E Pine’s PUBLIC Bikes shop announces plans to close

PUBLIC Bikes shop will close its Capitol Hill store and exit Seattle at the end of March, just a few days short of two years after expanding to the city.

“The beauty of our space, our product and our service ethos resulted in creating an inclusive, welcoming bike shop on Capitol Hill,” the announcement of the closure plans reads. “All of us walk away proud, grateful and thankful to those whom we’ve met and helped get back on a bike.” Continue reading

Fox + the Feather owner closes Pike/Pine boutique to open new vintage-focused Rove

For Rachel McNew owning the type of store she, and she believes the community, wants means starting fresh.

New paint, new merchandise, and a new name — Rove.

“I think Rove will be a better fit for Capitol Hill because our biggest focus is vintage,” McNew said. “It’s not just your everyday vintage. I’m trying to curate more fashion-forward pieces, which I think will do better up here as well.”

By the end of the month, McNew plans to open the new store in the former Fox + the Feather space at 1507 11th Ave. Continue reading

Chophouse Row welcomes Cake Skincare, HONED jewelry, and neighborhood bodega Sundry

Katrina Rising, owner of Cake Skincare, stands in her new shop in Chophouse Row.

Katrina Rising, owner of Cake Skincare, in her new shop in Chophouse Row.

Cake Skincare has settled into its new Chophouse Row location and owner Katrina Rising is looking forward to meeting new clients.

“Now we are able to add on some more hours and that will give us some breathing room to play again with new people, which we’re so excited about,” Rising said.

Cake held its grand opening party in December and since the new year rolled in, the second location has hit a smooth flow, she said. The Capitol Hill location is the second Cake spot in Seattle with the first opening in Queen Anne in 2009 where Rising and her aestheticians have been building a reputation as the eyebrow experts of the neighborhood.

“The neighborhoods are different … and I really wanted each place to serve its neighborhood and have its own vibe of that neighborhood,” Rising said. Rising said Cake at Queen Anne was getting a bit squished. Now about half of Cake’s clients go to the Capitol Hill location for their beauty needs. “It really has been this pull, and I’m glad that we listened because people were really wanting us to come over here,” Rising said.

Along with Cake, two other new tenants also now call Chophouse Row home. Continue reading

Seattle Seed Company finds new space to grow on 12th Ave

Sander Kallshian became interested in gardening and the environment as a kid.

His family had a garden, and he started an environmentalist club with a neighborhood friend. With some humidifiers and forest wallpaper, he transformed his room into a rainforest.

“I was kind of the environmentalist of the family,” Kallshian told CHS.

That interest has now grown into an online and in store wholesale and retail seed and garden business that recently relocated to the retail space below a new microhousing development at 12th and Yesler. Continue reading

American Apparel closures set to leave another space on Broadway empty

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

There is about to be another empty commercial space on Broadway but this time the economic forces that are driving the closure extend well beyond Capitol Hill.

The American Apparel store at Broadway and John will be one of 110 stores across the country as well as its Los Angeles headquarters set to be shut down after the financially troubled retailer that was once valued at more than $1 billion was acquired in a bankruptcy sale earlier this month for $88 million.

“Founder Dov Charney charted a maverick path when he moved a nascent American Apparel to Los Angeles in 1997 and began manufacturing its cotton basics in the region,” the LA Times writes. “The company’s colorful garments and provocative advertising quickly caught on with young fashionistas.” But what followed was debt and, eventually, bankruptcy that left the dwindling chain unable to recover. Continue reading

E Pike rumor dot com: Amazon just might be opening a grocery store on Capitol Hill

It's not very interesting inside... yet (Image: CHS)

It’s not very interesting inside… yet (Image: CHS)

A bookstore in U Village. A drive-up grocery store in Ballard. A checkout-less convenience store on 7th Ave in Amazon-ville. With Amazon’s voice control platform Alexa reportedly “stealing the show” at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the retailing giant has also been busy innovating and testing new concepts in its home city. But, so far, none of its “meatspace” experiments have made a home on Capitol Hill, the neighborhood where many of its employees live.

That might be about to change.

CHS has learned that an Amazon executive central to the rollout of the company’s retail projects including 7th Ave’s Amazon Go checkout-less concept is involved in the giant and highly secretive retail project slated to fill a 10,000 square-foot retail space in the Mercedes Benz dealership-turned AVA Capitol Hill development in the 600 block E Pike.

