Now arriving: Flight Wine + Chocolate touches down on Capitol Hill

(Image: Flight Wine + Chocolate)

(Image: Flight Wine + Chocolate)

A flight delay at 13th and Pike? Owners at the new Capitol Hill chocolate shop and wine pairing cafe Flight Wine + Chocolate say they may have missed a few planned opening dates over the last few months but are now safely landed and open for business.

“We will be in ‘soft’ open mode for a few weeks – wine bottle, chocolate, merchandise, and gift card sales. Seated tastings, by appointment only, should be available by late April,” husband and husband team David Wildman and Kevin Morton tell CHS. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s streets filling with pandemic-era restaurant patios — Will they stay?

Plum’s “greenhouse” seating on 12th Ave

As Washington’s reopening speeds, there are signs that getting “back to normal” too quickly could be part of a new uptick in the spread of the virus. For Capitol Hill’s restaurants lucky enough to have a safe stretch of pavement nearby and the foresight to invest in some creative solutions, street patios have been a business lifeline allowing what officials say is a safer approach to reopening in the food and drink economy.

Across the Pike/Pine nightlife area, CHS found a diversity of designs and solutions in place across the neighborhood. But we also heard the same thing again and again from owners facing the uncertainty of a drawn out pandemic future.

“We would love to have this long term but the special permitting is set to stop in October unless the city changes something,” the folks at Cafe Pettirosso tell us. “We will have this as long as possible, it has helped tremendously.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Seattle Asian Art Museum hosts weekend ‘Stop Asian Hate’ memorial

A community effort to honor the lives of the women of Asian descent killed in the Atlanta shootings and to stand up against a rise in hate crime against Asian American and Pacific Islander and Asian immigrant communities in Seattle and across the country will take place over the weekend on the steps of the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park.

The SAAM invites you to visit its steps for a personal moment of silence and to leave flowers or an offering at the site:

In recognition of these lives taken so violently, we invite you to take a moment of silence on the steps of the Asian Art Museum. A community memorial will be available for the public to contribute to and visit from Noon on Saturday, March 27, through 5 pm Sunday, March 28.

The 1400 E Prospect museum in the center of Volunteer Park remains shuttered after months of COVID-19 restricted closures but is hosting the memorial as it “stands united with Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and Asian immigrant families, friends, colleagues and communities locally and across the country, in the wake of rising violence against these communities over the last year.”

CHS reported here on the rise in racially motivated hate crimes in Seattle in 2020 as rhetoric about the “China virus” flared. Statistics show the problem has continued in 2021 as the King County Prosecutor’s office says it continues to charge more people in bias cases than ever before.

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Police: Capitol Hill carjacking suspect busted after speeding through marchers, crashing in South Lake Union — UPDATE

(Image: SPD)

Police say the suspect in a Thursday night Capitol Hill carjacking sped through a crowd of Black Lives Matters marchers before crashing and being taken into custody in South Lake Union.

According to East Precinct radio reports, the incident began around 8:15 PM with a reported fight near 11th and Pike and the theft of a Honda Accord last seen speeding westbound off the Hill. UPDATE: Police say the incident began as a fight over a thrown bottle:

The victim said the suspect had thrown a bottle at his car, leading the victim to pull over, get out of his vehicle and confront the suspect. The suspect then assaulted the victim and sped away in the car.

Police say the suspect later drove through the crowd of marchers marking 300 days of Black Lives Matter protests in Seattle. We do not have reports of injured among the marchers.

Continue reading

UPDATE: Rocket! — Reports and videos from across city as streaking lights cross Seattle sky

Videos showed streaking lights as reports from around Seattle described something like a meteor apparently burning up in the atmosphere lighting up the night sky over the city Thursday. Continue reading

9’s | 23rd and Union

You would be forgiven, by some, if you thought you were looking at a corner of Capitol Hill. But this is 23rd and Union and the heart of the Central District where the development waves many associate with Pike/Pine or Broadway are continuing to reshape the environment. The massive, wrapped construction is Midtown Square, a three-piece, seven-story mixed-use apartment development with more than 400 market-rate and affordable units, a quasi-public central plaza, and a huge underground parking garage on the site of the former Midtown Center shopping strip. When it opens later this year, it will be only the latest major development to transform the intersection that is now busy with old originals like Earl’s Cuts and big new additions like a PCC. By day, there are two coffee shops ready to serve — Union Coffee and Squirrel Chops — plus Cafe Avole on the way. As nighttime activity grows again, the original Uncle Ike’s draws crowds while Seattle Soul Food restaurant Communion looks forward to eventually hosting a busy bar.

