Capitol Hill’s Hello Robin baking plans for U Village expansion

Martin (Image: Hello Robin)

The next time you stop by Capitol Hill cookie shop Hello Robin, congratulate the bakers. They have something special in the oven for 2020.

Hello Robin will be expanding beyond its 19th Ave E original home a year from now next spring. The cookie bakery, distinguished by its blue sign and line outside its door, will open a storefront in University Village after operating solely on Capitol Hill since 2013.

“I think we’re ready for the next chapter. It’s been a fun five and a half years. We have a really great staff and growing the business will provide more opportunities for them,” said Robin Martin, the bakery’s namesake. Martin co-owns and co-founded the bakery with her husband, Clay Martin. Continue reading

As it powers Trans Pride Seattle, Gender Justice League grows its mission

A scene from Trans Pride Seattle 2018

The Gender Justice League, a Capitol Hill based nonprofit providing support and advocacy for transgender and gender queer individuals will be putting on this month’s Trans Pride Seattle with a different perspective. Earlier this year, Danni Askini, the organization’s executive director and co-founder, stepped down.

“I think every nonprofit faces different tiers, milestones, and levels in their organization’s growth. You can plateau and create a system sustaining that plateau, or you can look to expand how you engage with and what you offer the community,” said Elayne Wylie, now the organization’s co-executive director with Tobi Hill-Meyer.

2019’s Trans Pride Seattle is slated once again to begin at Capitol HIll’s Cal Anderson Park.

Trans Pride Seattle 2019

As the nonprofit is working to put together its first Trans Pride without Askini, Wylie said the organization is striving to continue to advocate for transgender and gender diverse individuals — a mission that has grown in its new world without its longtime leader. Continue reading

Ginsberg poetry festival and art installation to join Volunteer Park’s Pride 2019 festivities

If You Want To See Something Look At Something Else by Geoffrey Farmer

With Saturday’s Volunteer Park Pride Festival again bringing the celebration of queer love and civil rights to the northern Capitol Hill green space, two Seattle arts groups are planning a new Pride event for the historic Capitol Hill park.

Hugo House and Western Bridge announced this week they will host a poetry festival celebrating Beat poet and LGBTQ icon Allen Ginsberg  later this month in Volunteer Park. The festival will include local and visiting poets, writers, and artists, and a photographic installation by Canadian artist Geoffrey Farmer titled If You Want To See Something Look at Something Else, displaying images of Ginsberg.

Tree Swenson, executive director of Hugo House, believes the festival captures how Ginsberg’s advocacy for the LGBTQ community remains prevalent in 2019 through exhibitions of art, photography, spoken word.

“Ginsberg’s politics along with his loving kindness allowed him to advocate for acceptance in many different ways. He led the way to showing how make acceptance a reality, which is still important in 2019, given the threats we’re facing echo some of the threats his book Howl faced in the late 1950s.” Swenson said.

Ginsberg poetry festival and art installation: If You Want To See Something Look At Something Else

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Montlake prepares for years of new 520 construction, life without market

WSDOT’s “artistic rendering of the transit hub on a planned SR 520 highway lid in Montlake.”

The Montlake Market won’t stand in the way of progress to complete the replacement of SR 520. The state has agreed to acquire the property for $16 million as it prepares for the start of construction on the “Montlake Project” to create an improved Montlake Boulevard interchange, a landscaped lid over SR 520, a bicycle and pedestrian “land bridge” east of the lid, and a three-lane West Approach Bridge South over Union Bay for eastbound traffic.

Thursday night, WSDOT will hold a pre-construction open house hosted by the SR 520 project’s contractor from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church. The meeting will cover the latest project designs, construction schedule, and management plan for limiting construction effects in Montlake.

But the fate of the market destined to make way for the project became much more clear with the $16 million deal. Continue reading

Project to replace Volunteer Park amphitheater in 2020 get funding boost from state

The Washington state legislature approved dedicating $500,000 of the state’s budget to funding a new amphitheater in Volunteer Park, allowing the space to continually fulfill its role as a community gathering place on Capitol Hill, the Volunteer Park Trust community group announced.

