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.

‘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

Plans moving forward for eight stories of affordable housing, homeless youth ‘education and employment academy’ at Broadway and Pine

(Image: Community Roots Housing)

Homelessness activists continue their efforts to occupy and transform the Cal Anderson Shelterhouse into a facility to provide services and resources to the area’s underhoused community. The need is clear. Just a block away at the corner of Broadway and Pine, a major project is moving forward to redevelop the historic Booth Building and a neighboring auto row-era structure into roughly 100 units of low-income housing and an “education and employment academy” for homeless young people.

“We really felt like it was a stand to say this corner is a place of learning and hope and justice for young people who have often been very much left behind by the progress that this city has seen over the last two decades,” YouthCare spokesperson Jody Waits said.

YouthCare is partnering with Community Roots Housing on the project for an expected 2022 start and 2024 opening. The final construction details and price tag of the project are still on the table, according to Waits, although the nonprofit is expecting to serve 250 to 300 individuals ages 18 to 24 per year at the training academy. Continue reading

Facing a quiet Pike Place Market, Piroshky Piroshky pops up at Capitol Hill’s Russian Community Center

Seattle’s Piroshky Piroshky, with its centerpiece location in the heart of Pike Place Market quieted by the nearly tourist-less COVID-19 economy, is making a push into the city’s neighborhoods and has found a friendly temporary home on Capitol Hill. The Russian bakery is in its second weekend of a pop-up outside 19th Ave’s Russian Community Center.

Owner Olga Sagan says the move into neighborhoods and outer areas like Magnolia and Bainbridge Island has been imperative to stay afloat, with business in their Pike Place Market shop down by 70% compared to last year and 90% down at their other two locations.

“We try to stay positive and reinvest into business and keep employees and not give up as much,” she said. “But now that it’s been six months, we are really realizing that downtown is not reviving.”

This is where the partnership with the Russian Community Center came into play. Sagan says it had actually been a dream of Piroshky Piroshky to open a location there prior to COVID-19. As the virus took shape, she was able to reach an agreement to support the events-based center and open the pop-up out front. Continue reading

Cornelly set to open early fall, bringing handmade pasta and ‘naturally leavened’ pizza to Capitol Hill

(Image: Cornelly)

Comforting pizza and pasta flavors are coming to the Hill this fall as new restaurant Cornelly finishes a buildout of its Summit and Mercer space and prepares for a takeout-centered opening.

Flanked by coronavirus-related delays, first-time restaurant owners Brett Phillips and Sam Carroll have spent the past five months perfecting the recipes and aesthetics of their new eatery that will join a surprisingly robust block of Capitol Hill food and drink home to Top Pot Doughnuts, the Summit Pub, Single Shot, and Sol Liquor Lounge.

“We wanted to do a neighborhood pizza and pasta place where we focus on doing naturally leavened pizza dough, handmade pastas, extruded pastas, and then really hyper seasonal vegetable plates,” Phillips said. Continue reading

An investment in the eventual return of Capitol Hill sit-down dining, Artusi ‘facelift’ underway

(Image: @artusibar)

Despite the uncertainty ahead in the economy and in Capitol Hill food and drink, 14th Ave Italian aperitivo bar Artusi is making a big investment in the future of full service dining.

14th and Pine’s Artusi has broken ground on a renovation project overhauling its former layout. Expected to take about three weeks, the remodel is centered around shrinking the size of the interior bar along with installing new lighting.

“It’s kind of a double-edged sword because it’s like when would we ever have the time to do this,” Artusi general manager Angela Lopez said..

As COVID-19 safety measures continue to restrict dining-in capacity, Lopez says it ended up being a relatively good time to move forward with the renovation plan that has been in the works for a few years now. Continue reading

Some locked, some gone — the status of Capitol Hill mailboxes

Thanks to @RyanDavidTansey for helping in the mailbox headcount

As worry over locked and missing mailboxes spreads across the internet ahead of the November presidential election, the paranoia has run even more deeply through Capitol Hill after weeks of protest in the neighborhood stirring the anti-establishment vibe and a greater distrust of authority.

“The removal of USPS Mailboxes is trending nationally. Is there an explanation why mailboxes are disappearing on Capitol Hill? Are they leaving? The box on 15th E & E Republican is gone,” one of several recent notes to CHS reads.

