What’s more painful? Running for mayor of Redmond — or closing down your struggling Capitol Hill coffee shop?

Redmond City Council member Steve Fields should have bigger things to worry about than the closing of a Capitol Hill coffee shop his wife Ronni Fields has run for three years. He’s running for mayor of the Eastside city, the state’s 18th largest.

“I’m the grassroots candidate. My opponent is very well established with lots of support from developers.”

The political match-up, in a way, parallels the August shuttering of Harvard Ave’s tiny Down Pour Coffee.

Fields says the lessons from Down Pour are about making sure you remember you’re going up against a well established system when you’re chasing your dreams of small business ownership. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Tex-Mex bar and grill Rooster’s kisses Broadway — and ‘irrelevant and unnecessary’ critics — goodbye

(Image: Rooster’s)


There is another opportunity on Broadway opening up for a food and drink entrepreneur to make a big, comfortable splash on the neighborhood’s central drag.

After four years of Tex-Mex by way of Madison Park on Broadway, Rooster’s Bar & Grill is set to close at the end of the month.

Owners Stan Moshier and Lori Campbell announced the impending closure with a sign in the window of the north Broadway restaurant. Thanks to eagle-eyed reader Todd for the tip.  Continue reading

Expansion of Capitol Hill’s Phoenix Comics also an illustration of Broadway lease challenges

(Image: @jennykeery via Instagram)

Good news for one Broadway small business is balanced with yet another tough change for another.

With nearly 30 years of business on Capitol Hill under its belt, Perfect Copy and Print is again on a search for a new Capitol Hill home. Its exit will mean expansion for neighbor Phoenix Comics.

“It’s a bit of a leap of faith,” Phoenix owner Nick Nazar says. “We’re seeing a lot of growth.”

Now five years old, Phoenix Comics is ready to expand into the old Perfect Copy space, knocking out a wall and creating more room for board games, and gaming, Nazar said. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Housing unveils plans for eight-story ‘LGBTQ-Affirming Affordable Senior Housing’ development on Broadway

UPDATE: An early project rendering (Image: Environmental Works)

An early conceptual rendering of The Eldridge (Image: Capitol Hill Housing)

Architects and Capitol Hill Housing representatives have showcased plans for an eight-story affordable housing project specifically for LGBTQ+ elders on Broadway between Pike and Pine that will include at least 100 units at a mix of income levels rising above the preserved facade of an auto row-era Seattle landmark.

The project was originally planned to be located on their property at 14th and Union, but the location was shifted to Broadway partly due to influence from the city, according to Chris Persons, CEO of Capitol Hill Housing, the nonprofit developer at the center of the effort. He says the new spot is “much more in the center of the LGBTQ+ community on Capitol Hill.”

“This building is going to really make a mark,” Freya Johnson, project architect at Environmental Works, said Wednesday night during a community meeting at The Summit on Pike. “It’ll be a symbol that we belong here, that this is our Hill.”

One attendee said later: “In my lifetime, I didn’t think I’d see this.” Continue reading

‘Left-turn Signals at Broadway & John’ only D3 project to survive crowd-sourced Street Fund process

Cut from an earlier plan to improve the corridor for pedestrian, bicycling, motor vehicle, and public transit travel, one of the more challenging intersections on Broadway is lined up to finally get left-turn signals — eventually.

The Seattle Department of Transportation has released the final roster of projects approved this week as part of the crowd-sourced 2019 Neighborhood Street Fund process, an annual series of online voting and community meetings that allocates funding to projects identified by citizens and often including efforts with relatively significant budgets of $100,000 or more. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Turn right on E Barbara Bailey Way

If you are meeting friends at the southern entrance of Capitol Hill Station near Cal Anderson, you’ll now want to tell your phone to head to E Barbara Bailey Way. The new street name to honor the longtime Broadway business owner is now official after a Tuesday afternoon ceremony attended by Mayor Jenny Durkan and city officials.

Calling Bailey and “LGBTQ+ activist civil rights champion,” Durkan announced the plan to honor the founder of the long gone but not forgotten Bailey/Coy book shop earlier this summer. Bailey passed way last September at the age of 74.

The new street name replaces a stretch of E Denny Way that was updated as a “festival street” appropriate for closure for festivals and events near the light rail station.  The festival street was designed as both a one-way traffic route above the center of the underground Capitol Hill Station facility and through the development, plaza, and the AIDS Memorial Pathway that will open at the site in 2020. Continue reading

‘Community preference’ — A new anti-displacement policy could have big impacts for the Central District and Capitol Hill

The Liberty Bank Building in the Central District

Antonesha Jackson still remembers riding bikes near the three-bedroom Central District apartment she shared with her sisters and mother growing up. From there, it was just a brief trip to her grandparents’ house and an even shorter walk to Garfield High School.

