New salon and spa suite rental space on Broadway has its first customer — Pike/Pine’s Emerson Salon moving in

(Image: Emerson Salon)

A new hair and beauty venture set to open on Capitol Hill is already shaking up the neighborhood salon scene.

Emerson Salon, one of the first new Capitol Hill business CHS reported on when it opened more than a decade ago in Pike/Pine, is undergoing a shift in ownership and making a big change — leaving its longtime E Pike shopfront to be part of the new Mosaic Salon and Spa Studios on Broadway.

“Lancer and I are VERY excited to continue serving hair clients as individual service businesses on Capitol Hill inside Emerson Salon. It will stay a SAFE SPACE for LGBTQIA & BIPOC in Seattle,” D’Arcy Harrison said in the announcement of the change.

As part of the changes, Harrison said she is taking over full ownership with former co-owner Lancer Forney-McMahon staying on as a stylist with the new Emerson. Continue reading

Vain rehomes its freak-flagship salon on Capitol Hill

Some recent Vain color (Image: Vain)

A Seattle institution for adventurous and colorful hairstyles, and some truly legendary parties, boutique salon Vain has moved its downtown flagship location to new Capitol Hill digs on 1121 Pike Street. Cozied down between Black Sparrow Tattoo and Club Z, Vain opened for business earlier this month. The move signals the company’s rebirth of sorts from the pandemic, and a new chapter in Seattle’s coiffed counterculture.

Growing in the Belltown building left behind by the move of legendary Seattle club The Vogue to Capitol Hill, Vain was born into the city’s changing punk ethos. Vain owner Victoria Gentry remembered that neighboring businesses didn’t exactly appreciate The Vogue’s noisy shows, but with a salon, “You still get all the freaks without the noise.”

The move to Capitol Hill has been in the works for a while, Gentry said. The former location — in downtown, or Belltown, depending on who you ask — is part of 1st Ave Seattle history, an area now unrecognizable from when Vain first set up shop in the late 1990s, Gentry said.

They already had many clients from Capitol Hill, and the fact that downtown business had significantly slowed during the pandemic all factored into the decision to move. The new location is just on the other side of Boren, still within a mile of the old space for dedicated downtown and Belltown clients.

“I had already been planning on [moving] for quite a while. I had been waiting for the lease to run out to make a move. It got delayed a little bit because of COVID,” Gentry said. “Our connection to the Capitol Hill community has always been really strong. In a way it does feel like [coming home]. I’m excited to reconnect with arts groups and artists.” Continue reading

Replacing Urban Outfitters, Mosaic Salon and Spa Studios to create new space for independent hair and beauty pros on Capitol Hill

Mosaic is creating space for 58 independent studios inside (Image: CHS)

@hairapy.by.natalia operates out of Mosaic’s downtown location (Image: Mosaic)

By Jethro Swain

A big hole in Broadway’s commercial offerings is about to move from the youth fashion retail era of the past to a new era of hair and beauty.

Mosaic, a privately owned facilities management company that leases studios to salon and spa business owners, is opening its biggest location yet this spring on Capitol Hill.

The new set of leasable suites scheduled to open as early as May is taking the large retail space formerly home to Urban Outfitters in the Broadway Market shopping center corner of Broadway and Harrison. There will be both a street entrance as well as a second floor entrance above the market’s QFC grocery store.

“We’ve targeted the Capitol Hill market for a while, the ethos of Capitol Hill is perfectly suited for what we do,” said Mosaic owner Paul Griff. “The independent spirit and sense of community will be perfect.”.

Mosaic provides salon and spa owners with individual spaces that they can lease on a weekly rent basis and make their own. “What we do is straightforward — We provide a place for people to come and open their business and not have to worry about other things,” said Griff. Continue reading

Reopening: Capitol Hill salons old and new return, adjusting to ‘new norm’ of masked haircutting

New colors at 19th Ave Salon by Brandon Madsen (Image: 19th Ave Salon)

Capitol Hill beauty businesses are adjusting to cutting and styling hair under state-mandated changes, including wearing PPE, issuing temperature checks and maintaining six feet of distance when possible.

For 19th Avenue Salon owner Jamie De Maria, implementing these safety requirements has been an important part of opening the new business. The salon had only been open for a week when COVID-19 restrictions shut the business down.

To his surprise, De Maria said the shop has not struggled with customers since reopening.

“We’ve been so beyond busy and turning clients away and working 12 hour days — it’s been insane,” De Maria said. “I would say 80-90% of our new customers are neighbors and residents of the community that have been walking by the salon seeing the construction happening and waiting for it to open and reading our reviews online.”

Salons got the go-ahead to reopen at 25% capacity under Phase 1.5 restrictions in early June and now have the option to expand to 50% capacity as part of Phase 2. Continue reading

Founders have deal to rescue Rudy’s Barbershop from bankruptcy

Inside the E Pine Rudy's

Rudy’s in busier days

The economic upheaval created by the COVID-19 crisis will put one of Capitol Hill’s signature companies back in the hands of the group of friends who created it on E Pine nearly 30 years ago.

According to federal court filings in a $3.5 million deal that closed Friday, Rudy’s Reloaded, a company involving founders Wade Weigel and David Petersen has successfully won a bid to purchase the Rudy’s Barbershop chain out of bankruptcy.

