Checking in: 20 years of Pretty Parlor on Capitol Hill

(Image: CHS)

Banana and crew (Image: CHS)

By Gabrielle Locke

While we’re thinking about Capitol Hill fashion and beauty that may end up being nothing more than plans due to the COVID-19 crisis, one neighborhood center of fashion, beauty, and more is doing everything it can to hang on through the pandemic and celebrate its 20th anniversary in style.

When COVID-19 first hit, Pretty Parlor owner Anna Banana turned to doorstep delivery to local customers, focused on her Etsy shop, and created an e-commerce store attached to her website — graceful but major shifts for a business that has been in motion since the turn of the millenium.

“In the beginning, I would do doorstep delivery and sometimes, if I knew the customer well, I’d pick them up a Dicks burger and friends, because why not!” Banana says of the early pandemic delivery effort. Continue reading

Part of Capitol Hill’s class of 2020, Cornelly’s craft pizza and pasta now part of the neighborhood on Summit Ave

Brett Phillips has some Summit Ave pizza for you

With 2021 so far taking a “hold my beer” approach to outdoing 2020 in the stress over things you can’t control department, the comfort of a hot pizza from a neighborhood joint should not be overlooked.

Cornelly’s opening last year down on Summit Ave may have been missed by a few — it ranked inside the top 10 of Capitol Hill newbies in our review of 2020 in food and drink but in only ninth place — but you can make up for that now that the new year is here. Continue reading

Design review: Belmont Commons ‘co-living’ building will rise eight stories and squeeze 78 units into Capitol Hill’s dense core

(Image: Hybrid)

When CHS wrote about the first round of approval for this eight-story, 78-unit project on Belmont Ave E the most densely apartment-ed heart of Capitol Hill in October of 2019, we noted that design reviews in the area had slowed to a trickle. Little did we know that things were about to get much slower.

Still, somehow the East and Central Area Design Review Boards have managed to review around a dozen projects through the pandemic. Wednesday night will bring the next online session as reviewers could make the final sign-off on the Belmont Commons project,

The project from developers Kamiak Real Estate and architects from Hybrid will replace a two-story, eight-unit apartment house built in 1910 in the 400 block of Belmont between Republican and Harrison. The building will not include parking. Continue reading

Design review: Board asks for better greenbelt connection in Lakeview slope condo development

A condominium development proposed for the literal edge of Capitol Hill’s westernmost slope will return this week for a second round in the early phase of the city’s design review process.

The virtual design review session will look at the latest plans for 1578 Lakeview Blvd E — a planned six-story, 40-unit development along Lakeview Blvd E that is also envisioned as a way to hold back at least one small stretch of the eroding, crumbling slopes of Capitol Hill’s western edge above I-5. Continue reading

Cornelly set to open early fall, bringing handmade pasta and ‘naturally leavened’ pizza to Capitol Hill

(Image: Cornelly)

Comforting pizza and pasta flavors are coming to the Hill this fall as new restaurant Cornelly finishes a buildout of its Summit and Mercer space and prepares for a takeout-centered opening.

Flanked by coronavirus-related delays, first-time restaurant owners Brett Phillips and Sam Carroll have spent the past five months perfecting the recipes and aesthetics of their new eatery that will join a surprisingly robust block of Capitol Hill food and drink home to Top Pot Doughnuts, the Summit Pub, Single Shot, and Sol Liquor Lounge.

“We wanted to do a neighborhood pizza and pasta place where we focus on doing naturally leavened pizza dough, handmade pastas, extruded pastas, and then really hyper seasonal vegetable plates,” Phillips said. Continue reading

Coming full circle, Toscana Pizzeria returns to Summit Ave

You can clean up, change your look, develop new relationships. But sometimes it is best to just accept who you really are. The Summit Ave food and drink path that led from Toscana to Itto’s to A La Vida has circled back to pizza.

“We’re back!” the sign in the window at 601 Summit Ave E proclaims. As a handful of loyal CHS readers will tell you, Toscana Pizzeria is, indeed, back on Summit. Continue reading

Toscana to Itto’s to A La Vida to… closed — Newly transformed Summit Ave tapas joint ‘didn’t make it’

Usually when CHS hears about a sad passing in the Capitol Hill food and drink economy, we try to check in to find out more about what was behind the closing. The story isn’t usually a surprise. Slow business. Redevelopment. Life changes.

But we don’t have much more to add than some fancy words to the tweets about the end of Summit Ave’s A La Vida. Continue reading

Toscana to Itto’s to A La Vida — New owner on Summit part of ongoing wave of Capitol Hill food+drink deals

Change coming to Summit Ave (Image: Itto’s Tapas)

2018’s year of mergers and acquisitions in Capitol Hill food and drink has continued into 2019. Another new owner on the Hill is hoping to take the take over and transition route to food and drink success.

Manager Jody Claggett tells CHS he has purchased Summit Ave’s Itto’s Tapas from longtime owner Khalid Agour and will set about a quick transformation and overhaul of the restaurant and bar into a more Spanish flavored A La Vida.

Claggett said the name for the tapas, gin, and wine bar was inspired by a customer who turned him onto new music and a song about the joy of life.

“Everybody that I meet, it’s just a great conversation,” Claggett said of life behind the bar and the counter after a career in tech. Continue reading

Doggone it: Pup’s party tent reportedly causes brief Capitol Hill power outage

Seattle City Light says a gust of wind and a party tent caused a power outage that briefly knocked out power to more than 4,000 customers across Capitol Hill on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, around 1 PM, near Belmont at Republican, a canopy tent was reported on wires after falling from a nearby building. A City Light crew was dispatched and electricity was quickly restored to thousands with the final 1,000 back in power by 5 PM.

CHS has reported on a variety of causes for Hill blackouts over the years. Continue reading

Developers of planned seven-story Belmont Ave E condo project hold community meeting

The city’s new effort to give neighbors an earlier say in shaping neighborhood development is playing out with plans for a seven-story, 34-unit condominium project on Belmont Ave E.

Developer Real Wave Capital and architect Workshop AD have been collecting feedback and will hold a community meeting Thursday night at the Capitol Hill library starting at 4 PM.

“We want to hear from the community about what you want to see at this property,” the developers for the Belmont Z condos write. Continue reading