For $1.7M, you could be the next owner of the Volunteer Park Cafe (and live upstairs at 17th and Galer)

Will you be the next cafe owner at 17th and Galer? (Image: NWMLS)

It probably really is a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” The 1904-built, two-story market and apartment these days known as the Volunteer Park Cafe is for sale. And, yes, the popular neighborhood cafe in the middle of some of Seattle’s most expensive residential real estate is part of the $1.7 million package.

“It’s a very, very unique deal. It’s so unique for the owner of the business to own the building as well in a location like this,” co-broker and Seattle commercial real estate expert Laura Miller tells CHS.

“The neighborhood should be really happy about the opportunity. It’s a great building,” Dustin Van Wyck, the other broker working on nailing down a deal for the property said.

“We’d love nothing more than to pass the torch along.” Continue reading

King County rolling out Democracy Live ‘mobile voting’ for February election

Washington is already leading the way with mail only voting since 2011, now King County is ready to help blaze some new trails in democracy with a project to test mobile voting in the February special election:

King Conservation District (KCD) will join Democracy Live and Tusk Philanthropies (TP) announcing that KCD is implementing mobile voting in their upcoming Conservation District Board of Supervisors election. This will be the first time in the country that mobile voting is available to all eligible registered voters.

The county says voters will be able to participate in the election by opting in to vote online with their smartphones through a partnership with Democracy Live and Tusk Philanthropies.

“Previous pilots in other jurisdictions were limited to overseas military voters and/or voters with disabilities,” the county announcement reads. King County Elections says the 1.2 million registered voters residing in the conservation district’s service area will be “eligible to vote on their mobile device using the Democracy Live platform.” Continue reading

911 | Cops make quick bust in Pike/Pine gold chain robbery

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS 911 coverage here. Hear sirens and wondering what’s going on? Check out Twitter reports from @jseattle or tune into the CHS Scanner page.

  • Gold chain robbery bust: Police made a quick arrest of an armed suspect after a victim said his gold chain was snapped from his neck amidst the nightlife crowds of Pike/Pine early Saturday morning. According to the SPD brief on the incident, police were called to a fight disturbance in the area of 10th and Pike just after 1 AM to the reported ripoff:
    Officers were working an East Precinct Nightlife Emphasis Patrol shortly after 1:00 am Saturday when they observed a disturbance outside of a club at 10th Avenue and East Pike Street. A man told police someone had approached him and ripped the gold chain from his neck before disappearing into a crowd. Witnesses were able to point out the suspect to officers, who took him into custody.
    Police say they found a stolen handgun and five grams of suspected cocaine on the suspect. The necklace was not located. The 25-year-old was booked into King County Jail.
  • E Pike ice cream shop DUI crash: There were fortunately no serious injuries and the driver was taken into custody for DUI after smashing a car into the side of the Salt and Straw ice cream shop on E Pike last Wednesday morning. The 9:30 AM incident brought a large Seattle Fire response to help extricate the driver whose door was smashed against the building’s brick corner. Damage to the shop was minimal and pedestrians and bicyclists on the busy street managed to avoid the collision. Police say the driver was taken to Harborview and cleared and then taken into custody for investigation of driving under the influence.
  • Lakeview/Belmont false alarm: A reported Monday morning stabbing near the trail below Lakeview Blvd and Belmont turned out to be a false alarm. Police and Seattle Fire were called to the scene by a passerby just before 11 AM Monday to a report of a person who had been stabbed. Arriving officers found that the victim said they had been, indeed, suffering from injuries suffered in a stabbing — but that the incident happened last year. Police cleared the scene and Seattle Fire made sure the victim got the necessary treatment.

Batch Baking Company and its nostalgia-filled Squareos now open on 12th Ave

With batches of fresh from the oven, nostalgia-inspired caramel chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter brownie, palmiers, and Oreo-style Squareos, Batch Baking Company is now open on 12th Ave.

Business partners and co-bakers Scot Partlow and Jared Watson called Batch a “dessert focused, small batch” bakery paying “special attention to cookies” with “a bit of a nostalgic bent to it” when CHS talked to them about the new project last fall. Continue reading

Central District’s Grocery Outlet isn’t going anywhere (In fact, it’s getting a facelift)


The impending arrival of PCC Community Markets in the Central District probably won’t do much to change business at the neighborhood’s popular low cost, overstock, and closeout-filled Grocery Outlet.

But the 1962-era supermarket building at MLK and Union it calls home was due for some exterior work and a new sign or two.

“It’s a little bit of a facelift,” owner Steve Mullen tells CHS.

Mullen says the recent $400,000+ overhaul of the store’s freezer and refrigeration system was probably a bigger deal.

The upgrades, facelift, and changes to the MLK Way facing entrance to the market are part of continued commitment to the store. It’s good news for fans after the SoDo location’s closure was held up by some as another sign “Seattle is Dying.”

