Capitol Hill counter legend Carmelo’s Tacos opening new location on 12th Ave — this time, with tables

Thanks to a CHS reader for the tip!

(Image: Carmelo’s Tacos)

Add one more to our roster of Capitol Hill bars and restaurants to look forward to in 2021. Carmelo’s Tacos is expanding with a second location — and, when we can finally go back inside, this new Carmelo’s will have tables.

The new Carmelo’s is being readied to open at 12th and Cherry across from Seattle U near the Cherry Street Coffee and 12th Ave Square Park. Continue reading

At E Cherry’s Central Cafe, a call to the community to support Black-owned businesses

Bridget Johnson (Image: Gabrielle Locke)

By Gabrielle Locke, UW News Lab/Special to CHS

“COVID-19 can be a double-edged sword,” Bridget Johnson, owner of Central Café and Juice Bar, says. On one side, she has seen more professionals who work from home. “We hope that the customers we have gained continue to be loyal,” Johnson said.

Born early in 2020 before the pandemic delivered its hard hit to the Seattle region, Central Cafe’s short life on E Cherry has been an eventful one as its Central District community is also now full of energy and protest.

In these mindful times, Johnson says she makes conscious decisions about supporting local and preserving the environment with every aspect of running her cafe.

After helping her daughter with a project uncovering issues of pollution, Johnson and her family became more aware and thoughtful about how they can contribute to eco-friendly practices. It became important for her to support vendors who have those same values. The packaging all the way down to the business stickers is compostable and biodegradable.

Her passion for creative freedom in the kitchen translates into the menu. She jokes that her process is just like “dinking around trying to find what works and what doesn’t” and shares that, “It’s the best part. I want to find out what our customers want and then create that.” After learning that some locals eat Keto or Vegan diets, she came out with breakfast options to satisfy their dietary needs with cauliflower made sandwich wraps and switches, daily from a meat to vegetarian soup. Johnson also only supports local small businesses by offering their products at her café. Continue reading

Design reviews include First Hill Trinity Parish condo tower, microhousing project set to replace Central District’s Chateau apartments

The future of The Chateau in the Central District

Design reviews this week for new multifamily housing development on First Hill and in the Central District will feature projects that have also raised issues around displacement in Seattle.

Thursday night, the Central Area Design Review Board will take up its first look at the four-story, 70 or so-unit apartment building planned to replace The Chateau apartments on 19th Ave.

Design review: 119 19th Ave

City Council member Kshama Sawant said residents of the former Section 8 subsidized apartments won an “unheard of concession” thanks to advocacy work this spring after the building was purchased by developer Cadence Real Estate. Continue reading

Police announce arrest in 23rd and Cherry gas station shooting — UPDATE: Guns seized

Seattle Police say they have arrested a 25-year-old Renton man for his part in a shooting at a Central District gas station earlier this month that left a woman wounded after she was apparently caught in the crossfire.

CHS is not naming the man because he has not been charged but records show he was arrested and ultimately convicted in connection with this 2011 incident in which South Seattle gang members opened fire during a vigil for a 19-year-old who had been shot and killed. Continue reading

Born on E Madison, the Central District’s Twilight Exit marks 20 years

(Image: Twilight Exit)

We don’t know what May Day 1999 was like in Seattle — the WTO protests and “Battle of Seattle” would happen four months later — but we can tell you that on E Madison, the Twilight Exit was born.

This May Day, now resident on E Cherry where it has done its drinking and hanging out thing since 2008, the Twilight celebrates 20 years of Central Seattle good times.

As owner Stephan Mollmann noted to CHS, “She turns 20 today. One more year and she can drink.”

The original Twilight Exit moved from E Madison to E Cherry 11 years ago. Today, a six-story apartment building stands at the original site across from the 22nd/Madison Safeway. Continue reading

Fire scorches barber shop at 23rd and Cherry

A commercial building at 23rd and Cherry burned overnight leaving a barber shop damaged but the neighboring longtime Central District florist mostly untouched.

Seattle Fire crews were called to the intersection’s northwest corner just before 4 AM and arrived to find the building in flames. Crews battled the blaze and were able to knock it down before the fire spread through the building and damaged the florist shop.

Flowers Just 4 U moved to the corner last year after leaving its longtime home at 23rd and Jackson to make way for new development.

