About Lena Friedman -- CHS Intern

Lena Friedman was born and raised in Capitol Hill and studies psychology at Whitman College. She covers news for Whitman’s student paper, The Wire, during the school year and enjoys singing a cappella, running a food instagram @sweetnseattle and reading memoirs during her free time. Find her on Twitter @LenaSFriedman or email her at friedmls@whitman.edu.

Coming to 15th Ave E: Kobuta and Ookami Katsu and Sake House

Design renderings for the new restaurant (Image: Kobuta & Ookami Katsu and Sake House)

(Image: Kobuta and Ookami Katsu and Sake House)

A slice of Japan — in the form of traditional Japanese katsu — is on its way to Capitol Hill.

Kobuta and Ookami Katsu and Sake House is set to open this February in new construction on 15th Ave E and will feature chicken katsu, tonkatsu, cheese katsu, curry katsu and rice burger katsu along with premium sake and other liquors.

“Katsu is [a] very common meal in Japan,” owner Sue Phuksopha said. “We would love to create our place to be a casual street dining style and casual hang out spot with Japanese vibes like those restaurants in the small alley in Japan.”

Phuksopha, who has over 20 years of experience working in the food industry and owns Thai 65 Cafe in Redmond, will run the business alongside fellow food industry vet Don Tandavanitj and his family. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Food is Love hoping for support to continue meal delivery program beyond 2020

(Image: Food is Love)

Food is Love. It’s the name of a meal delivery project that started when pandemic restrictions set-in but not a new concept for Linda Di Lello Morton and chef Tamara Murphy, co-owners of “Earth to Plate” restaurant Terra Plata.

“The mantra that we’ve had since I met Tamara 20 plus years ago is we feed people and food is love,” Di Lello Morton said.

Di Lello Morton and Murphy started the Food is Love Project in March alongside Broadway Business Improvement Area director Egan Orion and community advocate Marina Gray. Their mission is to provide meals for food insecure families and in turn bring business to local restaurants.

“It really is this immense win-win for our local small businesses — our restaurants — and for families that need a little extra support when it comes to food,” Orion said.

The program currently feeds over 300 individuals from Seattle Public Schools families and around 100 people living in homeless encampments. Over 21,000 meals have been delivered so far, from restaurants including Din Tai Fung, Pagliacci Pizza and Rancho Bravo Tacos.

Over the past seven months, Orion says food delivery has shifted between providing families with around one to three weekly meals.

So far Food is Love has largely depended on fundraising and donations to compensate restaurants and cover expenses but, thanks to a $40,000 grant from United Way of King County, the project is set to continue as a biweekly delivery service through the end of the year. Continue reading

2020 General Election endorsement round-up: The race in the 43rd, Harborview expansion, Prop 1 transit improvements, and, finally, a chance to vote against Donald Trump

King County Elections workers have been making extra trips to empty out the Broadway ballot drop box. Officials say in the first five days of ballot collection, county voters turned in about ten times the typical number of ballots. It’s time for the rest of us get the civic duty job done. In addition to electing a president, Capitol Hill and Central District residents can vote on state legislature positions, seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, important funding for Harborview and public transit, and a schoolwide sex education referendum. Here’s how August’s primary played out. If you’re looking for some guidance we’ve compiled endorsement summaries for the races on the General Election ballots in the Capitol Hill and Central District area, below.

2020 GENERAL ELECTION ENDORSEMENT SOURCES: 43rd District Democrats, 37th District Democrats, King County Young Democrats, The Urbanist, The Stranger, The Seattle Times, the Civic Alliance for a Progressive Economy (CAPE) ratings and Fuse Washington’s Progressive Voters Guides

FEDERAL
President: Go ahead. Fill in the bubble and begin the release of 45 months of anxiety, sorrow, and regret about what happened in 2016.

7th Congressional District: The Stranger, King County Young Democrats, 37th Legislative District Democrats, and 43rd District Democrats all endorse incumbent Pramila Jayapal, who far outpaced Republican challenger Craig Keller in the primary. The Stranger lauds Jayapal’s progressive record, including her work on the Paycheck Recovery Act, student debt reduction and climate advocacy.

9th Congressional District: Since 1977, Democrat Adam Smith has represented the 9th district, which encompasses the Central District. He’s also widely endorsed by the 37th Legislative District Democrats, The Stranger, King County Young Democrats, The Urbanist, and the Times, with the latter pointing to his work on affordable health care and immigration reform policies. Republican challenger Doug Basler received 15% of primary votes compared to Smith’s 74%.

STATE
Referendum Measure No. 90: 43rd District Democrats, 37th District Democrats, King County Young Democrats, The Stranger, The Urbanist, Fuse Washington and The Times are all in favor of approving this bill, which calls for required, comprehensive sexual health education in K-12 schools statewide.  Continue reading

Move over Dreamboyz, the hot dog era has arrived on Broadway as Soul Shack opens in longtime Capitol Hill coffee kiosk

Shamont Andrews at the Soul Shack (Image: CHS)

The 80-square-foot kiosk at the southeast corner of Broadway and Harrison has had its fair share of paint jobs and business turnover in recent years.

In a change from the many coffee shop iterations that have laid claim to the space, hearty soul food and hot dog stand Soul Shack on da Hill is now open as of October 1st.

“Our mission with Soul Shack on da hill was to bring a Southern, diverse cultural-based food to Capitol Hill,” co-owner Kyshaun Wilson tells CHS. “We feel like there’s not a lot of Southern, soul food within this area.”

