Founded on the belief that every day on Broadway can be brunch, Americana becomes a Capitol Hill COVID-19 closure

(Image: Americana)

The chef who came out of the kitchen to take over and grow a Capitol Hill weekend brunch favorite into a Capitol Hill every day of the week brunch favorite says he plans to stay far away from the restaurant business.

Chef Jeffrey Wilson — a man who loves cooking so much he signs his email Cheffrey — has announced that Broadway’s Americana has permanently closed.

“The seating capacity was not our limitation,” Wilson said.

The restaurant capacity restrictions part of attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19 didn’t matter in the end for Americana, Wilson said. After taking on Ads Paycheck Protection Program loans to pay his workers as he kept the restaurant closed for weeks, Wilson reopened Americana as restrictions were lifted only to find that much of his dining business had disappeared.

His decision to close was made all the more obvious as he watched the numbers at the Broadway Alley restaurant. “The month leading up to it was a drastic decline in sales,” Wilson said. Continue reading

More protest on Capitol Hill following Saturday ‘riot’ — UPDATE

UPDATE 8:51 PM: After hours of back and forth around the East Precinct on the night of the hottest day so far this year in Seattle, demonstrators rallied at Broadway and Pine with dozens of protesters and makeshift plywood shields when organizers began urging the crowds to head home. Not all left the area but the crowd thinned considerably as large groups of police and bike officers waited nearby.

ORIGINAL REPORT: A day after a massive protest march turned riot on Capitol Hill in which 47 people were arrested and the Seattle Police Department says 59 of its officers were hurt with injuries including “abrasions and bruising to burns and a torn meniscus,” a smaller crowd of demonstrators again formed Sunday evening on the Seattle Central lawn to make plans for another night of calls for Black Lives Matter causes including cutting the city’s police budget in half. There is, of course, no official count of how many protesters were injured Saturday.

Earlier Sunday, SPD moved early on protest organizers who had planned a rally and march against the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement wing of the Department of Homeland Security by making arrests and removing several support vehicles from downtown’s Westlake plaza. Meanwhile, signs went up at Capitol Hill’s Cal Anderson announcing the park’s closure. City parks department officials have not returned our calls for explanation of the closure. That didn’t stop another crowd of protesters from gathering there Sunday night.

Early reports had the crowds leaving their gathering places and hitting the streets around 6:45 PM. Continue reading

‘Tough days ahead’ — Seattle braces for ‘solidarity w/ PDX’ clashes — UPDATE: Saturday big march and fire at the youth jail leads to riot on Capitol Hill

Saturday’s protest carried into the night. More updates below.

UPDATE 7/25/2020 4:15 PM: A massive march from Broadway and Pine circled the East Precinct and rallied as more protesters joined Saturday in a solidary action with Portland that included more targeted property damage including large fires set to the ongoing construction site at the 12th Ave youth jail and broken windows and smoke inside a Starbucks on 12th Ave. Broken windows were also reported at other nearby businesses.

The large crowd numbering in the thousands began its march around 2 PM and rallied with groups including .Wall of Moms rallying support for protesters in Portland and calling for a list of Black Lives Matter demands in Seattle including defunding the Seattle Police Department. Continue reading

City clears tents and Seattle Central fences-off plaza lawn where post-CHOP camp formed — UPDATE

The south lawn of Seattle Central is fenced off and cleared of tents after the city moved in Tuesday morning to clear the camp that formed in the wake of the July 1st raid and sweep of the CHOP occupied protest.

The college announced the clearance in an email to the campus. “After two weeks of working with homeless support services, speaking with organizers, and hearing from employees and neighbors, the college received assistance from the city of Seattle this morning to clear the illegal encampment at the South Plaza without incident,” SCC president Sheila Edwards Lange writes. The full email is below.

CHS is not aware of any arrests in the clearance.

UPDATE 5:40 PM: A city Human Services Department spokesperson tells CHS that the school was mistaken in reporting that the Navigation Team executed Tuesday morning’s clearance. “The operation today was SPD and not the Navigation Team,” the spokesperson said. “There may be some confusion around Navigation Team SPD officers being involved but they would be operating under their SPD chain of command and not in their roles as members of the Navigation Team.”

Continue reading

Capitol Hill self-pour wine and beer bar Rapport is a concept made for these times

Chef Mike Laws, left, and owner David Clawson (Image: Rapport)

The COVID-19 crisis has knocked away many hopes and dreams but it won’t keep Capitol Hill from getting its first self-pour wine and beer bar.

