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Justin is publisher of CHS. You can reach him at chs@capitolhillseattle.com or call/txt (206) 399-5959. Follow @jseattle on Twitter or be best pals on Facebook.

Founded on the belief that every day on Broadway can be brunch, Americana becomes a Capitol Hill COVID-19 closure

(Image: Americana)

The chef who came out of the kitchen to take over and grow a Capitol Hill weekend brunch favorite into a Capitol Hill every day of the week brunch favorite says he plans to stay far away from the restaurant business.

Chef Jeffrey Wilson — a man who loves cooking so much he signs his email Cheffrey — has announced that Broadway’s Americana has permanently closed.

“The seating capacity was not our limitation,” Wilson said.

The restaurant capacity restrictions part of attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19 didn’t matter in the end for Americana, Wilson said. After taking on Ads Paycheck Protection Program loans to pay his workers as he kept the restaurant closed for weeks, Wilson reopened Americana as restrictions were lifted only to find that much of his dining business had disappeared.

His decision to close was made all the more obvious as he watched the numbers at the Broadway Alley restaurant. “The month leading up to it was a drastic decline in sales,” Wilson said. Continue reading

More protest on Capitol Hill following Saturday ‘riot’ — UPDATE

UPDATE 8:51 PM: After hours of back and forth around the East Precinct on the night of the hottest day so far this year in Seattle, demonstrators rallied at Broadway and Pine with dozens of protesters and makeshift plywood shields when organizers began urging the crowds to head home. Not all left the area but the crowd thinned considerably as large groups of police and bike officers waited nearby.

ORIGINAL REPORT: A day after a massive protest march turned riot on Capitol Hill in which 47 people were arrested and the Seattle Police Department says 59 of its officers were hurt with injuries including “abrasions and bruising to burns and a torn meniscus,” a smaller crowd of demonstrators again formed Sunday evening on the Seattle Central lawn to make plans for another night of calls for Black Lives Matter causes including cutting the city’s police budget in half. There is, of course, no official count of how many protesters were injured Saturday.

Earlier Sunday, SPD moved early on protest organizers who had planned a rally and march against the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement wing of the Department of Homeland Security by making arrests and removing several support vehicles from downtown’s Westlake plaza. Meanwhile, signs went up at Capitol Hill’s Cal Anderson announcing the park’s closure. City parks department officials have not returned our calls for explanation of the closure. That didn’t stop another crowd of protesters from gathering there Sunday night.

Early reports had the crowds leaving their gathering places and hitting the streets around 6:45 PM. Continue reading

Police: Child dies after thrown from parked van in Madison Valley collision

Police believe a young child was playing inside a family van parked in front of a Madison Valley home when the three-year-old was thrown from the vehicle and killed Sunday afternoon after its was struck by a driver in a FedEx delivery truck.

Police say they and Seattle Fire were called to the scene just off MLK just before 4:45 PM and found a young child believed to be around 3 years old who had suffered a major head injury in the crash. The responders attempted CPR but the child died at the scene, SPD says.

SPD detectives believe the driver of the FedEx truck struck the parked van the child had been playing in.

“When the collision occurred the child was thrown from the vehicle,” the SPD brief on the terrible incident reads.

A neighbor said the large delivery-style van was regularly parked in front of the house. It could be seen pushed partially into a driveway Sunday following the crash, its sliding door still open as Seattle Police and Seattle Fire waited at the scene.

Police say a drug recognition expert tested the FedEx driver but did not find signs of impairment.

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‘Tough days ahead’ — Seattle braces for ‘solidarity w/ PDX’ clashes — UPDATE: Saturday big march and fire at the youth jail leads to riot on Capitol Hill

Saturday’s protest carried into the night. More updates below.

UPDATE 7/25/2020 4:15 PM: A massive march from Broadway and Pine circled the East Precinct and rallied as more protesters joined Saturday in a solidary action with Portland that included more targeted property damage including large fires set to the ongoing construction site at the 12th Ave youth jail and broken windows and smoke inside a Starbucks on 12th Ave. Broken windows were also reported at other nearby businesses.

The large crowd numbering in the thousands began its march around 2 PM and rallied with groups including .Wall of Moms rallying support for protesters in Portland and calling for a list of Black Lives Matter demands in Seattle including defunding the Seattle Police Department. Continue reading

Even in challenging times for Capitol Hill restaurants, no time like the present for new Mai’s Kitchen to finally open

Thanks to CHS reader Scot for the picture

For first-time restaurant owner Trang Nguyen, it wasn’t supposed to take more than a year after buying her new space on Capitol Hill to open Mai’s Kitchen.

But the COVID-19 crisis did its best to sabotage the new project after she and co-owner Doanh Dang bought the Semillon French bakery at 11th and Union last summer.

Finally this weekend, Mai’s is ready for business with plans for a soft opening Friday before the new restaurateurs dig in for a new life behind the counter in a neighborhood they hope to grow from.

“On Capitol Hill, everyone is young and open to new ideas,” Nguyen said. “We have the freedom to express ourselves.” Continue reading

Inslee not rolling Washington back but adding restrictions to restaurants and bars to slow COVID-19 spread — Plus, eviction moratorium extended

Faced with a steadily rising number of new COVID-19 cases, Gov. Jay Inslee has opted for a limited roll-back of the state’s reopening, announcing Thursday he will place restrictions on restaurants and bars in an effort to slow the outbreak.

