CHS Pics | A Pike/Pine Record Store Day line

Somehow, someway, Record Store Day still means something on Capitol Hill. With so much brick and mortar retail fading away and streaming music services dominating the industry, it has got to be at least a little surprising to see record stores — shops that sell physical, hard format musical recordings — still spinning in 2018.

The stores clearly have their fans and RSD 2018 brought them out for the special pressings and treats that go along with the annual celebration of vinyl. Here is the line we found waiting outside 10th Ave’s Everyday Music Saturday morning. Continue reading

Broadway apartment tower home to Whole Foods to open this summer — but no shopping ’til fall

A view from the top of The Danforth (Image: The Danforth)

The 17-story Broadway apartment tower set to bring Amazon’s grocery chain Whole Foods to the border of Capitol Hill and First Hill has set a July opening. But you will have to wait until the fall to do your grocery shopping at the base of The Danforth.

The developer of the project is beginning the process of recruiting residents to fill its 260 or so units complete with “smart, sophisticated design,” “well-appointed” and “clean, contemporary aesthetic,” “A/C in all homes, USB outlets and pantries in every kitchen,” and where even the bathrooms “make a statement.” Continue reading

Grinding it out at Capitol Hill’s 35th North Skateshop

Tony Croghan

Tony Croghan has run 35th North at the corner of Pike and 11th since 2003. It’s a Capitol Hill institution and one of the only such shops in the city, hub for a generation-spanning pursuit that’s both sport and art. As the world of skateboarding prepares for its international debut in the Olympics in 2020, Croghan stays focused on the art and community it inspires.

“I think about a kid right now in middle school, an individual who might be artistic, who’s into music, but also likes to do activities and might be coordinated and athletic; that’s the skateboarder,” Croghan said. “If that kid is ever turned off by skating—‘That looks like a sport to me, I don’t wanna do it’—that would be a bad spot to be in.” Continue reading

From shadow of the Space Needle to Capitol Hill, Inform Interiors to join Blu Dot on E Pine

The overhauled former home of a longtime Capitol Hill vintage and design store will be home to not one but two new furniture retailers.

Seattle furniture boutique Inform Interiors is moving up the Hill to Bellevue and Pine to join “contemporary furniture” retailer Blu Dot with its coming soon Capitol Hill showroom in the historic Colman Automotive building.

“We’re excited to be moving to a more vibrant area but we know everything is an adjustment,” Inform sales manager Hillary Rielly.

Their once low-key home on Dexter is now lined up for redevelopment by Vulcan which prompted owner Allison Mills to look for a new interior for her interiors. Inform plans to open the new showroom by the first week of May in the renovated auto row-era building, a space with triple their current square footage. Continue reading

Dead Stock wants to make Capitol Hill center of Seattle’s designer sneaker consignment scene

You might have seen the long lines of hopeful shoppers queued up around Pike/Pine in the past week outside Likelihood and BAIT. They were hoping to get their hands — but not their feet — on a pair of Sean Wotherspoon-designed Nike Air Max shoes.

We don’t know why. But we do know you don’t want to wear those shoes if you’re hoping to make a buck in the collectors market. Discerning collectors don’t want your worn, stinky sneakers. They want never touched, never tried-on dead stock.

“I’m what the city has been missing,” the mostly modest but occasionally boastful Parris Johnson tells CHS about the next step for his growing sneaker fashion venture. Johnson’s Dead Stock sneaker consignment shop is planned to be open by summer above Broadway and Pike. Continue reading

The Shopaholic’s Closet brings high-end consignment to E Pike

With her new boutique The Shopaholic’s Closet at 1205 E Pike, Audrey Clark hopes to introduce a pop of color to the local femme fashion palette. “I learned a long time ago that greys, blacks, and browns are the basis for Seattle,” she says, “I try to ease ‘em in a little bit—it’s spring!”

