Quarantine is a (virtual) drag: Seattle drag queens, kings, and nonbinary performers take to digital platforms

One Likethenumber

One Likethenumber

Since venues that host long-standing drag shows like R Place, Queer/Bar, and Kremwerk + Timbre Room Complex have temporarily shuttered their doors due to COVID-19, Seattle’s drag performers are quickly mastering a new tool of the trade: online performance.

Drag queen Betty Wetter hosts bingo via Zoom, for example, and Queer/Bar maintains its Sunday Drag Brunch at noon on Twitch. Drag Queens, Kings, and nonbinary peformers are now learning video editing, camera skills, or increased competence with platforms like Vimeo or Twitch.

“That’s the thing about all this, drag is great because it’s a consolidation of a bunch of mediums put together. You have to be good at a bunch of things, but none of those things [before] were video making. So all these queens are now having to learn a bunch of skills they didn’t have,” said One, a Colombian-born, Seattle-based drag performer.

With a background in fine art and performance, One is known for their artsy, conceptual drag looks: their avant-garde makeup and garments designed and constructed themselves. One is couture-inspired, but eschews the typical polish that comes with it for the freedom of clown and camp. Case in point, they are the current Miss Bacon Strip, a drag show known for “it’s mostly campy, gross, Divine-type drag.” Continue reading

Adana joins Capitol Hill’s still thankfully short list of permanent COVID-19 closures

A dish at Adana

(Image: Adana)

Be prepared. The joy of “Phase 2” reopenings around Capitol Hill will be joined by the reality that many neighborhood favorites won’t be part of any recovery.

Thursday, Capitol Hill restaurateur Shota Nakajima announced that his upscale Adana at 15th and Pine will remain shuttered.

In the restaurant business, especially, “permanent” can be a loaded term but in the case of Adana and a thankfully short list so far of Capitol Hill and Central District businesses, the decision looks like a done deal.

“I signed my lease at age 25. I’ve had thousands of people come through my place called home for the last 5 years who have created what kind of restaurant it is from each employee to each guest,” Nakajima wrote in a Facebook post announcing the closure.

Last month, CHS spoke with Nakajima about his focus on a smaller, more nimble space at Taku on E Pike through the continuing COVID-19 restrictions and into whatever recovery comes next. Continue reading

Signs of Capitol Hill normalcy: Vivace returns — Plus, Capitol Hill’s COVID-19 ‘Phase 1’ takeout cocktails

(Image: Espresso Vivace)

This week started with another step toward normalcy on Capitol Hill — Espresso Vivace is back open:

Vivace will open it’s Brix location at 532 Broadway Ave. E. tomorrow morning at 7 AM for coffee to go. In addition Alley24 will be open at 10 AM both of which close at 5 PM. 321 Broadway,our sidewalk bar, will open on Saturday.

Hope you can make an announcement for our devoted customers



The heart and soul of Capitol Hill craft coffee for more than 30 years, Vivace joins the hardworking core of neighborhood coffee joints that have been pulling shots and foaming oat milk throughout the outbreak. Feel free to add a thankful shoutout to your favorite in comments.

As Capitol Hill food and drink gears up for the challenges and opportunities coming in the transition to “Phase 2” restrictions for restaurants and bars, an in-between period could carry on for a long while as your favorite neighborhood joints try to recover with creative — and tasty — “to go” creations. Continue reading

Founders have deal to rescue Rudy’s Barbershop from bankruptcy

Inside the E Pine Rudy's

Rudy’s in busier days

The economic upheaval created by the COVID-19 crisis will put one of Capitol Hill’s signature companies back in the hands of the group of friends who created it on E Pine nearly 30 years ago.

According to federal court filings in a $3.5 million deal that closed Friday, Rudy’s Reloaded, a company involving founders Wade Weigel and David Petersen has successfully won a bid to purchase the Rudy’s Barbershop chain out of bankruptcy.

“After several rounds of bidding between the Stalking Horse and Rudy’s Reloaded during the Auction, the Debtors determined, in consultation with counsel to the Committee, that: (i) Rudy’s Reloaded was the Successful Bidder and its final bid was the Successful Bid; and (ii) that the Stalking Horse was the Back-Up Bidder and its final bid was the Back-Up Bid under the Bidding Procedures Order,” an analysis used in determining the winning bid reads. Continue reading

Phase 2: Hopes of Capitol Hill food and drink survival at ‘50%’

Capitol Hill food and drink venues have started telling customers about a new requirement for service. If you want to eat or drink, you first will need to provide a phone number and an email address.

The “contact tracing” data collection — familiar to, say, registering on a new website but not necessarily grabbing a burger for takeout — is part of a new roster of requirements and restrictions for Washington’s restaurant and bar industry as the state prepares for its “Phase 2” loosening of the COVID-19 lockdown that could be in place in June if infection rates continue to fall.

The opportunity to restart comes with a roster of changes in business practices and resources that must be in place for restaurants, cafes, bars, and taverns around Capitol Hill to reopen. Top of mind for most owners trying to sort out what comes next for the hundreds of venues and thousands of workers across the area is how to make the new math pencil out.

“We’re going to be back where we were in 2008 with the recession,” Capitol Hill food and drink veteran John Sundstrom of Lark says. “Our hope… this is such a big reset moment for the economy and the way we look at people’s lives… there is an opportunity for change.”