Rapport, Café, Bar and Kitchen is slated to open on Capitol Hill in early August putting the large space left empty by the exit of Starbucks and its Roy Street Cafe from the northern end of Broadway last year back into motion with a concept that seems perfectly crafted for these times though the idea for it was born long before the pandemic.

When fully realized, Rapport will feature “100+ artisan wines and beers by-the-glass” poured “directly by guests at will.” Rapport will also feature “barreled & bottled” craft cocktails and food by chef Mike Law, previously executive chef of Sitka & Spruce. Continue reading

As the Capitol Hill protest zone is reopened and repaired, CHOP 2.0 still in place at Seattle Central College

CHOP 2.0 is proving to be as tenacious as its predecessor.

School officials say they continue to work with camp organizers and the city for a voluntary clearance of the collection of tents and tables that has grown on the south plaza lawn of Seattle Central following the raid and sweep of the occupied protest from Cal Anderson and around the East Precinct.

The school says the camp has included an “open display of weapons on campus” and must be voluntarily cleared in days or the college will turn the matter over to Mayor Jenny Durkan, Seattle City Hall, and SPD.

“Seattle Central College supports the exercise of free speech, and we stand in solidarity with the protests against police brutality and in support of Black Lives Matter,” school president Sheila Edwards Lange writes in a letter to staff and students sent Wednesday morning. “Our South Plaza is, in fact, officially a protest area. But it is not a designated camping ground or a shelter space.”

In the letter, the school official describes a “settlement of tents and awnings on that site is growing and it’s taking on an aggressive and intimidating posture.” Continue reading

School says no CHOP 2 at Capitol Hill’s Seattle Central

Remnants of CHOP at Seattle Cenral (Image: CHS)

There will be no rebirth of the CHOP occupied protest camp on Capitol Hill’s Seattle Central College campus.

School officials say they will not allow a small camp of tents to grow on the college’s south lawn.

“We are currently working with the City of Seattle Police Department and navigation team to relocate the people camping on our property,” a spokesperson for the public community college told CHS Thursday. Continue reading

AT&T pulls the plug on its Capitol Hill ‘Lounge’ retail experiment and Ada’s Discovery Cafe

The AT&T Lounge and Ada’s Discovery Cafe (Image: CHS)

Telecommunications giant AT&T has ended its Capitol Hill experiment. The Lounge by AT&T and Ada’s Discovery Cafe will not reopen as COVID-19 restrictions are slowly lifted.

“With more customers shopping online, we are closing a small percentage of our retail stores to reflect our customers’ shopping practices,” Jim Kimberly, director of corporate communications for AT&T, tells CHS. “While these plans are not new, they have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Ada’s owner Danielle Hulton confirmed the closure, telling CHS that AT&T’s decision to shutter the store meant the end of the cafe. Continue reading

Post-CHOP protests and arrests continue for second night on Capitol Hill — UPDATE: 12th and E Pine reopened

(Image: Tom Walsh)

The flip in the Capitol Hill protest zone that has put police back into a defensive perimeter encircling the blocks around the reclaimed East Precinct brought another night of arrests.

Social media accounts and Seattle Police reported “several arrests” again overnight Thursday into early Friday morning at the new core of the ongoing clash at Broadway and Pine.

“Shortly after 10:00 PM on Thursday, July 2, officers arrested three people outside the West Precinct for property destruction,” police reported. “Beginning about 1:00 AM on Friday, officers arrested seven individuals near Broadway and East Pine Street for assault, harassment, and failure to disperse.”

(Image: Tom Walsh)

King County Jail records showed one person booked for assault, one for failure to disperse, one booked for obstruction, and three jailed overnight for investigation of malicious harassment, the state’s hate crime statute and a possible felony. UPDATE: A representative for the King County Prosecutor says the bookings were in error. Seattle Police told the prosecutor’s office two people were arrested for investigation of malicious mischief — a misdemeanor unrelated to malicious harassment —  for spraypainting on a building. The third person booked for harassment was not involved in an incident related to the protest.

While the demonstrations gathering on the western edge of the police perimeter set up after Wednesday’s raid and camp sweep are so far much smaller, the clashes with police remain equally if not more intense. 25 were reported arrested overnight Wednesday into Thursday. Continue reading

Signs of Capitol Hill (almost) normalcy: Farmers market returns to Broadway

The state’s rate of infection remains high enough to warrant a Washington-wide mask mandate and there is an active occupation protest only blocks away but neighbors can celebrate the return of a weekly staple Sunday as the Capitol Hill Farmers Market returns to Broadway.

But things won’t be totally back to normal.

“While we are psyched to return, the market will be quite different,” the Neighborhood Farmers Market Association writes. “There is a capacity cap and other shopper expectations and modifications.” Continue reading