Return of the Capitol Hill newsstand: Big Little News planned for Pike/Pine

It’s been a decade since Capitol Hill last had a newsstand. The news? Well, it’s changed a bit in the meantime but the appetite for newspapers and magazines has somehow survived the explosive growth of online information and smartphones.

CHS has learned a new project coming to Pike/Pine from some familiar faces in the neighborhood will celebrate that appetite for the printed page — and the bottleshop. Continue reading

Design review: First look at proposal for preservation incentive-boosted project that will rise above 110-year-old E Pike Rowland building

Wednesday night will bring two virtual design review meetings that could help set the course for new developments on Capitol Hill in 2021 including a project planned to preserve the E Pike facade of the 1910-built commercial building that has been home to Gay City and Kaladi Brothers as part of an eight-story, incentive boosted mixed-use project.

CHS reported on the early plans from developer Hunters Capital and longtime property owner Chip Ragen to redevelop the corner of E Pike and Belmont.

Wednesday night, the Studio Meng Strazzara-designed project will take its first step in front of the East Design review board. Continue reading

Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County calls on Durkan to launch investigation of SPD’s Office of Police Accountability and decision to abandon East Precinct

Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County is calling on Mayor Jenny Durkan to launch an investigation of Seattle Police and its Office of Police Accountability after a judge’s ruling this week found the city in contempt for violating an order restraining the use of crowd-control weapons and tactics.

At its core, the letter from the Seattle area chapter focuses on the OPA’s 2020 investigations and the lack of accountability in this summer’s decision to evacuate the East Precinct and the questions the episode raises about the chain of command and decision making inside SPD.

“There is a growing body of evidence to show SPD has failed to uphold its responsibilities, obey the law, and protect people over the past seven months,” BLMSKC said in its letter. “At worst, the evidence suggests SPD has, through its officers and in its capacity as an institution, consistently engaged in various unlawful practices. At best, the evidence suggests SPD has failed to uphold governing officer conduct policies.”

UPDATE: In a statement sent to CHS, the mayor’s office defended its police “accountability partners” but said Durkan will meet with the Black Lives Matter group.

Continue reading

The latest Capitol Hill food and drink trend: hibernation

Some of the neighborhood’s main remaining active food and drink players are pressing pause on their hard-fought efforts to re-configure businesses for takeout and creative streetside patio set-ups, opting, instead, to try to wait this all out.

“This isn’t a goodbye and it’s not forever, rather a see you soon,” the announcement from the Derschang Group about its decision to temporarily shut down Oddsfellow Cafe reads.

The shutdowns will bring more plywood to the already mostly barricaded nightlife and business districts. And they will put hundreds of workers onto unemployment after what turned out to be a temporary burst of reopening activity under the summer and early fall’s downturn in new cases and lightened restrictions on businesses

The popular Oddfellows is not alone in Capitol Hill venues opting for a December — and longer? — slumber. Continue reading

Driver busted for DUI in five-car E Pike collision

(Image: SPD)

Police say a driver was busted for DUI and taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries in an incident Tuesday night that left cars scattered across the street and sidewalk along E Pike at Bellevue.

SPD and Seattle Fire were called to the scene of multiple crashed vehicles just before 8:30 PM and found one of the smashed up cars on the sidewalk resting against the wall of the First Covenant Church. Cars including a silver Subaru SUV were scattered across the area but other occupants reported only minor injuries, police said. There were no reported injuries to pedestrians or bikers in the busy area. Continue reading

Checking in: Capitol Hill’s Raygun Lounge transforms into a gift shop to stay in the game

(Image: Gabrielle Locke)

(Image: Gabrielle Locke)

By Gabrielle Locke

“We have re-opened into a little shop with a semi-cranky old man,” owner Eric Logan tells CHS.

We talked with Logan before the latest round of COVID-19 restrictions added new limitations on in-person shopping. It’s possible Logan is a little crankier now.

Eric and Amy Logan opened a specialty retail shop on Capitol Hill 12 years ago called Gamma Ray Games.

“My wife and I share a passion for creating and building intersectional environments and the original store was a way for us to do that together,” Eric Logan said.

Logan and Amy began to see a need for an event oriented space and opened Raygun Lounge on E Pine, eventually consolidating the businesses.

Now the game play of life is completing a circuit of the board. The lounge is going back to being a game shop.

