City says Capitol Hill Uber and Lyft pickup zone will continue and there could be more to come

The test of a new ride-hail pickup zone is achieving its goals and will continue and could be expanded to other nightlife and rideshare heavy areas of the city, the Seattle’s department of transportation announced Monday.

“We’ve seen improved traffic circulation in the area, and the Seattle Police Department has reported that their ability to patrol and respond in the area has been improved and that crowds are disbursing more quickly with fewer disturbances at the end of the night. Additionally, more riders are catching their rides at the curb and not blocking traffic in the street,” the SDOT announcement reads.

CHS reported in November on the start of the weekend nightlife pilot that carves out four pickup areas from existing Pike/Pine parking where customers looking for a ride with either Uber or Lyft are directed by the apps. The geo-fencing is in effect during the highest demand times for the services: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday between midnight and 3 AM and includes a total of 36 legal parking spaces that change to loading zone restrictions during the program’s hours.

The “ridehail zone” comes amid a continuing boom in the Pike/Pine nightlife economy where huge crowds can gather as last call approaches and revelers head for home. Police have long sought strategies to better manage the 2 AM rush to help cut down on traffic issues as well as assaults and fights that can break out in the crowds. Continue reading

Helping lead the push for early childhood development, Perigee Fund makes home on E Pike

(Image: Perigee Fund)

There’s something new on your walk down E Pike that is not a restaurant or bar. And the work inside — with a view of all the good and the bad of the city streets of Pike/Pine — is helping advocates fight for more resources for early child development.

Executive director Becca Graves calls it upstream mental health.

“You can’t get more upstream than working prenatally,” she said.

The offices of the Perigee Fund are now resident on the street level of the auto row-era Greenus Building. The space formerly home to an upscale furniture store and interior boutique is now being used to plan a national philanthropic effort launched in 2018 to help advance work related to early childhood mental health and perinatal mental health. Continue reading

Capitol Hill gay bars and performance venues raising funds to help Down Under

Capitol Hill’s gay bars and performance venues are raising funds in celebration of Australia Day to help recovery from the country’s bushfire crisis.

Bush Bash is a fundraiser happening this Saturday, January 25, at four Seattle gay bars. The funds raised that evening go to The Australian Community’s Disaster Relief Fund. R Place, Diesel, Queer/Bar, and White Center’s Lumber Yard are all having special fundraising performances or events to raise money to help people and wildlife affected by the Australian bushfire crisis.

Meanwhile, a 12-hour drag fundraising event will do its part to Save the Koalas Sunday at Capitol Hill’s Fred Wildlife Refuge. Continue reading

Pine mixed-use project pivoting from office space to lodging

Rendering of the Pivot (Image: Tiscareno Associates)

The direction for one mixed-use development under construction at the base of Capitol Hill might show the appetite for new office space in the neighborhood isn’t as strong as the downtown lodging market.

Pivot, the eight-story, 65-unit apartment and mixed-use building rising on the land where a surface parking lot once spread out on Pine just above downtown, is again, well, pivoting — this time, office space is out and a new era hotel service is in.

Developer Vibrant Cities CEO Ming Fung confirmed the new direction for the project with CHS and says two stories of planned commercial office space will be redeployed as lodging operated by Sonder, a startup dedicated to creating a network of tech and business worker appropriate short and longer term stay options in large cities around the world. Continue reading

911 | Cops make quick bust in Pike/Pine gold chain robbery

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS 911 coverage here. Hear sirens and wondering what’s going on? Check out Twitter reports from @jseattle or tune into the CHS Scanner page.

