire for a continuous and sensible route, safety, and predictable traffic flows.

One message clearly emerged. Community members who responded to the survey including riders, residents, and business owners said a continuous, unbroken eastbound bikeway on Pike and another westbound one on Pine should be a priority. It’s called the “Pike Pine Renaissance design.”

UPDATE: Meanwhile, despite not being an option on the questionnaire, many said they would like to see the Renaissance lanes — a continuous eastbound street on Pike and a westbound one on Pine.

“Creating a couplet of one-way streets all the way to Broadway provides clarity for people walking, biking, and driving; delivers a more intuitive route that cyclists are more likely to use; and shares the perceived burden and benefits of a bike lane for business owners on both Pike and Pine,” CSG writes on its website.

While it would take more outreach to make this happen, Brie Gyncild, co-leader of CSG, said this is her favorite option, although she was not originally a believer.

“Over and over again, what we heard people saying is ‘we just want to extend the Pike/Pine Renaissance all the way up to Broadway,’” Gyncild said. “It’s more intuitive for people biking; it’s more intuitive for people walking; people like the Pike Pine Renaissance design, they like the more pedestrian-oriented feel.” Continue reading

First look: Life on Mars lands on Capitol Hill

Severin, Sims, Richards, and Richards

Life on Mars, the new bar with a plant-based menu of burgers and waffle sandwiches, booze, and walls shelving thousands of records at the corner of Pike and Harvard is an answer, not a question for its music-loving founders.

“Everyone is so depressed, everyone is so down, the world is a hard place right now. And Bowie died! That’s sad, too! So in a way Life on Mars is kind of like a rebirth for us,” co-owner John Richards told CHS Thursday night at one of a series of pre-opening parties at the new venue.

The new bar will open, softly, to the public for the first time Saturday night.

The answer to Bowie’s Life on Mars? Yes. There is life out there. There is hope. There is something else to do in life as we get older and want to stay in touch with the things we love best — music, friends, a good drink… vegan food.

“It became more than that song, for sure,” Richards said. “That’s why we left the question mark off.”

Continue reading

‘Certain types of crime are up in certain neighborhoods’ — Mayor Durkan takes public safety tour of Capitol Hill

As she toured Capitol Hill with community and business representatives Tuesday, Mayor Jenny Durkan said she has no regrets Seattle reversed course on a head tax last summer even as the social, safety, and sanitation programs it would have helped pay for are more vital than ever with her administration working to address a wave of gun violence and concerns about what she says is a rising tide of street disorder and property crimes in certain areas of the city.

“Police response is always the last resort,” Durkan said Tuesday at the end point of the short morning tour that began at Elliott Bay Book Company and meandered through Pike/Pine and up Broadway to Capitol Hill Station. “Police have to show up when other things to prevent violence have not worked.”

“Crime is up,” the mayor conceded as the TV cameras surrounded her at Broadway and John. “Particularly certain types of crime are up in certain neighborhoods,” she said.

Durkan’s hastily arranged tour — community group representatives said they weren’t told about the planned visit until over the Memorial Day weekend — followed CHS’s report last week on a call from neighborhood business representatives and the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce for more attention on Pike/Pine and Broadway public safety after the mayor left the area and the Central District off her “seven neighborhood” list for increased policing and infrastructure and clean-up work from City Hall departments.

Tuesday’s most concrete message about new public safety efforts on Capitol Hill from Durkan wasn’t really news. “As it has done in recent years, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) will also have its regular summer emphasis programs in Golden Gardens, Alki Beach, and Capitol Hill (for nightlife),” the announcement from the mayor’s office following Tuesday’s tour read. Continue reading

Life on Mars — Capitol Hill’s most anticipated plant-based DJ vinyl bar of 2019 — plans June opening

You should start watching for signs of Life on Mars this week.

Because dad jokes.

Are rad.

And also because the new vinyl bar’s signs are going up, the requisite Weirdo mural is in progress, and the plant-based menu has been posted. Life on Mars is ready to open.

In an era when big hype Capitol Hill food+drink openings have mostly given way to smaller scale newcomers or new ownership and reinvention, Life on Mars is headed for what will likely be the most buzzworthy opening of the year in Pike/Pine. The plan, ownership says, is lined up for an official opening the second week of June. But you’ll likely see the place at the corner of Pike and Harvard in motion beforehand. Continue reading

Chuan on Capitol Hill — and its spicy pots — now open on E Pike

With a spicy pot menu full of flavors from Chengdu, first-time restaurateur Yao Huang is debuting his Chuan on Capitol Hill this week on E Pike.

CHS stopped by Thursday night as the staff and the kitchen at the busy new addition to The Cove building at Pike and Belmont did their best to keep up with the orders of meaty chili pots and spicy soups.

Huang was too busy to talk. Fortunately, CHS spoke with him in November as his plans for a first restaurant came together. Huang, we learned, knows the neighborhood well, beginning his education in the United States 20 years ago as in immigrant at Seattle Central. Continue reading