The First Annual Raygun Lounge POP Up Store is now open. Continue reading

Mayor Durkan, tear down this wall (and safely reopen Cal Anderson)

A petition organized by members of neighborhood community groups, organizations, and businesses around Cal Anderson have launched a petition to show community support for the reopening of the park and removal of the concrete barrier wall surrounding the East Precinct:

From the Pike Pine Urban Neighborhood Council:

Cal Anderson Park, a 7-acre public park in the middle of Seattle, has been closed to the public since early July. Although many continue to use the park, its use is not supported by regular maintenance and repair and it has become an unwelcoming place for many. Since its closure there have been 2 deaths inside the park, sprawling encampments, piles of trash and human excrement, property damage and deferred maintenance. Reopening the park will provide much needed maintenance and allow for the park to be utilized by all. The City has installed large cement barriers and fences around the E. Precinct in response to property damage. While most businesses have removed the plywood from their windows and are open for business in the neighborhood, the barricades around the E. Precinct remain. Removing the barricades signals this is a safe and welcoming neighborhood. We created the petition and will send its signatures to the Mayor and City Council members – the support they say they need to act. But, to make an impact, we need a LARGE VOICE. Please sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/opencalanderson

The petition already had more than 200 sign-ups as of early Thursday afternoon. Continue reading

What Capitol Hill small businesses, restaurants, and bars are saying about the latest round of COVID-19 restrictions — UPDATE

(Image: Victrola Coffee)

For some Capitol Hill small businesses, the coming weeks will be like the rest — making ends meet with reduced capacities and a reliance on new or rapidly scaled up revenue streams. For others, the new restrictions going into effect this week to try to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Seattle are the start of new shutdowns and “temporary closures.”

Restaurants and bars will be particularly hard hit. The prohibition on indoor service begins Wednesday and already some have said they cannot afford to stay open. Broadway’s Corvus and Co. announced it will close “until indoor dining can resume.” Until then, they’re clearing out with a 50% off sale on food. Other Capitol Hill bars will likely follow.

The food, drink, and shopping restrictions are necessary, health officials says, because people are getting sick at work and the virus is spreading rapidly in home settings with friends and loved ones. Monday, Mayor Jenny Durkan said the city has identified “a handful of employer outbreaks” and that bars and restaurants have been the most common source in those business-related situations.

UPDATE 11/18/2020: Industry advocates are pointing out that restaurants and bars are being unfairly singled out. According to the state’s latest sector report (PDF), Washington’s leading employment categories by total case count are Health Care and Social Assistance, Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting, Retail Trade, Manufacturing, and then Accommodation and Food Services.

The new lockdown is described as “temporary” with plans for the state to reassess the crisis by mid-December. In the meantime, restaurants and bars are closed for indoor service while outdoor dining and to-go service is permitted. Tables are limited to parties of five. For those venues with a good sidewalk and street setup, the city’s easing of permitting for outdoor dining, tents, and heating should help.

Others, like Mamnoon, for example, have announced they will step up their takeout efforts by adding things like expanded service hours for lunch deliveries.

Below is a selection of updates from Capitol Hill businesses about the coming lockdown: Continue reading

‘We didn’t want to open in a pandemic’ — Barca plays it cool in exit from 20 years of Capitol Hill nightlife

(Image: Barca)

The COVID-19 crisi has claimed Capitol Hill’s Barca, a bar that managed to survive multiple editions of Pike/Pine’s rapid mutations. That stubborn sense of righteousness did the bar in, longtime manager Dan Carlisle tells CHS.

“We didn’t want to open in a pandemic,” Carlisle said.

With state and local officials warning that the spread of the virus has again reached levels that will soon overwhelm the area’s health systems,  and people being asked to mark the Thanksgiving holiday alone, does it make sense to keep Capitol Hill’s bars and restaurants open?

Carlisle said the management at the 11th Ave bar considered “50 different ways” to reopen but none made financial or moral sense. Continue reading

Man killed during Capitol Hill election celebrations identified — Police call for public’s help in investigation

(Image from Marquies Patterson’s Facebook page)

The man shot and killed in the street on Capitol Hill in the midst of weekend Biden-Harris celebrations has been identified as Marquies Patterson.

Groups held a vigil Sunday night at 10th and Pike at the scene where the 31-year-old was gunned down and marked the death of a Black man only a block from the neighborhood’s large Black Lives Matter street mural and the area where the summer’s Capitol Hill occupied protest formed.

Hours earlier as music and dancing continued late into the night after a long day of celebrating the election results, Patterson was shot at close range by a male suspect on foot, According to Seattle Fire, Patterson died as an ambulance was taking him to Harborview. Continue reading