It has been a long road to open on Capitol HIll but delays could be blessing in disguise for Koko’s

(Image: Koko’s)

By Juan Jocom

The folks at Koko’s know what they are doing. They built the original restaurant into a widely respected dining destination despite its far-flung location in the planned Olympic Peninsula community of Seabrook.

Gibran Moreno and Alexi Torres also know their way around Capitol Hill, hoping to grow their new Koko’s Restaurant and Tequila Bar into the LGBTQ-owned food, drink, and good times community of the neighborhood.

But the long waits and slow processes of doing business in a booming again Seattle have been a challenge even for the experience Koko’s team.

“We’ve been working on this project for over a year and two months… But we are getting close. We are just waiting for our final inspection from the health department and then we should be ready to go,” Moreno said.

But even the final push comes with challenges. Continue reading

A good start to Capitol Hill garage sale season: Gage Academy of Art yard sale

(Image: Gage Academy of Art)

It is nearly garage sale season. Capitol Hill artists will want to mark their calendars for a good start to the season early next month.

The Gage Academy of Art is holding a yard sale featuring “art supplies, books, easels, costumes, home decor, kitchen items, electronics, and more” April 6th as it prepares to leave its longtime Capitol Hill home:

Later this year, Gage will move into a South Lake Amazon office building where the 35-year-old school will become the ground-floor presence below floors of tech workers above. CHS reported here on the planned move for the school after decades on the St. Mark’s campus as the church prepares for planned housing development on its 10th Ave E property.

 

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20 years of Neumos, the musical center of the Pike/Pine universe

The future: a mixed-use Neumos, of course (Image: CHS)

Neumos asked for AI visions of its next 20 years so up top is CHS’s take on the corner during Capitol Hill Block Party 2044.

There is no telling what the next 20 or 30 years will bring at the southwest corner of 10th and Pike. CHS can tell you what the past 30 brought: music, drinks and good times.

The first decade of those good times? That was Moe’s Mo’Roc’N Café and an assortment of clubs that lived hard and died young. But those last 20? Those are all thanks to Neumos, the outgrowth of Moe’s that has gone on to be a center of the neighborhood’s entertainment community with a place among Capitol Hill legends like Neighbours, Century Ballroom, The Cuff, Wildrose, and Linda’s.

The live music club celebrates its 2004 birth Wednesday with a free night of music and performance. The free tickets were still available when we started writing this. They might be snapped up before you are done reading.

Asheville’s Wednesday band on the Neumos stage (Image: Neumos)

“We saw all these people walking down the hill for shows … we thought ‘why not have something here,’” Moe’s founder Jerry Everard told CHS about the original inspiration to transform an old Salvation Army on the corner into a new hangout 30 years ago. Continue reading

Horizon Books ends a 53-year-old Capitol Hill story

Donald Glover

Horizon was giving away its remaining stock for free last weekend on 10th Ave (Image: CHS Facebook Group)

Let’s close this current chapter of neighborhood classics saying goodbye. Another of the longest running businesses on Capitol Hill closed quietly last weekend. It wasn’t a restaurant, cafe, or bar.

Horizon Books was proudly established on Capitol Hill 53 years ago making it contemporaneous with fellow class of 1971 business licensees Country Doctor Community Health Clinic, architect Roger Newell, and Vogue Coiffure Beauty Salon on our list of the oldest businesses in the area a few years back.

The bookseller that made its name on Capitol Hill long before Elliott Bay Book Company was transplanted to 10th ve quietly turned the page and liquidated its stock last weekend, handing out free books to anybody who stopped by its underground 10th Ave space home to “the largest and finest used books collections in Seattle.” Continue reading

Meet the Capitol Hill Artist | Gabe Virgen and Rain Ceramics are making ‘cry pots’ on 10th Ave

(Images: Ananya Mishra)

Meet the Capitol Hill Artist is an occasional series on CHS documenting the lives of the artists behind the neighborhood’s galleries and arts venues.

By Ananya Mishra

“I’m here where I am now because of clay and clay is just dirt. It’s crazy to think about that.”

Gabe Virgen works 12 to 13 hours a day at his Capitol Hill business, Rain Ceramics. He is able to successfully live off of his passion by selling his ceramics, teaching pottery classes, and maintaining a studio for independent artists to work out of. As a solo entrepreneur, he is responsible for every aspect of the business, whether that’s reclaiming (recycling) clay, managing social media accounts, or cleaning up at the end of the day.

When he was younger, Gabe envisioned that he would work a salaried job with benefits. His parents immigrated to Olympia from Mexico in the 90s and often faced financial difficulties while he was growing up. Continue reading

After 70 years of helping raise Seattle kids, Capitol Hill Cooperative Preschool is closing

At the Burke (Image: Capitol Hill Cooperative Preschool)

There’s an alumni party coming up on Capitol Hill for generations of Seattle city kids.

