CHS Pics | Hillary Clinton accepts Democratic nomination at 10th and Pike

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People across the nation watched Thursday night as Hillary Clinton accepted the 2016 Democratic nomination for president. The bars and restaurants of Pike/Pine were also tuned in. “Standing here as my mother’s daughter, and my daughter’s mother, I’m so happy this day has come,” Clinton said Thursday night. “When any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone.” Continue reading

Tweaks to Pike/Pine rules offer design dos and preservation don’ts

Optimism Brewing, which opened last year inside a fully overhaul auto-row era building on E Union, is neither a "do" or a "don't" -- the new guidelines don't address how best to preserve complete buildings (Image: CHS)

Optimism Brewing, which opened last year inside a fully overhaul auto-row era building on E Union, is neither a “do” or a “don’t” — the new guidelines don’t address how best to preserve complete buildings (Image: CHS)

After six years of projects subject to the Pike/Pine Neighborhood Design Guidelines, Capitol Hill has seen its fair share of good and bad buildings. The guidelines are used by the East Design Review Board as the basis to recommend design changes to new projects in the neighborhood. But explaining what exactly makes a good and bad design under the guidelines can be frustrating for board members, architects, and the public.

To better inform everyone on the intentions of the design guidelines, a proposed update adds an appendix featuring real world examples of good and bad designs. The 18-page addition was created by city-hired consultant, Makers Architecture and Urban Design.

“The hope was to have more information to guide on things that were really general,” said Dennis Meier, a strategic advisor with the Office of Planning and Community Development.

One example offered in the new appendix shows how the design guidelines favor a 12th and Pike facade over that of one built on Broadway:

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Capitol Hill food+drink | Ikina Sushi, built with late night hot dog cash, ready for E Pike rush

Michael Suzuki (Image: CHS)

Michael Suzuki (Image: CHS)

If the crowds that filled Ikina Sushi between acts during the 2016 Capitol Hill Block Party last weekend are any indication, the new Japanese restaurant and sushi bar is going to be a hit on E Pike.

“I’m really happy with this location. I think we’ll do quite well,” said Michael Suzuki, general manager and chief chef at Ikina.

Suzuki estimates the Block Party brought in about 500 guests. A soft-opening on July 20 was also a crowded, Pike/Pine-packed affair. The plan is to open for good starting today. Happy grand opening.

A Madison Park resident, Suzuki said he spent time on E Pike and noticed how packed the area is late into the night which changed his perception of how to run the restaurant during the later hours.

Ikina is outfitted with a great sound system, he said, so music and dimmed lighting will set the atmosphere for late-night guests who will be served cocktails and small plates at the sushi bar.

Entrepreneur Shinsuke Nikaido, who has been serving Japanese-style hot dogs from his Gourmet Dog Japon carts since 2010, is the mastermind and the money behind Ikina.

“Basically (Ikina) is built on hot dog business money,” Suzuki said. Continue reading

Wise Orchid Tai Chi opens on E Union with an alternative to yoga — UPDATE: New home for Apex Aerial Arts

Wise Orchid led a Seattle celebration of World Tai Chi Qigong Day 2016 in May

Wise Orchid led a Seattle celebration of World Tai Chi Qigong Day 2016 in May

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The army of local yoga studios are getting some competition. Paralegal-turned-Tai Chi teacher Viola Brumbaugh has opened her own Tai Chi studio in the Central District, in the space recently vacated by children’s toy and clothing store Magpie.

Wise Orchid Tai Chi opened for business at 2002 E Union with a series of free classes on the Fourth of July and has been up and running since then. While Central Seattle has no shortage of yoga studios, Wise Orchid is one of just a few Tai Chi centers in the area. Continue reading

Man found stabbed outside Harvard Market QFC

A man was found stabbed and bleeding outside Capitol Hill’s Harvard Market QFC early Sunday morning.

Seattle Fire and police were called to the scene just before 4 AM to a report of a male with multiple stab wounds to his arms outside the Harvard entrance to QFC near the upper parking lot, according to radio dispatches. Arriving medics found the man in his 20s with several puncture wounds and a deep laceration to his arms. He was rushed to Harborview for further treatment.

Police were investigating the incident and working to determine where the stabbing occurred. According to SPD dispatches, police were looking in the area of the parking lot near the Knights of Columbus building on Union a few blocks from where the victim was found. There was no suspect information broadcast and no immediate arrests.

Police were busy on Harvard for the second night this weekend. Early Saturday morning, police investigated gunfire in the parking lot above the QFC.

Police investigate Broadway/Pike gunfire

For the second weekend in a row, police pushed late night Capitol Hill crowds back inside area venues as officers responded to gunfire in the area.

Early Saturday just before 3 AM, shots rang out from the still busy parking lot above Broadway and Pike. People were seen running from the lot, according to a caller reporting the incident. According to police radio, officers arrived to find a mostly empty lot and three shell casings on the ground.

There was one report of a person who was shot being loaded into a vehicle but no victim was located near the scene. Police stopped a SUV that was reported leaving the lot but we don’t know if any arrests were made. A check of area hospitals was underway.

All information in this report is preliminary and has not yet been confirmed by SPD.

The late night gunfire follows an incident closer to 2 AM closing time last Saturday morning that brought out a huge police response as officers searched for a gunman in the Broadway parking lot behind Mud Bay and across the street from Neighbours. There were no immediate arrests in that incident.

