New medallions mark Capitol Hill Arts District bastions of ‘art, cinema, music, books, theater’

They’re symbols, sure, but you can also think of them as good user interface design. New Capitol Hill Arts District medallions are being installed across the neighborhood to help identify the 40 or so cultural and arts spaces part of the district.

“The medallions are a low-tech complement to the Arts District website, Facebook page, and the dozens of online event calendars,” Michael Seiwerath of Capitol Hill Housing tells CHS about the new additions to the neighborhood streetscape. “On a Saturday night, Pike/Pine can attract more people than Key Arena, so it’s a good marker for the thousands of people who visit the neighborhood each week.” Continue reading

Elliott Bay protest could be a sign of things to come for Mayor Durkan

Jordan during Thursday’s protest inside Elliott Bay Book Co. (Image: CHS)

The “first protester arrested during the Durkan administration” won’t face trespassing charges after being forcibly removed from Elliott Bay Book Co. as he and two other people attempted Thursday to disrupt a speech by newly sworn-in Mayor of Seattle Jenny Durkan.

As a former federal official — Durkan served as U.S. Attorney prior to her run for the mayor’s office — who has overseen proceedings against activists and been a vocal supporter of the Seattle Police Department, you can expect similar protests to be an ongoing theme of her time as mayor.

Joseph Jordan, 35, faced a misdemeanor trespassing charge after being arrested Thursday outside the 10th Ave bookstore as Durkan continued her speech inside announcing the formation of a small business advisory council. Continue reading

CHS Video | Happy 100th birthday to Kelly Springfield (or, why they’re ‘tearing down’ the old Capitol Hill REI)

Though her construction began in 1917, she was actually born a year later so you still have time to get a gift. 11th Ave’s Kelly Springfield Motor Truck building is celebrating 100 years on the planet with a massive facelift. And, let’s be honest. Pretty much all that will be left of her is her face. Longtime CHS video contributor David Albright captured the 11th Ave changes of the former auto row facility, then REI, then Value Village in motion:

Kelly Springfield Motor Truck Building (1917-2017) from David Albright on Vimeo.

Critics call it facadism. Progressive architects — and others — point to the preservation of character and volume. While, indeed, not much is preserved when the preservation projects dig in, the neighborhood’s Conservation Overlay District’s incentive program has produced a handful of very large, more interesting than average developments across Pike/Pine.

The Kelly Springfield office + preservation project is on its way to becoming another one. But getting there looks more like a demolition than a preservation. Continue reading

On Capitol Hill, mayor greeted with applause, protesters as she announces Seattle Small Business Advisory Council

Mayor Jenny Durkan got the full Capitol Hill experience Thursday as she came to the neighborhood for a Pike/Pine walking tour and to announce the formation of Seattle’s first Small Business Advisory Council. The new mayor met a collection of Capitol Hill entrepreneurs, grabbed a latte at Vita — and got a momentary earful from protesters who briefly disrupted her announcement inside Elliott Bay Book Company before being shuffled out of the store where police awaited outside.

One was arrested, dozens of local business representatives applauded the new council, and Mayor Durkan did what she could to roll with the punches and get down to the business of small business in Seattle.

“As we grow as a city we want to make sure that we are able to preserve those parts of Seattle that we cherish the most,” Durkan said with a large collection of Capitol Hill area  And one of those things is that eclectic feel of every neighborhood. And that often hinges on the small businesses that are located there.” Continue reading

Chop Suey shooting update: No arrests as owner speaks out on gun violence

Seattle Police continue to investigate last week’s gunfire at Capitol Hill music venue Chop Suey in which two people were shot. Police tell us there have been no arrests while Chop Suey’s ownership has spoken out on Wednesday night’s gun violence.

“We are proud of our staff and security team and stand by their continued efforts to ensure the safety of patrons, artists, and concert goers that frequent Chop Suey,” Erin Carnes tells CHS. “It was indeed a rare occurrence for our location, however the unfortunate reality of senseless violence is alarmingly present in our community and can happen anywhere and at any time.” Continue reading

Happy Hill Holidays: The No Parking on Pike Baby Doll Tree is back

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, the surest sign of the start of the holiday season on Capitol Hill appeared. Yes, it’s that time of year. The No Parking Baby Doll Tree is back on E Pike.