Wilson runs the business alongside fellow food industry entrepreneurs Shamont Andrews, Qiuandre Austin, and Otis Timpleton.

Soul Shack’s current menu includes barbecue smoked ribs, lollipop chicken wings and “RoyalDogz,” their handmade line of smoked beef, pork and chicken hot dogs. Continue reading

After decades of recycled fashion retail, Capitol Hill consignment shop Take 2 is closing

(Image: CHS)

(Image: Take 2)

After 36 years on Capitol Hill, Take 2 New and Recycled Apparel is permanently shuttering at the end of October — adding to a growing list of businesses unable to withstand the long term effects of the pandemic.

Owner Sarah Star Simpson says the longtime 15th Ave E consignment shop has depleted its finances after months of adapting to COVID-19 restrictions and dealing with the compounded effects of protests deterring customers from the area and street construction halting foot traffic out front.

“All of my personal reserves have been exhausted to support the business even with my very kind landlord giving me a break on rent,” she said. “It just has not been enough business to be viable.” Continue reading

Natural wine shop Glinda will replace Juicebox Cafe on 12th Ave

A new natural wine spot is coming to 12th Ave from the creators of Juicebox Cafe and South Park’s Left Bank wine bar. The new project will bring an end to farmers market-born Juicebox’s 12th Ave cafe.

Glinda wine shop is set to debut in the former home of Juicebox at 1517 12th Ave in October with bottle service and delivery, according to the shop’s Instagram page.

“It’s our intention to carry forward the values that @juicebox_cafe manifested in this space. If these walls could talk they would tell a story of love, passion, and dedication to craft that we wholeheartedly intend to carry on,” Left Bank announced. “When it is safe to do so, we hope to continue as a safe place for community to gather.” Continue reading

Union Coffee, under new ownership and out to curb the narrative in the Central District

Sky Iraheta (left), Geetu Vailoor (center) and Felix Kim Trần (right) (Image: Union Coffee)

At the height of spring COVID-19 uncertainty, one thing was certain for coffee connoisseur Geetu Vailoor: she was about to become the owner of a specialty coffee shop.

“I know the narrative around the Central District is that it has been quite gentrified, and when I think about speciality coffee and coffee shops in general they tend to be a sign of gentrification,” Vailoor said. “I’d like to curb that narrative and rewrite that because I think that coffee is for everyone.”

Four-year-old Union Coffee, located just a block east of 23rd and Union, has a new owner — and also a new outdoor patio to add to its takeout offerings along with wine bottleservice added to the coffee and pastry menu. You can add the new mission to the list.

Vailoor took over the business just a few days after state coronavirus restrictions barred in-store seating at the end of March. She initially got in touch with Union Coffee’s founder Zack Reinig, spouse of Molly Moon Neitzel of Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream, during her days as a wholesale manager at Boon Boona Coffee in Renton. After learning he was looking to sell Union Coffee, Vailoor decided to take her years of coffee experience to the next level as the business’s new owner. Continue reading

Toppled Confederate monument in Capitol Hill’s Lake View Cemetery won’t be restored

It’s gone for good (Image: CHS)

In a victory for those who have been calling for its removal for years, the toppled United Confederate Veterans Memorial sitting in Capitol Hill’s Lake View Cemetery won’t be restored as the structure is past repair, a cemetery representative tells CHS.

The controversial memorial to Confederate soldiers of the Civil War was vandalized and pulled down over the Fourth of July weekend. With the rubble now removed, all that remains of its nearly century-long existence are a series of orange cones and red tape.

“There’s no process to restore it. It’s gone,” the representative said. “The vandals came in and they just ruined it but we were in the process of getting rid of it anyway.” Continue reading

‘A lot of opportunity from a human services standpoint’ — Amid continued sweeps, Seattle Parks moves forward with planning for Cal Anderson changes

It is either the City of Seattle’s most brilliant or most terrible ever idea. After months at the center of protest on Capitol Hill and a late summer dedicated to homelessness activism — and heavy-handed police sweeps, Cal Anderson Park’s planning process for new features and upgrades is continuing even as the city’s civil rights history unfolds around it.

After yet another police sweep of campers and activists from Cal Anderson and the hiring of private security to keep people out of the “temporarily closed” park where sunbathers, frisbee catching dogs, and tents still proliferate, Seattle Park and Recreation says it is adding safety and security, and human services components to plans for the 2020 Cal Anderson Park project. The community feedback process around the project is now moving into its second phase of planning with two public Zoom meetings happening this week on September 9th and 10th.

“There’s a lot of different issues going on in the park right now,” Andy Sheffer of Seattle Parks said. “I think there’s a lot of opportunity from a human services standpoint to better serve the overall community that uses the park.” Continue reading

Make Americana Great Again: Broadway restaurant bounces back after ‘permanent’ closure

Chef Jeffrey Wilson, founder of Americana, announced just a few weeks ago that he was permanently closing the popular brunch spot amid the COVID-19 crisis. But the Broadway Alley restaurant is unexpectedly back up and running, now in the hands of another longtime Americana cook.

Chef Jose Mendoza Gallegos has taken over the restaurant along with his family, and they plan to keep much of the menu and space the same. Mendoza Gallegos has much experience behind the scenes at Americana, working the kitchen for over twenty years back to the earliest iterations of the restaurant.

“He’s dedicated so much time to working at Americana for so many years,” his daughter Cynthia Mendoza Alvarez said. “He just thought it was a waste for Jeffrey to just close it down.” Continue reading