Why this retailer’s path to find a new home on Capitol Hill will take it through downtown’s overhauled Pacific Place

A rendering of the overhauled Pacific Place’s second floor (Image: Pacific Place)

A rendering of Pacific Place’s new four-stories of glass (Image: Pacific Place)

The path for one longtime Capitol Hill independent retailer hoping to weather the choppy waters of Seattle’s reopening after a year of COVID-19 restrictions will take the shop on a journey downtown and into a space where you might not expect to find a boutique focused on the creations of local designers and artists.

Ghost Gallery is leaving 11th Ave’s Chophouse Row and will join an unusual mix of retail being conjured as downtown’s massive Pacific Place mall gears up — again — after a major overhaul that has mostly yet to welcome back the flow of Seattle shoppers its multimillion dollar redesign was undertaken to attract.

“The space is about 1,200 square feet with tall ceilings, dark wood fixtures and a very antique vibe, so we’ll feel right at home,” Ghost owner Laurie Kearney tells CHS. This won’t be your typical “mall vibe” in any way, and Pacific Place has been so amazing with inviting local businesses to come down and create some unique spaces.” Continue reading

COVID-19 closures and a few hopes of new locations: Little Neon Taco, By Tae, Drizzle and Shine, and more

With word of a sad closing on First Hill — and some good news about some return visits planned for Capitol Hill — here are a few area COVID-19 crisis closures to catch up on.

  • Little Neon Taco: Even the lower rent from a reduced footprint couldn’t save the Boren favorite from small space master Monica Dimas. The three-year-old fixed-space home for her Neon Tacos is no more. Dimas announced the closure and said to watch for Little Neon Tacos at E Pike natural wine bar turned temporary COVID-19 era natural wine shop La Dive. “We are so grateful for the support of our friends and neighbors during this time,” Dimas writes. “We know that this year has been hard on everyone and while we are sad to be leaving our current location, we’re excited to partner with La Dive to keep doing what we do best: feeding good people good food.” Continue reading

Checking in: Light Sleeper and Wide Eyed Wines

Capitol Hill has a new wine bar but you can’t yet sit at it and it’s only open for lunch.

That’s how things go during the strange times of COVID-19.

For now, Light Sleeper and its sibling shop Wide Eyed Wines are open for daytime takeout and your bottle shopping needs inside Pike/Pine’s Chophouse Row.

Eventually you can sit at that bar and enjoy a glass of natural and biodynamic wine or a cocktail while eating a pizza from the wood-fired oven and some bar snacks while you toast the researchers and front-line medical workers who got us through all of this.

The bar and oven might feel familiar. CHS reported here on the Bar Ferdinand employees taking over the restaurant as chef Matt Dillon cut his last ties with the neighborhood in early 2020.

Sommelier Ezra Wick and chef Eli Dahlin got the keys just as the pandemic first hit. But by the end of 2020, Light Sleeper was born and ready to roll with the pandemic’s punches. Continue reading

From within Capitol Hill’s Chophouse Row, you can now have care packages full of delicious, local things sent to your favorite Seattle ‘stay home’ castaway

Dinah’s Cheese from Kurtwood Farms may save the day (Image: Good in Seattle)

A Capitol Hill business owner is helping lead the way on a new project hoped to help small shops and food and drink crafters from around the community stay connected to the city as “stay home” restrictions continue.

Good in Seattle is a local delivery box “that comes full of products made by small businesses in our community” — from fresh pasta from Lagana in Ballard to records from Broadway’s Spin Cycle.

Brandon Waterman announced the new project this week with lots of connections to the home of his Good Weather bike shop and cafe, 11th Ave’s Chophouse Row.

The new shopping and delivery service won’t depend on bikes, though. The packs are too heavy for cycling, with plans to fill the parcels for weekly delivery around Seattle:

Every week, you’ll have the opportunity to pre-order boxes, delivered directly to homes in Seattle, so it’s easier to support the companies you love. This is our way of celebrating the amazing things this city continues to offer each and every one of us. Your support helps to assure the future for all of the participating companies and, as a bonus, you’ll get some help filling those idle hours at home with delicious and fun stuff.

Lagana Foods – Fresh Pasta with Pesto Nettle Sauce

Seawolf Bakers –  Sourdough 1/2 Loaf

KurtWoodFarms – Dinah’s Cheese (1/2 round)

BellFlower – Single-Origin Chocolate

Sweet Alchemy – Ice Cream – “London Fog”

Nashi Ciders – 4 pack of deliciousness

Seattle Made Wine by Elsom Cellars

Stoup – Double Crowler

Beneficial Brewing Kombucha

Salt Blade – Salami

The Kitchen Imp – Spice Packets

Beneficial Brewing – Kombucha 2-16oz cans.

Herkimer Whole Bean Single Origin Coffee – 12oz bag

Westman’s Bagels – 2 pack with Schmear

Beast & Cleaver – Sausages

Ayako & Family – Jam – Plum Jam

“We’re starting off with a morning box and an evening box with products from more than 15 great companies and will figure things out from there,” Waterman said.

The boxes aren’t cheap, ranging in price from $85 to $160 depending on the mix you choose, but think of them as the ultimate self care reward or a proper COVID-19 relief package — pay attention, Congress — to send to a friend or loved one in the city.

