Plans cooked up for new Central Seattle baked good goodness with Temple Pastries ready soon in the Central District and Sea Wolf Bakers a slower bake in Montlake

(Image: Sea Wolf Bakers)

(Image: Temple Pastries)

By Vivian Cheung, UW News Lab/Special to CHS

The recipes for two projects to bring new baked goods and pastries to Central Seattle neighborhoods that came together before the pandemic have been — if you’ll pardon the metaphor — baking.

One in the Central District is ready to come out of the oven where Temple Pastries is set to debut its new Jackson St. cafe in a collaboration with Broadcast Coffee.

While in Montlake, it’s a slower bake on a big new addition to the neighborhood.

Sea Wolf Bakers is set to expand to 24th Ave with a new bakery and cafe to take over the space left empty when Capitol Hill gay bar ex pat Purr shuttered in Montlake two years ago.

Sea Wolf’s Jesse Schumann tells CHS the 24th Ave location is an expansion for the company set to debut next year after a buildout of a new bakery and cafe designed by Heliotrope to achieve the openness and light of the Stone Way original. Continue reading

23rd Ave Vision Zero work not complete but street getting back to *new* normal in the Central District

(Image: SDOT)

After more than a year of construction as part of the overhaul of 23rd Ave from Montlake to the Central District, the southern end of the route is back open to vehicular traffic and the long project is moving into its final phases.

The Seattle Department of Transportation announced that 23rd Ave south of Jackson has been re-opened to two-way motor vehicle traffic though construction is still being wrapped up.

The so-called Phase 2 of the 23rd Ave Vision Zero plan began last spring to continue the effort of slimming down the corridor and adding sidewalk improvements including new paving, crosswalks, and upgraded pedestrian crossing signals, new landscaping and trees, and transit improvements including real-time arrival information and bus pullouts between Jackson and S Hill. Continue reading

Dozens of shots but no reported injuries in shootout near 23rd and Jackson

There were no reported injuries as bursts of gunfire rattled the area around 23rd and Jackson and put nearby schools in lockdown Wednesday afternoon.

Seattle Police rushed to the reported shooting scene near 23rd and Main just after 2 PM after a report of dozens of gunshots. According to East Precinct radio dispatches, police were searching for two to three suspects reportedly armed with handguns seen by witnesses as the melee broke out. Some witnesses reported that the shooters appeared to be juveniles and at least one possible suspect was reportedly riding a bicycle as he fled the scene. Police were also looking for vehicles possibly involved in the shootout. Continue reading

Tired of baking French pastries on the Hill, Mariela Camacho brings pan dulce to the people

“It’s also about food justice,” Mariela Camacho says. “I want to give this to a community that doesn’t have a lot of food that is healthy and accessible to them.” (Image: Margo Vansynghel for CHS)

The sky is invariably dark, the atmosphere eerily quiet when Mariela Camacho gets to the commissary kitchen at 3 AM. No buzzing of mixers yet. No butter sizzling in pans, radio in the background, or cooks chopping onions, or bakers kneading dough. Usually, it’s just her and her diablitos (smoked paprika croissants), conchas (sweet bread rolls with crunchy toppings) and roles de canela (cinnamon rolls). One by one, Camacho loads them onto trays that go on top of the warm oven for proofing, the final rise before the final bake.

While the pastries rise, Camacho mixes the dough for sweet buns and bread, assembles pink cakes and alfajores, and chops up queso oaxaca for empanadas.

“And that’s just a regular day,” Camacho says. It’s 11 AM, and she’s worn out after a Sunday morning of baking. Her cheeks rosy from the work and oven heat, she’s loading up big boxes with bread, sweet buns and pastries to be whisked off to her wholesalers across the city: La Marzocco Cafe, Elm Coffee Roasters, Resistencia, Little Neon Taco, Addo, Bait Shop and Damn The Weather. Her wholesaler’s list has been growing quickly since she started her on-demand and pop-up bakery Comadre Panadería last spring.

Her pastry pop-ups, at Little Neon Taco, Dorothea Coffee or Broadcast Coffee, are increasingly popular as well. During her next pop-up, planned for Sunday, January 27th at Broadcast Coffee’s Jackson roasting house, Camacho will be selling cardamom orange conchas and a raspberry/beet niño envueltos.

Comadre Panaderia Pop-up

Continue reading

Central District council says SDOT went rogue with community-driven street improvements

The Judkins Park Community Council says its solution for the stretch of Jackson SDOT focused on would cost $500 (Image: Judkins Park Community Council)

A Central District neighborhood group had the strange experience earlier this month of asking the city to stop work on improvements Seattle Department of Transportation claimed it asked for.

