‘KILLER COP’ — Why they busted into Rove

Groups smashed and burned their way across Capitol Hill in a night of protest late on a Wednesday two weeks ago. It wasn’t a new scene — Capitol Hill has seen “direct action” protests before. But as larger marches and rallies have stepped off on an expanded effort to reach more communities and different parts of the city, groups seeking to make a more forceful statement or simply looking to do more damage have increasingly marched alone across Capitol Hill and the Central District.

That night in late July, the damage to buildings and businesses by some in the groups may have looked like random vandalism and graffiti. But it was targeted. And the owner of one of those targets says the message from her shop’s goods being dragged into the street and set on fire has been delivered loud and clear. It is time for Rove to leave the neighborhood.

“It went viral which I was kind of expecting,” Rachel McNew said of the weeks she spent waiting for the threats to come to fruition as the story spread of a store on the edge of the CHOP protest zone owned by a cop’s wife.

“It got real real ugly, real real quick.” Continue reading

Uncle Ike’s E Olive Way — Capitol Hill’s fourth pot shop — is now open — UPDATE: Friday protest

(Image: Uncle Ike’s)

You now have four legal cannabis shops to choose from on Capitol Hill.

The E Olive Way expansion of the Uncle Ike’s pot chain is open and celebrating its debut with $1 joints just weeks after the shop was targeted and damaged by protesters.

Ian Eisenberg opened the original Uncle Ike’s, the city’s second ever legal pot shop, at 23rd and Union in 2014, and added the first Capitol Hill Uncle Ike’s on 15th Ave E in late 2016. Ruckus beat everybody to the punch on the Hill when it debuted just off 15th Ave E as the neighborhood’s first ever legal cannabis shop in late 2015.

The new Uncle Ike’s will create a second Capitol Hill pot cluster after The Reef opened just up E Olive Way in the former Amante Pizza location in August 2018. The Reef’s new home made the old pizza shop nearly unrecognizable after a redesign of the interior by architects Olson Kundig. Its presence has since spread across the street where the pot shop has stepped up to sponsor a clean-up and upgrades to the Arcade Plaza pavement park. Continue reading

Reopening: Retail under quarantine, Drizzle and Shine welcomes Capitol Hill shoppers with comfort

(Image: Drizzle and Shine)

Capitol Hill’s “eco-first” fashion boutique Drizzle and Shine temporarily closed at the end of March in accordance with the state’s COVID-19 response plan. Now the shop has reopened, but with a few changes: contactless payment, limited store occupancy and a 24-hour quarantine of clothing items tried on but not purchased.

Capitol Hill retail shops like Drizzle and Shine began reopening their brick and mortar stores once Phase 1.5 was approved at the beginning of June. Now in Phase 2 of reopening, they can offer in-store retail with maximum 30% customer occupancy.

Drizzle and Shine owner Jean Coburn said adaptability has proven essential to the shop’s continued business over the past few months, as sales transitioned from mostly in-store to entirely online to now a mixture of both. Continue reading

Amazon Fresh grocery store making plans for 2020 opening in the Central District

(Image: Vulcan Real Estate)

With its city and its Central District neighborhood grappling with issues of equity and gentrification in a summer of Black Lives Matter protest, the new Amazon Fresh grocery coming to 23rd and Jackson will mark an interesting milestone when it opens later this year.

Typically secretive, the Seattle retail and tech giant has yet to confirm the Central District plans CHS unearthed in February describing a new 25,000-square-foot grocery store under construction in the massive Vulcan development underway at the corner where the neighborhood Red Apple and a collection of shopping center businesses used to stand.

But its latest permitting efforts confirm what the company’s PR department won’t — Amazon is opening a new grocery store at 23rd and Jackson. Continue reading

A fashion retailer grown far from its Seattle roots, Totokaelo joins Capitol Hill COVID-19 closure list

Inside Totokaelo’s street level showroom (Image: CHS)

The economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis will lay claim to one of the most upscale fashion retailers in Pike/Pine.

Totokaelo came to the neighborhood in 2012, expanding after its Pioneer Square birth and setting the stage for founder Jill Wenger to grow her global fashion ambitions. Wenger soon pushed Totokaelo into the New York fashion scene and set off on a rapid growth strategy. “We’re leaving so we can globalize,” Wenger said. “I want to be the biggest luxury fashion brand in the world, and the most coveted and the most beloved.” Continue reading

Police investigating after ‘incendiary’ fire at Central District Uncle Ike’s

(Image: Uncle Ike’s)

The Uncle Ike’s shopping complex at the corner of 23rd and Union suffered $5,000 in damage in a suspected overnight arson fire.

Seattle Fire tells CHS their investigation determined the early morning Sunday fire was “incendiary” in nature meaning it was likely intentionally set.

Crews were called to the retail shop just before 2:30 AM after an automatic fire alarm was triggered. Arriving firefighters found light smoke coming from a rooftop vent and transitioned the call to a full response and bringing several trucks to the scene.

The fire was quickly taken care of and three people inside the shop were reported to have exited on their own without injury. Continue reading

Fuel to join Ada’s family, adding books to blend of coffee, community

(Image: Fuel Coffee)

(Image: Fuel Coffee)

It’s a blend that should work out, mixing the 15-year-old creation of a Seattle coffee veteran  with the energy of two Capitol Hill entrepreneurs who have a vision for growing cafe communities and independent book retail.

Fuel Coffee and its three locations in the 19th Ave E Stevens neighborhood, Montlake, and Wallingford is becoming part of the Ada’s family of bookshops and cafes. The merger is the outgrowth of conversations that started well before the outbreak and is ready to move forward now that reopening plans are taking shape, both sides say. It’s now a vision that seems even more clear after weeks of COVID-19 restrictions with neighbors sticking mostly to their nearby streets.

“Community is even more important,” Danielle Hulton says.

The new Fuel will be a flip of how the original Ada’s was shaped on 15th Ave E. Ada’s is a community built around books — Fuel shops will be built around coffee. Continue reading

After nearly 30 years, the Broadway Urban Outfitters is closing

Urban Outfitters

The exit of Urban Outfitters will leave a hole at Broadway and Harrison (Image: CHS)

Youth-oriented fashion retailer Urban Outfitters is packing up and moving off of Capitol Hill and the Broadway corner it has called home for nearly three decades.

Workers were reported clearing out the relatively giant two-level store on the northern end of the Broadway Market shopping center Monday afternoon.

A store manager confirmed the end of the lease and the UO’s closing with CHS just as other neighborhood retailers are gearing up for curbside pick-up and relaxed outbreak restrictions.

While the COVID-19 crisis and financial impact still swirls, the Urban Outfitters exit has been in the works since last summer when the shopping center began marketing the lease for the space. 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

Hoping for the best, Capitol Hill small biz fundraisers boosted by anonymous $10K gifts


Who wouldn’t give $10,000 to help Hardy and Buster?

Two neighborhood shops in need are cautiously optimistic — Is there an anonymous neighbor helping to save Capitol Hill businesses one secret $10,000 gift at a time?

Harvard Ave’s Twice Sold Tales is one recipient. After launching its fundraising appeal to help save the used book shop and a post on CHS, an anonymous $10,000 donor joined more than 100 others to help owner Jamie Lutton leap beyond her goal of “one month’s rent.” Continue reading