  • Gold chain robbery bust: Police made a quick arrest of an armed suspect after a victim said his gold chain was snapped from his neck amidst the nightlife crowds of Pike/Pine early Saturday morning. According to the SPD brief on the incident, police were called to a fight disturbance in the area of 10th and Pike just after 1 AM to the reported ripoff:
    Officers were working an East Precinct Nightlife Emphasis Patrol shortly after 1:00 am Saturday when they observed a disturbance outside of a club at 10th Avenue and East Pike Street. A man told police someone had approached him and ripped the gold chain from his neck before disappearing into a crowd. Witnesses were able to point out the suspect to officers, who took him into custody.
    Police say they found a stolen handgun and five grams of suspected cocaine on the suspect. The necklace was not located. The 25-year-old was booked into King County Jail.
  • E Pike ice cream shop DUI crash: There were fortunately no serious injuries and the driver was taken into custody for DUI after smashing a car into the side of the Salt and Straw ice cream shop on E Pike last Wednesday morning. The 9:30 AM incident brought a large Seattle Fire response to help extricate the driver whose door was smashed against the building’s brick corner. Damage to the shop was minimal and pedestrians and bicyclists on the busy street managed to avoid the collision. Police say the driver was taken to Harborview and cleared and then taken into custody for investigation of driving under the influence.
  • Lakeview/Belmont false alarm: A reported Monday morning stabbing near the trail below Lakeview Blvd and Belmont turned out to be a false alarm. Police and Seattle Fire were called to the scene by a passerby just before 11 AM Monday to a report of a person who had been stabbed. Arriving officers found that the victim said they had been, indeed, suffering from injuries suffered in a stabbing — but that the incident happened last year. Police cleared the scene and Seattle Fire made sure the victim got the necessary treatment.

Driver busted for DUI after crashing outside Capitol Hill ice cream shop

(Image: @sdottraffic)

The driver was arrested for suspicion of DUI after a trip to the hospital and damage was fortunately minimal after a car crashed into the front of a Capitol Hill ice cream shop Wednesday morning.

Fortunately no pedestrians were injured in the just after 9:30 AM crash along busy E Pike at Boylston where the Toyota Corolla came to a rest against the building home to the Capitol Hill location of Salt and Straw.

Police closed E Pike in both directions during the response as Seattle Fire worked to get the driver out of the crashed car.

The driver was taken to Harborview for evaluation and then taken into custody by police for investigation of driving under the influence.

King of Capitol Hill’s coffee culture, Caffe Vita is in new hands

There were signs something new was coming. In the last days of 2019, a Seattle real estate investment company purchased the E Pike building home to the headquarters and roasting facility of Caffe Vita from Vita owner Mike McConnell for $5 million and also rolled out a new 10-year lease for a new Vita entity incorporated last August with ownership that only listed a lawyer and a law firm.

Seattle Met has the scoop. Caffe Vita has a new owner:

On January 1, Deming Maclise officially took over Vita’s 10 shops (spread across Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, and Brooklyn), three roasting facilities, and a network of hundreds of wholesale customers in all 50 states, not to mention a critical mass of Seattle bars and restaurants.
Continue reading

Police search for suspect after gunpoint robbery reported on E Pike

Seattle Police were searching the streets around 13th and Pike after a reported Friday night armed robbery.

Police were called to the area around 8:30 PM to a report of a victim held up at gunpoint and robbed by a suspect with his face covered by a black bandana.

Officers fanned out to set up containment in the area and a police K9 unit joined the search but there were no immediate arrests.

The victim told police the suspect threatened him with a handgun and stole his phone in the holdup.

There were no reported serious injuries.

‘Neighborhood institution’ The Cuff now part of Capitol Hill Queer/Bar family

(Image: The Cuff)

Capitol Hill’s complex of leather, fetish, and kink for more than 25 years, The Cuff has new owners and is now part of a family of venues dedicated to neighborhood LGBTQ nightlife and culture.

Joey Burgess, owner of Pike/Pine’s Queer/Bar, tell CHS he purchased the 13th Ave venue and took over just in time for New Year’s with an eye toward preserving the “neighborhood institution” and putting The Cuff “back in queer ownership.”

“It’s a huge venue with a rad patio and awesome staff. Some people have been here for decades. We’re looking to preserve all that,” Burgess said. Continue reading