Kamp, a joint for Seattle’s ‘sober curious’ and their friends, coming to Madison Valley


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Van Camp’s recipe for a NA Negroni:
1 oz Monday Non-Alcoholic Gin
1 oz Lyre’s Dry Italian Spritz
1 oz Dhōs Orange
1 dropper All the Bitter Aromatic
1 dropper All the Bitter Orange
(Image: The Dry Year)

A new food and drink venture with Capitol Hill roots and centered around inclusivity and non-alcoholic enjoyment is under construction just downhill in Madison Valley. Its 2022 opening in the area around Madison and MLK will hopefully be part of a pulse of recovery for blocks that have been recently hit by food and drink shutterings and shutdowns.

Business and life partners Marceil Van Camp and Katy Knauff say the opening of Kamp later this year along E Madison will be the first of many for a concept the experienced restaurant consultants know their Capitol Hill, Central District, and Madison Valley neighbors are looking for.

“It shouldn’t be an ask — ‘Do you have non-alcoholic options?,'” Van Camp tells CHS.

Kamp will be a bistro providing cocktails, beers, and wines — with alcohol and without — with daytime and nighttime aspirations of serving Madison Valley. Kamp will gracefully serve everyone, Van Camp says, whether you want your Negroni wet, damp, or dry. Continue reading

Snowy River grows into Madison Valley with hope its cocktail confetti and decorations will someday flow across the state

Luc is gone (Image: thechefinthehat.com)

(Image: Snowy River Cocktails)

The world of food and drink has changed. In Capitol Hill’s down the Hill neighbor Madison Valley, the area has lost a favorite hangout from James Beard award-winning chef and neighborhood resident Thierry Rautureau. In its place, a franchise concept dedicated to brightly colored, sugar coated cocktails has come to life and is so far weathering the pandemic-era challenges as it sets the stage for a hoped for expansion across the state.

Snowy River wants to share its cocktail decorations to many, hoping to open its decorated cocktail bars across Washington after a start in Bellingham and its first expansion this fall to Madison Valley in the former home of Rautureau’s Luc. The pandemic has not made it easy.

“There’s a lot of good markets out there, which I think Snowy River would do great in, it’s just a question of timing and finding the right location and the right people,” Snowy River owner Stuart Craig said.

A manufacturer of cocktail decorating products, Snowy River’s bars and restaurants are hoped to be a showcase of its creations and a lucrative franchise opportunity. Its Instagram overflows with colorful cocktails that feature glitter, rimmers, salts, and sugars.

“We have been manufacturing and distributing cocktail decorating products across the United States and other parts of the world since about 2017,” Craig said. “We decided by 2020 that it would be great to allow customers to showcase and see our cocktails at work with our cocktail decorating products.” Continue reading

‘A crime against women’ — Schmidt murder case ends with assault conviction, 17-month sentence

A more than six year process of death, investigation, justice, and, ultimately, sadness filled King County Superior Court last week as Eric Sims was sentenced to 17 months in prison in the 2015 death of Madison Valley woman Devan Schmidt.

“His sentence is a crime against women,” Schmidt’s mother said during statements from the family read prior to Judge Johanna Bender’s 17-month decision, the maximum for a second degree assault conviction.

The court received 36 victim impact statements most criticizing the outcome of the case, the rest calling for the maximum sentence. Schmidt’s sister tried to hold back tears as she read and described receiving the phone call about Devan’s death.

Bender last month found reasonable doubt Sims, now 48, murdered and raped Schmidt, finding him guilty of only a second degree assault charge in a case marked by confounding evidence from a night of partying and heavy drug use and what the judge said was an incomplete investigation by police. Continue reading

Work truck carjacking from Madison Valley downed utility pole repair ends with arrest near UW after collisions across city — UPDATE

Police say one person was struck and injured after a truck from the contractor crew working at the site of a toppled utility pole in Madison Valley was ripped off in a reported knifepoint carjacking Wednesday morning that crossed Capitol Hill and ended with the suspect’s arrest along Greek Row near the University of Washington.

The incident began around 5:15 AM near 29th and Madison with a report of a suspect attempting to attack a contract worker with a knife and stealing the large flatbed truck with flashing lights, before speeding away westbound on E Madison. Continue reading

Driver trapped as utility pole falls across E Madison in burst of stormy wind — UPDATE

A transformer reportedly exploded and a utility pole toppled onto a nearby building, blocking 29th at Madison, and trapping a driver in a pickup truck in a burst of windy, stormy weather Tuesday afternoon.

Seattle Fire was called to the scene of the downed Seattle City Light pole around 1:45 PM. A truck trapped by the wires was reportedly occupied and emergency crews were working to make the area safe for rescue. UPDATE: Seattle Fire reports that the driver was uninjured in the incident. Continue reading

Not guilty verdict in Devan Schmidt murder trial

Inside Judge Bender’s courtroom

Defense attorney Thomas Olmstead stands and speaks as his client Eric Sims reacts to the not guilty rulings (Image: CHS)

The hearing was streamed for family members who could not attend due to travel and COVID-19 restrictions (Image: CHS)

The man accused of sexually assaulting and killing 29-year-old Devan Schmidt in a 2015 attack inside the Madison Valley home where she lived has been found not guilty of murder and rape in the case.

