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E Pike ch-ch-changes: Super Genius move, Boom goes Blue C, Comet overhaul, 12th/Pike demo

Conklin in 2010 (Image: CHS)

Conklin in 2010 (Image: CHS)

The central core of Pike/Pine is undergoing some changes big and small as the holidays roll onto Capitol Hill. Here is a rundown of the moves, overhauls, developments and demolitions underway on a two-block stretch of E Pike. We’ll let you decide if each is yet another harbinger of “the death of Capitol Hill” or merely part of the ebb and flow of a neighborhood.

  • Super Genius Tattoo: A key component of the E Pike scene since 2003, Seattle tattoo super daddy Damon Conklin is moving his shop around the corner onto 10th Ave into the former Atlas Clothing space. The word was on the street in recent weeks — the signs announcing the move (“next to Moe Bar“) are now up. We’re checking in with Conklin to learn more about his decision to move the tattoo parlor. In 2010, CHS talked with him about his work and his planned overhaul of the E Pike shop.IMG_9410We’re also checking in with Conklin’s (soon to be former) landlords. A local real estate investment company bought the Winston Apartments building home to Super Genius, several residents, the Hot House and the Wildrose in early 2012 for $4.6 million. The new owners said at the time their intention was to continue to manage the building as its previous, longtime owner had while making some cosmetic and infrastructure improvements to the 1905-era structure.
  • (Image: Blue C)

    (Image: Blue C)

    Boom Noodle turning Blue C Pike: In February, CHS reported on the corporation behind the Boom Noodle and Blue C restaurant chains putting its energy behind the sushi and not the noodle end of their equation. At the time, the plan was for 12th/Pike’s Boom to carry on while the company set out to make Blue C the next big thing. But a big construction project permitted for the 12/Pike restaurant had us speculating that the company may have pulled the plug on the Boom idea altogether in favor of its newfangled Kaisho izakaya concept.
    Instead, CHS has learned that the planned $200,000+ overhaul planned for the space will transform the restaurant into Blue C Pike, another outlet for the company’s successful conveyor belt sushi chain. There are also Blue C belts running downtown and in U Village. Meanwhile, the family friendly Blue C will join Broadway’s Genki in offering keitan-style sushi to Capitol Hill diners. No word from Madison Holdings on when the 12th and Pike restaurant will re-open.

  • IMG_8568Comet overhaul: The missing dollar bills have yet to be recovered but work continues to clean up years of what the Comet’s new owners say has been serious neglect of the old tavern.

    We are in the process of gutting [a lot] of the moisture damage in the space. a very large majority of the space as you can see in the pictures below has much needed repair work. All the bones are in tact, and nothing structural in changing. Just pulling up rotted materials, cleaning, rebuilding the built in back bar, coolers etc. IMG_8553

    The bar is planned to be re-opened in “early 2014.”

  • Screen-Shot-2013-08-13-at-2.36.30-PM-600x31112th/Pike teardown: Demolition appears to still be weeks away but the wood panels went up Monday around the emptied street-level shops in the turn-of-the-20th Century building on the northeast corner of 12th and Pike. A six-story project with 88 apartments, 3,000 square feet of retail and underground parking for 38 vehicles is slated to replace it all over the next two years.
  • Dunn project underway: With The Chophouse moved on, a mix of careful demolition, preservation and construction is underway on 11th Ave as Liz Dunn’s planned office+mews development project digs in.
  • Construction challenges: All of this preparation for the future can mean a rough go for the present. Here is a video sent to us by the folks at Moe Bar showing some of the challenges for pedestrians and everybody else in the area thanks to some underground infrastructure work related to the two new apartment projects under construction along Union — this nearly-completed building from Seawest and this just-started project from Alliance. On the one hand, disruptive for residents and businesses. On the other, here comes a new wave of neighbors and, yes, paying customers.
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17 thoughts on “E Pike ch-ch-changes: Super Genius move, Boom goes Blue C, Comet overhaul, 12th/Pike demo

  1. The conveyor belt sushi place at Broadway/Pine is Genki, not Genkai.

    Welcome Blue C to the neighborhood. When I lived closer to it, I went to Blue C downtown on Thursdays for all night happy hour. Good food, better vibe.

    • Not sure how long ago you last went to Blue C, but I went to the U-Village one last week and it’s really going downhill. Not that it was the best sushi to begin with, but they’ve basically cheapened a lot of the ingredients, reduced portions, and jacked the prices. I won’t be going back.

      • Thanks, Ian. It’s great to know that it’s not just the feeling of a couple of friends and myself. We noticed the same thing and won’t be going back to Blue C either. It’s sad because we really enjoyed it at U Village. The same can be said for Boom: we were regulars when it opened but then it changed and went downhill as well.

      • Boom Noodle used to be a nice place, with interesting dishes and reasonable prices, until about one year ago when they discontinued some of the best menu items and also jacked up prices. I had been a regular customer, but didn’t return after this happened. It’s too bad….the owners shot themselves in the foot.

      • Boom WAS amazing when it opened, than it jumped the shark tank, I think about 2 years ago. They did change and cheapen ingredients. I used to crave the chicken salad there, than one day came in and they used CANNED CHUNG KING NOODLES on it! WTF??? Too bad we are getting something just as mediocre.

  2. “We’re proud to own the Comet, and plan to continue its legacy as one of Seattle’s great dive bars!”

    …2 weeks later…

    “OMG, this place is such a dive! Good thing I have a platinum card at Restoration Hardware!”

    …3 months later…

    “Welcome to Le Comet, Capitol Hill’s premiere dive/speakeasy themed artisinal cocktaillery! Check out our charming authentic billiard table, just like we’ve heard the poors like!”

  3. Hopefully the Pike Blue C will be as good as the downtown one; the Fremont one has gotten pretty horrible lately.

    But even then, Fremont’s Blue C is still way better than Genki.

  4. Wow, the Super Genius guy sounds like a real charmer: “I have grown from a person who viewed women as sex objects to a person who loves the womanly, girly things about women,” he says. Baaarffff.

    The Mars Hill idiocy is strong in this one.

  5. Super Genius is moving because of an unreasonable high raise in the rent over the next 5 years. It is a common problem in the neighborhood. The more trendy the area becomes, the more expensive it has become.

    And as a valued friend of mine & as a female, the owner is a wonderful man. All artists have been criticized over time for the content of their work and later it is praised so the above comments are ridiculous. He started the expo and is known for his involvement in the expos and tattoo events around the nation. He is an originator and it makes me sick that people use their religious or personal belief systems to degrade and belittle a great businessman and artist doing his best to not impact anyone that doesn’t want to be involved.

    The new location is a beautiful space and with a few walls and customizations will be a great improvement from the segregated layout of the old spot.

    I will continue to get my work done here as well as hold this place as a key staple of my neighborhood and community.

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