The SoDo store had a different local owner, Mullen said. But Mullen says he understand about deciding to close a grocery store due to crime and disorder. The problem isn’t new — he shut down his Rainier Valley store years ago due to theft. “A lot of it is driven by drug problems,” Mullen said.

The MLK store also has its issues with theft, Mullen said, but he plans to stay invested in the community for the long haul. His current lease on the 17,000-square-foot grocery runs through 2032. Continue reading

Seattle Council to vote on Sawant resolutions opposing war with Iran, India’s new citizenship law

With the crisis that sparked the outcry already chewed up and spit out of the nation’s news cycle, the Seattle City Council Tuesday will consider a resolution stating the city’s opposition to war with Iran and the Trump administration’s treatment of “people with Iranian heritage.”

Another resolution on what is otherwise a light docket for the recently seated new council would show Seattle’s opposition to India’s new citizenship law.

Both of the globally focused resolutions sprouted from District 3 representative Kshama Sawant’s office. Continue reading

CHS Pics | 2020 Seattle MLK Day march makes ‘No New Youth Jail’ stop

The first of this weekend’s planned marches was rescheduled after a bout of freezing weather. There was no stopping Monday’s Seattle MLK Day march.

Hundreds of students and supporters stepped off from in front of Garfield High School only a little behind schedule Monday afternoon for the annual march to City Hall in honor of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. in Seattle. “20/20 Vision reflects the clarity of Dr. King’s dream and the power YOU have in 2020 to reclaim & re-envision it,” the Seattle MLK Jr. Organizing Coalition wrote about this year’s march and day of reflection and workshops at the Central District high school. Continue reading

E Madison Crush house comes back to life with pop-up shaped Surrell

(Image: Surrell)

Aaron Tekulve (Image: Surrell)

The last food and drink startup to launch here has achieved great heights. A new project hopes to put the old Crush house just below the intersection of 23rd and Madison back into motion with a recipe of parties and events, private dining, pop-ups, and a limited schedule of restaurant service emphasizing Pacific Northwest wines and pairings.

It’s a schedule chef and owner Aaron Tekulve hopes allows Surrell to rise above the crush of the exhausting pace of maintaining daily restaurant service as we’ve known it.

“It’s really simple,” Tekulve said. “It’s the economics. It’s also burnout.”

The 117-year-old house once belonged to James A. Roston, an African-American labor negotiator. The Ship Scaler’s Local 541 building once stood to its west. Today, that property has become this four-story apartment building.

Continue reading

With E Madison construction still set to begin later this year, RapidRide G planned start pushed back to 2023

Seattle transportation officials told CHS last week a federal inquiry won’t delay Bus Rapid Transit on E Madison. But a federal consultant’s recommendations will.

Friday, it was announced that the RapidRide G’s planned start is now being pushed back to 2023:

We made significant advances in 2019 in the process to secure a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Small Starts grant. As a regular part of the Small Starts grant process, FTA hired an independent consultant to review project scope, schedule, and risk. The consultant recommended an additional $6.2 million in funds to cover unexpected events or circumstances that could arise during construction. They also recommended including additional time in the construction schedule as a buffer for unexpected events.

With city and county officials now planning for the extra cash and added year for the project, the $120 million, 2.3 mile, 10-station route is now a $127.5 million, 2.3 mile, 10-station route. Continue reading

A return to Capitol Hill, November 1851

You can learn more about Dr. Boraas’s life and work at

This weekend, we are marking the passage of a member of the CHS family. Dr. Alan Boraas died in November at the age of 72. It is not often we feature a member of the family on our pages and, to be honest, this particular example from a post we first ran in 2013 was far beneath his life’s work of preserving and promoting the native languages and cultural traditions of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. But Dr. Boraas was a good sport and answered when we came calling to ask what he knew about a place like the land where Capitol Hill, Seattle stands today — way back in 1851 when the Denny Party arrived on Alki. Thanks for taking our call, Dr. Boraas.

Seattle Lith

A wooded Capitol Hill (center hill) as envisioned from above by a lithograph artist in 1878 (Image: Library of Congress)

On November 13, 1851 the Denny Party landed on Alki Point in West Seattle. They obviously weren’t the first people to arrive at the bay at the mouth of what would be called the Duwamish River, nor were they even the first Europeans but they stuck it out and are generally credited for founding modern day Seattle.

The primary concern of Seattle’s early pioneers was establishing a thriving port in Elliott Bay. Seattle’s “Seven Hills” were nice to look at, but not the focus of development until a few decades later. What was on top of Capitol Hill in 1851?

The still-wooded area around Capitol Hill's present-day northeast might be the closest glimpse into the hill's past: Interlaken Park, originally uploaded by e_grosh

The still-wooded area around Capitol Hill’s present-day northeast
might be the closest glimpse into the hill’s past:
Interlaken Park, originally uploaded by e_grosh

Continue reading