Thursday afternoon inside the King County Courthouse, Superior Court Judge Johanna Bender said there was reasonable doubt Eric Sims, now 48, murdered and raped the woman after a night of partying and heavy drug use but that prosecutors had successfully proven his guilt on a lesser assault charge.

Schmidt, Bender said, suffered clear bodily harm in the moments before she died with bruising and abrasions to her body, and blunt force trauma to her face.

But the judge said evidence of the victim’s mental health history and drug seeking behavior before her death left reasonable doubt that Schmidt’s lethal overdose was caused by Sims. The judge said the victim had ingested so much cocaine the night she died, that the state crime lab’s equipment could not provide accurate measurement during the investigation.

The legal proceedings in the case were delayed by COVID-19 restrictions and the decision by Sims to waive his right to a jury and put his trial in the hands of the judge.

Bender also criticized Seattle Police detectives who the court found failed to get warrants to collect evidence in other rooms of the house Schmidt shared with roommates, failed to property document drug-related evidence collected from the victim’s boyfriend’s truck, and failed to gather key medical records related to Schmidt’s mental health before they were no longer available.

In her ruling, Bender said she sympathized with “how desperately families want to understand” a loved one’s death but that sorting out every detail of a case is “not the role of the court,” saying the evidence presented in trial showed Schmidt died of intentionally ingesting large amounts of drugs — not homicidal violence. Continue reading

Finally, ‘bus rapid transit’ — RapidRide G breaks ground on project to transform Madison’s downtown-First Hill-Capitol Hill connection

By Ryan Packer

Nearly a decade since work started on planning a new “bus rapid transit” line along E Madison, the RapidRide G project finally marked the start of construction Thursday morning with an event featuring regional elected leaders and transportation heads. The 2.4 mile RapidRide line is now on schedule to open in 2024 when it will provide six minute service during most hours of the day between 1st Ave downtown and MLK Jr Way in Madison Valley with stops across First Hill and Capitol Hill along the way.

“We are celebrating the start of a historic groundbreaking and the culmination of a collaborative planning effort with community members and across partner agencies,” said King County Metro General Manager Terry White. “Working together on a federal, state, regional, and municipal level made the RapidRide G Line a reality. I look forward to returning to the corner of Rev. Samuel B. McKinney and Madison streets to celebrate the start of the RapidRide Service to the neighborhoods it will serve. The G Line will also better connect these neighborhoods with our regional mobility network.”

The groundbreaking ceremony at 19th and Madison in front of the Mount Zion Baptist Church comes during a significant week for transportation projects in Seattle as Sound Transit prepares to open three new light rail stations that make up the Northgate Link extension Saturday morning and the Seattle Department of Transportation opens a new pedestrian bridge connecting over I-5 to Northgate Station at the same time.

Regional leaders like King County Executive Dow Constantine emphasized the work electeds are doing to build a more interconnected transit network.

After years of delays, a “bus rapid transit” solution like the plan for E Madison will take about three years to complete. Construction on the Northgate Link extension began in 2012. The price tags, of course, are also on completely different scales. The new light rail extension had a base budget of $1.9 billion. CHS reported earlier this year on the new bus line’s $134 million budget and a $59.9 million federal allocation to help pay for it.

That budget, by the way, includes an agreement with Capitol Hill’s iconic queer bar Pony on a $250,000 deal with the city in exchange for shaving off a bit of its property to make room for the new project. Continue reading

Judge in Madison Valley murder trial shuts down courtroom Zoom feed

The King County Superior Court judge presiding over the Devan Schmidt murder trial is struggling with the challenges of COVID-19 and Zoom video calls.

CHS reported here on the start of the trial last week some six years after police and prosecutors say the 29-year-old Madison Valley woman was raped and murdered in her home after a night of partying.

The Seattle legal proceedings, already delayed by COVID-19 restrictions and the decision by defendant Eric Sims to waive his right to a jury and put his trial in the hands of Judge Johanna Bender, now have a new wrinkle with an order earlier this week from Bender shutting down a Zoom videoconference feed from the courtroom.

“The Court’s experiment in allowing remote access has not been successful; it has led to significant concerns about the integrity of the trial process,” Bender writes.

Continue reading

Design review: Set of twin four-story buildings will add four apartment units, new retail to Madison Valley

A mixed-use townhouse-style development small enough to avoid the city’s public design review process but big enough to fill a Madison Valley parking lot is moving forward.

The city is conducting an “administrative review” of design plans for a proposed project to build a set of small apartment buildings in the surface parking lot outside the neighborhood’s popular Cafe Flora restaurant. Continue reading

Six years after Madison Valley woman’s death, trial begins in Devan Schmidt murder case

The trial in the 2015 assault and murder of a Madison Valley woman is beginning this week with the lawyer for the the man accused of the crime presenting a defense that blames the victim’s mental health and a roommate for the woman’s death.

Eric Sims, 48, has waived his right to a jury trial and put the decision on the murder and sexual assault charges against him in the hands of a King County Superior Court judge.

This week’s start of proceedings will represent a long anticipated milestone for the family of Devan Schmidt who waited five years after her death for an arrest in the case. Continue reading