A plan in COVID-19 limbo: Pike/Pine’s big Glossier Seattle showroom

A rendering of Glossier’s steamy pop-up on Broadway in 2019

While we’re uncertain how many neighborhood bars, restaurants, and shops we’ll find permanently closed as the COVID-19 crisis lifts, there are a few things to keep your fingers crossed for and to look forward to on the post-pandemic Capitol Hill — provided there is a post-pandemic Capitol Hill.

One center of this limbo of potential joy are plans for a new 7,000-square-foot Glossier showroom in the core of Pike/Pine on 10th Ave. But the hope hinges on a change of direction and overall recovery for the makeup and skincare company that shuttered its few stores around the globe this summer and furloughed employees to wait out the COVID-19 crisis.

It is possible the project could end up, instead, the center of things that could have been. Continue reading

Checking in: Paint Salon opens in pandemic-era Pike/Pine

(Image: CHS)

By Gabrielle Locke

In past CHS “Checking in” posts, we’ve talked with longtime neighborhood favorites about how they’re surviving, thriving, and struggling through the COVID-19 crisis.

But this “Checking in” is a different kind of story.

Paint Salon opened last year at 13th and Pike in the middle of the pandemic but its first-time salon owners say they’ve never been busier as stylists.

“People love to get their hair done because it makes them feel good about themselves. And people want to feel good more than ever during these hard times.” Paint co-owner Erin Caldwell tells CHS.

Caldwell and business partner Paige Morgan set out to shape Paint for with a setup meant to create a safe environment for stylists and customers with considerations about the long-term effects of things like hair coloring and blow drying. But Paint is also shaped for the times it has been born into. Continue reading

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

Founders have deal to rescue Rudy’s Barbershop from bankruptcy

Inside the E Pine Rudy's

Rudy’s in busier days

The economic upheaval created by the COVID-19 crisis will put one of Capitol Hill’s signature companies back in the hands of the group of friends who created it on E Pine nearly 30 years ago.

According to federal court filings in a $3.5 million deal that closed Friday, Rudy’s Reloaded, a company involving founders Wade Weigel and David Petersen has successfully won a bid to purchase the Rudy’s Barbershop chain out of bankruptcy.

“After several rounds of bidding between the Stalking Horse and Rudy’s Reloaded during the Auction, the Debtors determined, in consultation with counsel to the Committee, that: (i) Rudy’s Reloaded was the Successful Bidder and its final bid was the Successful Bid; and (ii) that the Stalking Horse was the Back-Up Bidder and its final bid was the Back-Up Bid under the Bidding Procedures Order,” an analysis used in determining the winning bid reads. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Laughing Buddha waiting to debut its new home — once it’s safe to again begin inking and piercing

Turns out, the former “largest float pod center in North America” will make a good home for a new tattoo parlor (Image: Laughing Buddha)

By Lena Friedman, CHS Intern

Laughing Buddha Tattoo and Body Piercing had plans to open its doors in a new Capitol Hill location on E Union, Madison, and 12th after losing its Pine and Broadway central spot. Then the COVID-19 crisis led to the closure of all non-essential businesses, putting a halt to its new plans. But as the COVID-19 phases play out, you’ll soon see the studio back in motion in a new part of the neighborhood.

Owner Christy Lillian Opal said that the Pine and Broadway building’s change in ownership from Seattle Central to YouthCare, a non-profit organization with plans for a new center providing services and housing to homeless youth, prompted this move.

“YouthCare bought the building and they didn’t allow us to stay,” Lillian Opal said. “We wanted to stay but they’re an amazing organization and they’re going to be using that space for a really good cause.” Continue reading

With Lunchbox, chain wax arrives on Capitol Hill

Chain wax has arrived on Capitol HIll. The first Washington state outlet from Lunchbox Wax has opened in the retail component of E Pine’s Excelsior Apartments development.

The Sun Valley, Idaho-launched company boasts 46 “premier waxing salons” and franchise locations across the country.

“Being true to yourself means loving your personality, your style, and the skin you’re in,” the marketing for the new Capitol Hill location reads. “To give your skin some TLC, come to LunchboxWax Capitol Hill. We make pampering yourself simple and quick with our speed-waxing techniques that have made the LunchboxWax name famous.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Gary Manuel Aveda Institute is making a two-block Pike/Pine move

The black-clad students of “The Harry Potter of hair schools” are on the move (Image: Gary Manuel Aveda Institute)

By Maggie Holland for CHS

In the wake of Seattle Vocational Institute discontinuing its School of Cosmetology, a new neighbor is moving onto the block at Harvard and Pike to fill the creative space left behind. The Gary Manuel Aveda Institute is packing up and moving a few blocks down to explore opportunities on a new frontier: the Seattle Central campus.

