Development at MLK and Union has created new housing, a new restaurant, and space for a longtime Central District boxing gym

A new home for Cappy’s

With renewed community support and now space for a proper fighting ring, Cappy’s Boxing Gym is welcoming clients new and old to use their facility. They provide one-on-one fitness classes as well as a youth boxing program for children between 8 and 17 years and a competitive team that goes up against other local teams and clubs.

“Cappy’s is a welcoming community,” said coach and office manager Ara Jane Olufson. “It’s welcoming. It’s open. It’s encouraging.”

Olufson, who became the gym’s office manager in November, also coaches boxers at the gym. Before that, she was a customer at Cappy’s for more than 11 years.

“I remember my first class,” Olufson said. Continue reading

Still meaty, Central Smoke rises on E Jefferson

Eric Banh and chef Mike Whisenhunt (Images: CHS)

A rush of red meat in the Seattle restaurant scene has settled out with a transformation of E Jefferson steakhouse Seven Beef into a new concept centered on more accessible but still meaty offerings — Central Smoke.

With fried rice and pickled cucumber on the menu alongside ribs and brisket, Central Smoke now brings Texas-style smoked meats and a unique combination of Taiwanese, Japanese and Chinese flavors to E Jefferson. Headed by owner Eric Banh and chef Mike Whisenhunt, who together carry more than 40 years of experience in the kitchen, the new bar and smokery replaced Seven Beef on the corner of E Jefferson and 13th Ave last month.

“What we do is multicultural. I would call it very eclectic,” Banh said. “I want to do something that is very soulful and really feed our creativity and passion.”

Continue reading

With increased call for community say in redevelopment, mayor helps kick off Umoja Fest with ribbon-cutting at 23rd and Union

Mayor Durkan joined K. Wyking Garrett of the Africatown Community Land Trust at a Saturday ribbon-cutting (Image: City of Seattle)

Mayor Jenny Durkan joined with Africatown for the official ribbon cutting on the Imagine Africatown Pop Up Plaza and Art Installation to kick off Saturday’s 2018 Umoja Fest parade march in the Central District:

The Imagine Africatown Pop Up Plaza and art installation is located at Midtown Center on 23rd and Union, a longtime hub for African American small businesses that is slated to be demolished for redevelopment in 2019.

“Before the existing Midtown Center meets its fate with the wrecking ball, we are partnering to transform the site into a vibrant community activation space to host a wide range of events and activities aligned with the rich African American and African diaspora heritage of the neighborhood,” landscape designer and project lead designer Sara Zewde said. “The goal is to capture the community ideas about the potential for the future development at 23rd and Union, including space for gathering, Black and African diaspora identity, culture and Black-owned businesses.” Continue reading

Police investigate MLK/Union drive-by shooting — UPDATE: Suspect arrested

A male victim was shot in the leg in an apparent drive-by on E Union near MLK Monday afternoon.

Seattle Police and Seattle Fire were called to the nearby Grocery Outlet where the 22-year-old victim was found around 12:45 PM after the shooting along the street near the store. According to East Precinct radio reports, the gunshot wound victim was conscious but we have no further details on his condition. UPDATE: Police say his injuries were not life-threatening.

UPDATE 8/7/2018 10:15 AM: Police say they have made an arrest in the case:

Gang Unit detectives identified the suspect. The suspect and his vehicle were located yesterday late afternoon on First Hill. Detectives conducted surveillance as SWAT arrested the 28-year-old suspect and detectives served a search warrant on the suspect’s residence and vehicle. Two handguns were recovered. The suspect was later booked into the King County Jail on a number of gun-related charges. This remains an active and on-going investigation.

Continue reading

With Twilight Exit’s new thing on Rainier, there’s only one Union

Dark and drinky inside the Twilight Exit (Image: CHS)

Fans of Capitol Hill food+drink drama, settle down. Thanks to Central District classic joint the Twilight Exit, there won’t be any litigative battle over the name chosen for Capitol Hill’s newest gay bar.

