The Baltic Room, Capitol Hill nightclub legend, ready for new owner

(Image: The Baltic Room)

Capitol Hill nightclub The Baltic Room is changing hands but before its owner said goodbye after a decade fostering a longtime piece of the neighborhood’s nightlife culture, he wanted to get things right at the club.

“How do I properly get this set up for somebody to take over in a responsible way?” Jason Brotman said he asked himself about the work in the past year to prepare the Pine club bridging the gap between downtown and Capitol Hill ready for a new era. Brotman spoke with CHS a few weeks back as he waited to finalize the deal to take over the club. Continue reading

Euro fashion retailer Scotch and Soda set to join Melrose Ave

Scotch and Soda’s U Village store (Image: University Village)

The corner once home to quintessential Capitol Hill coffee shop Bauhaus is today home to an upscale cycling lifestyle “clubhouse.” The space around the corner on Melrose that used to be an art gallery before being built into the gargantuan, seven-story Excelsior mixed-use building? Amsterdam-based Scotch and Soda is adding the retail berth to its growing roster of U.S. locations.

Company officials haven’t confirmed the new store, the chain’s second in Seattle joining a location in the University Village mall. Permits filed with the city indicate the start of planning is underway for the shop on the eastern side of Melrose adjacent the entrance to the mixed-use building’s 280-vehicle underground parking garage and across the street from Melrose Market. Continue reading

December 19th, 2008 — the day a bus *almost* slid off an icy Capitol Hill onto I-5


CHS’s view that day. We went straight to Thomas and only slipped and fell three times while trying to cover the crash (Image: CHS)

History doesn’t always repeat but sometimes it echoes.

It was this day in 2008 that two wayward charter buses narrowly avoided tragedy on an icy, snow-packed Capitol Hill in a crash that left one of the coaches jutting out from Melrose and hanging precariously above I-5.

While the scale of Monday’s tragedy was much greater and much more terrible, the dangling Amtrak car in the DuPont derailment reminded us of that Friday, December 19, 2008 afternoon when CHS was new to the neighborhood news beat and found itself trying to cover an unbelievable story playing out at the base of an icy Thomas where the two buses slid into Melrose’s I-5 barriers. Fortunately, we had a lot of help from readers and neighborhood photographers.

“Just in from the scanner. Bus with around 50 passengers on board has crashed off Melrose and is hanging about 10 feet over the lanes of I5 below,” we reported confidently that day as the situation first was unfolding — though we were mostly unsure what we were hearing was really happening. “Accident involves two buses and there are reports of injuries. Heading out now for coverage and pictures.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | A Melrose Market feast

OK, so it was probably a lot less charming — but certainly less gory — that the prized birds were encased in cardboard boxes. There were no scenes of Scrooge having a boy pull a giant turkey through snowy London. But the preparations for a feast were in full swing Sunday at Melrose Market along with a jazz quartet, wine tasting, and plenty of trimmings for sale.

Rain Shadow Meats and the market’s merchants made an event out of the butcher’s annual turkey order pick-up day as customers stopped by to get their Northern California-raised, “slow growth vegetarian, non-GMO project verified diet” birds — and maybe a Tofurky at QFC on the way home.

Not everybody has a feast planned but there are ways to make sure you’re part of a day of goodwill and community. We’ve posted information on donation drives and volunteer opportunities around Capitol Hill for 2017 — please let us know about any others we should add.

Melrose community group ideas include one-way between Pike and Pine, festival street

In October, CHS reported on new colorful crosswalks coming to Melrose as part of $90,000 in improvements to the street. The community group behind that project is looking ahead to what’s next for Melrose as it continues to focus on the street’s core in front of the Melrose Market and surrounding businesses including the Starbucks Reserve Roastery.

This Melrose Promenade survey will help the group make some big decisions.

Continue reading

Help set the table local style with Melrose Market Turkey & Trimmings party

Whether you are planning to spend the day with family or at a classic Capitol Hill “orphan’s Thanksgiving” with friends, you can get your fixings local style this year (complete with slow-growth turkeys imported all the way from NorCal, if you act quickly) as Melrose Market will host a Turkey & Trimmings party on Sunday, November 19th:

Melrose Market Turkey & Trimmings Thanksgiving Event

Capitol Hill butcher Rainshadow Meats is already sold out of some sizes but still had small and EXTRA LARGE turkeys available for sale as of Thursday afternoon.

