Design review: 8-story mixed-use at 12th and Fir

Plans for a new 8-story mixed-use building at 12th and Fir will come before the Central Area Design Review Board Thursday night.

The proposal from developers Kamiak with designs by Hybrid and Hewitt would create an 8-story, 127-unit apartment building with street level retail above a 42-space underground parking garage. Continue reading

Cafe Presse’s old bar is now a Galician tapas bar — MariPili ready for its debut on 12th Ave

 

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Abuela’s Garbanzos: “Marcona hummus, Spanish chimichurri and garlic chips” (Image: MariPili)

(Image: MariPili)

A new era for the old Cafe Presse space is ready to begin. MariPili will open — softly — this week, starting with a special set of reservations set up through its social media to give followers and early fans first dibs at the new Capitol Hill restaurant.

Set to serve its first customers Thursday night, there are no announced dates for the start of wider service at the new Galician tapas bar. You’ll want to check in on MariPili’s Instagram @maripili_tapas_bar if you’re eager to try it out.

CHS visited here with chef Grayson Pilar Corrales as the first time restaurateur was preparing her new venture to take over the space where Cafe Presse grew into a Capitol Hill favorite before closing earlier this year as owners Jim Drohman and Joanne Herron prepare for retirement. Continue reading

Owner of 12th Ave coffee shop honored as Washington Small Business Person of the Year

Efrem Fesaha, center, was honored this week (Image: City of Seattle)

The U.S. Small Business Administration has named Efrem Fesaha, owner of 12th Ave’s Boon Boona Coffee, as its Washington Small Business Person of the Year.

Fesaha was honored Thursday in a visit including federal and city officials at the 12th Ave cafe.

After starting the business in Renton, Fesaha expanded in 2021 with his second Boon Boona cafe across from Seattle U, bringing the company’s African roasts to the neighborhood. “We’re fortunate enough that the continent of Africa has so much available to it that all we have to do is roast it up, and the work is done,” Fesaha says.

The new honor comes as Fesaha has grown his company with financial support from SBA and program mentorship that helped Boon Boona stay open through the pandemic. Continue reading

Why everybody should be part of the 2022 TRANSlations: Seattle Trans Film Festival

A scene from Pronouns in Bio screening at this year’s festival

StormMiguel Florez

The TRANSlations: Seattle Trans Film Festival which starts this week centered around in-person screenings at Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum, organizers have set out to create a festival for everyone and an event to help connect the trans community across the neighborhood, the city, and around the world. Taking place May 5th through 8th, the 2022 Seattle Trans Film Festival offers events and films that showcase transgender films by and for trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people.

TRANSlations lead programmer and filmmaker StormMiguel Florez said the whole point is to explore trans film, of course, but also for people outside the community to come along.

“We don’t have a lot of spaces where we get to celebrate ourselves this way and see ourselves this way and it is a festival that is welcoming to everyone, but it is our space to see and be seen and connect. Just to have that kind of reflection that we so rarely get,” Florez said. Continue reading

City gives 8-story development OK to rise on 12th Ave

(Image: Runberg Architecture Group)

 

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While there are plans for a new development wave of large apartment complexes across Capitol Hill, one project of a more modest scale that still faced plenty of blowback is way out in front of the process and getting ready to begin demolition and construction on 12th Ave.

Last week, the eight-story, 134-unit project from Mack Real Estate and Runberg Architecture Group for the land currently occupied by the former Car Tender auto shop, Bergman’s Lock and Key, and the old Scratch Deli building won final approval from the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections director.

CHS reported here on the project’s successful final design review last summer as the development garnered support from pro-housing advocates and residents providing public comment and overcame criticism over its height, bulk, and scale and its relationship to the surrounding streets that mix new apartment buildings like 12th Ave Arts, older buildings, duplexes and triplexes, and the occasional single family style home. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Anchorhead Coffee now open on 12th Ave

With reporting by Alex Garland

A darker, moodier 1100 block of 12th Ave is being shaped. MariPili is coming soon. Anchorhead Coffee has arrived.

The latest expansion of the black and brown clad Seattle coffee company is now open on Capitol Hill and has transformed the former Stumptown and roasting facility into a new cafe and bakery just as neighboring Cafe Presse has gone dark, closing after 15 years of business.

Anchorhead’s Ross Beamish said neighboring a legend like Presse would have been great but the coffee start-up now has hopes of forming a “cool day and night combo” on the block and has found a kindred spirit in MariPili chef and owner Grayson Corrales.

