Day and night: How Oddfellows overcame rough start to mark 10 years in Pike/Pine

Linda Derschang

Born in the wake of Obama’s victory when patriotism was fashionable and in a Pike/Pine neighborhood where the idea of a daytime-focused business was still a major gamble, Linda Derschang’s “cafe and bar” Oddfellows celebrates a decade on Capitol Hill this week with a Tuesday party.

Inappropriately enough, it starts at 8 PM.

“Oddfellows was the first business I owned equally focused on day and night,” Derschang tells CHS. “It needed to look good at nine in the morning, one in the afternoon, and six at night.”

Oddfellows debuted this week in 2008 in the historic Odd Fellows building at 10th and E Pine and has endured in a changing neighborhood while, yes, looking good around the clock with its big hall-style windows, brick walls, and fellowship lodge neon out front.

Its survival and thriving position as the venerable Capitol Hill High School and Pike/Pine 98122 cafeteria is a testament to Derschang’s style, the neighborhood’s population boom, and community support, Derschang says, through the cafe’s rocky and roll-y start. Continue reading

#WeCanKatsuDat: Shota Nakajima’s 2019 Capitol Hill plans include deep-fried skewer joint Taku

Chef/owner Shota Nakajima is ready to build something new (Image: @takuseattle)

Though the flow of Capitol Hill restaurant openings in the neighborhood’s waves of new construction has slowed, there are still a few spaces to fill before the next wave of development hits. Neighborhood chef/owner Shota Nakajima is preparing to fill one of those gaps with his take on Osaka street food.

Taku, a kushikatsu deep-fried skewer joint, is slated to join the Pike Motorworks development in the new year. City of Seattle permit paperwork shows the 1,300-square-foot bar and eatery will snuggle into the E Pike face of the preservation incentive-boosted development between furniture and design retailer Arden Home and the Capitol Hill outpost of the Portland-based Salt and Straw ice cream chain. The seven-story development opened for residents and its centerpiece Redhook Brew Lab in 2017.

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CHS Pics | Neighbours Alley Celebration — and CHS Pics Pledge Drive


Love CHS Pics and seeing images of the neighborhood? Read below and pitch in to help CHS grow!

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CHS PICS SUBSCRIPTION DRIVE: Speaking of the season of giving… regular CHS readers know well the work of Alex Garland and other talented Capitol Hill shutterbugs that we’ve worked to make a big part of CHS. You may have noticed fewer of these great pictures lately. Basically, it costs more to hire the great reporters and writers we feature at CHS. In the end, CHS is a business and we’ve had to adjust our photography budget accordingly. But you can help make sure CHS can continue sharing the sights and scenes from around Capitol Hill. We currently have around 700 monthly subscribers on CHS — about 14% of our daily visitors. Help us bump that to 18% 200 more subscribers per month will give CHS what we need to expand our budget to keep bringing you community news reporting and great photography from around the Hill. CHS is a pay what you can news site! Thanks and happy holidays!

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While lanterns filled Volunteer Park for its annual holiday celebration and shoppers and art lovers wandered the last Capitol Hill Art Walk of the year, the center of the neighborhood’s holiday spirit Thursday night just may have been found on a dumpster in the alley behind Neighbours running between Pike and Pine. Continue reading

With sammies and fries, Sunset Fried Chicken makes ‘good partnership’ in Queer/Bar’s kitchen

(Image: Sunset Fried Chicken)

In the beginning, there were no chicken sandwiches on Capitol Hill.

Then there was Ma’ono at the Rhino Room. But that didn’t last long. Then Sunset Fried Chicken sandwiches rose at 12th Ave’s Rachel Ginger Beer. But Ma’ono came back to the Hill and took over that gig. Now, Sunset is back and Queer/Bar is the happy landing spot.

The spicy chicken sliders from Capitol Hill-centered master of the small space Monica Dimas are now taking over the kitchen at Queer/Bar, the 11th Ave gay bar and — now — fried chicken sammie purveyor. Continue reading

After Capitol Hill Block Party 2019, city to ‘assess the viability of this event in this neighborhood’

(Image: Capitol Hill Block Party)

Seattle City Hall is asking the Capitol Hill Block Party to clean up its act on its edges and will be conducting its own round of outreach to neighboring businesses and Pike/Pine residents “in order to better gather feedback on benefits and impacts” from the annual summer music festival “and other major Capitol Hill events,” city officials tell CHS.

Don’t expect there to be any financial mitigation. And there is zero chance the city will cancel permits for the 2019 event. But 2020 — and beyond — is another question.

“It is clear the Capitol Hill Block Party is economically beneficial to some Capitol Hill businesses, and culturally beneficial to the Capitol Hill neighborhood and Seattle,” Chris Swenson, who leads the city’s Special Events planning process, said in a statement sent to CHS. “It is also clear through feedback from Capitol Hill businesses and residents that the Capitol Hill Block Party is negatively economically impactful to other businesses and residents, and presents significant access and operations impacts to neighborhood businesses and residents.”

“The City and Committee take these impacts very seriously,” Swenson added.

