In fight to head off state restrictions that would kill Seattle effort, Tax Amazon march will step off from Cal Anderson

Cal Anderson Park will again swing into action this week as a cradle of Seattle activism. Next Sunday will bring a Kshama Sawant-led March on March 1st to Tax Amazon starting at the park’s fountain and ending at the online giant’s downtown spheres:

Tax Amazon! March on March 1

“There is tremendous momentum to Tax Amazon, but big business is fighting tooth and nail to undermine our movement,” the rallying cry reads.

The rally and march follow a weekend victory for the effort to create a payroll tax on the city’s largest 3% of businesses in Seattle that would raise $300 million annually for housing and environmental initiatives. Organizers from the Tax Amazon campaign say their protest at a legislative town hall held Saturday on First Hill forced at least one key concession as Rep. Frank Chopp “was met with loud applause by community members” when he reportedly said he would “publicly oppose pre-emption.” Continue reading

Celebrating 10 years in the Capitol Hill circus, The Unicorn readies its big top-sized second location

Kaileigh Wilson and Adam Heimstadt

Capitol Hill’s The Unicorn bar celebrated its 10th anniversary in January by signing another 10-year lease at its E Pike location. With a much-anticipated Unicorn White Center slated to open this December, its trademark whimsical gag is only expanding.

“I feel like bars and restaurants these days, to really be successful, you need to do something different and go against the grain a little bit, and really take chances,” founder Adam Heimstadt said. “You need to be a bit of a gambler, so to speak. I put 110% into everything we do. All the stupid details matter, all the small fine details.”

The carnival-themed Unicorn and downstairs brother bar Narwhal are known for decor as sugary sweet as the signature drink Unicorn Jizz, a mango vodka, triple sec, orange juice and sprite creation. The striped walls, salvaged and repainted antique paneling, bedazzled atm, taxidermied wildlife, and video arcade have established the bar as an Anything Goes spectacle for a younger crowd, a concept that Heimstadt and his wife Kaileigh Wilson want to turn into a destination bar in White Center. Continue reading

$1.74 billion bond measure would bring much needed upgrades, new 10-story tower to Harborview

(Image: UW Medicine)

There are some big decisions to make this election year. In November, King County voters may face a vote on a $1.74 billion bond to renovate and expand Harborview Medical Center.

The hospital, situated on First Hill, is owned by King County, but staffed and operated by the University of Washington. As a publicly owned and operated hospital, Harborview serves many people who need healthcare and would not be able to pay for it including, but not limited to, the area homeless population.

In addition, Harborview serves as the Level 1 trauma center for the states of Washington, Alaska, Idaho and Montana. It is the disaster preparedness and control hospital for Seattle and King County. In short, if you find yourself there, something very, very bad has likely happened.

The hospital has 413 beds, 40 of which are in single rooms, and 20 of those 40 are reserved for patients in need of psychiatric care. The hospital says that typically, 50 beds in double rooms can’t be used because of infection protocols. According to the King County Executive’s office, it had more than 16,000 admissions last year. All this adds up to a hospital that routinely has more patients than it has places to put them. Continue reading

CHS History | 15th Ave E QFC land deal, E Olive Way pot shops, new owners at Melrose Market, Rhino Room debut

Here are the top stories from this week in CHS history:



Holy Names reaches agreement with Capitol Hill neighbors after long fight over underground parking garage

What’s next for Melrose Market under new owners? Tenants say maybe a breath of fresh air

Continue reading

A little Star in a big Capitol Hill space hopes to make it on Broadway

Shrimp ceviche – citrus marinade, mango, cilantro, pine nuts, chipotle aioli, housemade chips, at Star

Ernie Enkhtaivan and family have launched Star Fusion and Bar, a restaurant with about as much fusion as you can pack from Asia — from sashimi to Mongolian beef stew — into the large restaurant space at the corner of Broadway and Mercer where Dilettante used to do its chocolatey thing.

CHS reported on Enkhtaivan’s plans for Star last month as the family of restaurant veterans with Bay Area and Mongolian roots came together with a plan to fill the 3,000-square-foot restaurant space.