9’s is a regular photo series with a simple premise. CHS visits a corner of the Hill twice — once at 9 AM and again at 9 PM — to capture the scenes of the neighborhood in motion. Have a space you’d like us to feature? Let us know in comments.

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Two years later, justice moving forward in fatal Cal Anderson shooting

The 2019 crime scene

Saturday brought the two-year anniversary of a fatal shooting in Cal Anderson that left a 21-year-old dead after a night of basketball and hanging out on a March evening in the park.

While several shootings in recent years across Capitol Hill and the Central District remain unsolved, the suspect in the March 2019 murder of 21-year-old Hakeem Salahud-din was identified and taken into custody thousands of miles away in Columbus, Georgia. News of the arrest was missed by many during this summer’s chaotic times around Cal Anderson.

Two years later, Zaquai McCray, 19 and a resident of Tacoma at the time of the murder, has been charged after his June 2020 Georgia arrest and awaits trial for murder in the second degree in a case currently scheduled to start proceedings in November, according to King County Superior Court documents.

Police say Salahud-din died in the park after he was shot in the head during a March 20th, 2019 fight near the Cal Anderson basketball court prosecutors say he became part of after his 17-year-old sister was punched in the face. Continue reading

Vain rehomes its freak-flagship salon on Capitol Hill

Some recent Vain color (Image: Vain)

A Seattle institution for adventurous and colorful hairstyles, and some truly legendary parties, boutique salon Vain has moved its downtown flagship location to new Capitol Hill digs on 1121 Pike Street. Cozied down between Black Sparrow Tattoo and Club Z, Vain opened for business earlier this month. The move signals the company’s rebirth of sorts from the pandemic, and a new chapter in Seattle’s coiffed counterculture.

Growing in the Belltown building left behind by the move of legendary Seattle club The Vogue to Capitol Hill, Vain was born into the city’s changing punk ethos. Vain owner Victoria Gentry remembered that neighboring businesses didn’t exactly appreciate The Vogue’s noisy shows, but with a salon, “You still get all the freaks without the noise.”

The move to Capitol Hill has been in the works for a while, Gentry said. The former location — in downtown, or Belltown, depending on who you ask — is part of 1st Ave Seattle history, an area now unrecognizable from when Vain first set up shop in the late 1990s, Gentry said.

They already had many clients from Capitol Hill, and the fact that downtown business had significantly slowed during the pandemic all factored into the decision to move. The new location is just on the other side of Boren, still within a mile of the old space for dedicated downtown and Belltown clients.

“I had already been planning on [moving] for quite a while. I had been waiting for the lease to run out to make a move. It got delayed a little bit because of COVID,” Gentry said. “Our connection to the Capitol Hill community has always been really strong. In a way it does feel like [coming home]. I’m excited to reconnect with arts groups and artists.” Continue reading

Montlake Bridge planned for month-long summer maintenance closure

(Image: WSDOT)

First opened 96 years ago this June, the state says much needed work will close the busy Montlake Bridge for around a month starting late this summer. Meanwhile, there is a new rumbling of opposition to the Washington State Department of Transportation’s plans to construct a second parallel bridge as part of its ongoing 520 replacement project.

WSDOT says the planned summer 2021 construction is all about maintenance and replacing the old bridge’s key components over a month of work likely to start in August that will mean no motor vehicles crossing the span but sidewalk and boat traffic, below, continuing: Continue reading

Uptick in King County positive cases tempers Seattle’s vaccination progress and Phase 3 enthusiasm

Enthusiasm about Seattle’s progress on vaccination and move to a new phase of reopening including more room for sit-down dining after a year of COVID-19 restrictions is being tempered by an uptick in new positive cases in King County.

The health department’s latest tallies show a rise to around 187 new positive cases per day over the past week in King County — up just under 30% over recent levels. Hospitalized cases and deaths that had mostly leveled off after peaking again in winter haven’t yet started to climb but could tail the positive case uptick. Currently, around six people per day are hospitalized with COVID-19 complications and the county is averaging two daily deaths over the past week. 1,456 have died here since the start of the pandemic.

“Even as more opens up, we need to proceed with caution,” King County Public Health Tweeted this week. “We are already seeing an uptick in cases. Wear a mask, keep gatherings small, and stay outdoors when possible.” Continue reading