The initial roster has some familiar names from around Chophouse plus a few new things to try. “Some things you may have never tried before, others are probably tried and true favorites,” Waterman said.

You can check out the options and sign up at goodinseattle.com.


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Good Weather, part of strong pack of bike cafes around Capitol Hill, set to expand

(Image: Good Weather)

Slowly but surely, the area around Capitol Hill is becoming an easier place to ride a bike. The area’s bicycle-focused hangouts have also grown and, apparently, prospered. One venture in the heart of Pike/Pine has now cycled from a small shop tucked away on an upper floor above 11th Ave to the heart of Chophouse Row, and, now, an expansion in the development’s mix of food, drink, and retail.

Chophouse bike cafe Good Weather is expanding by 100%.

“Good Weather Bicycle & Cafe is doubling in size at the end of February and adding space to both the full-service bike shop and the cafe/bar,” co-owner Brandon Waterman said in an an announcement on the expansion. “We’ll warmly continue serving our delicious breakfast tacos as well as ramp up our beer selection, add seating for events and groups, and showcase a larger curated selection of bicycles and parts.” Continue reading

Bar Ferdinand employees to take over with new wine and bottle shop project as chef Dillon cuts ties with Capitol Hill restaurant scene

Upper Bar Ferdinand when it debuted in 2015

It is time to turn over the dirt and grow new things inside Capitol Hill’s Chophouse Row. Chef Matt Dillon’s last Capitol Hill connection has been severed. Bar Ferdinand is no more. But a new wine-focused project is already being lined up to take its place. The group of food and drink experts taking on the venture include two of the now dearly departed wine bar’s staff. They are ready for new things moving beyond hand wringing over the state of the city’s dining scene.

“As far as speaking eloquently about how Seattle is changing, that has been litigated,” chef Eli Dahlin tells CHS.

“We’re not trying to change Capitol Hill,” he said. Continue reading

Kurt Farm Shop part of a double scoop of Capitol Hill ice cream closures — But Sweet Alchemy ready to step in

Rainier Shine — with AG Farm Rainier cherries… and Rainier beer (Image: Sweet Alchemy)

Now it is finally time for legendary locavore Kurt Timmermeister to cut his ice cream-y ties with Capitol Hill. By early next year, his tiny Chophouse Row ice cream parlor Kurt Farm Shop will make a home for another purveyor of one of a kind frozen deliciousness who also shares Timmermeister’s love of purity and do it yourself effort.

“Most people opt to purchase their ice cream base from a local daily farm,” Lois Ko tells CHS about Sweet Alchemy’s creations and labor intensive effort to pasteurize its own milk as a WSDA certified creamery.

By early February, the University District born company will open its third Seattle shop on Capitol Hill.

You also have a few more days to enjoy Kurt Farm Shop. Timmermeister announced a planned December 29th closure for his Chophouse Row counter. “It’s time for me to retire from ice cream and head back to my dairy farm full time to make cheese and take photographs,” he writes. “It’s been a great nearly-five years and I’ve loved all the customers and the great folks that have worked scooping ice cream.” Continue reading

Bag maker Moop — ‘brick-and-mortar shop and a manufacturing center ‘ — getting a Seattle start in Chophouse Row

Wendy Downs snaps one last selfie in her Pittsburgh shop before a road trip to WA State (Image: Moop)

Pike/Pine is not exactly the Rust Belt but its overhauled auto row bones are making room for a Pittsburgh-crafted connection. After 13 years of making backpacks, cross body bags, tote bags, and clutches in Massachusetts and then the Steel City, Moop founder Wendy Downs is following a family and customer connection to bring her business to Seattle for a trial-run pop-up on Capitol Hill.

“This is a bit of a beta test,” Downs tells CHS about the expansion and Moop’s plans for a new Emerald City home in addition to its Pittsburgh 1st Ave HQ. “An opportunity to be here and scout our permanent location,” she says.

Moop, born in the DIY, post-punk ’90s, will fit right into its new Pike/Pine home in Chophouse Row among the other crafters, creators, and small restaurants and cafes the development has attracted. Continue reading

Eat Capitol Hill tacos for breakfast

Starting Friday at Good Weather (Image: Good Weather)

Lots of tacos flying around in Capitol Hill food and drink is nothing new. We’re blessed. One great taco joint replaces another, in these parts. Even our bodegas have great tacos. And now you can eat Capitol Hill tacos for breakfast.

Starting this Friday, Good Weatherthe bicycle repair shop and cafe that moved into Chophouse Row in 2017 — is rolling out something it hopes to grow into a big thing: Friday morning tacos — Continue reading

Grab and go at By Tae, secreted away inside Chophouse Row

By the time this post hits Facebook, you had probably already be hustling through the back alleys of Chophouse Row. The handrolls move fast at By Tae and the lunchtime counter can fill up faster.

Chef Sun Hong’s settled-in pop-up has been open for a few weeks in the small counter space behind Marmite and Spirit in the Bottle in the Pike/Pine food, shopping, and office complex on 11th between Pike and Union. But the don’t-necessarily-call-it sushi chef is still working out a schedule. By Tae is currently open 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM weekdays for lunch, with occasional “drinking hour time” openings at night and weekends still in the works. Continue reading