Madison Valley down a vegan joint as Araya’s Place moves out, Hanuman Thai Cafe moves in

Araya’s ube soft crystal dessert (Image: Araya’s Place)

Once of Central Seattle’s dedicated vegan eateries is gone.

Araya’s Place Madison shut down as it reached its tenth year in Madison Valley last month.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you for your unwavering support over the past decade,” a message posted by the vegan Thai family of restaurants reads. “It has been an incredible journey serving you at Araya’s place in Madison.” Continue reading

In a 15-minute city, why not have a Mt. Bagel on every block?

Not every culinary success story begins at age 7, but for Roan Hartzog, his story does. Hartzog has been “bread adjacent” for most of his life.

Mt. Bagel, surprisingly located amid the homes of Madison Valley on 26th Ave E, is the current iteration of Hartzog’s baking.

In 2019, Roan took a trip to the “bagel homeland” of New York City. Wanting to start his own project, but unsure of what that was, he let his travel be his inspiration. After returning home, he worked his bread bakery job and on his off time, experimented with bagels.

It took a year of playing with dough to get the recipe right, but after an instagram account became his storefront, and family and friends got their share, more than just friends got to sample his rounded carbs.

“Soon it became friends of friends, then people I didn’t know started DMing me for bagels and I was like. oh, this is becoming something a little bigger than expected.” Working out of a friend’s commercial bakery, he eventually quit his bread job and focused on his bagel empire. When his friend moved to Edmonds in 2023, Hartzog took over the space. Continue reading

It has been anything but ‘rapid’ but RapidRide G bus transit project is now lined up for end of summer start

(Image: SDOT)


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With just over 150 days to a possible start of service on the line, the final efforts of construction workers and local legislators are aligning to begin RapidRide G bus service on the just under 2.50-mile, 10-station Madison route — maybe as soon as August.

Tuesday, the King County Council approved Ordinance 2024-0053 to establish service on the new RapidRide G connecting Seattle’s downtown to Madison Valley, passing through First Hill, Capitol Hill, and the Central District. The ordinance also officially revises eight nearby bus routes effective at the end of summer.

Officials say construction for the G Line is nearing completion with service on the new line anticipated to begin at the Fall 2024 service change — tentatively August 31st. The arrival of that milestone will be very welcome to transit officials facing skepticism about the return on investment for the surprisingly slow and costly to implement “bus rapid transit” that has been touted as a cheaper, faster, more effective solution than costly light rail and streetcar lines. Continue reading

Madison Valley’s new corner store? Kitchen & Market ’boutique grocery’

(Image: Kitchen & Market)

The corner grocery store isn’t dead yet in Seattle but you might have to pay a little more for your chips. A small neighborhood grocery in Madison Valley is set to reopen as part of the Kitchen & Market “boutique grocery chain” that says it is “chef- driven” and “primarily focused on bringing fresh products and meal kits to market.”

“I am so excited that we are opening a store in Madison Valley,” Stephanie King, Kitchen & Market’s founder and CEO, said in the announcement of the store’s opening. “Madison Valley has long been a neighborhood of fabulous customers of Kitchen & Market via our delivery service and now they can visit us in person.”

The change for the market across the street from neighborhood anchor Cafe Flora is another burst of life for the neighborhood’s struggling business community as it has asked for more support to make it through this final year of construction to create the new RapidRide G rapid bus line to connect the waterfront to Madison Valley via First Hill and Capitol Hill along E Madison. Continue reading

‘G’ is for gelato: Soon, new Madison Valley Fainting Goat will only be a RapidRide away

(Image: Fainting Goat)

Thanks to a reader for the picture

On this rainy “Spring Forward” Monday, let us turn our attention to thoughts of summer bus rides to Madison Park — and a gelato stop in Madison Valley along the way.

Fainting Goat Gelato is expanding south of the Montlake Cut with a new shop in Madison Valley. You can also find Fainting Goat in Fremont. The Wallingford shop is currently listed as “temporarily closed” as they work on a new location. Continue reading

Madison RapidRide G construction still has a year to go — Madison Valley businesses say they might not make it

Work on the route through downtown is pretty much complete (Image: Seattle Department of Transportation)

By CHS’s calculations, construction along the Madison corridor to create the new RapidRide G bus line has another year to go. But a merchant group representing businesses along the route says patience with the construction mess, utility shutdowns, and transit impacts has run out.

“The RapidRide G – Madison St project now sits at 75% completion!,” the Seattle Department of Transportation announced in its latest construction update this week on the 2.4-mile route promising 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.

But the Madison Valley Merchants Association isn’t celebrating. The group is calling on the city and Mayor Bruce Harrell to implement a small business council to address “the city’s lack of communication and planning regarding the Madison BRT project,” Marceil Van Camp, board member and owner of Kamp Social House, tells CHS.

The association cites “a substantial loss of 20% of the businesses along the Madison Avenue corridor, spanning from 24th Avenue East to 32nd Avenue East” and says  “an additional loss of 10% is anticipated by the conclusion of 2023” in a letter documenting its complaints. “This persistent decline is unsustainable for the well-being of the Madison Valley community, especially when weighed against the benefits derived from the Madison Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) – RapidRide G Line project,” it reads.

Van Camp says other areas along Madison have also met with the Greater Seattle Business Association about the challenges.

