New 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 (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

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

Signs of Capitol Hill normalcy: Burgers and booze pop back up at Linda’s — UPDATE

You can get cupcakes again. And pot? That has been essential. But we are also seeing other signs that Capitol Hill is snapping back to life — safely and maybe little more soberly — as COVID-19 infections slow and knowledge about the outbreak improves.

Down E Pine, Linda’s Tavern is back in business in a limited way. Its burger pop-ups started earlier this month with Thursday and Friday, 4 to 8 PM hours: Continue reading

14th Ave church parking lot hosts mobile Swedish ‘Community Response Clinic’ — UPDATE

Thanks to a CHS reader for the picture and question about the clinic site

The large parking lot surrounding Capitol Hill’s FAME Seattle church is busy Friday with an effort to bring crucial COVID-19 testing directly to the city’s most at risk communities.

“We feel it is our responsibility to reach out to those communities,” Sherry Williams, director for community health investment at Swedish, tells CHS.

Williams says Friday’s clinic is a partnership between Swedish, Central Seattle Senior Center, and the church after the community recently lost four community members to the virus.

“We try not to fed into ‘peace of mind’ testing,” Williams said. Friday’s clinic is focused on individuals with identified symptoms and those in the households of the people who have become sick and those who were lost.

Around 60 to 70 people were scheduled to be part of the drive-thru only testing, contacted as after Swedish reached out to the Central District senior center to identify “underserved populations” in need of screening.

Swedish’s mobile “Community Response Clinic” on 14th Ave Friday is part of wider efforts to increase testing that has included medical workers, tents, and a repurposing of the hospital’s mobile mammogram trailer being deployed around the city to serve communities including people in transitional housing and the staff working at those facilities.

The hospital system has also set up some community clinics to provide patients with drive-thru testing options and “to evaluate and test patients who are symptomatic for COVID-19 that are referred to Swedish.” Continue reading

Pike/Pine’s natural wine bar La Dive is, for now, Seattle’s takeout and delivery natural wine bottle shop

A 40 of rosé seems… appropriate

Staying in motion in the food and drink and small business worlds of Capitol Hill has meant trying new things and turning finely tuned plans into something new as quickly and efficiently as possible. For E Pike’s La Dive that means changing your stripes from natural wine bar to natural wine bottle shop in a matter of days.

“There’s a learning curve for sure. It’s kind of like starting a new business, really,” Kate Opatz tells CHS. Continue reading

No returns: Owner says Capitol Hill classic consignment shop Le Frock won’t reopen after COVID-19 closure

(Image: Le Frock)

Capitol Hill vintage and consignment shop Le Frock survived the redevelopment of its original E Pine block but it won’t make it through the COVID-19 economic crisis.

Longtime manager and current owner Paula Lucas tells CHS she is closing the store for good after some 29 years of business on Capitol Hill.

“After this virus goes away the face of Seattle is going to be very different,” Lucas said.

Uprooted and in business in the 600 block of E Pike since 2013, Lucas says she is now busy at Le Frock preparing to return consignment shoes and clothing to their owners. She said she tried applying to grant programs like Seattle’s Small Business Stabilization Fund but Le Frock ended up part of the 8,750 or so businesses that didn’t get funding. Besides, she says, the money would have only been a band-aid. Continue reading

Signs of Capitol Hill normalcy: pot, cupcakes, coffee

Signs of normalcy are already returning to Seattle’s business districts. We’re talking about pot and cupcakes.

Cupcake Royale is back in business at its Seattle locations including its E Pike headquarters. The cupcake shops are celebrating with a special, long-awaited creation melding the talents of its founder Jody Hall, creator of the Goodship pot edibles company:

Well, after 6 years in the making, Cupcake Royale is finally launching a CBD cupcake along with a pint of frosting to celebrate 4/20! We’re calling it: “I can’t believe it’s POT!” Buttercream. To be clear, CBD is a federally legal, non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in hemp and marijuana and is known to have calming benefits. This kind of sounds like just what we need about now!

Hall is also lending her talents to The Stranger’s online-only 2020 edition of the SPLIFF Film Festival with a special live pot cupcake baking class — starts at 4:20 PM on 4/20, of course.

As for reopening, the pot and cupcake entrepreneur says the new phase for Cupcake Royale is like launching “a startup inside a 16 year old business.” Continue reading

Keeping the lights on and the windows open at Capitol Hill’s Taku: PPP, ‘Project Snacks,’ and why you should choose takeout, not delivery if you safely can

Gyoza to go at Taku (Image: Taku)

E Pike might seem a long way from Osaka but mid-March… that feels like a world away.

That’s when Capitol Hill chef and restaurateur Shota Nakajima debuted Taku, his new addition to the neighborhood’s food and drink scene. A month later and in the midst of an outbreak that has killed more than 300 in the county and brought restrictions that have decimated its economy, Nakajima’s mission is to try to preserve what he can and keep as many of his employees as he can on the job. Tiny Taku continues to serve and employ but his Adana at 15th and Pine is temporarily shuttered.

“I have to keep the people working while trying to rebuild the community that I’ve put together. Because of the circumstances, I’m obviously failing at one of them,” Nakajima said. Continue reading

Can you cancel Pride? 2020 Seattle Pride Parade and Trans Pride celebrations to be held as ‘series of virtual events’

Organizers of Seattle’s annual Pride parade announced the 2020 edition of the downtown event is officially canceled and will replaced by online celebrations:

To our Seattle Pride family, we want to share with you that Seattle Pride, Seattle PrideFest and Trans Pride have made the collective decision to shift our 2020 annual Pride celebrations to a series of virtual events. The decision was made out of an abundance of caution – and concern for our community’s health – after conferring with local public health officials and the City of Seattle.

Organizers have posted a survey to begin collecting ideas on what types of virtual events “would be most beneficial and enjoyable for our community.” Continue reading

Clubs Neumos and Chop Suey warn COVID-19 crisis could wipe out live music on Capitol Hill

Venue owners say Capitol Hill’s live music scene will be a casualty of the COVID-19 crisis if more isn’t done to buttress the clubs that keep it going.

They’re seeking help from somewhere — from the King County Council or beyond — to help prop up what they say is a one of a kind type of business that needs special financial assistance to survive.

“If people want there to be a music scene in Seattle, we need help from our government. If we don’t get help, there are no more small venues,” Steven Severin, part of the ownership of Neumos and a veteran of the Pike/Pine nightlife scene tells CHS.

Severin is part of an effort for the few clubs like Neumos across the region to come together to call for financial assistance specific to the live music industry. The Washington Nightlife & Music Association is hoped to be a voice for the rare remaining venues. This week, the hope is pinned to the King County Council: Continue reading

A Capitol Hill Easter ritual, Pastor Kaleb brings his Sunday Service online

Your Sunday best and Easter bonnets might be limited this year by COVID-19 restrictions, but Pastor Kaleb won’t let his congregation down even if the crowds can’t gather inside E Pine’s Century Ballroom.

The long-running Capitol Hill tradition will be broadcast live on the internet Sunday at noon. You can tune in here.

CHS visited the celebration of spiritual affirmation and sartorial wonder here if you’re looking for a little inspiration on what to wear.

Pastor Kaleb, legend goes, gave his first sermon in the streets of Seattle’s WTO protests in 1999. Continue reading