Clark’s new store specializes in fashion-forward and high-end apparel on consignment. She’s worked in the fashion industry for years in various capacities from wholesale rep to buyer, and she keeps close tabs on the industry, regularly shopping sample sales in New York and LA with an eye to what will fly in Seattle with our drab regional inclinations. Continue reading

Euro fashion retailer Scotch and Soda set to join Melrose Ave

Scotch and Soda’s U Village store (Image: University Village)

The corner once home to quintessential Capitol Hill coffee shop Bauhaus is today home to an upscale cycling lifestyle “clubhouse.” The space around the corner on Melrose that used to be an art gallery before being built into the gargantuan, seven-story Excelsior mixed-use building? Amsterdam-based Scotch and Soda is adding the retail berth to its growing roster of U.S. locations.

Company officials haven’t confirmed the new store, the chain’s second in Seattle joining a location in the University Village mall. Permits filed with the city indicate the start of planning is underway for the shop on the eastern side of Melrose adjacent the entrance to the mixed-use building’s 280-vehicle underground parking garage and across the street from Melrose Market. Continue reading

Asian flavored H Mart in talks to fill key retail space at Capitol Hill Station

With PCC announcing its plans to open a new downtown Seattle store in 2020, another potential player appears to be off the board to fill the key anchor tenant space in the Capitol Hill Station “transit oriented development” project slated to finally break ground this spring after a decade of planning. After a series of names attached to the project have either backed out or moved on, CHS has learned that talks have centered on a new, growing part of the region’s grocery and retail economy.

Capitol Hill Station master developer Gerding Edlen is finalizing talks with Han Ah Reum Mart, Inc. to fill the key retail space in the massively important housing, commercial, and community development set to fill a block of Broadway surrounding the light rail station, a person familiar with negotiations tells CHS.

The company’s H Mart stores are known for their Asian foods and home goods. The U.S.-based chain featuring fresh produce, meats, seafood, snacks and more opened in the University District last summer even as a long anticipated downtown Seattle project has remained on hold. Continue reading

Defiant Ruckus growing as Capitol Hill’s non-Ike’s pot shop

Ruckus Recreational on E Republican at 15th expanded their tiny grass shop into the joint next door in January but no one on the staff remembers which day exactly. With the square footage of a van, the original low profile boutique could easily be overlooked.

“That space didn’t allow us to expand our product line,” said Ruckus owner Sam Burke, yet sales at Ruckus are only getting higher. The company grossed $261,000 in December 2017 and has grown 13.3% annually since opening two years ago, according to industry tracker Top Shelf Data.

Compared to Uncle Ike’s, the Goliath weed stronghold with a location across the street, one at 23rd and Union, and another in the works on E Olive Way, Ruckus was also an easy target for thieves. After five separate smash and grab break-ins, Burke increased security measures of the newly expanded shop.

The store opens every day at 8 AM to a sleepy stream of regulars who point to what they want with little deliberation.

“It’s just like getting up and going to buy a pack of cigarettes,” says Ruckus product buyer, Bill Eddy. Continue reading

Congratulations on your Spirit of the Hill award, Tracy Taylor — now tell us about about Elliott Bay Book Company’s coming Sea-Tac store

Mayor Durkan congratulates 2018 Spirit of the Hill winner Tracy Taylor

Last week, “work” came up a lot as the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce recognized Elliott Bay Book Company’s general manger Tracy Taylor with its 2018 Spirit of the Hill award. Taylor will soon have even more work to do as she helps the Pioneer Square-born, 10th Ave resident bookstore expand with a new presence at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

“This is an award that recognizes not only hard work and dedication but love and passion,” Jeffrey Pelletier, principal at 15th Ave architecture and design firm Board and Vellum and chair of the chamber’s board said at the organization’s State of the Hill event held last Wednesday night at Queer/Bar. Pelletier said the State of the Hill winner is usually “someone who works hard and cares and oftentimes does it without thanks.” He called Taylor a “tireless advocate” and “a voice for small business.”

“I look around this room and I see how much work everyone in this neighborhood does to make sure that our neighborhood is a wonderful place to live, to work, to run a business,” Taylor said upon receiving the award in the seventh year it has been handed out.

Taylor tells CHS that the new Elliott Bay venture at Sea-Tac is a partnership with the Hudson Book Group to operate an EBBC satellite for travelers at the busy airport. Continue reading