New salon and spa suite rental space on Broadway has its first customer — Pike/Pine’s Emerson Salon moving in

(Image: Emerson Salon)

A new hair and beauty venture set to open on Capitol Hill is already shaking up the neighborhood salon scene.

Emerson Salon, one of the first new Capitol Hill business CHS reported on when it opened more than a decade ago in Pike/Pine, is undergoing a shift in ownership and making a big change — leaving its longtime E Pike shopfront to be part of the new Mosaic Salon and Spa Studios on Broadway.

“Lancer and I are VERY excited to continue serving hair clients as individual service businesses on Capitol Hill inside Emerson Salon. It will stay a SAFE SPACE for LGBTQIA & BIPOC in Seattle,” D’Arcy Harrison said in the announcement of the change.

As part of the changes, Harrison said she is taking over full ownership with former co-owner Lancer Forney-McMahon staying on as a stylist with the new Emerson. Continue reading

Vain rehomes its freak-flagship salon on Capitol Hill

Some recent Vain color (Image: Vain)

A Seattle institution for adventurous and colorful hairstyles, and some truly legendary parties, boutique salon Vain has moved its downtown flagship location to new Capitol Hill digs on 1121 Pike Street. Cozied down between Black Sparrow Tattoo and Club Z, Vain opened for business earlier this month. The move signals the company’s rebirth of sorts from the pandemic, and a new chapter in Seattle’s coiffed counterculture.

Growing in the Belltown building left behind by the move of legendary Seattle club The Vogue to Capitol Hill, Vain was born into the city’s changing punk ethos. Vain owner Victoria Gentry remembered that neighboring businesses didn’t exactly appreciate The Vogue’s noisy shows, but with a salon, “You still get all the freaks without the noise.”

The move to Capitol Hill has been in the works for a while, Gentry said. The former location — in downtown, or Belltown, depending on who you ask — is part of 1st Ave Seattle history, an area now unrecognizable from when Vain first set up shop in the late 1990s, Gentry said.

They already had many clients from Capitol Hill, and the fact that downtown business had significantly slowed during the pandemic all factored into the decision to move. The new location is just on the other side of Boren, still within a mile of the old space for dedicated downtown and Belltown clients.

“I had already been planning on [moving] for quite a while. I had been waiting for the lease to run out to make a move. It got delayed a little bit because of COVID,” Gentry said. “Our connection to the Capitol Hill community has always been really strong. In a way it does feel like [coming home]. I’m excited to reconnect with arts groups and artists.” Continue reading

Replacing Urban Outfitters, Mosaic Salon and Spa Studios to create new space for independent hair and beauty pros on Capitol Hill

Mosaic is creating space for 58 independent studios inside (Image: CHS)

@hairapy.by.natalia operates out of Mosaic’s downtown location (Image: Mosaic)

By Jethro Swain

A big hole in Broadway’s commercial offerings is about to move from the youth fashion retail era of the past to a new era of hair and beauty.

Mosaic, a privately owned facilities management company that leases studios to salon and spa business owners, is opening its biggest location yet this spring on Capitol Hill.

The new set of leasable suites scheduled to open as early as May is taking the large retail space formerly home to Urban Outfitters in the Broadway Market shopping center corner of Broadway and Harrison. There will be both a street entrance as well as a second floor entrance above the market’s QFC grocery store.

“We’ve targeted the Capitol Hill market for a while, the ethos of Capitol Hill is perfectly suited for what we do,” said Mosaic owner Paul Griff. “The independent spirit and sense of community will be perfect.”.

Mosaic provides salon and spa owners with individual spaces that they can lease on a weekly rent basis and make their own. “What we do is straightforward — We provide a place for people to come and open their business and not have to worry about other things,” said Griff. Continue reading

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