CHS Pics | Central District Holiday Party — Plus, a weekend of Hill area pop-up gift markets


Scenes from Thursday’s Central District Holiday Party. More here (Images: CHS)

While the Grinch blew away Thursday night’s A Holiday in Volunteer Park event with strong winds (it won’t be rescheduled, either, organizers say), the frosting and sugar cookies were keeping celebrants warm at the annual Central District Holiday Party hosted by Central Cinema. The other key component (besides decorating cookies) of the holidays gets its turn over the weekend and beyond around Capitol Hill with another round of special pop-up markets. Happy shopping!

  • Friday through Sunday: Gay City LGBT Library Surplus Used Book Saleinfo — Gay City Health Project’s Michael C. Weidemann LGBT Library is pleased to announce our next Surplus Used Book sale, featuring surplus LGBT fiction and non-fiction books for sale. It’s a great way to build up your personal library, and the proceeds benefit ours!
  • Saturday — Punk Rock Flea Marketinfo — They said we were getting too big for our britches, and we proved them right! Seattle’s best damn flea market has moved into a BIGGER, BETTER and BALLSIER location. Now located in the Central District’s defunct post office, and with more vendors than ever, we are going to stuff your stocking like never before! The best Punk Rock Flea Market THAT EVER HAPPENED burns the beard off holiday shopping on December 13th, from noon to 10pm at the newly christened “Punk Rock Post Office” on the corner of 23rd Ave. & Union St.MAINFLIERHOLIDAYBIZARRE
  • Sunday — Badwill Market — Holiday Bizarreinfo — BadWill Market is back and we are teaming up with The Rhino Room and hosting “HOLIDAY BIZARRE” a festive pop up market featuring a variety of vendors.
  • Sunday — Ghost Gallery “Vintage Home”info — Stop by for some mulled wine & cookies and browse a wonderful Vintage pop-up featuring local vendors
  • Monday — Public Market Pop-Up Shop at Café Pettirossoinfo — Next Monday, December 15th, at Café Pettirosso we want to help you fight the Mondays and win Christmas at the very same time. Hard, but a totally doable goal! Amiright? Monday is undoubtedly the dullest day of the week; it’s back to the grind with the weekend only a glint in your not-nearly-rested-enough eye. Add holiday shopping and the grind just got stressful.
  • Saturday 12/20 — The Savvy Marketplace at Sole Repairinfo — The last, best shopping experience of the year! Come join us in connecting our local community and donating to the well-being of our furry friends. At The Savvy Marketplace, you can expect to find the highest quality, local vendors, live music, a huge raffle, full bar and much more! Admission is free, but donations are appreciated! All donations and raffle proceeds go to a local no-kill animal shelter.

Looking for more Capitol Hill gift ideas? Check out the Shop the Hill page.

Capitol Hill upscale fashion boutique Totokaelo moving headquarters to New York

Totokaelo as it opened on the Hill in 2012 (Images: CHS)

Totokaelo as it opened on the Hill in 2012 (Images: CHS)

Totokaelo - Capitol Hill, SeattleWith the goal of becoming “the biggest luxury fashion brand in the world,” Capitol Hill upscale fashion boutique owner Jill Wenger is taking her act to New York City.

“We’re leaving so we can globalize,” Wenger told the Seattle Times. “I want to be the biggest luxury fashion brand in the world, and the most coveted and the most beloved.”

The current flagship Totokaelo, opened adjacent Elliott Bay Book Company in summer 2012 as part of a mini retail revival on 10th Ave in the middle of Pike/Pine’s nightlife success and expanded in 2013 to add a lower level men’s floor, will remain open. But the company’s executive core is following Wenger to New York for adventures we’ll probably be reading about soon in glossy magazines.

Wenger moved her store from Pioneer Square to 10th Ave as the pendulum swung in the area from tenants like sex club Basic Plumbing to Odd Fellows Cafe and Elliott Bay in 2012. CHS spoke with Wenger about her entrepreneurial spirit as Totokaelo debuted on the Hill. The East Coast connection has always been strong with early Totokaelo media write-ups frequently including the soundbite that “80%” of the shop’s online sales were made in New York.

The move leaves behind a seemingly posh bit of office space in the Odd Fellows building next door. “CREATIVE/DESIGN OFFICE FOR LEASE,” the listing reads, “as seen on Remodelista.” The former Totokaelo HQ will run you $6,500/month for the 2,500 square-foot space with 25-foot ceilings. “The space is amazing,” the listing promises.

