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)

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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.”

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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 redlightvintage.com. 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

Still fighting, Atomic Cosmetics gets another Capitol Hill boost with Le Faux at Julia’s benefit

10306626_10152421857083045_1060809227391893202_n (2)The community of Atomic Cosmetics supporters continues to rally to boost the unique E Pike retailer and manufacturer beset by financial difficulties after its owner said a business loan fell through.

Sunday night, an all-star cast of drag performers lead by host Kristie Champagne will hold a benefit edition of Le Faux at Julia’s to raise money to help keep the Atomic’s Capitol Hill shop open:

This is the mother of all benefits, people! We have the cast of “Le Faux” at Julia’s on Broadway, The One The Only Inga, Waxie Moon, Eddie Van Glam and The’Trojan Original and Kitty Kitty Bang Bang performing, as well as a live auction full of awesome goodies! You don’t want to miss this. Get your tickets today, and help save Atomic Cosmetics / Xerion Skin Science!

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Whole Foods coming to Capitol Hill in new development at Broadway and Madison

Site Plan (69)Whole_Foods_Market_logo.svgNational grocery chain Whole Foods Market has finally found its home on Capitol Hill.

The company announced it will open the 40,000 square-foot market in 2018 as part of a new 16-story apartment development planned for the 1000 block of Broadway near Madison.

It will be the ninth Whole Foods in Seattle, the company said.

“We have been interested in the Capitol Hill and First Hill communities or a long long time,” a company spokesperson tells CHS. “We couldn’t be more pleased about the location of the new store.”

In 2009, CHS reported on the Austin, Texas-cased company’s interest in Capitol Hill and rumors of a store opening on north Broadway.

The spokesperson said the 40,000 square-foot store qualifies as “extra medium” size in the spectrum of the company’s more than 400 markets around the world.

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Trumpet brings men’s shoes and fashions to Capitol Hill this winter

Artist rendering of the coming-soon Trumpet

Artist rendering of the coming-soon Trumpet

Aaron DelGuzzo and Daniel Carlson see a void in men’s shoe stores in the Capitol Hill retail scene, and they aim to fill it.

“The fact that there is nothing means that we need it,” DelGuzzo said.

The first-time business owners are opening Trumpet in a retail space inside the new Viva building at 12th and Union selling fashionable footwear and men’s fashion accessories.

They stressed the shoes won’t be athletic or urban, but fashion. The bulk will retail for between $100 and $400 a pair. While there will be some options that sell for much more, the duo also has plans for some pairs that will be less than $100.

“We believe that fashion footwear does not have to be expensive,” Carlson said. Continue reading

‘Save Atomic Cosmetics’ — Dr. Jen makes $100K call for help to keep Capitol Hill business afloat

Atomic Cosmetics

(Images: CHS)

2369258_1413319550.0454_funddescriptionThe E Pike ‘House of Beauty’ Atomic Cosmetics has lit the glitter signal — Dr. Jen needs help.

As she heads into a third year of business with a brick and mortar shop, Jennifer Dietrich said financial difficulties could shut down her venture. She’s looking for $100,000 in donations to keep the business afloat:

Hello to all who love the Glitter Palace! We recently have hit a financial brick wall – a business loan, that we were expecting to secure, has fallen through. With these funds, we were going to be able to keep up with our growing demand, as well as expand our operations at our Capitol Hill flagship store. 

Without those funds, however, we’re in a place where we can’t afford our brilliant team, or to continue our mission. 

That’s where we need your help. Your donations via GoFundMe are immensely appreciated – and in exchange for your financial help now, we’ll give you a gift certificate for the same amount. Not in Seattle? Not a problem – we’ll give you a gift card with a custom coupon code to use online. Donate over $250, and we’ll not only give you a gift certificate for your donated amount, but will throw in an additional $25 gift certificate to use for yourself, or to give as a gift. Continue reading

No fear — You can still buy a Ferrari (or two) on Capitol Hill

If you were worried by the construction going on inside its 12th at Union showroom that you might have to rush to buy your new Ferrari before Ferrari and Maserati of Seattle leaves Capitol Hill, fear not.

