Checking in: 20 years of Pretty Parlor on Capitol Hill

(Image: CHS)

Banana and crew (Image: CHS)

By Gabrielle Locke

While we’re thinking about Capitol Hill fashion and beauty that may end up being nothing more than plans due to the COVID-19 crisis, one neighborhood center of fashion, beauty, and more is doing everything it can to hang on through the pandemic and celebrate its 20th anniversary in style.

When COVID-19 first hit, Pretty Parlor owner Anna Banana turned to doorstep delivery to local customers, focused on her Etsy shop, and created an e-commerce store attached to her website — graceful but major shifts for a business that has been in motion since the turn of the millenium.

“In the beginning, I would do doorstep delivery and sometimes, if I knew the customer well, I’d pick them up a Dicks burger and friends, because why not!” Banana says of the early pandemic delivery effort. 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

Checking in: Capitol Hill’s Raygun Lounge transforms into a gift shop to stay in the game

(Image: Gabrielle Locke)

(Image: Gabrielle Locke)

By Gabrielle Locke

“We have re-opened into a little shop with a semi-cranky old man,” owner Eric Logan tells CHS.

We talked with Logan before the latest round of COVID-19 restrictions added new limitations on in-person shopping. It’s possible Logan is a little crankier now.

Eric and Amy Logan opened a specialty retail shop on Capitol Hill 12 years ago called Gamma Ray Games.

“My wife and I share a passion for creating and building intersectional environments and the original store was a way for us to do that together,” Eric Logan said.

Logan and Amy began to see a need for an event oriented space and opened Raygun Lounge on E Pine, eventually consolidating the businesses.

Now the game play of life is completing a circuit of the board. The lounge is going back to being a game shop.

The First Annual Raygun Lounge POP Up Store is now open. Continue reading

Checking in: Bimbos adds new paint, dividers, and a new street taco menu overhaul — and, yes, even the Cha Cha has added social distancing measures

Bimbos — now with dividers (Image: Bimbos Cantina)

Checking in is an occasional series on CHS as we talk with people from longtime neighborhood businesses, organizations, and more about their experiences during the COVID-19 crisis.

Not every check-in with an old friend has to be a drawn out affair. Not a lot has changed with Bimbos Cantina and the Cha Cha other than months of pandemic — and new plexiglass dividers and a new coat of paint.

“Well, we are definitely struggling with being a small restaurant and only being able to operate at a limited capacity, it’s been difficult,” owner Jeff Ofelt tells CHS. Continue reading

Checking in: Glo’s Cafe is adjusting to COVID-19 restrictions while giving back to Capitol Hill

(Image: Gabrielle Locke)

Checking in is a new occasional series on CHS as we talk with people from longtime neighborhood businesses, organizations, and more about their experiences during the COVID-19 crisis.

By Gabrielle Locke

“We just had to pivot, just like everyone else,” Julie Reisman, the owner of Glo’s Café, says.

Reisman and her business partner, Steve Frias, bought Glo’s in 2007. Reisman describes owning a small restaurant as having its ups and downs, like any job. “We largely wanted to be in control of our own destiny in the restaurant industry (which is funny given the current world we live in where everything seems a bit out of control),” she says.

Glo’s operations changed from dine-in to take-out only and amidst the pandemic, “We had to make tough calls in order to look out for the best interest of our staff, guests and neighborhood.” However, the circumstances have made the staff stronger. “Recently, we haven’t been flinching, as much at each hit that comes our way,” she said.

Since COVID-19 hit, Glo’s has seen a serious decline in business during the weekdays. However, despite the adjustments Reisman and Frias made to stay afloat there have been some noteworthy positive outcomes. Continue reading