“With the generous backing of our community, The Amphitheater Project will replace the current concrete and brick structure with a modern facility that will have a roof, storage and green room space, all-gender bathrooms, upgraded electrical access, and a resilient floor that will even accommodate dance performances,” the Trust announcement reads. Continue reading

With its new Cardinal Union ‘vertically-oriented middle school’ nearly complete, Capitol Hill’s Seattle Academy also eyes 12th Ave expansion

Tuesday night, seniors at Capitol Hill’s Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences celebrated their commencement ceremony as the school year comes to a close. Next fall, the private secondary education institution’s middle schoolers will be the first to attend class in the brand new $48 million Cardinal Union building that now rises with its mix of grey- and cream-colored bricks at the school’s 13th Ave corner.

“One of the things we really wanted to focus on was what makes for a great middle school building, and that’s integration and connection between separate spaces,” Rob Phillips, Seattle Academy’s head of school said about the new building. “We talked a lot about how middle school is like the estuary of a river, meaning the building would have features of an estuary so middle school kids could get in the main current that moves them towards high school, and sometimes they could eddy out and have a physical space they can go to get out of the fray of middle school.” Continue reading

School officials want more review after Seattle U student newspaper drag controversy

After copies of student-run newspaper The Spectator disappeared from the south of Capitol Hill campus in April due to a controversial cover photo from a Seattle University drag event, officials say they are focusing inward on how the school can support LGBTQ students and making sure every member of the communities on campus feels a strong sense of belonging.

A school spokesperson tells CHS the Jesuit university is concerned about the media side of the equation. The spokesperson said the newspaper plans to address the needs of faculty and students with extra review and discussion of Spectator copies and that a task force was being created “to consider how we move forward on specific ideas and recommendations that have come forward.” Continue reading

Union cocktail lounge will bring together Capitol Hill gay bar legends

The Zoe events space will soon go back into motion as gay-friendly lounge Union (Image: King County)

Capitol Hill’s gayborhood will grow back onto a new block as Union, a cocktail lounge serving the gay community, will open in the old Zoe restaurant space at Union and 14th.

The new Union will represent a great coming together of rival legends of the gay bar scene.

Union is backed by gay nightlife veterans Steve Nyman, Nathan Benedict, and Mark Engelmann. According to Nyman, “Union will include elements from the previous bars we have owned and other bars we have all worked. That’s one of the reasons we settled on Union as the name; it’s a union of our ideas and experiences, and we hope it’s also a union of community, bringing people together.” Continue reading

Here is how Lambert House bought its Capitol Hill house — and the surprising company helping to pay for it

Faced with a buy or move $2 million question on its 15th Ave home, Lambert House has found a surprising supporter to help its mission to support queer youth on Capitol Hill.

In 1993, Lambert house began operating on Capitol Hill, and since then has become the Northwest’s leading organization in aiding queer youth. In 2016, Lambert House was given two months notice to vacate their location as the house’s third generation of family owners wanted to sell the property. Saved by an angel investor with a $2 million, zero percent interest loan, the organization was able to buy the house, and is now fundraising to pay back the loan within five years.

Tito’s Vodka approached Lambert House in March offering Lambert House a partnership with their Love, Tito’s campaign — at various local restaurants, for every drink purchased with Tito’s, Tito’s will donate $1 to Lambert House. Some participating restaurants are matching Tito’s effort, also donating $1 per drink.

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Earl’s Cuts — and, maybe, some legendary eats — set for new home in Liberty Bank Building

(Image: Earl’s Cuts and Styles)

At its annual fundraiser last week, Capitol Hill Housing announced some news about its Liberty Bank Building project at 24th and Union that hits right at the heart of the “inclusive” development.

Ready to be displaced by redevelopment of its longtime Midtown Center home, Earl’s Cuts and Styles will be moving into the Liberty Bank development, leaving its former home of 26 years on the corner of 23rd and Union.

Earl Lancaster, the Earl in Earl’s Cuts and Styles, is ultimately optimistic about the move. “I never thought I would have to move, but change is good,” he said. “The neighborhood is changing quicker than we would know, but I’m happy to be a part of it and continue to have a footprint in the central district, which is where I grew up at.” Continue reading