Update Barber Shop appeared to have been badly damaged in the fire.

The intersection of 23rd and Cherry was closed to traffic during the response and remained closed into the morning due to electricity being shut off around the fire. SPD was on hand to allow Metro bus traffic to continue through.

Seattle Fire says the fire is under investigation. There were no reported injuries.

Development follows Twilight Exit to the Central District (but this time the dive bar has years to prepare for it)

The Twilight Exit’s alley mural (Image: CHS)

Development, once again, is following the Twilight Exit. Fortunately for the E Madison ex-pat dive bar and its E Cherry neighbor the Tana Market, this round of change still has years to play out.

Development “is always in the back of your mind,” Stephan Mollmann tells CHS about the business of building bars outside the Pike/Pine and Broadway core of Central Seattle.

As the Twilight prepares for its 20th birthday next spring and a decade after its move from E Madison to make way for development there, Mollman’s bar is again being prepared for a changing neighborhood. Continue reading

After 37 years, Flowers Just 4 U opens on a new corner of 23rd Ave

Mary Wesley is ready for the next step in 37 years of flowers along 23rd Ave (Images: CHS)

In 1981, Mary Wesley moved her flower shop to a corner space on 23rd and Jackson. She renamed her shop Flowers Just 4 U, hoping a friendly name and two windowed walls would establish a community-centric atmosphere, drawing foot traffic in. 37 years later, Flowers Just 4 U has found a new home on the corner of Cherry and 23rd.

Wesley and her longtime employees Patricia Ross and Emily Steele are looking to continue their shop’s legacy as the store relocates to make way for the construction of a new, six story affordable housing development on its former site. Despite initial difficulties involving the lighting, floor plan, and moving flower fridges into the new space formerly home to 701 Coffee, the crew at Flowers Just 4 U is optimistic about the move considering their close proximity to Garfield High School, Garfield Community Center, residential homes, and other new shops and development opening in the surrounding area. Continue reading

Two-car shootout sends bullets flying along MLK and Cherry

A shootout involving two vehicles and reports of around 30 shots fired sent a bullet through a school window and left students at area schools sheltering in place Tuesday morning along MLK Way and E Cherry.

Police were called to the area near Powell Barnett Park around 11:45 AM to a report of 20 or so gunshots coming from two vehicles. The crime scenes quickly multiplied as reports came in of bullets striking an E Cherry market and the nearby NOVA High School where bullet fragments broke a window, according to East Precinct radio dispatches.

According to the SPD brief on the incident, there were no injuries reported:

Witnesses began calling 911 just after 11 a.m. to report gunfire near Powell Barnett Park.  When officers arrived they spoke with the witnesses who said the occupants of two vehicles, possibly two grey sedans, were firing shots at each other. They said the cars continued to travel through the area, eventually going westbound on East Cherry Street. The witnesses said both cars sped away before police arrived. Officers found property damage to a nearby high school. No one was injured and there is no indication any students were involved in the incident.

Three public schools — NOVA, Garfield High, and Leschi Elementary — were ordered to shelter in place during the incident, according to radio dispatches.

According to the latest SPD statistics, reported gunfire incidents are up slightly in 2017 with incident concentrated toward South Seattle.

SPD said they are continuing to investigate Tuesday’s shootout. If you have information that could help, call the SPD non-emergency line at (206) 625-5011.

Wednesday, meanwhile, the national Coffee with a Cop Day brings East Precinct representatives to the 23rd and Jackson Starbucks.

CHS Pics | New coat of light and love added to Central District’s MLK, Jr. mural

(Image: Fat's)

(Image: Fat’s via Facebook)

Fat’s Chicken and Waffles is closed on Mondays but another part of its overhaul of the old Catfish Corner is always available.

In September when we told you about the new joint’s debut at MLK and Cherry, CHS also told you about a project bringing back the muralist behind the building’s classic artwork to give the painting a touch-up.

James Crespinel, the artist who created the Martin Luther King, Jr. mural on the building’s eastern wall outside the restaurant, has wrapped up his work cleaning up the giant painting and its inspirational quotation:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.

For more on MLK, Jr.’s words, check out this article from the Atlantic about how the civil rights leader’s very real words from his book Strength to Love became intermingled with a quotation he never said.

You can check out images of Crespinel’s MLK, Jr. mural in progress and other works here.