‘This QFC is Closing April 24, 2021’ — Shelves already bare at 15th Ave E grocery slated for shutdown over COVID-19 hazard pay

(Image: CHS)

With just over two weeks until its announced closure, many shelves at Capitol Hill’s 15th Ave E QFC have already been emptied of discounted groceries and booze.

Signs went up this week announcing a clearance sale at the market that had some shoppers filling their carts with champagne though few people are celebrating the end of the store’s run on the street. Hours have also been reduced with the store now open 9 AM to 9 PM daily.

Officials at parent company Kroger say the grocery is still slated to be closed Saturday, April 24th though it is unclear what will be left to sell at that point. CHS reported in mid-February on the Ohio-based company’s decision to shut down two Seattle stores over the city’s COVID-19 hazard pay saying its most expensive locations on Capitol Hill and in the Wedgwood neighborhood needed to go given the rising costs of operations. Continue reading

Why this retailer’s path to find a new home on Capitol Hill will take it through downtown’s overhauled Pacific Place

A rendering of the overhauled Pacific Place’s second floor (Image: Pacific Place)

A rendering of Pacific Place’s new four-stories of glass (Image: Pacific Place)

The path for one longtime Capitol Hill independent retailer hoping to weather the choppy waters of Seattle’s reopening after a year of COVID-19 restrictions will take the shop on a journey downtown and into a space where you might not expect to find a boutique focused on the creations of local designers and artists.

Ghost Gallery is leaving 11th Ave’s Chophouse Row and will join an unusual mix of retail being conjured as downtown’s massive Pacific Place mall gears up — again — after a major overhaul that has mostly yet to welcome back the flow of Seattle shoppers its multimillion dollar redesign was undertaken to attract.

“The space is about 1,200 square feet with tall ceilings, dark wood fixtures and a very antique vibe, so we’ll feel right at home,” Ghost owner Laurie Kearney tells CHS. This won’t be your typical “mall vibe” in any way, and Pacific Place has been so amazing with inviting local businesses to come down and create some unique spaces.” Continue reading

Death of a Capitol Hill candy shop

(Image: Rocket Fizz)

It is sour news. Rocket Fizz, Capitol Hill’s only candy shop, is dying:

It’s true. Our lease expires March 31 so we’ll turn into a pumpkin (mellowcreme) at the stroke of midnight. We opted not to renew the multi-year agreement at the Hollywood Lofts building.

“We’re grateful for the five years (of mostly) fun and sweet customers. No immediate plans to reopen, in Seattle,” owner Theresa Sindelar adds.

It will not be the sweetest repose. Continue reading

Replacing Urban Outfitters, Mosaic Salon and Spa Studios to create new space for independent hair and beauty pros on Capitol Hill

Mosaic is creating space for 58 independent studios inside (Image: CHS)

@hairapy.by.natalia operates out of Mosaic’s downtown location (Image: Mosaic)

By Jethro Swain

A big hole in Broadway’s commercial offerings is about to move from the youth fashion retail era of the past to a new era of hair and beauty.

Mosaic, a privately owned facilities management company that leases studios to salon and spa business owners, is opening its biggest location yet this spring on Capitol Hill.

The new set of leasable suites scheduled to open as early as May is taking the large retail space formerly home to Urban Outfitters in the Broadway Market shopping center corner of Broadway and Harrison. There will be both a street entrance as well as a second floor entrance above the market’s QFC grocery store.

“We’ve targeted the Capitol Hill market for a while, the ethos of Capitol Hill is perfectly suited for what we do,” said Mosaic owner Paul Griff. “The independent spirit and sense of community will be perfect.”.

Mosaic provides salon and spa owners with individual spaces that they can lease on a weekly rent basis and make their own. “What we do is straightforward — We provide a place for people to come and open their business and not have to worry about other things,” said Griff. Continue reading

Pike/Pine newsstand Big Little News is now open with bottles of champagne and 250+ ‘foreign and domestic magazines, newspapers and zines’

Big Little News, a Capitol Hill-appropriate newsstand and bottle shop from Pike/Pine LGBTQ nightlife entrepreneur Joey Burgess and Tracy Taylor, the general manager of nearby Elliott Bay Book Co., opened this week on E Pike.

How did two of the neighborhood’s leaders in civic and business issues come up with their plan for a first-time collaboration launching a new Pike/Pine business?

