Created by a chef at the top of his game, Poppy marks 10 years on Capitol Hill

(Image: Poppy)

Capitol Hill was a very different place when Jerry Traunfeld opened his restaurant, Poppy, a decade ago on Broadway. As he and his staff prepare to celebrate the restaurant’s 10-year anniversary on Sunday, Traunfeld said it was a quest for independence that led to his choice to open a business on Capitol Hill.

“I wanted to do something on my own. And I wanted to do it in the city and I wanted to do something that was more accessible,” Traunfeld said. “Something that was more of my own personality.”

Before Poppy, Traunfeld worked as the chef at the Herbfarm for 17 years where he says he reached the top of his game. He had built a reputation for himself, won the James Beard Award and published a few cookbooks. Despite his success, he still felt that he wanted to create something he could call his own.

But independence has its price. Traunfeld opened the restaurant on September 18th, 2008 — just as the global economy fell to pieces. Continue reading

Seattle’s Sweetened Beverage Tax producing healthier than expected returns

A tax on sugary drinks sold in Seattle has produced more money than expected — and the missing Capitol Hill mystery pop machine had nothing to do with it. Now City Hall is sorting out how best to put the healthy revenue from unhealthy — without moderation! — beverages back into the community.

Friday, members of the Seattle City Council met with the Community Advisory Board of the Sweetened Beverage Tax to discuss why the tax exceeded revenue projections, what to do with the extra money, and to make recommendations for how to use the money in the 2018 and 2019 budgets.

“Communities of color and low-income people face the greatest disparities in terms of health and education outcome,” Christina Wong, co-chair of the board tells CHS. Continue reading

Process begins to guide Kaiser Permanente’s $400M Capitol Hill campus renovation

Capitol Hill’s first hospital has come a long way since 1945, when an idealistic group of doctors founded the Group Health Cooperative based on the idea that healthcare should be provided affordably and at hospitals owned and staffed by physicians. They acquired St. Luke’s on 15th at John, and together the hospital and neighborhood grew together for more than seven decades. Group Health became one of the country’s largest consumer-directed healthcare organizations, but in 2015 2017 it was acquired by Kaiser Permanente, one of the biggest not-for-profit health plans in the United States.

As part of an effort to remodel its Capitol Hill campus by 2022, Kaiser announced a $400 million project last year to improve access to primary and specialty care and provide community spaces for public use. The process to shape that project has begun.

The remodeled campus won’t be any bigger than it is now, according to Kaiser Permanente’s Julie Popper, but it will provide better specialty and out-patient care so that members can get the treatment they need and get on with their day.

“We’re not building any higher. We’re not expanding any further. Patients want to get help and go home at the end of the day,” she said. “We really want to bring the building to the cutting edge in healthcare today.” Continue reading

Replacing The Saint, Dacha Diner bringing ‘Eastern European cuisine with Jewish fare’ to Capitol Hill

It seems the hot pink building on the corner of E Olive Way and Bellevue is destined for a new paint job. What was formerly The Saint, a Mexican-style bar that was painted a shade called “bougainvillea pink,” has changed ownership and will become the Dacha Diner, a family-operated business striving to give Capitol Hill a taste of east European-style cuisine and Jewish fare.

“Italian food and French food has gotten a lot of play around here,” said Joe Heffernan. “The really humble and hardy food of Eastern Europe — We just saw that it wasn’t really being represented here.”

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Capitol Hill’s Cascina Spinasse celebrates 10 years on 14th Ave

Spinasse’s egg pasta with butter and sage (Image: Spinasse)

August marks a decade of perfect pasta and carefully curated wine inspired by northwest Italy on Capitol Hill’s 14th Ave.

Cascina Spinasse turned ten this month and it celebrated with a party full of longtime customers. “Most of our regulars came over and showered us in love and support,” Spinasse’s general manager Angela Lopez said. “We’ve been on cloud nine for a few days now. It feels great.”

