Monsoon marks 20 years — and ‘a little bit’ of growth — on Capitol Hill

(Image: Monsoon)

Brother and sister restaurateurs Sophie and Eric Banh are marking 20 years of business on 19th Ave E. Their Vietnamese Seattle classic Monsoon will have a “20 Bucks for 20 Years” menu starting this weekend featuring “a handful of dishes that were very popular in the early years” and are still popular today.

We’re going to bet that the drunken chicken made the list.

Surviving two decades on the Hill’s quieter side, Monsoon has grown — literally — along with the neighborhood’s food and drink offerings. In 2014, it doubled its capacity, incorporating a bar, and adding a rooftop patio to the restaurant. “It’s amazing how the world turns around,” Eric Banh told CHS about Monsoon’s survival and expansion. “We almost became homeless in 2007. We survived. And now we’re growing. A little bit.” Continue reading

Zeeks Capitol Hill adds pizza to 19th Ave E’s growing food+drink menu

If you’re looking for your 19th Ave E dad, we might know where he’s been hanging out

Families on Capitol Hill’s quieter eastern slopes have already become accustomed to beating a path to 19th and Mercer for Whidbey Island-style tacos and Macklesmore-style cookies. The intersection will now have even more foot, scooter, and stroller traffic — the first Zeeks Pizza on Capitol Hill is now open.

Debuting Monday with an afternoon of free slices, the company said the new joint has been ready to go but held up from a planned opening in late 2018 due to a few paperwork issues with the new mixed-use building it calls home, The Shea.

The company said it has long coveted a presence on Capitol Hill. The 19th Ave E location is being opened by Sean Murray, a franchise owner who lives in the neighborhood only a few blocks away. With a new pizza restaurant only blocks away from two elementary schools, a Hebrew academy, a middle school, and Holy Names, he has probably made a wise investment.  Continue reading

North Capitol Hill neighbors appeal Holy Names underground parking decision

Homeowners near Capitol Hill’s Holy Names Academy have filed an appeal to halt approval of a planned 237-car underground parking garage below a new, two-story gymnasium on the school’s 21st Ave E campus on environmental grounds.

The appeal based in State Environmental Policy Act requirements follows last month’s decision by the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections allowing the project to move forward. Continue reading

Windy night snaps trees but not power on Capitol Hill

Neighbors along E Aloha woke to the sound of chainsaws and a wood chipper Saturday morning as a city crew worked to remove portions of a large tree that fell and blocked the street during Friday night’s windstorm.

While thousands across Seattle and more than 100,000 customers were left without power across western Washington, Capitol Hill and the Central District made it through the night’s storm mostly unscathed saved for a few reports of downed branches and cable TV wires. Continue reading

‘Neighborhood activist’ Murakami, pot entrepreneur Bowers join race for District 3

There are now three challengers for the Seattle City Council District 3 seat held by Kshama Sawant.

And none of them are Kshama Sawant.

Pat Murakami, defeated in her 2017 run against Lorena González for the council’s Position 9 citywide seat, and pot entrepreneur Logan Bowers have joined nonprofit director and entrepreneur Beto Yarce in the race to lead District 3 representing neighborhoods including Capitol Hill, the Central District, First Hill, and, yes, Beacon Hill. Continue reading

City says Capitol Hill high school’s underground parking garage project can move forward

Capitol Hill private high school Holy Names can move ahead with its plans for a, 237-car underground parking garage below a new, two-story gymnasium, and a new 32-space surface parking lot on the northern edge of its E Aloha at 21st Ave E campus after a city finding that the projects are within bounds of state environmental law.

The Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections issued the determination of “non-significance” late last month. Any appeal of the decision must be filed by Thursday.

In a statement on the decision, Liz Swift, head of school, did not announce a start date for construction but said the work would take 16 to 18 months to complete. Continue reading

Tutu’s Pantry and the Backpack Brigade help keep Capitol Hill school kids fed

Can by can, donations help Tutu’s Pantry keep kids fed (Image: CHS)

Hundreds of students at local schools don’t have reliable access to food, particularly on weekends, and a network of volunteer-run organizations has stepped in to assist them.

There are a number of programs in place to help students from lower income families get meals during school. Most common is the free and reduced meals program administered by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. The federal government helps provide funding that gives children from families below a certain income threshold (this year in Seattle, for a family of four, it is an annual income of less than $46,435 for reduced price meals and $32,630 for free meals) access to breakfast and lunch every school day. Across the district, 34% of students qualify for the program.

Then the weekend comes, and that assistance dries up.

So Seattle schools have developed a patchwork of parent-run groups to help fill the gap. Typically, the programs provide needy students with a backpack full of food on Friday to help get them through the weekend, though the specifics can vary greatly by school.

At Stevens Elementary, which serves children in North Capitol Hill, the program is known as Tutu’s Pantry.  Tutu’s Pantry provide backpacks on Fridays and larger boxes of food in advance of longer breaks. They also try to accommodate dietary restrictions.

It might be difficult to imagine that a school flanked by multi-million dollar homes has children in it who are food-insecure. “A lot of the families that we serve are struggling,” said Lori Bugaj, who runs Stevens’ program.

Continue reading

60+ pictures of a not watered down Hilloween 2018

Congress has not — yet — moved Halloween to the last Saturday in October. This year, with Capitol Hill’s favorite holiday falling on a Wednesday night, Hilloween enthusiasm may have been a little watered down by weekend celebrations but at least the rain was never heavier than a drizzle.

CHS was on patrol in the Pike/Pine/Broadway zone to see how the big kids were playing and to count how many Elevens we could find (a dozen?). We also found a peculiar nautical element in the thick of the Hill’s trick or treat hot zone at 18th and Mercer where a “Hunt for Blue November” display included a trip through the guts of a Russian submarine complete with periscope and a Putin-on-a-porpoise (probably a dolphin) porthole before emergence at the steps for the Kremlin for a visit to the candy bowl. A family of matryoshka were in attendance. Putin was nowhere to be found. Continue reading

Before fall rains set in, Seattle Public Utilities rescues the Stevens Elementary goldfish

A scene from the rescue (Image: SPU)

Amid worries that coming rains could wash them away to dangerous sewer pipes or sad lives as an invasive species in Lake Washington, the Stevens Elementary goldfish have been rescued by Seattle Public Utilities.

Friday, the department thanked CHS and the many readers who brought attention to the curious little wonder of the “secret” underground pond in the school’s catch basin:

SPU first learned of the goldfish from the Capitol Hill Seattle blog, which reported that the fish had become a “curious kind of campus mascot,” and several community members who reached out to inquire about the possibility of a rescue operation. While SPU was glad to see the fish faring well in the catch basin, it was necessary to relocate them as soon as possible.

Continue reading

Pikes/Pines | The secret goldfish pond below Stevens Elementary

It’s a peaceful, mostly quiet existence. And friends seem to drop enough granola bar bits from above to augment whatever goldfish chow exists naturally in the storm drain of a Capitol Hill elementary school.

It’s not exactly clear when or how they arrived, but two fish continue to make the Stevens Elementary campus near 19th and Galer their home. Continue reading