Despite tough 2019, WeWork Capitol Hill will be open for the first Monday of 2020

(Images: CHS)

The first full work week of 2020 will include new offices kicking into motion for the first time above the streets of Pike/Pine in a project many thought would never survive WeWork’s tumultuous 2019.

WeWork Capitol Hill is set to officially debut as the company’s newest Seattle facility Monday, January 6th officials confirmed with CHS this week.

The opening will continue a string of activity for WeWork in the area. Its Ballard location — a more modest, two-floor affair above a development that also added a Target to the neighborhood, opened last week.

As the fast-rising and now cost-cutting office real estate and coworking company is reportedly searching for solutions to remove itself from hundreds of leases around the country, its ambitious new 11th Ave facility will come online after months of delays and in a limited fashion that will leave much of the five-story building it and its customers will call home empty and still under construction, and without its key central tenant — Microsoft.

The major cause for the delay and softer than hoped launch on Capitol Hill won’t be WeWork’s dramas documented in Vanity Fair.

WeWork has run into something much more brutal than the cutthroat world of startups and pre-IPO valuations — the City of Seattle’s permit desk. Continue reading

Oma Bap’s second ‘contemporary fast casual Korean’ story begins with neighbor Hugo House across from Cal Anderson Park

(Image: Oma Bap)

The new Hugo House and its literary complex can now offer its authors and poets nourishment beyond the written word.

“Contemporary fast casual Korean” Oma Bap’s second restaurant is now open on 11th Ave next to the literary center below its mixed-use neighbors and across from Cal Anderson Park. Continue reading

What you’ll find at the Capitol Hill WeWork

A WeWork lobby in Xujiahui (Image: WeWork)

Late last year, news spread that the preservation-boosted Kelly Springfield office building hoped to bring more jobs to Capitol Hill and help spark more daytime activity in Pike/Pine would have one gargantuan tenant — global coworking powerhouse, WeWork.

With construction on the building nearly complete, the finishing touches being put on its restored but still representative auto row-era facade, and the streetscape and rainbows restored, the company’s newest Seattle office-space location is nearly ready to offer up its first “hot desk.” When it does, want-to-be Pike/Pine workers will find five stories of dedicated WeWork space including “light-filled lounges, modern conference rooms, and sleek private offices” and some of the rapidly growing companies newest features like the Made by We store.

WeWork representatives haven’t responded to our inquiries about opening plans but the new facility is accepting sign-ups for tours and workspaces. Last year, the company said to expect workers to arrive “by late summer.” Continue reading

I drank this on Capitol Hill: Cafe Pettirosso’s Chill Pill

Roxy is a newer addition to 11th Ave’s Pettirosso. Working as a bartender since June, they are already adding drinks to the menu. While new to Pettirosso, Roxy has plenty of Hill experience — at First Hill’s Hideout and Vito’s.

When Roxy isn’t developing new cocktails, they work as an artist, both as a costume designer, and, recently, as a woodworker. Continue reading

A story of bibimbap and bulgogi, Oma Bap’s bowls set to join new Hugo House

Kimchi fried rice (Image: Oma Bap)

There are a lot of stories at the new mixed-use version of Capitol Hill’s Hugo House literary center — six, to be exact — but the tale behind the building’s coming new restaurant is more of a legend of logistics than a romance of food and the written word.

“Contemporary fast casual Korean” concern Oma Bap is expanding to 11th Ave and will take the restaurant suite adjacent the street level, 10,000 square-foot literary center across from Cal Anderson Park. Continue reading

By chef Sun Hong’s hand, By Tae handrolls coming to Capitol Hill’s Chophouse Row

Chef Sun Hong at a recent pop-up at Bar Ferd’nand (Image: By Tae)

For chef Sun Hong, quality fish, seaweed, and perfectly seasoned rice are, each, a given. What matters is the tae — “the hand,” the style, the detail, and the finishing of each creation he wants to serve.

“Your hand is your signature,” Hong tells CHS. After a run of popular pop-ups around the city, Hong is brining to his By Tae handrolls to Capitol Hill’s Chophouse Row. Continue reading

Seattle’s writers and creatives find Capitol Hill home again at Hugo House grand reopening

Maria Semple, best-selling author and screenwriter, speaking at the opening event last Saturday

There once was a Hugo House here / We loved its old crazy quilt cheer / This house, it would seem, an architects dream / But the spirit of quirkies still near

This poem was recited by Dick Gemperle last weekend at the grand reopening of Richard Hugo House, a beloved community workspace for writers and a home for Seattle’s “literary heartbeat.”

“This is a wonderful time for Hugo House. Everything is coming together in September. On the 4th of September we closed the transaction to purchase this space. We’re almost done with construction, almost done with our capital campaign, tonight is our grand opening, and next week classes start,” said Gemperle, board president of Hugo House. “It’s all coming together.”

The new Hugo House offers more space for readers and writers with more classrooms, along with a dedicated performance space for readings, and a front parlor space with desks and bar that will be open during events. Continue reading

‘A gift’ — first look inside Capitol Hill’s new Hugo House

Boards from the old Hugo House — complete with the graffiti encouraged at a goodbye party before its demolition — live on in the new Hugo House

The new Hugo House will be open to the public for the first time Saturday but the staff moved in Wednesday and the space has already hosted its first event — an opening preview for the more than 300 community donors and public officials responsible for the one-of-a-kind writing center across from Cal Anderson Park.

“We’re in a time right now when words really matter,” State Representative Nicole Macri said at Monday night’s pre-opening reception in the new center.

“I’m so grateful that the state came through.”

Rep. Macri inside the new Hugo House Monday night

Continue reading

New Capitol Hill story ready to begin at Hugo House

A rendering of the soon to open new Hugo House

Construction of the new 9,600-square-foot Hugo House writing center at 11th and E Olive St. is fully imbued with the creative process — right down to the burning spirit that drives any author, poet, or journalist: a deadline.

“Construction always take longer than they think it will and there have been some unavoidable delays,” Hugo House executive director Tree Swenson tells CHS. “They say they’ll be ready.”

Like a publisher awaiting that final draft, Swenson is planning for Saturday, September 22nd — the planned official grand opening of the new Hugo House inside the six-story mixed-use apartment building that stands at the site the old Hugo House previously called home.

Opening Celebration: New Hugo House

“The celebration will be a chance for everybody to explore the whole space in a design that invites creativity,” Swenson said.

Designed by the architects at NBBJ, the new Hugo House is centered around a 150-seat auditorium but Swenson said the first thing any visitor will see from the 11th Ave entrance is the front salon with built-in writing nooks, seating areas, and a small stage. Continue reading

CHS Pics | 11th Avenue Street Fair


An effort to highlight Capitol Hill’s creative spaces got started Sunday with the first-ever 11th Avenue Street Fair where painters, clothing designers, and all other types of artists came to display and sell their work.

Sponsored by the Capitol Hill Community Council, and street representative’s Vermillion, Blue Cone Studios, Imminent Mode, and John Criscitello Studios, the festival closed the street to traffic and let the artists mostly do their thing. Continue reading