After 70 years of helping little ones grow up into Seattle big kids, Capitol Hill Cooperative Preschool is closing its doors at the end of this school year due to low enrollment numbers. Its closure will be a challenge for some families but it is also a sign that things have changed when it comes to early childhood education in Seattle. Some of the older models like Seattle’s one-time robust community of co-op preschools are falling by the wayside.

“We are not alone in this struggle, as several other co-ops in the greater Seattle area are unfortunately closing for similar reasons,” Shannon King, CHCP chair said.

King says low enrollment numbers “have made it challenging for CHCP to continue operating.”

Those involved with the 10th Ave E school that shares a building with the Harbor Anglican Church just a short walk from Volunteer Park say the expansion of the Seattle Preschool Program through Seattle Public Schools and other community-based providers along with the expansion of Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program and Head Start has drastically increased childhood care and learning opportunities.

But they say families might also miss out on the co-op experience. The cooperative preschools model allows for kids to learn social, emotional and intellectual skills and for parents to improve their parenting skills, be involved in their children’s education, and form a community, co-op families say.

“It’s a great way to form a community really early on in your child’s life and receive a lot of support for the teachers and the parent educators,” teacher Elizabeth de Forest said. Continue reading

SDOT adding 57,000-gallon stormwater tanks as part of Madison RapidRide G bus line construction

 

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(Image: SDOT)

One major reason construction of the Madison RapidRide G bus line will take years not months is the heavy load of utility and infrastructure work the city has piled on to the project. The latest extra digging accompanying the transit project is taking place on Capitol Hill’s 10th Ave E where a stretch of the street will be closed for two months for the installation of a massive stormwater tank system to capture runoff.

The Seattle Department of Transportation says a short stretch of 10th between Union and Madison was closed for two months starting Monday for the project where crews will dig a trench in the street and install piping to build the stormwater tank in sections. Once sections of the tank are installed, the trench will be filled with dirt and the next segment’s work will begin. Water testing of the tank will follow and then the street must be repaved. Work crews will first remove the remaining street surface and then grade the entire area and repave it, SDOT says.

The new storage tanks are designed to be able to hold up to nearly 57,000 gallons of water when needed. Continue reading

Koko’s Restaurant — which grew into one of the ‘Best Restaurants in Washington State’ in Seabrook — coming to Capitol Hill’s 10th Ave

(Image: Koko’s Restaurant)

A restaurant and tequila bar that has grown into one of the state’s best dining experiences despite its far-flung location in the planned Olympic Peninsula community of Seabrook, Washington is bringing its “homemade, modern Latin cuisine” to 10th Ave.

Koko’s Restaurant is making plans for the former Heritage Distilling Capitol Hill tasting room that closed shop during the pandemic never to reopen. Continue reading

Habitat for Humanity just opened its first affordable condo building on Capitol Hill — and is getting ready to build another

Habitat for Humanity has brought its philosophies around equality — and sweat equity — in home ownership to 11th Ave E between Harrison and Republican on Capitol Hill.

Over the weekend, it celebrated the completion of the Capitol View Community building along with the new condo owners who will call the development home.

“My best friend used to live down the street from here near the park,” new owner Amber Cortes said at Saturday’s ceremony. “And she said when she first lived here 10 years ago, there were all sorts of people in the building — an opera singer, a landscaper, a pastry chef. And over the years, rent went up, housing cost went up, and people started moving out.”

“I’ve honestly lost track and count of all the artists I know who have moved out of Seattle, and they’re bringing their talents and their potential to enrich the city with them,” Cortes said.

Ownership of the 13 units at the Capitol View Community is restricted to households making 80% or less of Area Median Income. Habitat says 11 of the 13 units have completed the purchasing process with five going to BIPOC homebuyers. Part of the Habitat tradition, the new owners also gave 250 hours of “sweat equity” volunteer work as part of the purchasing process.

Continue reading

Police investigate gunfire at 10th and John

There were 911 reports of gunfire and a person shouting they had been shot but police found no victims in a Sunday night incident near 10th and John.

Callers reported the gunfire and shouting in an altercation reported just after 11 PM Sunday. Arriving police found the parties in the dispute and located a .45 caliber handgun in one of their vehicles. At least one shell casing was located nearby on the northeast corner of 10th and John, according to East Precinct radio updates.

Police reported they were in contact with the belligerents and said there were no reported injuries at the scene.

No immediate arrests were reported.

 

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Subscribe to CHS to help us pay writers and photographers to cover the neighborhood. CHS is a pay what you can community news site with no required sign-in or paywall. Become a subscriber to help us cover the neighborhood for as little as $5 a month. ☀️Summer☀️ is the most challenging time to keep our subscriber total up. Thanks for any help and for spreading the word about CHS!