Euro fashion retailer Scotch and Soda set to join Melrose Ave

Scotch and Soda’s U Village store (Image: University Village)

The corner once home to quintessential Capitol Hill coffee shop Bauhaus is today home to an upscale cycling lifestyle “clubhouse.” The space around the corner on Melrose that used to be an art gallery before being built into the gargantuan, seven-story Excelsior mixed-use building? Amsterdam-based Scotch and Soda is adding the retail berth to its growing roster of U.S. locations.

Company officials haven’t confirmed the new store, the chain’s second in Seattle joining a location in the University Village mall. Permits filed with the city indicate the start of planning is underway for the shop on the eastern side of Melrose adjacent the entrance to the mixed-use building’s 280-vehicle underground parking garage and across the street from Melrose Market. Continue reading

Asian flavored H Mart in talks to fill key retail space at Capitol Hill Station

With PCC announcing its plans to open a new downtown Seattle store in 2020, another potential player appears to be off the board to fill the key anchor tenant space in the Capitol Hill Station “transit oriented development” project slated to finally break ground this spring after a decade of planning. After a series of names attached to the project have either backed out or moved on, CHS has learned that talks have centered on a new, growing part of the region’s grocery and retail economy.

Capitol Hill Station master developer Gerding Edlen is finalizing talks with Han Ah Reum Mart, Inc. to fill the key retail space in the massively important housing, commercial, and community development set to fill a block of Broadway surrounding the light rail station, a person familiar with negotiations tells CHS.

The company’s H Mart stores are known for their Asian foods and home goods. The U.S.-based chain featuring fresh produce, meats, seafood, snacks and more opened in the University District last summer even as a long anticipated downtown Seattle project has remained on hold. Continue reading

Defiant Ruckus growing as Capitol Hill’s non-Ike’s pot shop

Ruckus Recreational on E Republican at 15th expanded their tiny grass shop into the joint next door in January but no one on the staff remembers which day exactly. With the square footage of a van, the original low profile boutique could easily be overlooked.

“That space didn’t allow us to expand our product line,” said Ruckus owner Sam Burke, yet sales at Ruckus are only getting higher. The company grossed $261,000 in December 2017 and has grown 13.3% annually since opening two years ago, according to industry tracker Top Shelf Data.

Compared to Uncle Ike’s, the Goliath weed stronghold with a location across the street, one at 23rd and Union, and another in the works on E Olive Way, Ruckus was also an easy target for thieves. After five separate smash and grab break-ins, Burke increased security measures of the newly expanded shop.

The store opens every day at 8 AM to a sleepy stream of regulars who point to what they want with little deliberation.

“It’s just like getting up and going to buy a pack of cigarettes,” says Ruckus product buyer, Bill Eddy. Continue reading

Congratulations on your Spirit of the Hill award, Tracy Taylor — now tell us about about Elliott Bay Book Company’s coming Sea-Tac store

Mayor Durkan congratulates 2018 Spirit of the Hill winner Tracy Taylor

Last week, “work” came up a lot as the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce recognized Elliott Bay Book Company’s general manger Tracy Taylor with its 2018 Spirit of the Hill award. Taylor will soon have even more work to do as she helps the Pioneer Square-born, 10th Ave resident bookstore expand with a new presence at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

“This is an award that recognizes not only hard work and dedication but love and passion,” Jeffrey Pelletier, principal at 15th Ave architecture and design firm Board and Vellum and chair of the chamber’s board said at the organization’s State of the Hill event held last Wednesday night at Queer/Bar. Pelletier said the State of the Hill winner is usually “someone who works hard and cares and oftentimes does it without thanks.” He called Taylor a “tireless advocate” and “a voice for small business.”

“I look around this room and I see how much work everyone in this neighborhood does to make sure that our neighborhood is a wonderful place to live, to work, to run a business,” Taylor said upon receiving the award in the seventh year it has been handed out.

Taylor tells CHS that the new Elliott Bay venture at Sea-Tac is a partnership with the Hudson Book Group to operate an EBBC satellite for travelers at the busy airport. Continue reading

The three-way race to open first E Olive Way pot shops has two winners

Uncle Ike’s E Olive Way project

The state still has licenses to issue but the three-way race to open for two available retail spot spaces on E Olive Way appears to be over. Judging by the latest updates from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board and City of Seattle construction permits, CHS can declare two winners.

Congratulations to the pot purveyors at The Reef and to another familiar face in Capitol Hill pot — Uncle Ike’s. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Isla House and Flower a pocket of Pike/Pine green

Need something lovely for your Valentine? There’s a pocket of green across from Cal Anderson Park that you may not have noticed.

Isla House and Flower opened last year in the space formerly occupied by the Molly Moon’s HQ office next to its Odd Fellows scoop shop on E Pine. Isla Morris’s shop is filled with fresh flowers, plants, gifts, and cards.

Morris’s advice for a meaningful Valentine’s gift? “Something that’s thoughtful and shows that you put some effort into it,” she says. “It doesn’t have to cost a lot as long as its meaningful. And of course you can’t go wrong with a beautiful flower arrangement.”

Green thumb or no, you don’t have far to go to stock up a mini terrarium or get your growing wall going. If you need more help than that in the romance department, try a rose.

Isla House And Flower is located at 919 E Pine. You can learn more at


Ghost Gallery finds new Capitol Hill haunt in Chophouse Row

After being pushed out to turn her retail space into a new apartment unit in the building her shop had called home for seven years,  Laurie Kearney put on a brave face when she announced last fall that her Ghost Gallery would have one last holiday season where Denny meets Summit and E Olive Way. “I’m not ready to give up yet, while being completely aware of the challenges ahead,” she told CHS at the time.

Her confidence was well-placed. Kearney said she can now announce she will reopen her gallery and boutique in a new Capitol Hill home. Continue reading

No need to say sorry as fashion boutique Mishu prepares to exit Broadway

Michelle Conley is at peace with the end of her storefront after seven years on Broadway. She would like the neighborhood and her customers to be at peace with the end, too.

“It’s not just one reason. It’s all the factors that Seattle is going through,” she told CHS Tuesday morning about the coming closure of the Mishu Boutique, one of the rare independent retail shops still operating on Broadway.

Mishu will shutter its Broadway doors for good by the end of February. In the meantime, everything must go. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Horizon Books evolves into a community space

A week before Horizon Books was slated to vacate its old location on 15th Ave E, when things were looking most grim for the continued survival of this longstanding neighborhood institution, Brandon Letsinger jumped onboard to usher the shop into its new era.

Letsinger has deep roots in local bookselling — his first job out of high school was working at Horizon and his father, Dave Brown, is the proprietor of Recollection Books, which has shared space with Horizon for decades. Letsinger swiftly moved to cut a deal for a new location and began loading boxes into the underground “book bunker” at 1423 10th Ave, down the block from Neumo’s and beneath Super Genius Tattoo. He now runs the day-to-day operations, although owner Don Glover still drops in regularly bearing bags of more books.

“His one rule is he gets to keep bringing in books,” Letsinger says, “He’s probably one of the most prolific book scouts — with one of the best collections — in the western United States.” Continue reading

So, when is Amazon Go-ing to open its E Pike store?

(Image: Amazon)

Amazon Go, the company’s cashless, employee-less, checkout-less, quick mart concept is now out of the alpha-beta grocery phase and has been unleashed on the real world of 7th Ave to solve your snacking needs. Check-in with your phone, let the shelf’s weight sensors log your selections like the world’s largest minibar, and be on your way.

It’s possible we might see one next on E Pike. Expect a wait. Continue reading