The dealership isn’t going anywhere. Good news for those enjoying the soaring incomes of Seattle — and Bellevue, for that matter.

CHS has received a few notes asking about the dealership — the last auto retailer left on Capitol Hill — and whether it is joining the road traveled by other Hill dealerships that have shifted gears into new locations with room for spacious showrooms like SoDo.

CHS reported here way back in March 2012 on our last of its kind auto dealership’s plans to revamp its showroom and facilities in the 12th Ave building it has owned since the late 90s. 

The Perrina family owns the land its dealership calls home, acquiring the parcels in 1999 for $3.5 million. The dealership encompasses 33,000 square feet in warehouse and garage space, a 600 square-foot office and a 2,100 square-foot showroom. It also includes a small 135 square-foot parking lot that exits onto 11th Ave and is a good place to see the high performance cars heading out for a run in Pike/Pine. The single-story buildings the dealership calls home date to 1913, according to county records.

Meanwhile, the company behind the dealership hasn’t yet revealed plans for the E Madison auto-row era garage it purchased for $2.25 million a year ago this month. With neighboring business Chop Suey still apparently for sale, you can let your super fast car imagination run wild.

The project to overhaul the 12th at Union showroom boasts only a modest $340,000 construction budget, according to city records, though those totals typically don’t include costs for finishings and equipment. Meanwhile, cars worth from $120,000 to more than $380,000 continue to be sold. So, let’s see. Under the transit tax on November’s ballot, a big sale would mean $380 to fund Seattle bus routes. Thanks, fancy car buyers!

Broadway Market is for sale, home to QFC and Urban Outfitters

8444039163_d4da170492Conditions are probably as ripe as they’ve ever been for long time Capitol Hill property owners to cash-in big. The Washington D.C.-based owner of the Broadway Market is putting the marquee commercial property up for sale for a possible 400% significant return on investment, reports the Puget Sound Business Journal.

A Seattle representative from property owner Madison Marquette said he could not confirm anything regarding a sale. Madison Marquette is a commercial real estate company that owns mall properties across the U.S.

The 110,000 square foot Broadway Market is anchored by QFC, Urban Outfitters, and Gold’s Gym, as well as 30 residential units and an underground parking garage for 223 vehicles. Longtimers Broadway Shoe Repair also calls the building home as do BECU and Wells Fargo.

PSBJ reports the Broadway property, located between E Republican and E Harrison, was valued in the newsletter Real Estate Alert for $50 million. That’s four times *three times and change *more than the $15 million Madison Marquette paid for the market in 1999.

With the U-Link light rail slated to start running by 2016, the market’s proximity to Capitol Hill Station should make it an even more attractive investment — though development planned around the station will add thousands of additional square feet of retail space to Broadway.

In 2011 Madison Marquette partnered with an investment firm to re-capitalize the space under a joint venture agreement. Earlier this year Madison Marquette purchased downtown’s Pacific Place mall.

The 110,000 square foot market has been a cornerstone of north Broadway culture since it opened in the 1920s. Over the years the market has gone through several iterations and redevelopments. In the 1980s and 1990s the market was home to dozens of merchant stalls that helped make Broadway the commercial heart of Capitol Hill. As Broadway declined in the late 1990s, many of those businesses left. In 2004 Fred Meyer vacated the building and QFC took over the primary market space.

Capitol Hill ‘nerd central’ — Ltd Gallery to get cozy with Gamma Ray Games in Raygun Lounge

At the Fantasy in the City opening, July 2014 (Image: LTD Gallery)

At the Fantasy in the City opening, July 2014 (Image: LTD Gallery)

(Image: LTD Gallery)

(Image: LTD Gallery)

Even as Gamma Ray Games and Raygun Lounge get used to sharing the same space at 501 E Pine, a third party is soon to join them later this month to make it all the more cozy: the pop culture-inspired Ltd Art Gallery.

Ltd, a self proclaimed “premiere art gallery destination for contemporary and pop art,” has begun its move from 307 E Pike just a few blocks away. Melissa Monosmith, co-owner with her husband James Monosmith, said that the the relocation should be complete by October 15th, just in time for the first scheduled opening show at the Raygun Lounge on the 18th, which will feature work from two local Seattle artists Aaron Jasinski and Augie Pagan themed “gods and monsters”.