Piedmont is a region in northwestern Italy bordered by France to the west and Switzerland to the northeast. Not only is it an extremely mountainous place — it’s surrounded on three sides by the Alps — much of it is covered by rolling hills and vast plains. The menu at Spinasse, along with its list of wines, is derived largely from the history, traditions and culinary arts of the Piedmontese region.

“We’re lumped into a general Italian category, but really we drill down into the style of a specific place,” Lopez said.

Spinasse was born small but with a passion for amazing pasta. It was half the size at its start but received outsized praise — and produced plenty of food and drink drama.
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As redevelopment continues, community celebrates opening of Yesler Terrace Park

“As this city becomes increasingly dense, we continue to need spaces like this. This is the kind of space where memories will be created by all the young people here,” Christopher Williams, interim superintendent of the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, said at the grand opening of the brand new Yesler Terrace Park on Saturday. “This park will be the center of the Yesler community.”

Yesler Terrace Park includes a fountain, public seating, a soccer field, basketball court, an intricate playground and an expansive view of the Seattle skyline, all of which were designed and created by several city groups and local organizations. Community members, city officials, and families gathered to celebrate this new public space.

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Emmett Montgomery selects Capitol Hill for Secret Grandpa Subscription Service headquarters

Montgomery on stage, surely thinking about his Secret Grandpa responsibilities

Creepy grandpas, chihuahua ice cream cones, and spatulas with insect legs.

These are the things that Emmett Montgomery is thinking about when he wakes up in the morning.

A self-proclaimed weirdo, Montgomery has been a standup comedian, storyteller, and artist on Capitol Hill for years. Recently he unveiled his latest creation — the Secret Grandpa Subscription Service.

“This was kind of a wonderful experiment,” he said. “Now it’s a significant part of my day. I wake up thinking about what weird grandpa thing I’m gonna do.”

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Sole Mates brings sneakerhead paradise to Capitol Hill

Seattle’s sneakerheads will have a new foothold on Capitol Hill when Sole Mates, a sneaker consignment store above the Broadway and Pike QFC, opens shop at the end of the month. Owner Parris Johnson said culture is “in demand” on Capitol Hill, and that preparations are basically done and the store should be open by August 31st.

“I felt like this is what the area needs,” Johnson said. “A real true boutique. Brick and mortar.”

Johnson, who grew up in Seattle, jumped at the opportunity to open a business less than a quarter mile from where he grew up on 20th and Union. Continue reading

Perched on Capitol Hill’s western slope, The Reef brings pot to E Olive Way

Bud, oils and pre-rolled joints were everywhere as The Reef, Capitol Hill’s newest cannabis retailer, opened the doors to its new location for a preview Thursday night.

With its first shop opened in Bremerton three years ago, The Reef’s new storefront takes full advantage of its perch on Capitol Hill at a busy intersection where its predecessor pizza joint and its notorious flashing sign served as a de facto western gate to the neighborhood. With generous amounts of light coming in through windows spanning the width of the storefront, the new location will give Capitol Hill residents a convenient option for their cannabis-related needs.

John Ueding, general manager of The Reef’s Capitol Hill location, explained that the company wants to invest in the community and explore options to work with and support local charity organizations.

“The owners are intent on giving back as much as we can,” Ueding said. “Being local Seattle guys, we really want to be involved in the community.” Continue reading

While Capitol Hill waits for Dingfelder’s, Loxsmith brings one-of-a-kind bagels to Montana Bar pop-up

There are four things that make Matthew Segal’s bagels special: wild yeast, high gluten flour, fermentation and a sodium hydroxide lye boil. Other places have some of the elements, sure, Segal said, but the combination of all four is why Loxsmith Bagels sold out on the first day it started selling its creations from a daytime popup inside E Olive Way bar Montana,

“I’m the bagel guy. I do everything. I roll ‘em. I cure all the salmon. I cut all the veggies. I make all the bagels,” Segal said. “There’s really nowhere to get a bagel like what I make.”

Slated for a month of Saturdays at Montana, Loxsmith returns for its limited pop-up series this weekend:

LOXSMITH BAGEL AND BAR MITZVAH POPUP CAFE BRUNCH and Seattle Bagel Club

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