But when she tried to return to the neighborhood after 12 years studying and working in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, finding a place to rent in her now-gentrified neighborhood proved nearly impossible. She looked for an affordable apartment for months.

Until acquaintances told her about a then-new affordable housing development right here in her neighborhood: Liberty Bank Building, an equitable development project led by Capitol Hill Housing and Africatown. She moved in this March, finally returning to the area she’d grown up in and now operated a fashion boutique out of.

“A lot of the people that live in my building, I have seen around growing up. [They] are from this community,” Jackson said. “It’s beautiful to me.”  Continue reading

Capitol Hill car chase involving suspected DWI driver ends with Cal Anderson crash — UPDATE

(Image: Gregory Fenno with permission to CHS)

A car chase involving multiple police vehicles, the Sheriff’s Guardian One helicopter, and a suspected DWI driver in a pick-up truck raced around Capitol Hill for nearly 30 minutes just after midnight Wednesday morning before coming to a crash ending and arrest in Cal Anderson Park.

According to police radio updates, the chase began around midnight near Westlake where police began pursuing the suspected under the influence driver in a 2015 Nissan Titan. With the driver refusing to yield, the truck headed east on Denny and onto Capitol Hill where a circular chase played out with police dropping spike strips at main intersections and the Guardian One helicopter doing what it could to follow the action and help herd the driver toward police. Continue reading

Serious crashes on major arterials in Capitol Hill, Central District and First Hill area up from 2018, long road to Vision Zero, SDOT data shows

In April, a car seriously injured a bicyclist at the intersection of 24th Ave E and E Madison. A few months later, a driver was severely hurt in a crash just a couple of hundred feet up the street, on the intersection of 23rd Ave E and E John St.

The locations of these two crashes don’t just point to the places where lives were wrecked. They also offer a first glimpse into the traffic pain points on Capitol Hill, which have clustered on and near Madison in the first six months of 2019, data from the Seattle Department of Transportation show. The Seattle Times first reported on the data.

The two crashes are among the 98 serious or fatal collisions that happened in the first half of 2019. Ten people were killed in traffic. 88 were seriously injured, of which six on Capitol Hill, four on First Hill and eight in the Central District (including a sliver south of I-90). The dataset showed no fatalities in these neighborhoods in the first half of this year.

One important caveat, per SDOT: The data the department provided are preliminary. Usually, there’s a “pretty rigorous auditing process” in which SDOT works with officials from the Seattle Police Department, Washington State Department of Transportation, Washington State Patrol and hospitals to review and filter out discrepancies for a report that comes out at year-end, SDOT said.

Still, the data provides a glimpse into Seattle’s long road to Vision Zero, its plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030, and problem zones for Capitol Hill, the Central District and First Hill, particularly on or near arterials.

Continue reading

Good news for bikes, more trains during rush hour, connection to the Central District, and more: What’s next for Capitol Hill light rail riders

(Image: Sound Transit)

They grow up so fast, don’t they? This summer, Link Light Rail is celebrating its tenth birthday.

Back then, the Link covered 14 miles. The Capitol Hill and University of Washington stations opened three years ago, and ridership is now at 8,100 weekday boardings at the Capitol Hill Station. Sound Transit projects the number to rise to 18,000 daily weekday boardings at the station in 2026.

With the addition of more stations and lines, new trains and information system, a lot more is going to change. Here’s a look at what’s ahead for Capitol Hill Light Rail riders.

Where the Light Rail will take you: Pretty far. It won’t happen overnight, but the system will grow to 116 miles by 2041 with 48 more stations. In two years from now, Capitol Hill riders will be able to hop on a direct line to the new, underground U District and Roosevelt stations, and an elevated Northgate station.

By 2023, also on a direct line, Capitol Hill riders will be able to reach the new Judkins Park station smack-dab in the middle of I-90. From there, passengers will be able to take in views of Lake Washington and Mt. Rainier if you’re lucky by riding the train on the I-90 bridge (or more precise: the world’s first train tracks on a bridge that floats) to Mercer Island and South Bellevue. Lynnwood, Kent, Federal Way and downtown Redmond will be within light rail’s reach just a year later.  Continue reading