“We’re all going to be together… like a nerd central!” said Melissa. “We’re excited about it!” Continue reading

Graffiti focused art supplier Art Primo is coming to Capitol Hill


Seattle-based art supplier Art Primo is bringing its “world’s largest” selection of graffiti supplies to Capitol Hill this fall.

The company did not return our calls or emails about the new store but the signs are already going up and work has been underway inside the small shop. There is no publicly announced date for the start of business.

UPDATE: Similar to its San Francisco location and former Georgetown space, Primo will also serve as an art gallery for veteran and up-and-coming street artists. Primo’s new curator Liz Suman told CHS the store and gallery will hold its grand opening October 9th to coincide with Capitol Hill Art Walk. The Halloween-themed show Fright Night will feature work from some artists familiar to Capitol Hill, including Baso Fibonacci and Jesse Brown. Suman said the space will also hold regular gallery hours.

Primo, which primarily operates online, recently closed its Georgetown storefront and began outfitting the facade of their new digs on the 400 block of E Pine. The short-lived Essence Wine Shop, which shuttered in August, was the last tenant to occupy the space.

“Primo wanted to up their presence in Seattle and push the gallery component,” Suman said. “A lot of the artists live and work on Capitol Hill, so it seemed like a good idea to have a more central location.”

(Image: CHS)

The parking kiosk in front of Primo has already been improved by area street artists (Image: CHS)

According to Primo’s website, the online store is a one-stop-shop for “graffiti, aerosol, spray paint, street art, sticker, stencil, industrial, home improvement, and DIY projects.”

While Capitol Hill is an extraordinarily street art-friendly community, there has been increasing interest in the business community for greater investment in clean-up and graffiti removal in the area — especially in the Pike/Pine neighborhood.

Primo, which opened its online store in 2003, will be Capitol Hill’s only independent art supplier, joining national chain Blick Art Supplies, which swallowed E Pike’s Utrecht last year to make way for a high-end Starbucks roastery.

In the comments below, Suman says Art Primo is planning to be a space that will focus on cater to emerging artists. “AP plans on the new location being a positive new space for young artists to show their work in addition to an art supply retailer, especially given the recent closings of so many galleries on the Hill,” she writes. More below.

Art Primo celebrates its grand opening with the art show “Fright Night” on October 9th, 6 PM at Art Primo, 415 E Pine St. RSVP at apfrightnight@gmail.com

Ready to serve the Central District and Capitol Hill, Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop set to open at 23rd and Union

10639712_790347977691561_1458183800514921383_n (1)Since early July, only one store has been able to tie together the permits, the building, and, most importantly, the product to sell legal retail marijuana to the people of Seattle. This week, the equation is about to change at 23rd and Union.

Land owner and entrepreneur Ian Eisenberg tells CHS that Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop pot shop has received its temporary license and is planning an opening in the Central District sometime in the next week — if all goes to plan.

“I haven’t slept in a month,” Eisenberg said of the sudden rush of activity around the venture.

The license puts Eisenberg on pace to operate only the second retail marijuana operation in the city and puts him behind the counter of the shop closest to the densely-packed population of Capitol Hill.

UPDATE 9/25/2014: Looks like Saturday is a go:

UPDATE x2: The opening menu from producer Avitas:

* Black 84
* Cinex
* Lemon Kush
* Pineberry
* Snoop’s Dream

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The Nevertold Casket Company might just be the strangest shop on E Republican

(Images: CHS)

Tiffany (Images: CHS)

Jack Bennett was sitting alone one night, when the name of his shop, the Nevertold Casket Company, popped into his head.

“What you put in a casket is all of the things you never told anybody,” Bennett said.

Nevertold features an eclectic mix of curious and unusual items, from a table made from an elephant’s foot (the elephant has been dead for more than 100 years) to a figurehead from a sort-of-ship to wall-mounted art woven from human hair. If there’s a theme, it’s death.

“Weird is what I like to call it,” Tiffany Bennett said.

Jack and his partner — in business and in life and, we suppose, death — Tiffany opened the store two weeks ago on the ground floor of an apartment building at 1317 E. Republican St.

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