 "I work best in clean, calm, and vibrant spaces—spaces where you stay energized but maintain focus," Wenger told Remodelista. "I like white because it's bright and reflects natural light through a room. Painting desks and objects white eliminates visual blocks, so that heaviness just disappears." (Image: Remodelista)

“I work best in clean, calm, and vibrant spaces—spaces where you stay energized but maintain focus,” Wenger told Remodelista. “I like white because it’s bright and reflects natural light through a room. Painting desks and objects white eliminates visual blocks, so that heaviness just disappears.” (Image: Remodelista)

You can visit Totokaelo Seattle at 1523 10th Ave. Learn more at

Buzzworthy vintage furniture and design shop Homestead Seattle opens on Capitol Hill

(Image: Homestead Seattle)

(Image: Homestead Seattle)

The husband and wife partners behind antique and vintage interior design retailer Homestead Seattle undersell the business just a little.

“We find and restore and fix up vintage and antique furniture,” Ryan Tansey tells CHS about the business he runs with wife Michele that has just opened a brick and mortar shop on Capitol Hill.

The couple has an eye for finding one of a kind pieces that fit into a kind of American classic look just trendy enough to be upvoted and liked. Until now, their showroom has been their stylish Madrona home. Now, Homestead Seattle’s look is on display on E Pine in the retail space left empty with the nerd consolidation of Gamma Ray Games up the street.

“The way that we looked it, we’ll have a lot more visibility and foot traffic,” Ryan said. “Especially for local folks to stop by and see.”

The Homestead Seattle store is currently open by appointment but the Tanseys said they expect to around the shop with doors open for visitors on weekends through the holidays.

You can check out what is currently for sale — A leather Henredon sofa for $1,995? A MC Selig table for $495? An East German map of France for $395? Vintage bullhorns for $195 —  here in the Homestead Seattle online collection.

Homestead Seattle joins street art supply provider Art Primo as new retailers on the block.

The new Homestead Seattle is located at 411 E Pine. Check out for more information.

Lifelong Thrift will replace Red Light on Broadway

Inside the E Union store

Inside the E Union store (Image: Lifelong Thrift)

(Image: Lifelong Thrift)

(Image: Lifelong Thrift)

Be cool, Macklemore — You’ll still have a thrift shop on Broadway. CHS has learned Lifelong Thrift will take over the space slated to be left empty by Red Light Vintage’s exit from Broadway early next year.

“We are so excited about this move and what it means for the community,” said Tamara Asakawa, Lifelong Thrift’s executive director in a statement planned to be sent to media Wednesday afternoon. “We will now have so much more room to sell which will allow us to help more people. And that’s an amazing thing.”

At 12,500 square feet, the new Lifelong Thrift will be almost three times the size of the current E Union location.

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Uncle Ike’s back in court to fight church’s attempt to shut down 23/Union pot shop — UPDATE

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 10.47.39 AMHaving put down the neighboring church’s first attempt to shutter the shop with a temporary restraining order, the Central District’s I-502 pot shop Uncle Ike’s was back in court Friday as lawyers for Mount Calvary Christian Center made their case again that the marijuana store never should have been allowed to open in the first place at 23rd and Union.

UPDATE: Ike’s camp tells us the temporary injunction was denied and that the shop will be open as usual to serve your holiday shopping needs. The larger case against the shop, state, and city isn’t scheduled to go to trial until next year.

“The Washington Legislature enacted provisions to protect children from marijuana retail business operations, not to protect retail marijuana businesses, and invoke mandatory directives regarding location and distance of such exposure,” the plaintiffs wrote in the motion filed in King County Superior Court. “The defendants completely ignored that directive.” Continue reading

Castle sex store making plans to open in Pike/Pine

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 2.14.48 PM Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 9.41.51 AMWe might soon live in a world without a Broadway sex shop. CHS has learned that the Phoenix, Arizona-based company behind Castle Megastore is making plans to open in the heart of Pike/Pine in the space of a former tattoo parlor neighboring lesbian bar The Wildrose.

Company officials have not yet confirmed the plan or if they intend to close the existing Capitol Hill store where Castle president Mark Franks had told CHS in 2013 he wanted to move the shop due to public safety issues on Broadway and the poor maintenance of Castle’s building. By January 2014, the shop was still operating on Broadway and staff said the plan was to stay. Continue reading

Shop the Hill: World Beads keeping DIY jewelers and Capitol Hill crafters happy one tiny treasure at a time

The name World Beads doesn’t do justice to what’s actually inside the storefront on Broadway. Sure, there’s a dizzying array of beads, semi-precious stones, and sparkly Swarovski crystals, but also behind the counter is a knowledgeable and crafty staff ready to help complete your next creation or readily offer their jewelry repair services.

