The golden age of Capitol Hill bagels

The Bagel Deli may be long gone but you are living in the gold age of Capitol Hill bagels.

The October opening of Rubinstein Bagels brought a nice little burst of new energy to 15th Ave E’s commercial offerings while also elevating the neighborhood’s chewy bagel offerings to a new epic level. Here are a few scenes CHS captured on a recent visit to check out the new shop.

Capitol Hill currently is home to five outstanding bagel bakers each offering its own special take on the Jewish baked goods: Continue reading

Director who guided it through pandemic and CHOP delivers Capitol Hill’s Northwest Film Forum to its next step: finding a new home it can own

NWFF: “Rest assured: we will be in Capitol Hill for at least a couple more years, but the pandemic has illuminated the need for organizations like ours to secure ownership of their venues. We have seen arts organizations lose their spaces all around the city. In each year of our 26-year history, we have welcomed more audiences and offered more services; we want to continue that work well into the future.”


The art house chain theaters disappeared long ago. Now, Capitol Hill’s remaining independent and nonprofit screens are struggling through the pandemic to stay lit including on 12th Ave where the neighborhood’s Northwest Film Forum has started a search for a new home. First, the organization must find a new leader.

After leading the organization through months of pandemic restrictions and its time within the borders of the CHOP protest zone, executive director Vivian Hua has announced plans to step down from the nonprofit film and arts center to start 2022.

“It has been a wonderful adventure to serve an arts organization which intentionally takes action towards evolving for the better,” Hua said in the announcement. “l have been heartened to welcome new audiences and hear personal stories from diverse creators who feel the Film Forum has become a home for them. Being NWFF’s first POC Executive Director has also been a significant milestone.”

Earlier this month, Hua told CHS the NWFF’s new capital campaign is the start of what should be about a two year process of finding a new home for the organization.

“We’ve outgrown the space, especially in terms of education,” Hua said, saying the forum is interested in long term stability. “Owning the space is loosely the goal,” the filmmaker and writer said. Continue reading

With Bishops acquisition, Rudy’s now has three barbershops on its Capitol Hill home turf

(Image: Rudy’s Barbershop)

Rescued from bankruptcy by its original Pike/Pine founders, the Capitol Hill-based Rudy’s Barbershop chain is growing with the pandemic-era acquisition of fellow Pacific Northwest barbershop chain Bishops.

The deal means Rudy’s is now operating three salons in its home neighborhood including the former Bishops at 12th and Pike.

West Seattle Blog reported the ripples from the deal gracing that neighborhood with its second Rudy’s.

Like Rudy’s, Bishops has faced major pandemic challenges. The deal reportedly includes a dozen Bishops-operated locations in the Pacific Northwest including the West Seattle and 12th and Pike locations while franchised salons will operate independently. Continue reading

Bookkeeping | Spotting patterns — and shaping more equitable neighborhoods — at 12th Ave’s Schemata Workshop

Photos by Rod Huntress

By Kimberly Kinchen

From affordable housing at Cal Anderson-adjacent Station House to a Union Street pedestrian bridge on the Central Waterfront, designs from architecture studio Schemata Workshops are fixtures on the Hill and far beyond. Co-founder Grace Kim shared some favorite volumes with us for Bookkeeping, our occasional series on the books local businesses love so much they keep them in easy reach.

How does a book make it onto this shelf? Most of the books in the office are reference books. So books we’re using for precedents or looking at typologies — other built examples with similar characteristics — to see kind of what else people are thinking about. And sometimes it’s not even the same type, like we might be looking at a compact home, but we might look at libraries, and how they might use condensed storage. Sometimes we’re trying to capture look and feel. A lot of that we can do on the internet. So a lot of the books that are here are actually much, much older, just because they’re from a time when we couldn’t search those things on the internet. . . . I guess a big way these books show up is when we’re looking for more information than what you would find on the web. So we might be searching for high density housing in Europe and find one or two projects with just a picture or two. And so then trying to dive in a little deeper and understand the project, we might see if it’s published in a book somewhere. And that will lead to other similar projects. Then we can look at what’s happening outside our area. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s universities, colleges, and private schools keep growing including Seattle Academy plans for new five-story building on 12th Ave

(Image: Seattle Academy)

Beneath the waves of development that pass through Capitol Hill, there is also a steady flow of change that continues to reshape key areas of the neighborhood as major educational institutions like Seattle University and Seattle Central continue their plans for expanded campuses and new buildings.