“It is heartbreaking as we were so excited to get a grant to have improvements in the Jackson Street Business District,” organizers for the Judkins Park Community Council posted about the situation. “But this project, which we may not be able to actually stop at this point, being done in our name with our hard work on getting the grant, is not acceptable.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | Jackson’s Lake Chad open ‘until they force me to close’

Felix Ngoussou isn’t going down without a fight. The owner of S Jackson’s Lake Chad cafe tells CHS he’s staying open “until they force me to close.” Saturday night, CHS stopped through a party at Lake Chad with the Jim O’Hollaran Trio and an effort from friends and neighbors to try to boost business.

CHS wrote about Ngoussou’s efforts to keep Lake Chad open last month. The entrepreneur and community leader tells CHS he hopes to keep Lake Chad open as a cooperative-style coffee shop that can serve as a community meeting and work space. Our report wasn’t all bad news, Ngoussou tells us. In it, he got first word his Seattle Business Education Hub nonprofit was tabbed for $164,000 in funding from the city.

In the meantime, Lake Chad remains open and ready for Central District neighbors around 23rd and Jackson to stop in. You can find it at 1712 S. Jackson. Learn more at facebook.com/lakechadcafe.coffee.

Two Central District cafes facing closure point finger at Seattle City Hall

They both have become familiar faces whenever Central District small businesses are being discussed — usually in the context of the next big development or the next big infrastructure project promised to bring change to the neighborhoods their cafes have called home. Neighbors are now saying their goodbyes to Felix Ngoussou’s Jackson St. Lake Chad Cafe and Sara Mae’s 701 Coffee.

The 23rd and Cherry cafe owner Mae said she takes personal responsibility for 701’s closure but said she also lays blame with Seattle City Hall and District 3 representative Kshama Sawant for what she predicts will be a wave of Central District closures:

701 is just one in a line of real small businesses in the Central District that have been forced to close. We aren’t the first, and certainly won’t be the last. I firmly believe this trend will continue. There’s certainly no elected official—Kshama—that is going to give two shits about the plight of Central District Small Businesses. We have an elected official in the Central District who isn’t willing to devote some of her time and political capital to assuring that there is prosperity on the horizon for Central District small businesses. Instead she has created a movement that is based on resentment, and divisive political rhetoric that serves no purpose but to hold power, and keep people who are struggling trapped in a cycle of spinning their wheels, waiting for her precious cake. Frankly, all we have received in the aggregate from Kshama in all of this is Central District small business circumstances that has worsened under her reign.

Continue reading

After ‘nightmare’ arson fire, Med Mix returns to the Central District

Tuesday, we found out just how many people love tacos and broke some news about the future of food and drink at 23rd and Union. Today, CHS has good news on a sad part of 23rd and Union’s restaurant past. Five years after an arson fire destroyed its 23rd and Union shop, Med Mix is open again in the Central District.

Owner Otmane Bezzaz dropped CHS a note earlier this week to announce that, “after years of trying to come back,” his new location just off 23rd and Jackson is now open. Continue reading

Design review: Pratt Fine Arts Center development in the CD, ‘upscale’ small efficiency project on Capitol Hill

A development set to create market-rate housing and reshape a key block of Central District arts and culture and a project that proves Capitol Hill microhousing is not dead will both take their debut bows in front of the East Design Review Board Wednesday night.

1900 S Jackson
The plan announced in spring to create a full-block expansion of the Pratt Fine Arts Center in conjunction with a six-story, 160-unit mixed-use will move forward Wednesday night as developer Daniels Real Estate brings its proposal up for early design guidance.

CHS reported in April on the Pratt project as the Central District cultural center that serves more than 4,000 art students a year marked its 40th anniversary by announcing the venture with Daniels Real Estate. The art center today has 19,000 square feet of studio space in its two existing buildings, which will remain open during the expansion. The expansion will grow the campus by adding 75% of the block between S Jackson and S Main and 19th and 20th Aves. Underground parking will have space for 100 cars. Continue reading

Pratt Fine Arts Center plans expansion in mixed-use development

(Image: Pratt Fine Arts)

(Image: Pratt Fine Arts)

Pratt Fine Arts Center’s plans to expand are moving forward with designs in progress and money in the bank to anchor a six-story, mixed-use development on the block it calls home at 20th and Jackson.

“In order to achieve Pratt’s long term vision, we have worked tirelessly to find the best way to accommodate Pratt’s growing need for additional facilities to better serve art students and independent artists,” Steve Galatro, Pratt executive director said. “This multifaceted development will expand our capacity, unlock new potential, strengthen the connections to our neighborhood, and ensure that creativity thrives in a dynamic urban campus for many years to come.” Continue reading