I drank this on Capitol Hill: The Paulownia at Bar Vacilando

Jack was at the counter of Bar Vacilando as a ray of sunlight streaming in from the skylight, beckoned CHS inside. An avid hiker, backpacker, and long distance cycler, Jack just returned from Vesper Peak in the North Cascades. The chosen drink was the Paulownia, named for the large tree on the patio. Botanical Gin, shaken with Green Chartreuse, muddled lime, and agave is strained into a highball and topped with a touch of soda, a mint leaf, and lime wedge. Refreshing as a vesper breeze. Continue reading

About those Sunday afternoon booms you heard on Capitol Hill…

(Image: @primaseadiva via Flickr)

The booms you heard Sunday afternoon across Capitol Hill and the Central District? That was the central city’s surprisingly robust power grid doing what it needed to do to keep service intact even when faced with the greatest electricity infrastructure scourge known — the mylar balloon.

Seattle City Light said there were no prolonged outages but that many callers reported “mylar balloons in the lines.”

CHS had one report of balloons in the wires on 15th Ave E.

Residents reported loud booms from electrical utility gear throughout the early afternoon. The utility also made a District 3 endorsement — of sorts. City Light says D3 candidate Logan Bowers’s Twitter explanation of what was causing the booms was, ahem, “bang on” — Continue reading

Third time’s the charm for Aria as the salon hopes its new home at 15th and John will be permanent after its latest and ‘final’ Capitol Hill move

(Image: Aria Salon)

In 1998, Bianca Brookman opened Aria Salon at 11th and E Pike. Today, the salon has moved three times in twenty years. Aria has re-opened after its third move, and Brookman hopes the salon’s new home on 15th and John is permanent, proving small businesses and the gayborhood can thrive on the Hill today.

“It’s not the Pike and Pine corridor, but we’re in our 20th year, we have amazing staff, and I’m super excited,” Brookman said. “There’s a lot of good energy up here, and we’re ready for another 20 years.”

Prior to the salon’s move to 15th and John behind Bakery Nouveau, Aria resided on E Pine adjacent to Dingfelder’s Delicatessen. Brookman believed Aria would remain in its home since 2008 for years to come, and she sought to make changes to the salon’s layout. While renegotiating Aria’s lease on the space to ensure the salon’s longevity, Brookman learned she could not extend her lease beyond the duration of a development project set to wrap around the building.

She was also concerned with how the new development’s layout would impact the old building’s appearance and structural integrity, even if Aria could afford to remain in the space once construction was completed. Brookman viewed the situation as an opportunity to find Aria its latest permanent home. Continue reading

‘No Minors’ — Police nab suspect after street deal outside two Capitol Hill pot shops turns into gunpoint robbery

Police held the suspect on the ground at gunpoint (Image: @LexiLips)

A transaction outside two of the neighborhood’s pot shops involving two men too young to purchase marijuana legally turned into an armed robbery, Seattle Police say.

CHS reported on the large SPD response around 6 PM Friday to the area of 15th Ave E and Republican where police say the hold-up went down:

When police arrived they spoke with the 20-year-old victim who said he was attempting to purchase some marijuana from the suspect when he pulled out a gun and stole the victim’s cash. The suspect then ran away with the the victim’s $60.

Continue reading

Plan for five-story apartment project to replace Capitol Hill service station moves forward

A proposal for a five-story, 70 or so unit mixed used building to replace the Hilltop Service Station along Capitol Hill’s 15th Ave E is moving forward. The project passed its first round of design review in June with unanimous support from the review board.

“We are now awaiting the EDG letter from the city which will have quite a bit of feedback from both the board and the community to consider,” Michael Oaksmith of Capitol Hill-based developer Hunters Capital said. “Valuable feedback that we will give close attention to during our preparations for a DRB meeting later this year.”

Despite the board’s support for the early proposal’s plans for the five-story, 68-unit, market-rate apartment building with a generous 5,000 square feet of 15th Ave E fronting retail space, and underground parking for around 24 vehicles accessed via Mercer, some neighbors continue to oppose the development. Continue reading

Capitol Hill LGBTQ landmark the Gaslight Inn hits market for $3.5M

(Image: NWMLS)

A Capitol Hill landmark and a temporary home away from home for hundreds of travelers every year who visit the neighborhood, The Gaslight Inn is on the market.