“I think what makes us successful is our hands on approach to our customers,” said Melissa Ludin. “Helping nurture their creativity and passing on our knowledge of crafting,” she said.

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Since the 1990s, the boutique has featured beads from all around the world. The small bead shop has established itself in the community of capitol-hill crafters and DIY jewelers, a place where designers can stop by for supplies like wire, chains, and charms.

“We hope that in turn, people come and support our business and we can stay put despite the changing neighborhood,” said Ludin. “Rent gets higher and it’s harder to stay afloat when your items cost 15 cents!” Continue reading

L.A.-based footwear and apparel boutique BAIT to open in Pike/Pine

The BAIT x Brooks Chariot "Centennial" (Image: Bait)

The BAIT x Brooks Chariot “Centennial” (Image: Bait)


BAIT in Los Angles via Facebook

At at time when independent Capitol Hill retailers are fighting to maintain their presence among a food+drink frenzy, one outgoing retailer won’t mean a net loss for neighborhood shops.

CHS has learned that BAIT, a Los Angeles-based footwear and apparel boutique, is planning to open its fourth location in the former Platinum Records space on E Pike. According to BAIT’s blog, they plan to open in Seattle on November 22nd.

BAIT specializes in street shoes, sneakers, toys, and apparel. We’re trying to connect with the owners to learn more about their Seattle plans. City records indicate the shop is well on its way to opening in the space sandwiched by Neumos and Via Tribunali.

UPDATE (11/20): BAIT’s Paul Baclawski said part of the company’s reason for expanding to Seattle was the 2012 closure of GOODS and the “sneaker-head” void it left on Capitol Hill.

“Expanding in L.A. is tough,” Baclawski said. “There are a lot of people who are fans of the sneaker industry here.”

Continue reading

Red Light Vintage, Aprie leaving Broadway

IMG_3391IMG_3384Signs announcing closing sales are up in the windows of neighboring Broadway thrift and fashion shops Red Light Vintage and Aprie as higher rents and trailing business prospects have conspired to execute a full turnover of the longtime tenants on this block of Capitol Hill. To the north, the former home of the Broadway Grill has been empty and tenant-less since spring of 2013.

(Image: Red Light Vintage)

(Image: Red Light Vintage)

CHS has not yet spoken with ownership of the stores but people familiar with the situation confirmed that both Red Light and Aprie will only have until early winter before moving on. Red Light and Aprie are owned by the same company. In the meantime, both are holding sales to clear out merchandise. It’s not clear what’s next for the spaces and we haven’t yet verified rumors of new tenants.

A check of permits shows no upgrades or tenant improvements currently planned for the building. The block’s three main components — the northern Terriyaki restaurant, the former Broadway Grill, and the Red Light/Aprie/Julia’s building –have three separate ownership groups at this time, according to county records.

It’s been a rough couple of months for Broadway fashion retail. Earlier this year, CHS reported on the closure of the Seattle outlet of the Tatyana Boutique chain. Its space one block north of Redlight remains empty. Tatyana ownership blamed a lack of Broadway shoppers for its failure on the street. We talked with Aprie’s buyers this summer about the boutique and the state of its business on Broadway. Aprie’s U District store has also shuttered.

Founded in 1996, the Red Light Vintage company will continue to operate its U District location and does a reportedly robust online business at Acknowledged as the longest running thrift shop on Capitol Hill, it will leave behind a void in the vintage retail scene in the neighborhood. Saturday, a new venue will join the scene as Out of the Closet opens on E Pike.

Out of the Closet thrift, AHF Pharmacy join Lifelong on E Pike

A window dipslay at Out of the Closet Brooklyn (Image: Out of the Closet)

A window dipslay at Out of the Closet Brooklyn (Image: Out of the Closet)

A new Pike/Pine headquarters for LGBTQ advocacy, health, and, yes, thrift and vintage shopping will celebrate a grand opening this weekend. Seattle’s first Out of the Closet thrift shop and the relocation of its sibling AIDS Healthcare Foundation pharmacy will be officially opened with a Saturday morning ribbon cutting.

“We’re proud to partner with Gay City and provide an additional access point to testing and prevention services for community members,” said AHF’s Ses Soltani in a statement on the grand opening. “Gay City has a rich history of advocacy in King County and remains solid proponent of wellness in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.” Continue reading