A development manager for Avalon Communities declined to comment telling CHS he was not allowed to discuss the tenant and Amazon has not replied to inquiries about the project.

The Amazon senior program manager included in City of Seattle filings on the project worked on the University Village Amazon bookstore and the launch team for Amazon Go, according to his Linked In profile. Continue reading

Retail vet Retrofit Home celebrates construction-free bump in Pike/Pine shopping

A new Retrofit sofa takes a rest on the mostly construction-free E Pike (Image: Retrofit Home)

A new Retrofit sofa takes a rest on the mostly construction-free E Pike (Image: Retrofit Home)

As Seattleites make a mad dash to finish their holiday shopping, the owners of Retrofit Home are enjoying what they say is heavy foot traffic in Pike/Pine and high sales.

“We’re having an incredible season,” said co-owner Jon Milazzo.

Milazzo’s business partner Lori Pomeranz said they started to see traffic increase for holiday shopping around mid October, which is earlier than ever before. The CHS advertiser has been in business at 1103 E Pike since 2005.

Milazzo and Pomeranz attribute their higher sales and success this holiday season to multiple factors. The first: a lack of construction in their part of the neighborhood. They said it’s the first in many years that there isn’t a lot of construction going on around their location on the corner of 11th and E Pike.

“Pike/Pine has really become a walking neighborhood again,” Milazzo said, adding that there is more parking available and no loud construction noise. Continue reading

One last chance to say goodbye to the Capitol Hill Value Village

We said goodbye to its temporary incarnation as Capitol Hill Arts District community space V2 with a dance party. A fitting farewell for its funky fresh life as the center of Capitol Hill thrifting starts Tuesday and lasts three nights as the old Kelly Springfield Truck Company turned REI turned Value Village (with a lot of other bits and pieces in between) hosts the Punk Rock Flea Market for one last gasp of creosote and dust on 11th Ave:

Punk Rock Flea Market

CHS broke the sad news in October 2015 that the popular Capitol Hill location of the thrift shop chain was preparing to close after one final Halloween. Macklemore was devastated. The building owned by the Ellison family that founded the Value Village chain was lined to have the property developed by local real estate developer Legacy CommercialContinue reading

Capitol Hill’s Raygun Lounge rolling out barcade expansion, espresso

(Image: Gamma Ray Games/Raygun Lounge)

(Image: Gamma Ray Games/Raygun Lounge)

Fans of Gamma Ray Games and Raygun Lounge have likely noticed some changes and can expect a few more in the coming months.

A grand reopening to celebrate the overhaul including new lighting, and some layout changes for the combined Capitol Hill retail/gaming/eating/drinking space is planned for Saturday. More arcade games, coffee and beer taps are on their way.

“The neighborhood has changed a lot and the market has changed a lot so we’re kind of adjusting,” owner Eric Logan told CHS. “…What we used to do worked seven years ago. It doesn’t work today.” Continue reading

You can soon ‘Go’ to Amazon’s new automagic grocery store on your way back to Capitol Hill

Only a mile from the crowd around the self check-out kiosks at the Harvard Market QFC, a new shopping experience — probably worked on by a few Capitol Hill residents who have stood in that crowd — will be unveiled early next year on 7th Ave.

Amazon Go will be a “self driving” grocery store in Seattle’s burgeoning new Amazonia neighborhood where shoppers can walk in and walk out with anything they like — without having to wait to ring up their purchases.

“What if we could weave the most advanced machine learning, computer vision and AI into the very fabric of a store, so you never have to wait in line,” the promo video released Monday morning asks. “No lines, no checkout, no registers — welcome to Amazon Go.”

The company’s secret grocery project comes as the retail giant has laid claim to around a third of the country’s online holiday spending this year and many industry watchers have been predicting advances with delivery technology like drones. The company is also planning drive-up grocery stores with a prototype nearly ready to open in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.

While the planned Amazon Go debut in 2017 at 2131 7th Ave has garnered a lot of buzz, we’ll be more impressed when the retailer shows its new system can work on Broadway where many grocery shoppers have been employing a version of “just walk out technology” for years.

“Take whatever you like. Anything you pick up is automatically added to your virtual card. If you change your mind about that, Cupcake, just put it back…”