Tavolata brings first Stowell sequel — and another tipless joint to Capitol Hill

At work at Tavolata Capitol Hill (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

At work at Tavolata Capitol Hill (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

With the opening Tavolata on E Pike, Ethan and Angela Stowell brought their Belltown-born, modern Italian fare to Capitol Hill — they also brought a continuing to grow, new way of doing business in Seattle as the city transitions to a $15 minimum wage.

“People really love the Uber experience, where you just get out and don’t have to worry about tips,” Angela Stowell tells CHS.

According to the influential and prolific restauranteurs, the new, second Tavolata that opened a few weeks back in the Dunn Motors building at 501 E Pike is their first attempt at recreating one of their original restaurants and is the last Capitol Hill restaurant opening for the foreseeable future. Capitol Hill’s Tavolata has been tipless since it opened in late June. Angela Stowell said that almost all Stowell restaurants switched over to a service charge model on June 1. Tavolata joins a small but growing group of tipless bars and restaurants on Capitol Hill.

“We kind of waited to see how other people did it,” Stowell said.
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20(ish) years of the Capitol Hill Block Party

LaJeunesse hears from business partner Joey Burgess at the 2015 festival (Image- CHS)

LaJeunesse hears from business partner Joey Burgess at the 2015 festival (Image- CHS)

Old Block Party flyers courtesy Gapay

Old Block Party flyers courtesy Gopay

The 2016 Capitol Hill Block Party is being advertised as the 20th edition of the music festival, but it might be older than that.

It all depends on who you ask.

“I started the Capitol Hill Block Party in 1997 because I was frustrated with the corporate feel of Bumbershoot and the amount of baby carriages,” Jen Gapay tells CHS. “I also wanted to create more of a cool party scene in an urban environment like Capitol Hill.” Gapay said that she wanted people to have a chance to drink, listen to music, and listen to street performers “in an actual street.”

The Block Party’s origin is attributed to Gapay of Thirsty Girl Productions, though a skate shop and longtime Pike/Pine business Crescent Down Works may have hosted some version of the event before Thirsty Girl’s first party in 1997.

Meanwhile, current Block Party producer Jason Lajeunesse says he only has one regret about his reign as king of the CHBP. Lajeunesse, who has been involved in the event since 2006, says the times Block Party has gotten wet are what keeps him up at night. “I would go back and make it not rain,” he tells CHS. Continue reading

Verve Bowls and its healthful smoothies to join Redhook brewpub in Pike Motorworks

Smoothies will join beer on Capitol Hill with the opening of health food restaurant Verve Bowls in the newly opened Pike Motorworks, the same building in which Redhook announced plans to open a brewpub later this year.

Owner Scott Alderson said Verve Bowls is excited to be opening shop in the preservation-friendly Pike Motorworks, particularly because of the proximity to other businesses like Redhook. “There’s quite a few things going on in there,” he said.

The shop is slated to open this month at 715 E Pine. Alderson said he attracted to the location by the “up and coming nature of the area” and the foot traffic in the Pike/Pine corridor, and the proximity to Seattle Central College. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Concerts at the Columns at the base of Capitol Hill

Last Friday night between the rushing rivers of cars along Pike and Boren above and I-5 below, the Concert at the Columns series got back into the swing of things for another summer of free music in Plymouth Pillars Park. Wander by this Friday for more tunes with David Deleon.

The neighborhood’s parks have sprung fully into life — and not just as Pokestops. Here are a few more ways to enjoy parks on and around Capitol Hill this week including free music in Volunteer Park, the grand opening celebration of Broadway Hill, a dog party in First Hill Park, and a community event to check out the ideas for the Summit pavement park: Continue reading

Rancho Bravo Block Party: Pike/Pine gears up for Capitol Hill music fest

13422205_1078791615489255_8095959058564414073_oCapitol Hill Block Party marks 20 years as a music festival starting next week on Friday, July 22nd but the neighborhood’s love for music is already leaking out and some wacky things are happening… like Rancho Bravo as a performance venue.

The 2016 edition of CHBP will include an expanded footprint and some free fun outside the fences. This year’s Block Party is set to feature free nightly shows at Unicorn, daytime performances and Sunday morning yoga at Chophouse Row, and a poster show at the V2 space as part of Thursday’s Capitol Hill Art Walk: Continue reading

MRoom brings Finnish roots, ‘precise’ cuts to Capitol Hill barbershop scene

The Finns have arrived on Capitol Hill. They want to cut your hair.

“We like growing areas. There is nowhere in Seattle that isn’t growing right now. This is one of the places where it is centered,” MRoom brand director Gary Moore told CHS this spring as the global chain’s latest North American beachhead began its buildout on E Pike.

MRoom Capitol Hill opened Monday morning with four chairs, a week of free haircutting, and a crisp approach to hair, one of the few industries that has mostly defied the transition to a digital economy. Capitol Hill’s hair game continues to be strong with the latest openings trending toward the more masculine barbershop end of the spectrum. The Scotch Pine — “modern barbershop your granddad would be proud of” — opened this year in Chophouse Row while 12th and Pike is destined to sport a new Bishops as it brings its “free beer,” um, concept from Portland to entice Pike/Pine dudes — and ladies who appreciate a good razor cut. Continue reading