Happy birthday, Morning Update Show

Omari Salisbury of Converge Media reports from E Pine during the summer’s Black Lives Matter protests

CHS grew to be friends with Omari Salisbury and the good folks at Converge Media the way we tend to meet others in the business — getting in the way of each others shots, talking over one another at press conferences, and tripping over each other trying to get out of the way of a cloud of pepper spray. The strongest voice you hear above in the “Capitol Hill Clash” video report from CHS’s Alex Garland? That’s Salisbury.

Over the summer, Converge and its Morning Update Show became the CNN of CHOP. We were happy to have the help — CHS still had the rest of Capitol Hill to cover. Between the two, nobody else was at the scene day in and day out through it all from beginning to end. Continue reading

Happy 80th birthday to Bruce Lee, Capitol Hill’s most legendary eternal resident

(Image: CHS)

Martial arts legend Bruce Lee rests today atop Capitol HIll in Lake View Cemetery. Friday would have been his 80th birthday.

CHS visited the site earlier this week. Resting next to the grave of his son Brandon Lee, Bruce’s headstone was covered as usual with its mix of flowers and coins. The grave sites atop a hill with an eastern view are a popular place to visit to pay respect to the masters.

Hours at Lake View are currently limited due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. The non-profit managed facility is also undertaking a small construction project around the graves. We checked in with the management about the project multiple times but Lake View’s office never got back to us. The organization has faced a challenging year with the ongoing pandemic and controversy surrounding the removal of a Confederate monument from the cemetery.

The construction fencing, meanwhile, will serve as an unfortunate background on what will likely be a busy weekend for visitors. Continue reading

Celebrating 10 years in the Capitol Hill circus, The Unicorn readies its big top-sized second location

Kaileigh Wilson and Adam Heimstadt

Capitol Hill’s The Unicorn bar celebrated its 10th anniversary in January by signing another 10-year lease at its E Pike location. With a much-anticipated Unicorn White Center slated to open this December, its trademark whimsical gag is only expanding.

“I feel like bars and restaurants these days, to really be successful, you need to do something different and go against the grain a little bit, and really take chances,” founder Adam Heimstadt said. “You need to be a bit of a gambler, so to speak. I put 110% into everything we do. All the stupid details matter, all the small fine details.”

The carnival-themed Unicorn and downstairs brother bar Narwhal are known for decor as sugary sweet as the signature drink Unicorn Jizz, a mango vodka, triple sec, orange juice and sprite creation. The striped walls, salvaged and repainted antique paneling, bedazzled atm, taxidermied wildlife, and video arcade have established the bar as an Anything Goes spectacle for a younger crowd, a concept that Heimstadt and his wife Kaileigh Wilson want to turn into a destination bar in White Center. Continue reading

Day and night: How Oddfellows overcame rough start to mark 10 years in Pike/Pine

Linda Derschang

Born in the wake of Obama’s victory when patriotism was fashionable and in a Pike/Pine neighborhood where the idea of a daytime-focused business was still a major gamble, Linda Derschang’s “cafe and bar” Oddfellows celebrates a decade on Capitol Hill this week with a Tuesday party.

Inappropriately enough, it starts at 8 PM.

“Oddfellows was the first business I owned equally focused on day and night,” Derschang tells CHS. “It needed to look good at nine in the morning, one in the afternoon, and six at night.”

Oddfellows debuted this week in 2008 in the historic Odd Fellows building at 10th and E Pine and has endured in a changing neighborhood while, yes, looking good around the clock with its big hall-style windows, brick walls, and fellowship lodge neon out front.

Its survival and thriving position as the venerable Capitol Hill High School and Pike/Pine 98122 cafeteria is a testament to Derschang’s style, the neighborhood’s population boom, and community support, Derschang says, through the cafe’s rocky and roll-y start. Continue reading

Created by a chef at the top of his game, Poppy marks 10 years on Capitol Hill

(Image: Poppy)

Capitol Hill was a very different place when Jerry Traunfeld opened his restaurant, Poppy, a decade ago on Broadway. As he and his staff prepare to celebrate the restaurant’s 10-year anniversary on Sunday, Traunfeld said it was a quest for independence that led to his choice to open a business on Capitol Hill.

“I wanted to do something on my own. And I wanted to do it in the city and I wanted to do something that was more accessible,” Traunfeld said. “Something that was more of my own personality.”