Private middle and high school Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences also has plans for new expansion, releasing details of its planned “Home of the Upper School (HoUS)” that will further reshape 12th and Madison’s southeast corner.

Early permitting with the city shows plans for a five-story academic building above a one-level underground parking lot. The planned development will also have an outdoor plaza that will serve as a connector to the school’s other buildings on the block: Continue reading

East Precinct removes ‘temporary’ security fence that followed CHOP fortress wall

(Image: CheeToS_)

As new panes of safety glass are being installed, the last vestiges of the Seattle Police Department’s efforts to wall off and fortify the East Precinct during months of protest have come down — for now, at least.

SPD public information could not confirm if the removal over the last few weeks of work would be permanent but the tall security fences outside the 12th and Pine facility have been dismantled and carted away.

CHS reported in May on the installation of the fence that replaced the large cement barrier wall SPD had built around the facility in the summer of 2020 as anti-police protests continued after months of massive Black Lives Matter demonstrations and rallies in the city including the nearby CHOP occupied protest camp. Continue reading

Local Sightings 2021: You can attend an in-person film festival on Capitol Hill

(Image: Thin Skin)

This summer, CHS checked in with the unique mix of Capitol Hill area movie theaters to learn more about how the venues were approaching reopening after months of COVID-19 restrictions. The answer? In slow motion with caution and safety.

On 12th Ave, the Hill’s Northwest Film Forum is tip toeing into the new world of pandemic-era theatergoing this week with screenings as part of its annual Local Sightings film festival. Masks and proof of vaccination are required: Continue reading

Bookkeeping | Rounding up inspiration from the pages at Capitol Hill’s Karachi Cowboys

(Image: CHS)

By Kimberly Kinchen

Bookkeeping is an occasional series touring some favorite places from Capitol Hill and the nearby via bookshelves, covers, and spines

We stopped in at Nasir Zubair’s 12th Ave Karachi Cowboy’s, one of the Hill’s newer eateries, where food is bound up in Zubair’s family traditions but unbound by the rules of restaurant trade.

How does a book make it onto this shelf? This is all just stuff that’s inspiring me right now. If we ever have a downtime and we want some inspiration for what to add to our menu next, we have all this to choose from. And everyone’s welcome to take a look if they want to. We’re not very structured here. It’s pretty chill. Continue reading

Ready to ‘lean into really dark,’ Anchorhead Coffee opening new bakery and cafe on Capitol Hill

(Image: Anchorhead Coffee)

A one of a kind Capitol Hill coffee and cafe space that went dark during the pandemic and never reopened is set to go… darker.

Anchorhead Coffee, with its Pacific Northwest rocker blacks and browns, will take over the former 12th Ave Stumptown location with plans for a new cafe, bakery, and coffee education lab to open this winter.

“When we saw this location, we had no plans to come to Capitol Hill,” Anchorhead co-owner Jake Paulson tells CHS, “but we were like, ‘We need to get this.'” Continue reading

Cakes + Trees now growing on 13th Ave with granny cakes, ‘parm night’ pop-ups, and plants

(Image: Cakes + Trees)

(Image: CHS)

By Jethro Swain

13th Ave’s new Cakes + Trees is attracting pastry-lovers with its homestyle cakes and keeping them coming back with a changing menu, pop-up dinners, and an array of indoor flora for sale.

“Once we got the place and started building it out, we really focused on making a little spot where people could walk in, forget about all the crap, indulge in a piece of cake, enjoy the plants and just not worry about things for a minute,” said Alison Odowski.

The new shop, located on 13th Ave just off of E Jefferson, opened earlier this summer from Seattle food and drink veterans Odowski and Erik Jackson. Jackson has been a chef in Seattle for over 20 years, and Cakes + Trees is the couple’s second small business venture, after creating Good Day Donuts in White Center.

Odowski and Jackson lived in Capitol Hill for three years before moving south to be closer to Good Day Donuts, so they’re familiar with the area.

“We weren’t specifically looking to be over here, or anywhere, but this space [we’re in] dictated the move because we fell in love with it,” said Odowski. “It’s really old, the building was built in 1910, which I love. With so much new stuff in Seattle it’s also fun to be in something really old.” Continue reading