In some places on earth, the restaurant’s footprint wouldn’t be such a challenge but, on Broadway, sky high rents already inspired one restaurateur to bail out and pass along his lease after only 18 months on the north end of Capitol Hill’s central business strip. “It’s large — which translates to expensive,” Edgar Pelayo of Añejo Restaurant and Tequila Bar said about the space. Continue reading

With Lunchbox, chain wax arrives on Capitol Hill

Chain wax has arrived on Capitol HIll. The first Washington state outlet from Lunchbox Wax has opened in the retail component of E Pine’s Excelsior Apartments development.

The Sun Valley, Idaho-launched company boasts 46 “premier waxing salons” and franchise locations across the country.

“Being true to yourself means loving your personality, your style, and the skin you’re in,” the marketing for the new Capitol Hill location reads. “To give your skin some TLC, come to LunchboxWax Capitol Hill. We make pampering yourself simple and quick with our speed-waxing techniques that have made the LunchboxWax name famous.” Continue reading

Board moves trio of Capitol Hill auto row-era buildings forward in landmarks process

Three buildings with auto row roots within blocks of each other on Capitol Hill will move forward in the Seattle landmarks process.

The Capitol Hill Historical Society advocacy and research group reported the successful Wednesday vote:

The group is already calling on supporters to email public comments in support of the nominations for the second, more onerous round of the process slated to be heard April 1st. With landmarks board approval, a building can be given protections and development restrictions that can include preventing demolition. The city council will eventually have to approve any designations. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Pets | Brady on Broadway

Brady (Lab/Golden mix), and Eric (likely human mix), were sitting outside Vivace when they caught our eye. Brady is 15 and a half! and sweet as can be. Brady is a world traveler having marked his territory in Boston, London, and now Capitol Hill, Seattle. Brady and Eric have been together Brady’s entire existence on this planet, so be sure to stop and say hello. They’re lovely.

We ask photographer Alex Garland to follow marchers in the rain and do crazy things like trying to make yet another picture of yet another huge apartment building look interesting. We thought we’d ask him to do something a little more fun. Capitol Hill Pets is a semi-regular look at our furry, fuzzy, feathered, and finned friends found out and about on Capitol Hill.

Capitol Hill cocktails by appointment, The Doctor’s Office set to open on E Olive Way

(Image: The Doctor’s Office)

The era of the Capitol Hill speakeasy is long gone. You’re living in the Capitol HIll by appointment era.

Faster than you can open a new urgent care clinic on Broadway, food and drink entrepreneurs are concocting new reservations-only, personalized experiences. The latest is ready for its first patients, er, customers on E Olive Way.

The Doctor’s Office, bringing together the talents of bar manager Keith Waldbauer, kitchen director Rene Gutierrez, and honest to goodness doctor and owner Dr. Matthew Powell, is billed as a 12-seat “intimate global spirits tasting room with classic cocktails and an emphasis on personalized service” with a menu of “freshly grilled, seasonal” skewers available inside or on the street at the bar’s walk-up window. Continue reading

After a bitter 2019, Caffe Vita’s new owner wants to give employees voice

By Ragini Gupta, UW News Lab/Special to CHS

Caffe Vita began 2020 with a new start but its new owner wants to make sure the E Pike-headquartered company addresses the issues that arose in 2019.

A few months after protests against Caffe Vita for firing two employees who gave away food to homeless people, restaurateur Deming Maclise took ownership of the 25-year-old company from founder Mike McConnell on January 1st.

Maclise began his career in 1991 as a barista when the term wasn’t as popular — it was just called “making coffee,” he said.

Maclise opened Caffè Fiore after 10 years of working as a barista and managing coffeehouses and then progressed to opening several of the most popular restaurants in Seattle, including Bastille, Poquitos, and Rhein Haus, between 2009 and 2018. At some point he started missing the coffee world and wanted to incorporate more of it into his business.

“You show up in a neighborhood with a coffeehouse, you can really create a hub of the community and the neighborhood around that cafe pretty powerfully if you have the right environment, the right people, the right interaction going on,” Maclise said. Continue reading