For the 2019 Block Party, the city is requiring Block Party producers to make “several physical immediate improvements” including “streamlining access for employees and residents in and around the event perimeter” and “adjusting placement of portapotties and other operational elements to be less impactful to businesses and residents.” It will also require security staffing to be trained “to better support business and residential access.”

But in a message to neighborhood stakeholders sent Thursday, the city says for 2020 and beyond, it plans to consider larger changes to the festival including an effort to “assess the viability of this event in this neighborhood.” Continue reading

Gay City has expanded E Pike library and resource center — and Three Dollar Bill Cinema as a new roommate

Time to hit the books (Image: Gay City)

Capitol Hill’s Gay City has opened its new library and resource center on E Pike. It also has a new partner in the expanded space.

Gay City, which promotes wellness in Seattle’s LGBTQ community by providing health services, connecting people to needed resources, allowing for artistic expression, and building community, has maintained a growing library for years. The Michael C. Weidemann LGBT Library, at Gay City first opened in 2009, when the nonprofit inherited the LGBT Lending Library from the closing Seattle LGBT Community Center, and now houses more than 8,000 books..

“It’s really about making our existing resources more accessible,” Gay City executive director Fred Swanson said of the opening of the new, larger facility. “More space means more room for people to access services, and more opportunity for programing through the library.” Continue reading

With OK on long-delayed construction, Elysian set to join Optimism and Redhook in Capitol Hill beer upgrades

(Image: Elysian Brewing)

A long-delayed and pared back overhaul of the grandaddy of Capitol Hill breweries is finally ready to get underway.

The city has finally issued construction permits for an overhaul of Capitol Hill’s Elysian Brewery that will include a refresh of the E Pike pub and beer production facility first planned as an opportunity to better showcase the brewing operation while making much needed equipment upgrades.

Opened in 1996 as Elysian’s original location, the E Pike brewery and brew pub will see a roster of upgrades ranging from an overhaul of the dining area, to bathroom upgrades, and new brewing equipment. The goal in 2016 when CHS talked to the company about the project was to create a “brewing amphitheater.”

A year earlier, Elysian joined what is called the “craft” wing of Anheuser-Busch InBev when they were purchased by the beer giant in 2015. The move that galvanized their share of market in 13 national markets and expanded it to almost all 50 states.

UPDATE 12/13/18: Elysian has announced full details of the work including a planned closure starting December 23rd through spring to get the work done:

Beginning on December 23rd, Elysian Brewing will temporarily close its doors to facilitate a full update to its Capitol Hill location. The brewery is set to debut the refreshed space in Spring 2019, which will feature an overall modernization of the pub, nodding to the Auto Row origins of the brewery’s location, while preserving the Elysian vibe and sentimental aspects of the original layout. Updates will include all-new brewing equipment and increased capacity, as well as the addition of a large garage door which will allow for outdoor patio seating.

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Capitol Hill arts group launches ‘phone book’ with over 500 local artists

Carolyn Hitt’s high school years are far behind her. And yet she cannot wait to get her yearbook signed this Tuesday. This time around, though, it is actually her yearbook. As in: she’s created it. In it are not her classmates, but over 500 black-and-white headshots and social media handles of Seattle artists, chefs, curators and creatives from all mediums. The book, a creative “phone book” for the city will be officially released this Tuesday during The Relevant Unknowns: 2018 Yearbook Release Party at Fred Wildlife Refuge (Free, 21+).

“My goal is to connect artists in the city,” Hitt said. “There are so many pockets of communities. Those pockets make us insular. How do we connect beyond that?” Continue reading

Should city help cover community costs of Capitol Hill Block Party weekend? — UPDATE

A group of “residents, property owners and business owners in Pike/Pine” is asking questions about the annual Capitol Hill Block Party music festival in a survey being sent around the neighborhood.

The goal, an organizer says, isn’t to cancel Block Party — but the group does want to do a better job of documenting the challenges the neighborhood around the festival sometimes faces so that the city can better plan the event and how to mitigate major issues.

“In order to start that work towards adequate mitigation, Seattle Office of Film, Music, and Special Events along with Dept. of Neighborhoods and Office of Economic Development asked if we could circulate a survey in order to get more detailed info on the types of barriers businesses, residents, employees, and property owners face over block party weekend,” local jewelry designer and project architect Rachel Ravitch, organizer of the survey, tells CHS.

You can answer the two-question, open-ended questionnaire here through December 15th. Continue reading

Insatiable demand for open spots means another Capitol Hill nighttime parking price hike

Driven by data and a goal to put market forces to work to open up spaces on every available block, the Seattle Department of Transportation 2018 round of parking price tweaks is targeting a couple key areas of Capitol Hill — including the neighborhood’s most challenging parking environment where even extending payment hours to 10 PM hasn’t helped.

This month, SDOT is recalibrating its meters along southern Broadway and Pike/Pine streets for a new high in the area’s evening parking rates — $3.50. Last fall, SDOT extended paid parking until 10 PM near the area’s restaurant and business cores. $3.50 around the south end of Broadway will be a bargain — evening rates along northern Broadway are hitting $4 per hour. Continue reading