“It seemed like in the midst of a pandemic,” Taylor said, “why not get into print and open a small business in Capitol Hill?” Continue reading

COVID-19 closures and a few hopes of new locations: Little Neon Taco, By Tae, Drizzle and Shine, and more

With word of a sad closing on First Hill — and some good news about some return visits planned for Capitol Hill — here are a few area COVID-19 crisis closures to catch up on.

  • Little Neon Taco: Even the lower rent from a reduced footprint couldn’t save the Boren favorite from small space master Monica Dimas. The three-year-old fixed-space home for her Neon Tacos is no more. Dimas announced the closure and said to watch for Little Neon Tacos at E Pike natural wine bar turned temporary COVID-19 era natural wine shop La Dive. “We are so grateful for the support of our friends and neighbors during this time,” Dimas writes. “We know that this year has been hard on everyone and while we are sad to be leaving our current location, we’re excited to partner with La Dive to keep doing what we do best: feeding good people good food.” Continue reading

A plan in COVID-19 limbo: Pike/Pine’s big Glossier Seattle showroom

A rendering of Glossier’s steamy pop-up on Broadway in 2019

While we’re uncertain how many neighborhood bars, restaurants, and shops we’ll find permanently closed as the COVID-19 crisis lifts, there are a few things to keep your fingers crossed for and to look forward to on the post-pandemic Capitol Hill — provided there is a post-pandemic Capitol Hill.

One center of this limbo of potential joy are plans for a new 7,000-square-foot Glossier showroom in the core of Pike/Pine on 10th Ave. But the hope hinges on a change of direction and overall recovery for the makeup and skincare company that shuttered its few stores around the globe this summer and furloughed employees to wait out the COVID-19 crisis.

It is possible the project could end up, instead, the center of things that could have been. Continue reading

2020’s year of pandemic saw record-breaking weed sales across state but a changing Capitol Hill and Central District market

502Data’s record of monthly state excise tax shows the 2020 boom

By Ben Adlin

Washington’s legal cannabis industry kept on booming even as “puff, puff, pass” was put on hold during the pandemic, breaking monthly sales records multiple times in 2020 and raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in state taxes. Growth was more modest in the city of Seattle, however, and slower still around Capitol Hill—a sign that many who once commuted into the city may be buying weed closer to home.

While the six shops that serve the Capitol Hill neighborhood—The Reef, Ruckus, Ponder and three Uncle Ike’s locations—together did more combined business in 2020 than the year before, according to state sales numbers through November, only The Reef kept pace with regional growth. Ponder and Ruckus each had smaller increases, while two of three Uncle Ike’s locations actually saw sales drop.

“This really does look like an outmigration,” said Jim MacRae, a data scientist who monitors the state’s cannabis market at Straight Line Analytics. “That suggests to me that business overall is shifting to different parts of the state.” Continue reading

Everyday Music’s planned closure will leave CD-sized hole in Capitol Hill’s record shop scene

A Record Store Day past at Everyday

Scott Kuzma stayed in business for the great vinyl revival but he’s not so sure he wants to stick around until CDs make a comeback. He has thousands of them, if you are in the market and think you might want to open a music shop on Capitol Hill.

“If someone wants to do it they’re more than welcome to do it,” Kuzma said.

There is an opportunity. Come June, Capitol Hill’s Everyday Music will be gone from 10th Ave. The offshoot of Kuzma’s Portland record shops officially announced its closing plans over the weekend as employees began spreading the word to customers last week. Continue reading

Checking in: Light Sleeper and Wide Eyed Wines

Capitol Hill has a new wine bar but you can’t yet sit at it and it’s only open for lunch.

That’s how things go during the strange times of COVID-19.

For now, Light Sleeper and its sibling shop Wide Eyed Wines are open for daytime takeout and your bottle shopping needs inside Pike/Pine’s Chophouse Row.

Eventually you can sit at that bar and enjoy a glass of natural and biodynamic wine or a cocktail while eating a pizza from the wood-fired oven and some bar snacks while you toast the researchers and front-line medical workers who got us through all of this.

The bar and oven might feel familiar. CHS reported here on the Bar Ferdinand employees taking over the restaurant as chef Matt Dillon cut his last ties with the neighborhood in early 2020.

Sommelier Ezra Wick and chef Eli Dahlin got the keys just as the pandemic first hit. But by the end of 2020, Light Sleeper was born and ready to roll with the pandemic’s punches. Continue reading