Attention Capitol Hill QFC shoppers who carry reusable bags while shopping…

Last Drinks with Donna Summer

While you’re finishing shopping for your Friendsgiving feast, be aware of this note just sent to CHS from QFC HQ about upcoming changes:

Beginning late next week, customers at our QFC stores may notice some new signage asking them to only use shopping carts or hand baskets while shopping in our stores. With our busy stores, especially during the holidays, we want to ensure that all of our customers have a pleasant and easy shopping experience. At times, the process of unloading and reloading reusable bags at the register slows down the checkout process and causes delays.

The spokesperson tells CHS that the Ohio-based grocery chain is “not the only retailer to implement this change.” We asked if “lost prevention” was also a factor in the decision. “There are other benefits to this policy,” the spokesperson said, “but the main reason is customer convenience.”

Now you’ll just need to find an unused basket or cart. Good luck.

The move follows some more customer experience streamlining after QFC stores on Capitol Hill shifted from 24-hour operations to closing at 1 AM earlier this year.

UPDATE: E Madison’s Central Co-op weighs in: “We do prefer that people use shopping carts and baskets instead of shopping into their personal re-useable bags. It helps to prevent confusion at the registers.”

 

Holiday Pop Up: SHARPLY & Local Shoe Store, Brick+Mortar

Join us for a Holiday Pop-Up at SHARPLY on Capitol Hill, featuring Alden shoes from local Seattle business, Brick + Mortar!

Check off your holiday shopping for all the men in your life with great winter essentials, and pair it with Alden shoes from Brick + Mortar.
Plus, there will be a free tasting, light snacks, and a raffle.
In honor of giving back, bring a lightly used coat, and Sharply will give 20% off your entire purchase.
Donations will be made to a local Seattle nonprofit.

When: Thursday, December 7, 11:00am- 8:00pm
Where: SHARPLY, 500 E. Pike St. Seattle, WA

About Brick+Mortar:
Brick+Mortar is an independent Alden Shoes dealer featuring exclusive models and catalog favorites curated by Yenni Song.

Yenni has been a staple of the Alden scene in the Pacific Northwest for many years and has a reputation for her keen fashion sense and unparalleled customer service, which is a founding principle of Brick+Mortar. Opened in 2015 Brick+Mortar is dedicated to providing stylish design, custom fit options and the fine materials that have become synonymous with the Alden name.
Website: http://brickmortarseattle.com/

About SHARPLY:
A men’s lifestyle brand centered around men’s essentials. We’re here for guys that don’t like to shop. We keep shopping simple and seamless (pun intended) by only offering the things men need to own. Our limited assortment making looking good easy.
Website: https://www.shopsharply.com/

From creator of Roq La Rue, Creatura House comes home to E Pike

Back from trips abroad and creating a nonprofit, Kirsten Anderson is again starting up an art gallery, but this time it’s intertwined with retail and, in a twist for the traveler, home.

Anderson founded art gallery Roq La Rue in 1998 and ran the space until it shuttered last year. It had a successful run, eventually, profits began to fall and Anderson felt burnt out on the arts scene.

“I thought this was a good time to step out and explore other things I want to do,” she said. Anderson spent her time exploring other countries as she raised money for her nonprofit. “I really missed having a space here in Seattle, being a part of the community. I had really gotten into home decor, and pulled in fine arts.”

Creatura House will be a home decor shop mingled with select art. The products will not be mass produced. To reside at 705 E Pike next to Babeland and Honeyhole, the shop opens December 8th with artist Peter Ferguson’s series of new paintings for his exhibition “I’ll Line My Nest With Your Bones.”

Skate style shop Alive and Well will be making way for the new venture.

The arts business, for a while, wasn’t something Anderson thought she’d get back into.

“Artwork has changed so much and mid level galleries have been blown out,” she said. Anderson fiddles with one of the many rings on her tattooed fingers. They’re delicate tattoos, like dots and arrows. Larger tattoos decorated her arms and her earrings sparkled green and maroon beneath her black hair. Her subdued and darker style matched that of her artistic interests.

“I’m really into anything that’s dark and beautiful, not necessarily macabre, but I appreciate dark things as well,” Anderson said. “I’m completely driven by aesthetics, my whole life. I have made a living selling beautiful things to people. I like to make environments that are beautiful for people.”

She said she likes to straddle the line between absolutely beautiful and somewhat grotesque. Anderson pictures Creatura House warm, beautiful, and with a decayed opulence. Continue reading

E Olive Way the next land of Capitol Hill pot opportunity as three shops line up for two spots

(Image: nduffy45 via Instagram)

Three different businesses want to open a pot shop on E Olive Way between Melrose and Denny. City rules would permit two locations to open, but the third could be left out.

Northwest Cannabis applied for a shop in a building next to The Crescent on October 20th. That entity is backed by marijuana advocate John Davis, and somehow involves Ian Eisenberg, owner of Uncle Ike’s.

The Reef filed its application November 9th, and wants to open a shop in the Amante Pizza building.

Finally, The Bakeree filed an application November 14th, looking to open in the building the houses John John’s Game Room, though not necessarily in the John John’s space.

