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Bad news for Broadway News: Paper and magazine shop closing at end of month

As much as the national — and the local — media landscape has changed in the past eight years, it was a wonder that it lasted this long. Add changes to the economy and the people living in the area and you’re left with another business that could no longer make ends meet on north Broadway. Owner John Hamel tells CHS that he’s closing Broadway News at the end of the month.

“There just isn’t enough business, not enough foot traffic on north Broadway, to support this business to make it work,” Hamel said.



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Originally uploaded by brianholsclaw

Hamel tells CHS that Broadway News will continue its online business component http://www.mymagstore.com/ but not on Capitol Hill. Hamel said he will renting space in the U District and working out of Bulldog News. Hamel and his wife Sally’s online business supplies copies of magazines to people they might not be able to find in their hometown or helps acquire multiple copies if there’s an edition that features somebody’s business or home or favorite actress, for example.

Hamel said he’s not planning a party to shut the store down. “I guess I’m not the partying sort,” Hamel said. “It’s a sad day for everybody. It’s a sad day for employees.” The good news is not all of Broadway News’ employees will lose their jobs as the online component continues. But Hamel said some of his employees will be without jobs come July 31.

The replacement of a generation of independent businesses on Broadway continues. This past fall, Bailey Coy Books announced it would be going out of business. That space remains empty. Others include Harem and the recent abrupt closure of Bliss Soaps. Meanwhile, the longtime north Broadway tenant Seattle Museum of the Mysteries was forced to pull up stakes and move its act to E Union to make room for the expansion of Metrix: Create Space. Across the street, crews are working to overhaul the old Jade Pagoda building into a new retail and restaurant space. Bank of America will soon move in for a temporary stay on north Broadway as the 230 Broadway project is completed. Nearby, Poppy seems to be thriving as a pioneer of the “new” north Broadway and Roy Street Coffee has defied SBUX naysayers to become a busy hangout.

Hamel said he has owned Broadway News for eight years and that it had been in business for about 16 years before that. Its not the only newsstand Hamel has had to shut down. He closed his Fremont location way back in 2002. Broadway News has spent about three years at its current location at 605 Broadway E Before that, it was located on Broadway near John. Soon, its only address will be a URL.

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Angelina
Angelina
10 years ago

I thought I saw Harem’s sign in that random storefront just east of the King of the Hill Mart.

Also, it’s Metrix, not Matrix :)

Eric
Eric
10 years ago

I always liked shopping at this store.

Laurie
Laurie
10 years ago

I’m sorry to hear that Broadway News is closing. It’s always been a great place to browse, but I didn’t buy enough.

This would have been a good post to mention a new business at the north end of Broadway: the beautiful Ada’s Technical Books. If you mourned the loss of Bailey-Coy, get in to Ada’s and buy something. (If you don’t want a technical book–though I bet you do–they have beautiful cards, plus coffee and sodas.)

jseattle
jseattle
10 years ago

Good point. I should have included the activity in the Loveless Building and Joe Bar continuing to hold down the fort.

jseattle
jseattle
10 years ago

Keanu! Fixed.

tco
tco
10 years ago

Man, it’s becoming a ghost town on the north end. Not to mention that everything on the way-far north end is closing too (TidBits, Roanoke Pub, the Asian restaurant). I wonder what’s next……

tco
tco
10 years ago

At what point can we stop claiming that Broadway is a vibrant shopping area? It’s stunning how many vacancies there are now. I can count about 15 of them off the top of my head

Dan Maher
Dan Maher
10 years ago

I lived on Capitol Hill from 2000 to 2009, almost a decade. It really used to be a vibrant neighborhood, but it now resembles the U District in the late 1990s-not necessarily dangerous, but definitely depressing.

Seattle’s answer to ALL neighborhood issues is to construct more lame mixed use condo buildings that all look the same. I really miss the old Taco Bell, Bartell Drugs,and the Broadway Market Cinemas. I really like the people that work at the QFC that replaced the vendors carts at the Broadway Market ( they are probably the last example of a real neighborhood feel), but I also think that Broadway’s decline started with QFC taking over nearly the entire property. Here’s a thought-after Fred Meyer moved out, there is no place to buy electronics on Broadway. What kind of neighborhood has no place to buy a printer, or replacement cartridges, or a telephone?

Broadway News is such as staple of the Capitol Hill landscape (although I preferred its former location near East John), I cannot believe it will soon be gone. What is next-Dick’s Drive-in?

blanche at the dubois
blanche at the dubois
10 years ago

along with some of the few interesting buildings left on Broadway – to keep the web of past present and future.

weekilter
weekilter
10 years ago

Broadway landlords brought it upon themselves with high non sustainable rental rates. I’ve been going up to Broadway for 16 years and the only things that are still there from my early years is the shoe repair guys in Broadway Market. Everything else has turned over multiple times.

ChrisJ
ChrisJ
10 years ago

Broadway News gave the Hill a welcome touch of big-city cosmopolitan character. I’ll greatly miss having a nearby place to pick up the Sunday NY Times.

maus
maus
10 years ago

It’s not really the local sellers’ fault that the quality on dead-tree publishing is going down rapidly.

songstorm
songstorm
10 years ago

Yes they did. As I understand it, they couldn’t afford the rent and needed to move into a cheaper space.

mattw
mattw
10 years ago

Fred Meyer and QFC are both owned by Kroger. The downstairs of QFC has telephones. There are printer cartridges in the office supply section. You can’t buy a printer there, but the ones they had when Fred Meyer was there were overpriced and last year’s models anyway. If you really want an old printer, take a walk down any street on the hill, you’ll see at least one in a planter strip.

CHTim
CHTim
10 years ago

I visit Broadway News almost every other Saturday and buy a couple magazines. My dogs love it because they get treats there. I loved the place because I tried to support independent business on Cap Hill. You will be missed!