“After several rounds of bidding between the Stalking Horse and Rudy’s Reloaded during the Auction, the Debtors determined, in consultation with counsel to the Committee, that: (i) Rudy’s Reloaded was the Successful Bidder and its final bid was the Successful Bid; and (ii) that the Stalking Horse was the Back-Up Bidder and its final bid was the Back-Up Bid under the Bidding Procedures Order,” an analysis used in determining the winning bid reads. Continue reading

In fight to survive pandemic crisis and save 600 jobs, Capitol Hill-headquartered Rudy’s Barbershops declares bankruptcy

Rudy’s in sunnier times

In a bid to save the company and the jobs of its 600 employees, Capitol Hill-born Rudy’s Barbershops has filed for bankruptcy and is seeking permission for a quick sale to raise cash it needs to continue after its business was wiped away by the COVID-19 crisis.

“Because the company was forced to shutter all of its operations, the company’s main source of revenue, the services it provides to its customers, has completely and unexpectedly evaporated overnight,” CEO Kathleen Trent writes in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy documents filed in Delaware last week.

Born on E Pine and an exporter of Capitol Hill style for nearly 30 years, Rudy’s is now in the fight of its financial life and is asking the court for a quick “Stalking Horse” sale to a private equity firm offering a $1.525 million lifeline and a to be determined bid for the company. Continue reading

Third time’s the charm for Aria as the salon hopes its new home at 15th and John will be permanent after its latest and ‘final’ Capitol Hill move

(Image: Aria Salon)

In 1998, Bianca Brookman opened Aria Salon at 11th and E Pike. Today, the salon has moved three times in twenty years. Aria has re-opened after its third move, and Brookman hopes the salon’s new home on 15th and John is permanent, proving small businesses and the gayborhood can thrive on the Hill today.

“It’s not the Pike and Pine corridor, but we’re in our 20th year, we have amazing staff, and I’m super excited,” Brookman said. “There’s a lot of good energy up here, and we’re ready for another 20 years.”

Prior to the salon’s move to 15th and John behind Bakery Nouveau, Aria resided on E Pine adjacent to Dingfelder’s Delicatessen. Brookman believed Aria would remain in its home since 2008 for years to come, and she sought to make changes to the salon’s layout. While renegotiating Aria’s lease on the space to ensure the salon’s longevity, Brookman learned she could not extend her lease beyond the duration of a development project set to wrap around the building.

She was also concerned with how the new development’s layout would impact the old building’s appearance and structural integrity, even if Aria could afford to remain in the space once construction was completed. Brookman viewed the situation as an opportunity to find Aria its latest permanent home. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Earl’s Cuts and Styles making temporary move before new life in Liberty Bank Building

It’s almost moving day for Earl Lancaster

After nearly 30 years of business, Earl’s Cuts and Styles won’t be cutting hair in the Midtown Center at 23rd and Union after this weekend. But its new home across the way in the Liberty Bank Building isn’t ready for the legendary barbershop just yet.

After Saturday’s final day of business in its original home, Earl’s is moving across the street to a temporary shop in The Central building. Earl Lancaster said he hopes the stay will be short and that he should be in his new shop in the Liberty Bank Building by the end of March. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Squirrel Chops adds another layer to E Union coffee scene

Shirley Henderson and Sharon Blyth-Moss (Images: CHS)

Shirley Henderson and Sharon Blyth-Moss (Images: CHS)

Change can begin with a good haircut. A good cup of coffee can also help. You can now get both at the latest cafe to open along E Union, Squirrel Chops.

CHS spoke with owners Shirley Henderson and Sharon Blyth-Moss about their plans for the hybrid cafe+salon earlier this year just as construction was getting underway on their space at 22nd and Union inside The Central building, the first of what will be a wave of four-story-plus apartment buildings set to rise around 23rd and Union. Squirrel Chops debuted Sunday after they typical “longer than expected” buildout. Continue reading

Rudy’s E Pine to add beer

Rudy's

If you want to unwind after a long day and get your hair trimmed at the same time, never fear: Rudy’s Barbershop is looking to join the beer and haircut bandwagon.

Rudy’s has applied for a license that would allow the chain to serve beer at its Capitol Hill shop on E Pine, according to a Rudy’s spokesperson. If approved, the Rudy’s at 614 E Pine will be able to serve beer in addition to its current offerings, Stumptown coffee and Jones Soda.

The E Pine shop will not be the only barber on Capitol Hill planning to offer beer in addition to haircuts. Portland based Bishops said it will offer complimentary beer with haircuts when it announced its plans to join the neighborhood, and the Rudy’s that opened in Pioneer Square this summer has been selling beer from the get-go.

“Pioneer Square was our pilot, and so far it’s gone super well,” said the spokesperson. Rudy’s says its decision to add some harder stuff to the menu has nothing to do with keeping up with the competition. “It’s something we’ve always wanted to do,” the spokesperson said.

CHS reported on Monday’s opening of MRoom, yet another hair concept targeting the lucrative male grooming market on Capitol Hill.

If the license is approved, Rudy’s plans to offer a few types of New Belgium beer, plus some local favorites like Rainier and PBR, for around $3.50 per bottle.