The new restrictions set to be in effect starting in two weeks will close any indoor service at bars and limit indoor dining to groups including only members of the same household as well as require alcohol sales to end by 10 PM.

For areas beyond King County under Phase 3 restrictions, table size will also be reduced to a five-person maximum and overall capacity will be capped at 50%. Any game areas like pool tables or arcade games must also be closed down.

In addition to adding further challenges to Capitol Hill restaurants, the changes could be a blow to the few bars that have braved attempts at reopening with Phase 2 limitations. In early May, Washington’s liquor and cannabis board temporarily legalized takeout cocktails when purchased with food providing one potential revenue stream. Others like Canon have also begun experimenting with retail.

Meanwhile, Inslee also announced Thursday that the state’s moratorium on commercial and residential evictions will be extended into October. CHS reported last week on record unemployment including one in five people on Capitol Hill and one in four in the Central District filing for benefits so far during the pandemic. Continue reading

Groups smash glass, set fires across Capitol Hill in burst of protest mayhem — UPDATE

The fire outside Rove (Image: Matt Mitgang)

Protesters smashed glass and set fires across Capitol Hill Wednesday night in a bout of mayhem organizers said was a “call for direct action” against Seattle Police and federal agents.

The night’s early targets included the E Olive Way Starbucks and the soon to open new Uncle Ike’s nearby where fireworks were reportedly used to start a small fire on the outside of the building that was quickly extinguished by Seattle Fire as the protesters marched on. The Uncle Ike’s at 23rd and Union was also damaged by a suspected arson fire involving fireworks in early July.

Starbucks continues to be a target in Seattle protests over its support of the Seattle Police Foundation.

The Blu Dot showroom and the Neko cat cafe also suffered damage during the riot involving around 100 people who marched from Cal Anderson starting around 10 PM. UPDATE: Sounds like the report of damage to Neko wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Ownership reports the building was hit with graffiti. Thanks for checking on the kitties. E Pine’s Plant Shop also suffered a broken window.

Seattle Police were present in large numbers following the crowd and collecting evidence at crime and fire scenes.

As the demonstrators marched near the East Precinct later in the night, protesters ripped down plywood and busted into the Rove vintage store and were reported gathering clothing and items from inside and setting the goods on fire. Continue reading

Monday night 23rd and Cherry shooting victim identified as former Garfield student

Friends and loved ones say the teen shot and killed in a bout of gun violence Monday night at 23rd and Cherry was a recent high school graduate set to begin studying at Highline College.

The Mentoring Urban Students and Teens group identified the victim as Adriel Webb, a former Garfield High student who had recently graduated from the Seattle Urban Academy.

“Adriel was one of our seniors that just graduated high school,” a post about Webb’s death reads. “His freshman year he left Garfield High School because of poor academics and attendance,” the MUST post reads, before he turned things around and worked to graduate this year. “Adriel was as cool and smooth as they come,” the group said:

“What’s up, Adriel?” “Just chillin’.” was his reply 9 times out of 10. He was always very relaxed, fun and was friendly with everyone he met. Our hearts are heavy with this loss.

Two other people were reported shot and injured in Monday night’s incident. SPD has asked for help in identifying a suspect and has announced no arrests.

CHS has not been able to confirm Webb’s age as the investigation into his death by the King County Medical Examiner is not yet complete.

The student group and loved ones held a vigil for Webb Tuesday night at the location of the deadly shooting in the ARCO/AMPM parking lot. Continue reading

Driver pleads not guilty in deadly I-5 protest crash as lawyers deny Kelete ‘motivated by anti-Black Lives Matter mentality’

The driver charged with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, and reckless driving after he crashed into a Black Lives Matter protest on I-5 on July 4th, killing one demonstrator, and badly injuring another pleaded not guilty to the crimes Wednesday morning as his legal defense said the 27-year-old has been unfairly portrayed in the media and that the crash was a terrible accident.

“The media and others have portrayed this incident as an intentional act that was motivated by anti-Black Lives Matter mentality,” lawyers from the Fury Duarte firm wrote in their unsuccessful bid to limit video and images of Wednesday’s hearing. “That’s incorrect.”

Dawit Kelete tested sober after he crashed into and killed 24-year-old Capitol Hill resident Summer Taylor and sent 32-year-old Diaz Love to the hospital with serious injuries after he sped onto a closed I-5 during a Seattle Black Lives Matter protest. Though he passed a sobriety and breathalyzer test, prosecutors say Kelete said would be suffering withdrawal to a painkiller and suffers from addiction when he was being admitted to the King County Jail. Continue reading

Another night of gunfire at 23rd and Cherry sends at least two to hospital — UPDATE

Reports of at least two people taken to nearby hospitals with gunshot wounds followed reports of a massive bout of gunfire in the Central District Tuesday night.

The shooting scene appeared to be spread out around the gas station at 23rd and Cherry where a shooting happened Monday night that sent multiple people to the hospital and left one dead.

UPDATE 7/23/20 2:20 PM: SPD announced Thursday that a 18-year-old hit in Tuesday’s shooting has now died. The victim has not yet been publicly identified.

Witnesses reported hearing dozens of shots just before 10:45 PM involving multiple weapons. Seattle Police reported the shooting took place in the 2200 block of E Cherry and left at least one injured. Continue reading