State requirements issued for the industry this week include 13 points of new guidelines: Continue reading

COVID-19 mixed-drink kits may never go away but you can order an honest to goodness cocktail again on Capitol Hill — to go

Elaborate cocktail kits might survive COVID-19 but craft cocktails (to go!) are ready for a comeback

With reporting by Alex Garland

The days of take-home kits born during the COVID-19 restrictions will probably never really die but you can once again order an honest to goodness craft cocktail on Capitol Hill — as long as it is served with an order that includes food, comes sealed in “a container with a secure lid or cap and in a manner designed to prevent consumption without removal of the lid or cap” and, if you’re talking about a transaction involving a delivery car, is placed “beyond the immediate reach of the driver.”

This week, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board relented and said it would allow the state’s hard-hit food and drink industry to begin serving “pre-mixed” cocktails for takeout and delivery. You can find a few Capitol Hill venues that have already jumped on the opportunity, sometimes taking creative measures to comply with requirements with supplies on hand. At 14th Ave’s Nue that means a sealed pack of Paloma to go: Continue reading

With online orders, curbside pickup, and window shopping, how Capitol Hill retailers are facing ‘phased’ reopening

Doghouse Leathers is seeing business at about 25% of normal as its sales have moved to online and pick-up — “mostly local customers needing essential supplies” (Image: @creativitythatconnects)

By Lena Friedman, CHS Intern

Big releases are still happening at Likelihood

Since Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement of a phased approach to reopening Washington’s economy, Capitol Hill retailers have been busily planning — and putting some of those new plans into motion. Many neighborhood retailers are now opening up for curbside pickup as part of Phase 1 and are making plans for what the “new normal” in-store shopping will look like when brick and mortar stores can reopen to the public.

Washington’s Phase 2, which will allow for in-store shopping with certain restrictions, is expected to go into effect early June although no date has been specified. This will mark the closest return to business as usual for Washington retailers since their announced closure as part of Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” mandate on March 23.

Fashion and shoe store Likelihood on 11th Ave and E Union is figuring out where it fits into Washington’s phased approach. The store has been busy coming up with a plan to reopen their storefront after moving business online about a week before non-essential businesses were ordered to shut down.

“We are a specialty retailer built on personal and individual partnerships with our customers, and a lot of our product is considered touch and feel, so the majority of our business before this was in-store” co-owner Daniel Carlson said. “We started Likelihood built around the experience of the store versus virtually online.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill school break-in sets off long SPD cat and mouse search for suspects — UPDATE

One person being detained in the overnight burglary callout. Thanks to a reader for the picture and report from the scene.

One person was taken into custody and at least one more apparently made a getaway as Seattle Police and a K9 unit searched for suspected burglars in a Capitol HIll school break-in overnight in a cat and mouse chase through the shuttered campus buildings that lasted hours.

According to East Precenti radio, alarms were first tripped around 1:50 AM at Bellevue Ave’s Northwest School. Security video from inside the school showed at least one suspect wearing a light colored hooded top.

As police arrived, a second report of another person inside the school wearing what appeared to be a dark green jacket came in. Continue reading

Capitol Hill business owner providing some lockdown joy by picking up the tab for donuts, bubbly, and COVID-19 lockdown treats

Zapata and Footprint Wine owner Kenneth Dillon (Image: Christine Zapata)

Isolation and self-quarantine are wearing on everybody right now, but Dr. Christine Zapata wants to brighten your day with a treat from a Capitol Hill business. Some examples so far have been free coffee and donuts from General Porpoise, or a free bottle of champagne from Footprint Wine Tap.

Every Friday through the weeks of Seattle’s lockdown, Zapata has taken to social media and announced a prepaid tab at a local business. We first noticed her in the Capitol Hill Seattle Facebook Group. Just “Put it on Dr. Christine’s tab,” the posts say. The tabs are anywhere from $100 to $150, and they’ve been selling out faster and faster now that the word is out.

“I think because we put it on social media, and because we’ve done it the last few weeks, people are waiting to see when I post, tabs have gone a lot quicker,” Zapata said.

The General Porpoise tab was gone within a few hours, but the $150 prepaid bottles of Treveri Cellars Brut Blanc de Blancs from Footprint were sold within the first ten minutes of the store opening. Continue reading

New Supportcapitolhill.com effort launches to connect neighborhood businesses to ‘stay home’ shoppers

You can’t shop inside Ghost Gallery right now. But you can shop Ghost Gallery online via supportcapitolhill.com (Image: Ghost Gallery)

A Capitol Hill-based design firm is working to help local businesses across Seattle connect with their “stay home” customers in the wake of virus-related closures.

“I came up with this idea of like an Etsy for neighborhoods,” said Sara Green, principal and creative director at DEI Creative.

Local businesses, hard-hit by virus-related restrictions, have been hustling to find new ways to generate income, and the Support Local site developed by DEI is one way for them to do that.

The websites are a bit like a virtual shopping mall, featuring at least a few products from dozens of different stores in the neighborhood. The program launched first in Ballard, and the site there features clothing, furniture, toys, books, beer, and the ever popular gift cards from a number of businesses around that neighborhood.

Or, you can buy things from them at the support local site supportcapitolhill.com.

And even after the virus has run its course, and we’re back to going to stores in person, Green said she hopes to keep the site going.

“My intention is for this not to go away,” she said. Continue reading