New indie fashion retailer Ritual plans to bring an edge — and conscience — to Pike/Pine

Two industry veterans are coming together to create a new fashion shopping experience on E Pike they hope moves beyond faceless, soulless big box retailers.

“We both became a little more disillusioned with faceless, fast profit, fashion companies,” William Rheinhardt tells CHS about Ritual, the new store he and business partner Sarah Randall Williams are creating in the 900 block of E Pike in the middle of the neighborhood’s nightlife and club scene.

After meeting in the trenches working on West Coast efforts for Swedish retailer H&M, Rheinhardt says he and Williams are breaking out after a combined 40 years in the industry to create their own fashion shop featuring clothing as well as household and lifestyle goods.

“We’ve been looking to partner with brands that have a social conscience,” Rheinhardt said. “We see that as the greatest need in fashion.” Continue reading

Anne and Valentin bringing French luxury eyewear to Pike/Pine

Inside Anne and Valentin’s Nolita U.S. flagship (Image: Anne and Valentin)

Young but aging tech workers and luxury are, apparently, booming Pike/Pine retail markets. French luxury eyewear concern Anne and Valentin — or Anne et Valentin, if you prefer — is sizing up a space in the neighborhood’s Odd Fellows building.

CHS has confirmed the project with the Toulouse-founded global fashion brand with plans for Pike/Pine to join the exclusive ranks of locations with A&V shops — the southern French capital, Paris, and three New York City locations: Madison, the Upper West Side, and the Nolita flagship.

Marc Oliver, who will manage the Capitol Hill store for the company, tells CHS the Seattle expansion is part of Anne and Valentin “dipping a toe” into creating more stores “out west.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill leather and kink shop ready to breathe life back into Pike/Pine building with history of silent movies, auto row rubber, burlesque rumors, and, um, toy repair

Left to right: Jo Wellington, Raine Walker, Jeff Henness (Image: Tom Heuser. June, 2018)

Over the summer, CHS reported on an amazing move for a longtime Capitol Hill business. Doghouse’s Leather’s leather and kink retail project is making plans to bring life back to a 107-year-old Pike/Pine building with a (probably) racy past. As part of his plan to restore the 1911-built 715 E Pike Neal Apartments building into the new home of Doghouse Leathers, owner Jeff Henness invited the Capitol Hill Historical Society in to see the structure’s old bones and dig into its colorful past.

By Jo Wellington and the Capitol Hill Historical Society

Doghouse Leathers is a business native to Capitol Hill. It has provided fetish gear and custom leather pieces to the queer male community for many years. However, Doghouse is more than a sex shop. It has provided a community center for many groups over the years, as magazines, activism groups, and others met in the private back room. Jeff Henness, who opened the business in 2006, clearly makes an effort to support that community. He has been in Seattle since the 1980s and has an extensive knowledge of the local people and history.

All of this makes Henness an exciting person to renovate 715 E Pike St. He has a vision of a building that fits in on the block aesthetically, and maintains as much of the original material as possible. Continue reading

First look inside The Lounge by AT&T and Ada’s Discovery Cafe

(Images: CHS)

Company executives were on Capitol Hill Friday for the telecommunication giant’s unveiling of its glossy new retail experiment, The Lounge by AT&T.

Morgan Collins, vice president for AT&T’s Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and Hawaii markets, tells CHS the company took the risk of trying to launch the new retail concept in an area like Capitol Hill because the neighborhood is home to “creative innovators.”

“I want us to be part of the community,” she said.

Another AT&T rep on hand put it more succinctly. “We are meeting people where they are.” Continue reading

The Lounge by AT&T will have a local guide in its Capitol Hill retail experiment — Ada’s Discovery Cafe

(Image: Ada’s Discover Cafe via Instagram)

For most of us, getting an email out of the blue from AT&T probably means that our bill is due. For Danielle Hulton of Capitol Hill’s Ada’s Technical Books, an email from the telecommunications giant this spring was an invitation to talk about a life and business changing opportunity.

“They’re evolving and want to be considered more of a tech company,” Hulton said of the conversations that started with that email. “In order to reach customers in places like Capitol Hill, a traditional retail store isn’t going to work.”

So, in the rare case of a corporate giant making a mutually beneficial pact with a locally focused neighborhood merchant, Hulton, her husband and business partner David Hulton, and the growing crew at Ada’s joined up with AT&T and a champion barista for a coffee-focused adventure in small business that pretty much only could play out here on Capitol Hill. Continue reading

Perched on Capitol Hill’s western slope, The Reef brings pot to E Olive Way

Bud, oils and pre-rolled joints were everywhere as The Reef, Capitol Hill’s newest cannabis retailer, opened the doors to its new location for a preview Thursday night.

With its first shop opened in Bremerton three years ago, The Reef’s new storefront takes full advantage of its perch on Capitol Hill at a busy intersection where its predecessor pizza joint and its notorious flashing sign served as a de facto western gate to the neighborhood. With generous amounts of light coming in through windows spanning the width of the storefront, the new location will give Capitol Hill residents a convenient option for their cannabis-related needs.

John Ueding, general manager of The Reef’s Capitol Hill location, explained that the company wants to invest in the community and explore options to work with and support local charity organizations.

“The owners are intent on giving back as much as we can,” Ueding said. “Being local Seattle guys, we really want to be involved in the community.” Continue reading

Pot shop The Reef ready to light up for Hempfest debut on E Olive Way

Signage coming soon to E Olive Way

The Reef, E Olive Way’s first legal pot shop and Capitol Hill’s third marijuana retail outlet, is preparing to make a Hempfest debut giving it a smokey head start on nearby rival Uncle Ike’s.

The annual celebration of cannabis takes place starting Friday along the waters of Elliott Bay in Myrtle Edwards Park just as the wildfire haze is forecasted to be clearing out of the city.

Joining its Bremerton-born sister location, the new Reef is positioned as taking “a tech-forward but high touch approach” at the intersection of John, Denny, and E Olive Way “on Capitol Hill’s ‘Amazon Slope'” — please direct all “Amazon Slope” hate mail to The Reef, thanks. Continue reading

Second pot shop approved by state for E Olive Way

Plans for a new pot shop at 1411 E Olive Way

Its future competitor may have won the race but the in-the-works E Olive Way pot shop related to the Uncle Ike’s chain of stores is also in the game as the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board has approved its license for the winding Capitol Hill street.

The approved license for the venture means the project planned for the former law offices building at 1411 E Olive Way is cleared to join the under construction pot shop from The Reef being built out of the old Amante Pizza building. The Reef won the race in April to become the first retail pot shop licensed by the state for the E Olive Way expansion of available cannabis retail in Seattle. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Capitol Hill Cupcake Royale makes space for new neighbor Ghost Gallery

A space carved out of the Capitol Hill Cupcake Royale has made a new home for longtime neighborhood art boutique Ghost Gallery.

“I got really scared once I started looking at spaces and price tags,” shop owner Laurie Kearney told CHS at the debut of the new space during Thursday’s Capitol Hill art walk. “I got really discouraged and freaked out. But then I got a phone call from Jody Hall.” Continue reading

On Capitol Hill corner with interior design and excellent window shopping history, Blu Dot Seattle now open

(Image: Nick Turner for CHS)

Seattle became better furnished this week when Blu Dot, a contemporary furniture retailer and global interior lifestyle brand, opened the doors of its new Capitol Hill location.

“We like the mix of all the different things going on in Capitol Hill,” said Maurice Blanks, COO of Blu Dot and one of the Minneapolis-headquartered company’s founders. “People live in the neighborhood. People shop in the neighborhood. We love the vibe of it.” Continue reading