A United States Postal Service spokesperson confirmed to CHS that some mailboxes have been locked or removed from Pike/Pine and Broadway due to security concerns in the area.

“It’s nothing new, we do this with other civil unrest and sometimes we’ll do it for parades,” USPS spokesperson David Rupert said, adding that “we’ll evaluate their replacement in the future.” Continue reading

Seattle Design Festival 2020 brings a ‘BEECON’ to 22nd Ave, new Black artist mural to Everyday Music

In a summer of cancellation, design lives on in Seattle and across the Central District and Capitol Hill. With the start of the annual Seattle Design Festival this week, organizers took a step beyond moving things to a virtual gathering celebrating creativity and form by bringing elements of the festival to every part of the city — including 22nd and E Olive St which is set to buzz with a temporary “BEECON” installation.

Put on by architecture firms Design in Public and AIA Seattle, this year’s festivities will look quite different from the multi-exhibition, site specific setup of years past that attracted thousands of visitors.

“I’m actually really excited about how this has forced us into the communities in a dispersed way,” festival organizer Annalee Shum said, “but in a way that can potentially have a lot of meaning for our community members.”

Beginning on Saturday, local artists and organizers will unveil exhibitions across Seattle — including three around the Hill — alongside a host of virtual events centered around this year’s “About Time” theme, which “asks how design can help us all respond to the urgent issues facing our society — racism, poverty, public health, and environmental stress among them.”

SATURDAY, AUGUST 15 – SUNDAY, AUGUST 16: The “BEECON/BEACON” art installation will tackle the theme of time as it relates to the coronavirus crisis and Black Lives Matter protests of recent months. “The idea of a street installation was sort of our way of inviting people to pause in all of this and to create a moment of reflection or engagement or curiosity,” VIA Architecture’s Solaja Ratcliffe said. Continue reading

Dining in the street may be the future of Capitol Hill food and drink — at least for the rest of Seattle summer

Let’s trade parking for places to sit and enjoy some pizza (Image: Harry’s Bar)

As King County nears the two month mark of the so-called “Phase 2” of reopening and restrictions on indoor dining have tightened  — with seating limited to members of the same household and scaled back bar service — dining al fresco seems to be the best way to enjoy your favorite reopening restaurants. Unfortunately, many Capitol Hill and Central District restaurants and cafes don’t have outdoor space. To help, the city has begun a free, “streamlined” process of offering six-month outdoor café and street closure permits.

UPDATE: So far 27 Capitol Hill restaurants have applied for temporary outdoor café permits compared to just 8 Central District businesses, according to the Seattle Department of Transportation, and nine Capitol Hill businesses — and none in the Central District — have shown interest in street closure permits.

“[W]e are preparing to do targeted outreach to small businesses on specific streets in high priority areas to ensure this information is available and accessible,” SDOT’s Brian Hardison said. “To avoid perpetuating existing inequities in the neighborhood, we’re working to ensure that we meet the needs of both businesses and residents.”

Some smaller, fast-moving examples can be found along 15th Ave E. Olympia Pizza III and adjoined Harry’s Bar are some of the first Capitol Hill spots to start outdoor curbside dining.

Owner Harry Nicoloudakis said building the sturdily fenced-in island — also known as a “streatery” — was an easy decision. Continue reading

A small program to help Capitol Hill and Central District businesses through COVID-19 has 150 applicants — and 20 grants to give

Frame Central is taking appointments

The federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program officially ended on Saturday and — to give you a sense of how this is all going — progress on a new package of COVID-19 economic relief is stalled in the other Washington. In comparison to the trillions of dollars being debated in D.C., $2,500 isn’t much but a new relief fund from the GSBA for the Capitol Hill and Central District is hoped to bring some small measure of financial relief to a handful of shops, restaurants, and small businesses. And there is hope to grow the program to help more.

“Capitol Hill didn’t just have to deal with COVID and anything related to that but also the protests, the riots, teargas, CHOP — there were so many different layers that the business owners have to work through,” the GSBA’s Ilona Lohrey said.

GSBA, Washington’s LGBTQ and allied chamber of commerce, is launching this project using a $50,000 donation from Comcast. GSBA will divide the donation into 20 grants of $2,500, but Lohrey told CHS they hope to raise funds to double that number and provide 40 grants. The first round of grant-giving will focus on businesses in Capitol Hill and the Central District and, in particular, LGBTQ, BIPOC and women-owned businesses. Continue reading