Along with the institute comes Elizabeth Noblitt, who first stepped into her role as director of the Gary Manuel Aveda Institute when it debuted on 10th Ave in 2004. Now, 15 years later, she is spearheading the move to the former E Pike at Harvard cosmetology school space that will keep the small armies of black-aproned beauty school students in the neighborhood.

Noblitt said the target opening date is the first week in October, depending on construction.

Despite being on the doorsteps to the campus, Gary Manuel is not affiliated with the college. But this positioning is intentional on part of Aveda, whose institutes are often located close to college campuses to increase clients and interest from students. Continue reading

25 years of Rudy’s Barbershop on Capitol Hill — and, why they called it Rudy’s to begin with

Eight million haircuts. Rudy’s, the Capitol Hill-based haircutting empire, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and the company estimates they’ve given more than 8 million haircuts in that time.

The first Rudy’s was opened in January, 1993 on E Pine, by friends Alex Calderwood, Wade Weigel and David Petersen. According to company lore, the trio was looking to make a place where they could hang out with their friends.

In those grunge-era days, Capitol Hill was a very different place in terms of the demographics, and sheer numbers of people, but that was starting to change. Rudy’s opened, along with now-stalwart Linda’s, and once-beloved Bauhaus coffee. Those three were one factor in changing the neighborhood into the one we recognize now, said Danny Segal, director of marketing and brand for Rudy’s. Or at least they were a factor in changing it into the neighborhood we used to recognize, but now don’t anymore, depending on how long you’ve lived here. Continue reading

Madison Valley’s latest salon specializes in picking bugs out of your hair

Looking for another reason to ban children from Capitol Hill? Here is the slightly geographically challenged announcement of new Seattle “lice salon” Hair Fairies:

Seattle’s upscale Capitol Hill neighborhood, with its swanky shops, parks and cafés, might seem like a strange place for a head lice treatment salon to set up shop. But there’s Hair Fairies, nestled between a Tuscan restaurant and a French bistro on E Madison Ave, and CEO Maria Botham thinks it’s perfect. “We aren’t just any old lice clinic, we pride ourselves on being a destination for parents and kids to feel comfortable, and release some of the stigma associated with lice. Everyone can get lice – it doesn’t discriminate – and we strive to create a space that is accepting and welcoming to everyone.”

Located at 2810 E Madison, the salon gets done pretty much what you’d expect from a lice salon. But the local location for the national chain of around a dozen salons says its methods fit in with “natural” Seattle.

“We understand the importance of ‘natural’ within the Seattle culture. We use our all-natural, plant-based products to eliminate your head lice — 100% guaranteed — with no at-home combing required. Or, if you prefer to DIY, we can teach you to tackle the pesky pests yourself,” the description reads.

Besides, chemicals won’t necessarily rid your kid — and you and your kid’s friends and your friends and grandma — of lice. The bugs are doing what good bugs do — becoming increasingly resistant to the most widely used treatments.

Company founder Maria Botham tells CHS the demand for her service really knows no season — though trends do seem to cleve closely to the school year and things like summer camp season. She says moms and dads vary by market but that her West Coast locations definitely illustrate a DIY trend for parents.

“In San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland, they roll up their sleeves,” Botham said of parents fighting the bugs. If that effort can’t get the job done, Botham says, that is where Hair Fairies can help.

The service isn’t cheap. The sometimes hours-long procedures run around $105 per hour.

Got an itch? You can learn more at hairfairies.com.

Chophouse Row welcomes Cake Skincare, HONED jewelry, and neighborhood bodega Sundry

Katrina Rising, owner of Cake Skincare, stands in her new shop in Chophouse Row.

Katrina Rising, owner of Cake Skincare, in her new shop in Chophouse Row.

Cake Skincare has settled into its new Chophouse Row location and owner Katrina Rising is looking forward to meeting new clients.

“Now we are able to add on some more hours and that will give us some breathing room to play again with new people, which we’re so excited about,” Rising said.

Cake held its grand opening party in December and since the new year rolled in, the second location has hit a smooth flow, she said. The Capitol Hill location is the second Cake spot in Seattle with the first opening in Queen Anne in 2009 where Rising and her aestheticians have been building a reputation as the eyebrow experts of the neighborhood.

“The neighborhoods are different … and I really wanted each place to serve its neighborhood and have its own vibe of that neighborhood,” Rising said. Rising said Cake at Queen Anne was getting a bit squished. Now about half of Cake’s clients go to the Capitol Hill location for their beauty needs. “It really has been this pull, and I’m glad that we listened because people were really wanting us to come over here,” Rising said.

Along with Cake, two other new tenants also now call Chophouse Row home. Continue reading