Beamish says Anchorhead and MariPili have a plan to repaint the old auto row building they call home as part of bringing a new feel to the block. The color? Black, of course. Continue reading

An owner and an ‘arts anchor,’ Photographic Center Northwest will be part of new Focus on 12th Apartments

Photographic Center Northwest owns its building and its future on 12th Ave as plans are coming together for a new mixed-use development at the corner of 12th and Marion that will include a new home for the nonprofit dedicated to photography and learning.

“I’m humbled by the fact we can remain one of those arts anchors in this neighborhood in a time that is really unstable for many,” Terry Novak, executive director of the center and co-chair of the Capitol Hill Arts District steering committee, tell CHS.

As the district committee has watched arts groups and creators large and small exit the neighborhood due to high rents and limited space, Novak says she hopes PCNW can represent a hold point for others to hold on.

Plans for a new Focus on 12th Apartments development in partnership with the photo center and developer Vibrant Cities are moving quickly into Seattle’s public process with reviews of the planned project’s design and the history of the existing building slated for coming months. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Cafe Presse’s story comes to a busy end

The busy final weekend of Cafe Presse on Capitol Hill is a prelude. Even as the beloved 12th Ave cafe was bidding adieu to the neighborhood it has comfortably fed since the summer of 2007, there were preparations for what will come next.

The final days for Presse, then are a different kind of wrapping up. CHS stopped by to be part of the procession through the cafe that has seen a busy flow of customers come in for a last croque madame or croque monsieur following its December announcement that the restaurant would close down with owners Jim Drohman and Joanne Herron deciding to sell as they wind down toward retirement. They’re 1st Ave Le Pichet is also hoped to find a new buyer.

Cafe Presse has had a rich, long life as far as restaurants go.

“In Seattle, a restaurant that lasts 15 years is really an oddity,” Drohman told CHS in December. “It is gratifying and amazing that people like what you do.”

First-time owner chef Grayson Corrales will refresh the 12th Ave space with MariPili, a Spanish-American tapas restaurant with influences from Spain’s northwest Galicia region in a revamped venue that will shift away from the all-day, all-night ambience of Cafe Presse. Continue reading

How tough are times for Capitol Hill bars? Somebody stole Canon’s ’50 Best Bars in the World’ award

Canon said this video shows someone taking its 50 Best Bars in the World award. If you can help identify them, let Canon know.

It’s hard enough for Capitol Hill’s bars to stay in business through a global pandemic but having to deal with thieves adds insult to injury. 12th Ave’s Canon is looking for help tracking down two people the world-renowned bar says took one of the most precious items on its rare and special liquor-stuffed counters and shelves.

Three years after its Capitol Hill debut, Drinks International named Canon number six on its 2014 list of the 50 Best Bars in the World. It was a major honor. And the bar proudly displayed the award for all to see.

Security video posted by the bar from around midnight Saturday shows what Canon says are the two patrons grabbing the award and tucking it quickly away over the weekend. Continue reading

Seattle Neighborhood Economic Recovery Grants include thousands for new Broadway murals, Capitol Hill small biz e-commerce, and support for a new 12th Ave ‘community market’

 

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Director Egan Orion and a BIA cleaning crew (Image: Broadway Business Improvement Area”

A $1.35 million round of Neighborhood Economic Recovery Grants from the city will include money to boost business friendly organizations active around Capitol Hill and the Central District.

The awards announced this week as one of the final acts of Mayor Jenny Durkan’s term are built from funding through the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CLFRF) established under the American Rescue Plan Act.

“Neighborhood business districts in Seattle are the heart of our neighborhoods and centers of community, commerce and culture, which is why we quickly directed federal funding to established business districts who have been working tirelessly to extend lifelines to local businesses and revitalize our neighborhoods,” Durkan said in praise of the federal support.

Project grants were awarded to organizations including $25,000 to create a Central Area Chamber business directory, $75,000 to Simply Soulful to “convert the old restaurant space into a commissary kitchen and popup event space to help BIPOC businesses revive and grow,” $85,000 to Wa Na Wari, and $25,000 to the Community Roots Housing Foundation to support a new pop-up market “along Howell Street mini block that will showcase BIPOC businesses.” 12th Avenue Recovery, an organization granted $75,000 to hold “a summer community market, activate and beautify 12th Ave Square Park & 12th Ave Street with landscaping and tables and chair.” Continue reading