Before Poppy, Traunfeld worked as the chef at the Herbfarm for 17 years where he says he reached the top of his game. He had built a reputation for himself, won the James Beard Award and published a few cookbooks. Despite his success, he still felt that he wanted to create something he could call his own.

But independence has its price. Traunfeld opened the restaurant on September 18th, 2008 — just as the global economy fell to pieces. Continue reading

Molly Moon’s turns 10 (OK, E Pine shop is only 9 but you still can get a free scoop)

(Image: Molly Moon’s)

Between today’s golden age of frozen treats and the end of the 31 flavors era, there were dark days on Capitol Hill. Then Molly Moon’s opened on E Pine across from Cal Anderson. And there was ice cream.

Thursday, the Seattle chain of scoop shops celebrates its birth 10 years ago in Wallingford:

Hooray! We’re turning 10 this Thursday, May 10, and to celebrate our birthday, we’re giving free scoops to the first 100 customers at each of our shops, which are located in Wallingford, Capitol Hill, Madrona, Queen Anne, University Village, Redmond and Columbia City!

Molly Moon Neitzel opened her Capitol Hill shop a year later in 2009. “Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream is a great local hang-out where families, kids, hipsters, and ice cream addicts alike, can congregate and celebrate their favorite dessert,” the marketing text read. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Sensei celebrates 25 years at Emerald City Aikido

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(Image: CHS)

Riding on the martial arts belt of “The Karate Kid” movies of the 1980s, a wise sensei laid down mats in a Capitol Hill storefront. The slap of the padding hitting the floor called students to the door where the sensei taught them the martial art of aikido.

For 25 years now, Emerald City Aikido’s chief instructor and founder Joanne Veneziano Sensei has been teaching children and adults aikido — a martial art that uses a lot of circular movements and encourages connecting with others, including attackers, instead of blocking or forcing something on them.

“People like the idea of peaceful resolution of conflict and they like the idea of using the energy of an attack to turn it around safely for both people,” she said. Continue reading

Born of a much-loved Capitol Hill grocery, Rainbow Natural Remedies marks 20 years of business on 15th Ave E

For those trying to cure a cold or reduce stress Rainbow Natural Remedies’ 20th-anniversary celebration might be their cup of tea. This weekend, owners Ross and Patricia Kling are giving Rainbow patrons free samples, demonstrations, readings and raffles.

While this might be the Rainbow Natural Remedies 20th birthday, its history stretches back even further to when the Klings first opened Rainbow Grocery in the 1980s, making it one of Seattle’s first natural food markets.

In 1996, the couple was presented with the opportunity to do more.

“At that time customers were coming in and asking our grocery stockers important health questions,” Ross Kling said. “And the stockers didn’t have the knowledge and the pace of the grocery store was such that it wasn’t conducive to having that kind of conversation.” Continue reading

Artistic director and Egyptian Theater-saving master leaving SIFF

Carl Spence, SIFF artistic director

Carl Spence, SIFF artistic director

During the past 23 years, Carl Spence has been instrumental in transforming the Seattle International Film Festival from an annual event to a year-round organization and saving the Uptown Theatre and Capitol Hill’s Egyptian Theatre while he’s at it.

Six months from now Spence, who serves as SIFF’s artistic director, will be saying goodbye as he leaves for new adventures with his family and in his work life.

Spence was hired in 1994 on a three-month contract for the festival to do marketing work, which wasn’t what he wanted. He was interested in programming. But it was the organization he wanted to be with.

“It’s like the best place anyone could imagine to get a job,” he said. Continue reading

Seattle’s AIDS Walk reaches 30 years with health for the living and hope for a cure

A 2015 walker (Image: CHS)

A 2015 walker (Image: CHS)

For 30 years in Seattle, people have walked and run to raises money to fight HIV and AIDS. Saturday, the End AIDS Walk will again circle Volunteer Park.

AIDS walks have historically been held to remember those who have lost their lives and to gather as a community, Jeremy Orbe, development coordinator with community health organization and event host Lifelong, told CHS. While the End AIDS Walk Seattle still honors lives that have been lost, education and outreach help prevent new cases and medical advancements make the disease more manageable. People who have HIV or AIDS and are receiving treatment can live healthy lives.

“Folks aren’t necessarily losing their lives. … They’re able to live long and happy and fulfilling lives,” Orbe said.

Because of advancements in treatments, the walk is now more focused on supporting those living with the disease and looking to the future for a cure. Continue reading