“I have read different theories about what different things represent on the tree and I find them pretty hilarious,” No Parking thrift shop owner Linda Young tells CHS.

But she says not to read too much into the bizarre holiday display that has helped make the thrift shop she runs with husband Billy Hutchinson a Pike/Pine season of light photo op. It was really a happy accident. A few years back, the couple’s seven-year-old son Liam had a great idea. Continue reading

What’s up with 516 East Pike Donuts?

It could just be a catchy project name but CHS gets intrigued when we find a construction permit for what could be a new doughnut shop from one of the men responsible for Top Pot, one of Capitol Hill’s most successful food and drink startups.

Just before Thanksgiving, the first paperwork was filed for a project on E Pike in the former home of Sun Liquor’s bottle shop where, last year around this time, people were lining up to buy Sun’s famous aged eggnog. The new project’s name? 516 East Pike Donuts. Continue reading

Realfine Coffee expanding to Capitol Hill in Stumptown’s old E Pine space

While neighbors wait to see what might come next to one longtime favorite Capitol Hill coffee spot, another is set to go back into motion.

West Seattle’s Realfine Coffee announced Tuesday it will be expanding onto Capitol Hill, taking over the E Pine space left empty when Stumptown left the street in August.

“We are beyond excited to announce a second location in Capitol Hill! Coming soon to 616 E Pine St in early 2018,” the Realfine announcement reads. “So grateful for this opportunity. Cap Hill, here we come!”

Owner Julie Mierzwiak opened Realfine in 2015 on Fauntleroy Way SW where her neighbor was also a Rudy’s. Lately, she’s been entangled in local concerns about lost parking from a new development project in the West Seattle neighborhood. Hope her expectations are low for E Pine.

Realfine will bring Herkimer beans to the cafe space adjacent E Pine’s Rudy’s and Capitol Hill Loans that Stumptown called home until it was shuttered late this summer. Stumptown, meanwhile, continues to operate on 12th Ave.


Homestead pops up a new Plant Shop on E Pine

There is a new patch of greenery in the middle of Pike/Pine’s home decor retail scene. The folks behind Homestead have brought some of their green thumb goodness to E Pine.

A second Homestead Plant Shop is opening at 411 E Pine — Homestead’s original Capitol Hill location before its move up-Hill earlier this year. Homestead also opened a Plant Shop in the Central District at 2202 E Olive St, around the corner from Safeway.

Homestead founder Ryan and Michele Tansey say the Central District plant shop has been a big hit. “The first months at the CD shop have been better than we could have imagined,” they write. “We have people come in daily from the neighborhood and as far away as Tacoma.”

The couple have also found a way to spread green love to local nonprofits:

The most rewarding part of running the CD shop has been our charity weekends. We pick a few weekends a month to donate a portion of sales to a cause, and we’ll continue to have the CD shop be a center for local outreach and activism.

The 411 E Pine Plant Shop will celebrate its grand opening Saturday with rare and unique plants for sale, a 20% off sale, and a free plant on the house with purchase.

Looking for more ways to shop local? Check out Shop the Hill, our annual effort to highlight neighborhood retail, art, and gift giving opportunities.

Two shot after bullets fly at Chop Suey — UPDATE

Clubs and bars around E Madison were cleared Wednesday night as police searched for possible victims after a bout of gunfire at the Chop Suey nightclub, according to witnesses and SPD radio dispatches.

According to radio reports, police were not able to find a victim reported to be in the club’s bathroom. Police did find a bloody shirt at the scene and a bullet hole in the club’s back door. UPDATE: A reported teenage victim with a gunshot wound to the arm was located at nearby Kaiser Permanente Capitol Hill’s urgent care facility. UPDATE x2: Around 11:45 PM, another victim who said he had been shot near Chop Suey was reported at a medical facility south of Seattle.

Residents and club goers reported hearing multiple shots around 9:45 PM. There were also reported shots nearby a few blocks away on E Madison. Police were setting up crime scenes across the area including inside the club to collect evidence and interview witnesses. Continue reading