The full letter can be found at the end of this report.

While the letter also cites some familiar, sometimes shortsighted concerns around things like the loss of street parking, there are plenty of more substantial issues raised in the letter including the haphazard re-routes and wholesale loss of transit service by existing key routes in the area. In its latest construction update, SDOT says the detour of Route 8 away from Madison Valley will last for months into 2024.

Unfortunately, the pains for those living along the route of the Madison project are not new. Continue reading

How Kamp Social House became Madison Valley’s first lesbian bar

Katy Knauff and Marceil Van Camp (Image: Kamp Social House)

When it comes to growing into your place as a neighborhood hangout, identity is important. Kamp Social House is experimenting with its identity in Madison Valley.

“We were just finding that there were certain nights where it’s like, this is a restaurant full of lesbians, like everybody in here is queer,” Marceil Van Camp tells CHS. “I truly think it’s just that openness that allows for others to know that it’s a space where you can just sit at the bar.”

Van Camp and her wife, Katy Knauff, moved to Seattle from Long Beach in 2019 and fell in love with the Seattle food scene. Knauff is a lifelong restaurateur with 17 years of experience. Van Camp left a career in tech sales. The couple began looking for restaurant locations but then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and they put a pause in it. By the summer of 2022, Kamp Social House opened its doors in the space formerly home to neighborhood mainstay Luc. In the beginning, it emphasized Madison Valley and being “sober curious”-friendly as its leading attributes.

Van Camp said she and Knauff are very loud, open, and unapologetically proud about their love and business story which helps with make it a welcoming space for all.

The first lesbian dance nights at Kamp started this Pride. The overarching goal was to hold dance parties while celebrating queer love. The parties took place on Mondays because those were the queerest of nights at Kamp during summer. On the first night, Van Camp said that the line to enter was out the door, and she knew that Kamp had connected with something. Continue reading

Metro holding ‘Madison Street Project’ open house on proposed RapidRide G area service changes

King County Metro will hold the first of two planned open house sessions Thursday night on the proposed changes to Routes 10, 11, 12, and 47 in conjunction with the 2024 start of service on the E Madison RapidRide G bus line.

Open houses
Thursday, April 6 – 6:00PM to 7:30PM
Miller Community Center
330 19th Ave E

Friday, April 28 – 6:00PM to 7:30PM
Yesler Community Center
917 E Yesler Way

CHS reported on the proposals last month. Metro says the new “Madison Street Area” network would alter Routes 10, 11, 12, and 47 in the Capitol Hill, Central District, First Hill, and Madison Valley neighborhoods to “improve public transportation connections and transfers,” reduce duplication with the new RapidRide G line, and “address service that was suspended since COVID began in 2020.”

Under the RapidRide G planning, Metro is making the case to permanently axe Route 47 while proposed changes to Route 10 and Route 12 are being intertwined with a proposal for the lines be “reoriented” to operate along E Pine instead of E John and Madison, until they turn north on 15th Ave and 19th Ave. Metro is also proposing to move Route 11 off Pine. Continue reading

With RapidRide G starting on Madison in 2024, Metro planning changes to Routes 10, 11, 12, and final elimination of the 47

Metro’s plan is to keep the electrified trolleys of Route 12 and 10 rolling once RapidRide G comes along (Image: CHS)

With construction of the new line now at “50%,” officials are collecting feedback on proposals to alter existing bus routes that will connect with the Madison RapidRide G line when it begins service in 2024.

The new “Madison Street Area” network would alter Routes 10, 11, 12, and 47 in the Capitol Hill, Central District, First Hill, and Madison Valley neighborhoods to “improve public transportation connections and transfers,” reduce duplication with the new RapidRide G line, and “address service that was suspended since COVID began in 2020,” Metro says.

The new configurations could also fit better with the streetscape overhaul currently underway that will make Pike and Pine one-way between downtown and Bellevue Ave.

Metro’s plan is to roll the proposals out now and collect survey feedback through May before possibly revised revisions go out later in the year and are finalized in time for RapidRide G’s start of service in 2024.

Metro is promising “a final proposed bus route network that reflects community input from this survey, conversations with community members, and equity analyses” by fall 2023. Continue reading

Madison Valley’s Kamp Social House ready to serve the boozy, partly boozy, and unboozy alike

Kamp has soft serve, an overhauled restaurant and bar space, and executive chef Bridgett Lewis going for it (Images: Kamp Social House)

The signature cocktails at Kamp can be ordered boozy, partly boozy, or, yes, unboozy (Image: Kamp Social House)

Madison Valley has been enjoying the “boozy,” the “partly boozy,” and the “unboozy” party without us.

Kamp Social House opened over the summer and is hitting its stride as a neighborhood restaurant and bar centered around inclusivity and a social cocktail combining old school buzz with non-alcoholic enjoyment.

“Don’t be a stranger,” the neon reads.

CHS reported in May on the concept from business and life partners Marceil Van Camp and Katy Knauff as the veteran restaurant consultants cooked up a plan for a Mad Valley bistro providing cocktails, beers, and wines — with alcohol and without — with daytime and nighttime aspirations of serving the surrounding area. Kamp was made to gracefully serve everyone, Van Camp told CHS, whether you want your Negroni wet, damp, or dry — or boozy, partly boozy, or unboozy as the menu breaks it down. Continue reading