Customers picking up their birds will be part of the show on the 19th. You can also check out a live jazz quartet and enjoy a cocktail while you shop. Melrose Market’s new Marseille Bottle Shop will also be ready to help you pick out a bottle to bring to Turkey Day.

The Hill’s restaurants, cafes, and shops also offer a cornucopia of Thanksgiving-worthy trimmings, pies, and desserts. You can let others know about any favorites in comments.


With another first on Capitol Hill, Starbucks Roastery rolls out Princi, chain’s latest stab at premium chow

Ciao. Arrivederci. Welcome to Capitol Hill, Rocco Princi. Tuesday, the Starbucks Reserve Roastery on Melrose at the base of Capitol Hill is introducing its first Princi bakery to the world. Because it is Starbucks, the world should get ready for more.

“Rocco Princi is an artisan who, at an early age, discovered a love of bread making and through determination as well as an obsession for finding the perfect ingredients, has created an Italian food experience that I think is unparalleled,” Howard Schultz, now executive chairman at Starbucks said in the announcement of the opening. “His passion for authentic food and respect for Milanese culture come through in everything he does, and I think our customers are going to fall in love with Princi.”

Here’s how Starbucks describes the first location for its partnership with the European chain: Continue reading

Qin brings Biang Biang noodles to Capitol Hill

We’re not exactly sure about the details of the transition but we do know this — Baguette Box is departed from lower Pike/Pine. In its place, you can find the Xi’an style noodles of Qin.

The sibling of the Eastside’s Miah’s Kitchen and the original Qin in Edmonds, the former sandwich shop still has drunken chicken on offer but the hot oil noodles are more and more why people stop in at the Pine below Melrose shop. Continue reading

Blotter | Hilltop pot shop axe break-in, Melrose biz owner DUI charge

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • Pot shop axe-burglars: Seattle Police were called to the 1400 block of E Republican early on the morning of Sunday, October 15th after three suspects were reported to have busted into a pot shop with an axe and ransacked the store:According to the report on the 2 AM burglary, the burglary of the Ruckus shop was reported in progress and involved three males seen leaving the area in a white sedan. Police arrived to find a busted glass door and a mess inside but no sign of the suspects. It was unknown what had been stolen from the shop at the time of the report. UPDATE: The same modus operandi appears to have been at play in a string of West Seattle pot shop break-ins in the past week.
  • DUI charge: A Capitol Hill business owner has pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence and two counts of hit and run after her September arrest in a 29th Ave E incident. Police say Liz Pachaud, 32, was taken into custody after officers were called to 29th Ave E just before 1 AM on Sunday, September 17th and found vehicles damaged at the scene. Continue reading

Crunch time for effort to expand Capitol Hill Business Improvement Area

Community leaders seeking to expand a Business Improvement Area to advance clean streets, public safety, and business growth across Capitol Hill are looking for a special person to drive creation of the possible $1.6 million program. The candidate needs to be detail oriented and tenacious, able to connect with small business owners and landlords in every nook and cranny of the Hill, and able to track down every single loose end. Sorry, I already have a job.

“People are busy,” says Jeff Peletier, architect at 15th Ave E’s Board and Vellum and spokesperson for the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and the efforts to create an expansive Capitol Hill Business Improvement Area. “This economy is insane.”

In these boom times, the job listing for a new campaign manager to wrangle the expansion process is a good sign for those behind the proposed expansion. CHS reported on the February launch of the Hill chamber’s campaign to expand the existing Broadway BIA to encompass Broadway, Pike/Pine, Melrose, as well as 15th and 19th Avenues. The new manager will help drive the day to day to prepare petitions for the City Council as the campaign shifts into an all-out effort to gather signups from 60% of property owners within the proposed boundaries of the expansion. That includes “owners of business property, multi-family residential property, and mixed-use property.” Continue reading