Reopening: Capitol Hill salons old and new return, adjusting to ‘new norm’ of masked haircutting

New colors at 19th Ave Salon by Brandon Madsen (Image: 19th Ave Salon)

Capitol Hill beauty businesses are adjusting to cutting and styling hair under state-mandated changes, including wearing PPE, issuing temperature checks and maintaining six feet of distance when possible.

For 19th Avenue Salon owner Jamie De Maria, implementing these safety requirements has been an important part of opening the new business. The salon had only been open for a week when COVID-19 restrictions shut the business down.

To his surprise, De Maria said the shop has not struggled with customers since reopening.

“We’ve been so beyond busy and turning clients away and working 12 hour days — it’s been insane,” De Maria said. “I would say 80-90% of our new customers are neighbors and residents of the community that have been walking by the salon seeing the construction happening and waiting for it to open and reading our reviews online.”

Salons got the go-ahead to reopen at 25% capacity under Phase 1.5 restrictions in early June and now have the option to expand to 50% capacity as part of Phase 2. Continue reading

After COVID-19 pause, Seattle development projects signing up for new review process

Developers around Seattle and across Capitol Hill this week are making the decision of whether to transition their projects into the city’s temporary “administrative design review” process to keep developments moving forward through the COVID-19 crisis.

The result will be a small flurry of new design review notices and 14-day public comment periods for a handful of Capitol Hill projects currently stuck in development limbo.

A letter from the city presents developers with two options: One, elect to put their projects into review by city planning staff in a process that will “re-trigger” public notice and open up a new 14-day comment window for each project, or, two, to “wait until the Design Review Board’s (sic) have resumed business” to have review meetings rescheduled under the citizen board process. Continue reading

Suspect holds up 15th Ave E Walgreens in reported drug heist — UPDATE

Police were searching the area around 15th Ave E Monday night after a reported armed robbery at Walgreens.

The suspect, his face partially covered by an N-95 style mask, reportedly had what appeared to be a handgun in his hoodie pocket. According to East Precinct radio updates, he fled the store on foot with six bottles of drugs stolen in the just before 9 PM heist and was last seen headed northbound on 15th.

UPDATE: Police say the suspect handed the Walgreens pharmacist a note “and demanded narcotics,” implying he had a handgun in his pocket and that he would shoot him if he did not comply.”

Police and a K9 unit were searching the area and the northeast edges of Capitol Hill. There were no reported injuries and no arrests.

UPDATE: SPD says a white Honda was seen near the area of the hold-up but the driver sped away and eluded police. Police reported finding a vehicle matching the description later in the night near 10th and Yesler. Officers attempted to chase the driver as he again sped away in a pursuit that ended at I-5 northbound Dearborn offramp where the suspect was able to flee from the scene on foot.

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Gunfire as 15th Ave E pot shop Ruckus held up in reported armed robbery — UPDATE

Gunfire shattered glass and an employee was reportedly grazed by a bullet in an armed robbery late Saturday night at E Republican and 15th Ave E pot shop Ruckus.

Just before 11:45 PM, an employee reported the gunfire as the suspect sped away in reverse before fleeing southbound on 15th Ave E. Police were searching for a silver or grey crossover type SUV  hatchback. Continue reading

Game over for Full Tilt Capitol Hill

In a season of Capitol Hill closures with large leases and high rents as the culprits, the 15th Ave E expansion of Seattle ice cream and arcade chain Full Tilt is also declaring game over.

Owner Justin Cline announced the plans for the Capitol Hill shop to close at the end of December after just under two years of business.

“I am proud of the team we have had there, and they effort everyone put into making it work. It just didn’t. It is not the right area for us,” Cline wrote. “We knew the cost of rent when we went into this space, but we thought we would have the traffic to support it. That did not happen. The wonderful employees are going to work at our other locations, and we have some new projects in the works.” Continue reading

MISSING: This Capitol Hill ‘streatery’

On one hand, the City of Seattle’s dabbling in relatively lightweight experiments in tactical urbanism should be lauded for its ability to test small, relatively inexpensive and unobtrusive concepts on the fly. On the other, it can make it look like nobody gave a shit about the principles behind the experiments in the first place when they are removed — poof — without a trace.

On 15th Ave E, one of those installations meant to reshape and help us rethink city streets has disappeared. Continue reading

Vegan sweet shop Sugar Plum has closed on 15th Ave E

(Image: Sugar Plum)

A still new project from a longtime presence in Seattle vegan food and drink has exited 15th Ave E. Vegan sweet shop Sugar Plum closed unexpectedly earlier this month with a paper sign on the door and everything moved out in an overnight shuttering.

Owner Makini Howell confirmed the closure with CHS and said Sugar Plum would be moving but did not provide further details. Her website says Sugar Plum sweets are now available at the 12th Ave complex where her popular Plum Bistro is located. Continue reading

A downsizing Linda spins off Capitol Hill’s Smith

(Image: Smith)

Almost one year to the day that CHS reported on the sale of Tallulah’s and twelve years and one month after the quiet side of Capitol Hill Linda’s joint broke the “Jake’s to Mango to Mcguire’s to Kozak’s to Cypress curse,” a deal for new owners at 15th Ave E’s Smith is about to be completed.

Linda Derschang confirmed the sale this week and said the plan is for the new, first-time restauranteurs to take over and “not change a thing.” As for Linda, she says don’t read too much into the transaction.

“If you look in any city, you see people opening restaurants, closing restaurants, selling restaurants,” she said Monday.

Instead, the paring down of the Derschang Group empire is about getting older, wanting a smaller company, and, Derschang says, New York City. Continue reading

What the Capitol Hill auto row-inspired project planned to replace Hilltop Service Station will look like

The concept for the 523 Hilltop project (Images: Studio Meng Strazzara)

The last time this Capitol Hill developer and the architects from Studio Meng Strazzara hooked up, they created an eight-story project designed to set the standard for Pike/Pine preservation and redevelopment. On 15th Ave E, Hunters Capital won’t leave any motor car history to work with as it prepares to demolish the Hilltop Service Station and continue the work to slowly repair the soils beneath from decades of contamination — but the proposed design for its coming 523 Hilltop building is inspired by Capitol Hill’s auto row past.

Design review: 523 15th Ave E

The Hunters Capital project takes its first pass by the East Design Review Board Wednesday night. Continue reading

Police investigate after man shot in 17th and E Mercer alley — UPDATE

At least one person was reported shot and police were searching the area after finding a blood trail and shell casings in a shooting near 17th and E Mercer early Thursday morning.

Multiple 911 callers reported around eight gunshots just before 1 AM.

Arriving officers found a male with a gunshot wound to his upper torso at a nearby building , according to East Precinct radio dispatches. Continue reading