Many of the best stories in Seattle food and drink are taking place in the Central District where some of the earliest strong “reopening” energy after months of pandemic restrictions appears to be surfacing with plans for a new cafe — and a new lease for a neighborhood nightlife favorite.
First, an area old timer has solidified its plans for a move across the street to be part of the new, under construction Midtown Square development. The Neighbor Lady has secured a new home and a new lease (PDF):
We’re also happy to announce that we have a signed lease with Neighbor Lady, who left their old location in 2020. They will be operating a bar/restaurant with a significant outdoor seating in the square. Neighbor Lady has operated across the street on Union Street since 2012. The new Neighbor Lady will still include a vegetarian friendly menu and very similar offerings to their previous location.
CHS reported here in October on the lawsuit brought against the popular bar by former landlord Ian Eisenberg in a legal tussle over urinal cakes and $200,000 in bar furnishings. That lawsuit is ongoing with the latest filings alleging Eisenberg had attempted to meddle with the Neighbor Lady’s efforts to secure a new lease in the Midtown development. Meanwhile, the city last week approved construction permit’s for Eisenberg’s project to replace the Neighbor Lady — a project called “S Bar” that would involve an overhaul of the space’s interior. It’s not clear exactly what the pot entrepreneur behind Uncle Ike’s is up to. He hasn’t responded to CHS’s inquiries about a possible Ike’s Bottle Shop after he filed an application with the state liquor board for a permit to operate a “beer/wine specialty shop” retail business at the location.
23rd and Union is also adding new Black ownership and a new coffee shop in the nearby Liberty Building.
The affordable housing development at 24th and Union opened in 2019 as a model for equitable development in the Central District. Veteran Seattle chef Kristi Brown and son Damon Bomar opened “Seattle soul” restaurant Communion in the building late last year. Later this year, Cafe Avole will move in next to Communion and Earl’s Cuts, bringing Ethiopian coffee culture to the corner. We’ll have more on the new cafe soon.
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