A listing for the 15th Ave property went up this week. The price? $3.5 million — a small price for a 108-year-old piece of Capitol Hill history, no?

Here’s the marketing pitch:

The GASLIGHT INN(Circa 1910), a beautifully maintained Historic Landmark 8 suite (plus lower level owner’s floor w/3 bedrooms + office) in-city Boutique is ready for its next proprietor. Interior public spaces are graced by magnificent Oak millwork, stained & beveled glass windows, built-in cabinetry, & 3 gas fireplaces. The exterior is centered around the pool; a wisteria draped arbor and Koi pond. Strong book of clientele provides a stable base with the opportunity to grow.

In 2015, the house was approved for landmarks protections. Gaslight owner Stephen Bennett, who nominated the building, told CHS at the time he was elated at the board’s decision and recognition of the building’s important place in Capitol Hill’s LGBTQ history. Back then, Bennett said he’s looking forward to living out his retirement with the house and his bed and breakfast business. “I don’t have any family or children, so I would like to leave it to a civic organization,” he said. “I want it kept in the community.” We’ll follow up to learn more about the decision to list the property. Continue reading

Capitol Hill bagel king Loxsmith take over Sundays at the Canterbury in June

Loxsmith is back for June at the Canterbury (Image: Loxsmith Bagels)

19th Ave E was a little too quiet for Capitol Hill bagel king Matthew Segal. So, for June, his royal highness of boiled lye… ness is bringing the bagel pop-up greatness of Loxsmith to 15th Ave E’s Canterbury Ale House. And he’s bringing friends.

Starting this Sunday, the pop-up will take over ye olde 15th Ave E drink spot with its menu of bagel sandwiches, bagel dogs, and the Loxsmith bloody mary bar. Segal is also bringing menu collaborations with locals Raised Dougnuts — the Donut BEC, El Xolo — the blue corn waygu bageldog, and a GariSaba Ume Shiso Uzu Kosho Furkike bagel inspired by By Tae to the weekly menus. Watch for Loxsmith’s special plant dye rainbow bagels for Pride, too. Continue reading

Capitol Hill pot shop hit — again — in reported overnight robbery

Police and the Sheriff’s Guardian One helicopter searched northern Capitol Hill overnight after a suspect reportedly held up the Ruckus Recreational pot shop just off 15th Ave E.

Friday night, police rushed to the Ruckus shop just after 11:30 PM and surrounded the shop while waiting to make contact with an employee waiting inside. According to East Precinct radio reports, police began searching the surrounding area with a K9 dog unit but did not immediately track down a suspect. Police were also looking for a vehicle seen leaving the area as officers arrived. Continue reading

On 15th Ave E, booming design business means expansion for Board and Vellum, new start for Capitol Hill nonprofit

In a booming city full of redesign and redevelopment, Capitol Hill design and architecture firm Board and Vellum has decided 15th Ave E is the place for it to grow, too.

“Board and Vellum has grown from a staff of one back in 2011 to just under 40 people today,” firm principal Jeff Pelletier tells CHS. “We have seen tremendous growth in our landscape architecture and interior design studios and being able to occupy the whole building will mean we have certainty of where we will work for years to come while accommodating any future growth in our staff size.”

That growth means Board and Vellum has undertaken two of its most important design projects yet. Continue reading

Spice Waala’s Indian street food going ‘brick and mortar’ on Capitol Hill — UPDATE

(Image: Spice Waala)

If you are tired of “street food” variations of your favorite global cuisine, we cannot help you. You might be a bad person.

Spice Waala, Seattle’s purveyor of “authentic Indian street food,” will be the next mobile venture to put down brick and mortar roots on Capitol Hill.

“This allows us to start bringing to life a lot more Indian street food that we couldn’t do at the markets,” Uttam Mukherjee tells CHS. “Our focus is Indian street food, quick, below $10 price marks, a lot of fresh grilling in front of you.”

It will be a bit of a one for one trade on 15th Ave E where Kanak Cuisine of India has been “temporarily” closed after just over four years of business.

Spice Waala will bring a newer, fresher, but more nostalgic take on Indian food to the small restaurant warren that has been on a bit of a global jaunt in recent years with Indian Kanak and a Middle Eastern joint filling the space in recent years. Continue reading