Commenters on CHS and social media have asked about whether there might end up being confusion between Capitol Hill’s new Union and Union Bar in Hillman City.

We can happily report there will be very little to no confusion — Union Bar is becoming Twilight Rainier.


Appreciate CHS? Subscribe Today  Consider becoming a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news. Help push us over the 800 mark. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.

Already a subscriber? Please TELL A FRIEND to help us reach our goal.


Twilight owner Stephan Mollmann confirms that the five-year-old Hillman City bar is now in the Twilight family.

The original Twilight Exit moved from E Madison to E Cherry in 2008. Today, a six-story apartment building stands at the original site across from the 22nd/Madison Safeway. Mollmann also opened The Neighbor Lady at 23rd and Union in 2011.

Central Area Design Review Board ready for first project: 23rd Ave S microhousing

The first project in Seattle history to be examined by a design review board dedicated to the city’s Central District is an aPodment project slated to replace a south-of-90 23rd Ave retail strip.

The review for 2000 23rd Ave S will come before the newly formed Central Area Design Review Board Thursday night.

While the 23rd Ave S microhousing will get the first look from the new board, last week CHS reported that the group is likely to get involved with the much higher profile project at Midtown Center that started the permitting process before the new body was formed but is now facing community pressure to be part of a more conscious review.

Earlier this year, CHS reported on the creation of the new review board, splitting off the Central District neighborhoods from the East region in an effort to preserve and grow the historically Black culture of the Central District.

‘This is Zero Hour’ youth march for the environment crosses the Central District

Saturday’s national wave of demonstrations and marches for climate action led by a Seattle teenager included a march through the Central District.

Zero Hour, founded last year by Seattle teen Jamie Margolin, organized Saturday’s rally and march from Garfield to Pratt Park:

Enough is enough. We, the youth, believe that #thisisZeroHour to act on climate change. We cannot afford to wait any longer for adults to protect our right to the clean and safe environment, the natural resources we need to not just survive, but flourish. We know that we are the leaders we have been waiting for!

Continue reading

Fake FBI agent busted for $130K Central District robbery and string of crimes pleads guilty

A Lake Stevens man charged in a string of fake FBI agent robberies including a $130K rip-off in the Central District pleaded guilty last week to seven federal felonies and now faces up to 20 years in prison.

Investigators say Steven Fisher “used fake credentials in the names of fictional characters or famous fraudsters” to commit his crimes. In a January 2017 robbery reported on by CHS at the time, investigators say Fisher claimed to be a Federal Bureau of Investigations agent investigating a suspicious transaction at 23rd and Jackson’s Red Sea FinanceContinue reading

CHS Pics | Africatown art project shows ‘what’s possible’ in the Central District

The Central District’s Midtown Center got a new paint job over the weekend as hundreds of volunteers came together, brushes and rollers in hand, to paint a massive mural to demonstrate what the neighborhood could look like before the property is redeveloped in 2019.

“What we’re doing is trying to make a statement in the last few months of this property, to talk about history and the potential future of the neighborhood,” said Sara Zewde, a past Africatown board member. “The future redevelopment retail should incubate small, black-owned businesses from this neighborhood and we’re going to demonstrate the potential for that in this market space.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | Machine House Central District makes winning debut

That guy who is probably not really Steven Gerrard seemed to be having a grand time. His pal Zlatan Ibrahimović? Less so.

What’s it like opening Machine House Brewery’s new Central District neighborhood pub as your home nation’s team is playing its biggest World Cup game in more than a decade?

“It’s extremely stressful,” UK-born Bill Arnott tells CHS. “We had a health inspection a half an hour before the last game — and then that went to penalties.”

We think Arnott is talking about England’s Round of 16 victory over Colombia on Tuesday — but maybe the health department does things differently when it comes to tap houses serving English-style cask conditioned ale. Continue reading