In another wrinkle, all three buildings changed hands in recent months. The Reef’s proposed home sold for $1.4 million in June. In September, Eisenberg paid more than $2 million for the former law offices next to the Crescent. The biggest deal of them all also went down in September. Real estate investment firm Teutsch Partners snapped up the building home to John John’s, Pie Bar, and the Speckled and Drake bar for a whopping $4.3 million. Continue reading

Sad about the ghosts of Capitol Hill? Ghost Gallery making best of lost lease

We’re just going to warn you right now. The end of any year typically brings a pulse of sad news as businesses new and businesses old lose or give up their place on Capitol Hill. With a boom economy, surging real estate market, and destructive capitalism coursing through Seattle’s veins, 2017 will probably be rough on your nostalgia.

Maybe we can all learn something from Hill business owner and Ghost Gallery founder Laurie Kearney. Her announcement of a lost lease and one final holiday season in the shop’s seven-year home was downright positive and hopeful: Continue reading

Grocer New Seasons coming to the Central District at 23rd and Union

Another domino has finally clicked into place in the massive grocery cart shuffle game playing out in major developments across Capitol Hill and the Central District. As expected, Portland-based New Seasons has announced it will, indeed, be anchoring the Lake Union Partners-backed project on the northwest corner of 23rd and Union.

“The Central District is such a wonderful neighborhood, rich in history and culture. We are honored to join and serve this community,” New Seasons CEO Wendy Collie said in an announcement on the project Friday morning. “As a neighborhood grocer, we pride ourselves on creating gathering places that honor and reflect the culture of their communities, where everyone feels welcome to share delicious food, enjoy conversation and connect with one another.”

New Seasons is also interested in holding down the anchor grocer slot in the development projects set to arise around Capitol Hill Station. The grocer planned to open its first Seattle location in Ballard this year. Labor groups have opposed the company’s expansion to Seattle citing “an anti-union climate” at the company. Continue reading

San Francisco’s Good Vibrations acquires Capitol Hill-created Babeland

Born 24 years ago on E Pike when sex toys for women were still entrepreneurial concepts, iconic Capitol Hill retailer Babeland is joining a larger family of sensual positivity.

Bay Area-based Good Vibrations has announced it is acquiring the Capitol Hill-headquartered chain of three stores and the company’s online assets:

 In a merging of two of the most iconic sex toy retailers, Good Vibrations, one of the first shops to create a friendly and welcoming environment catering to women and founded 40 years ago, has entered into an agreement to acquire Babeland, co-founded by Claire Cavanah and Rachel Venning 25 years ago as an affirming, feminist, lifestyle brand. Cavanah and Venning are ready to say goodbye and move on to other pursuits after a momentous run of helping countless customers discover new pleasures and greater enjoyment in their sex lives.

Born Toys in Babeland just down the street from its current location at 707 E Pike, the first Babeland shop celebrated the business’s 20th anniversary in 2013.

“Capitol Hill in 1993 was the hub of emerging Seattle culture,” co-founder Rachel Venning told CHS at the time. “The neighborhood was packed with gay people, musicians artists, and creative people of all stripes. It was a great place to start a business that was based on a new concept: sex toys for women.”

Good Vibrations operates nine stores in five cities and will expand to include the Babeland shops including Capitol Hill’s flagship store and two Babeland stores in New York City.

“It’s been a joy and an adventure to start and grow Babeland,” Venning said in the announcement of the deal. “I have enormous gratitude for all the customers, staff, and community that have been part of this. I’m ready for a new adventure. Having Good Vibrations take over makes it easier to let go because we share so many of the same feminist values.”

According to the announcement, the Babeland brand will live on after the acquisition.

 

Ollie Quinn bringing Canadian eyewear fashion to the Pike/Pine ‘neighbourhood’

Coming soon: Ollie Quinn (Image: CHS)

Some 60,000 eyeballs — 30,000 attendees with approximately two eyeballs per person — will roll through E Pike for the 2017 Capitol Hill Block Party this July. There will be a bit of side-eye — and plenty of near and farsightedness.

Ollie Quinn, the Canadian-born provider of eyewear fashion, will join the increasingly crowded field of shops hoping to serve those many, many eyes with its new Capitol Hill boutique planned to open by the end of this month in a long-empty retail space with a clear view of the Block Party’s main stage at Pike and Broadway.

“We want it to be a space that people feel drawn to and are comfortable lingering in, which is why we have a community working space built within where community members can come to study, create or chat,” a company spokesperson tells CHS. Continue reading

Warby Parker latest big brand with plans to join Pike/Pine

(Image: Warby Parker Fremont)

A burst of block-long, preservation incentive-boosted apartment buildings has already created hundreds of new — expensive — homes along Pike/Pine below Broadway. The developments are also reshaping the commercial mix for the neighborhood with big name brands and new-era retail showcases.

The next big name to join E Pine, CHS has learned, will be fashion eyewear retailer Warby Parker on a stretch of street that is meshing Capitol Hill development with downtown demographics.

While the company has not yet responded to CHS requests for information about the planned store in the eight-story Excelsior building at Melrose and Pine, permits show plans for a $388,000 buildout of a new eyeglass shop, the third Warby Parker store in Seattle. Continue reading

RIP, Broadway Sleep Train

Breaking news from Broadway. The chain that inspired one of the largest WTF? storms in CHS history when it arrived on Capitol Hill in 2016 is no longer. Sleep Train is gone. Welcome our new retail bedding manufacturer overlords, Mattress Firm.

Confused? Here’s the FAQ.