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

Now hiring: the soon to open Central District Amazon Fresh grocery store

(Image: Amazon Fresh)

Company officials have confirmed to CHS the Central District store in the new mixed-use development at 23rd and Jackson will be part of the company’s first Amazon Fresh groceries to open in its home state of Washington.

We are proud to be bringing hundreds of good jobs with benefits to the Seattle area as we prepare to open the first Amazon Fresh grocery stores in our home state of Washington,” Roetta Greene Elton, district manager of Amazon Fresh grocery stores, said in a company statement on the openings. “We’re excited to provide customers with new, low-priced grocery stores in their neighborhoods and look forward to contributing positively to the community.”

Amazon’s big message about the big new store that has risen where the neighborhood’s Red Apple grocery used to stand focused on one important component: jobs. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Flowers on 15th still managing to bloom with community support

Soto (Image: CHS)

The holiday season is typically a bustling one for Flowers on 15th — one centered around custom floral wreaths, festive centerpieces, and sprawling flower displays.

This year looks different for the flower boutique, as owner Alex Soto makes contactless deliveries and preps curbside pickup orders inside the shop’s small space, now filled to the brim with greenery.

“Christmas is our most joyous time that we offer our most crafty things,” Soto said. “This pandemic has cut everything down.”

Soto, who previously worked for over a decade as a wholesale flower broker, has run the shop for 30 years alongside life partner Caroline Morton. They officially named it Flowers on 15th in 2002, although it was a flower shop beforehand. Continue reading

Oh Hello Again is a new Capitol Hill book shop organized in a bibliotherapeutic notion

(Image: Oh Hello Again)

In the wake of another “record breaking” Cyber Monday for Seattle retailing giant Amazon, a new bookstore with a twist in how it organizes its shelves and helps its customers find new and useful things to read is preparing to open on Capitol Hill.

“You can find the topic you’re interested in. Or a book maybe you weren’t even looking for,” owner Kari Ferguson tells CHS about Oh Hello Again, her new “bibliotherapy” bookstore opening this week on 15th Ave E.

Bibliotherapy? Ferguson describes it as “the notion that novels and reading can help individuals process, work through, and deal with different issues and concerns in their lives.”

The approach means Oh Hello Again is organized by topics — “mental health, everyday problems, bettering yourself, relationships, travel, and many more” — but don’t expect shelves of self-help books. The sections contain a mix of novels, picture books, young adult books, and graphic novels that address the themes of the areas a reader might want to explore. Continue reading

City’s Shop Your Block map joins Shop the Hill effort in helping to get the word out about neighborhood small businesses

The City of Seattle has rolled out a new map to help you connect with Capitol Hill retailers. Meanwhile, you’ll see new Shop the Hill posters around the neighborhood.

Shop the Hill, the long running effort from CHS, is partnering again with the Capitol Hill Business Alliance for the free service to help promote local retailers and small businesses and share updates on promotions, deals, and holiday offerings. Participating merchants and venues are complying with COVID-19 safety measures and many offer online ordering and curb pick-up. Check it out at capitolhillseattle.com/shopthehill/

City Hall is also hoping to help boost local shopping with its new Shop Your Block map effort:

The map allows users to find small retailers near them to support this holiday season! You can filter by business name, neighborhood, and by key words like ‘toys’ or ‘pet store. The map will also display operation days and hours per business, identify if a business is open for in person shopping, online shopping, curbside pickup, or appointment only. Businesses are able to display if they are BIPOC, Woman, LGBTQ+ or Veteran owned. Business owners can add themselves to the map by completing a short questionnaire here.

CHS reported here on the new statewide COVID-19 rules that have added new restrictions and reduced capacities for businesses to help slow the spread of the virus as numbers continue to surge. For Capitol Hill small businesses, bars seem to be the most solidly impacted by the changes that include a ban on indoor service with many venues opting to close until conditions improve and the restrictions can be lifted. Retailers, meanwhile, are limited to 25% occupancy. The state says the current restrictions will be in place through at least December 14th.


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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

Checking in: Capitol Hill’s Retail Therapy makes it safe and easy for customers to enjoy shopping for creations from independent artists

(Image: Gabrielle Locke)

Checking in is an occasional series on CHS as we talk with people from longtime neighborhood businesses, organizations, and more about their experiences during the COVID-19 crisis.

By Gabrielle Locke

“We are riding the rollercoaster, like everyone else,” Wazhma Samizay said.

Samizay opened Retail Therapy nearly 18 years ago after traveling through Europe, “At the time, Seattle didn’t have many shops with a mix of art and goods. I wanted to do something like that here, to have a way for artists to show their work, and that’s how I did it. I just came back and took a leap of faith.”

The small E Pike shop specializes in gifts, clothing apparel, jewelry, and, cards all created by independent artists.

“Retail therapy is all about making people feel good. If you buy something from me, I want it to be something that you’ve worn and worn, and you have the stories to match it. It’s not necessarily about the thing; it’s really about you” Samizay said. Continue reading

You can try on history again as Seattle cap and jersey maker Ebbets Field Flannels teams up with Throwbacks Northwest at Capitol Hill vintage shop

(Image: Throwbacks Northwest)

Tuesday night brings the first pitch of the 2020 World Series which pits the storied franchise of the Los Angeles Dodgers dating back to their roots in 1883 Brooklyn against the Tampa Bay Rays, a team that traces its history all the way back to… 1998. For baseball lovers, it will be a moment of nostalgia worth celebrating. Back in March as Spring Training came to an abrupt end, it seemed possible there wouldn’t even be a 2020 season.

In that spirit, there’s a new team in Pike/Pine pairing up and hoping to rise amid the ongoing pandemic. Capitol Hill vintage retailer Throwbacks Northwest has welcomed Seattle’s Ebbets Field Flannels to join its retail mix on E Pike. Continue reading

After decades of recycled fashion retail, Capitol Hill consignment shop Take 2 is closing

(Image: CHS)

(Image: Take 2)

After 36 years on Capitol Hill, Take 2 New and Recycled Apparel is permanently shuttering at the end of October — adding to a growing list of businesses unable to withstand the long term effects of the pandemic.

Owner Sarah Star Simpson says the longtime 15th Ave E consignment shop has depleted its finances after months of adapting to COVID-19 restrictions and dealing with the compounded effects of protests deterring customers from the area and street construction halting foot traffic out front.

“All of my personal reserves have been exhausted to support the business even with my very kind landlord giving me a break on rent,” she said. “It just has not been enough business to be viable.” Continue reading

No Parking closes its E Pike store — but the Capitol Hill vintage shop lives on

Ready to open in 2008 (Image: No Parking)

After more than a decade providing Capitol Hill with vintage treasures it didn’t know it needed to have, No Parking on E Pike is packing up its Brooks Brothers suitcases of collectible oddities and moving its store online.

Thank you Capitol Hill for 12 wonderful years! We are moving online. For now you can find us on Etsy – but stay tuned for a future stand alone website – and who knows, maybe another brick and mortar in the post-apocalypse!

In 2015, CHS talked with owner Billy Hutchinson about the shop and its treasures. “A lot of times people are buying the story more than the item,” Hutchinson said at the time. “The stories enhance it.”

The story behind Hutchinson and wife Linda Young’s decision isn’t just about COVID-19. Hutchinson tells CHS he was diagnosed with cancer last November and while his prognosis is good, he is immunocompromised. Running the store right now just wouldn’t be safe.

“it’s been a tough year for us,” Hutchinson said. “But we’ve hung together.” Continue reading