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Archive for the ‘Small Business’ Category

Watertown Coffee and Saloon closed up shop

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

I heard via Facebook over the weekend and it was confirmed on the CoffeeHERO blog that Watertown Coffee and Saloon has closed up shop. Watertown was a great place and great asset to 12th Ave. Let’s hope they re-open someplace in the neighborhood soon.

Two new businesses coming to 12th Avenue

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

The Stranger Slog reports that 12th Avenue will soon be home to super delicious Thai take-out. The former Buzz Stop, former Barista Boyz shack will soon be dispensing vegetarian Thai food to go from the owners of Thai Curry Simple in the International District. Word has it that they plan to open in November.

Also open now is an independent furniture shop, Underground Plan, open by appointment only in the basement corner space at 1205 E Pike Street. Looks like they are starting with a set of 20 hand-carved pieces from China. Check out their website for more details and to get in touch.

A little history at 908 12th Ave

Friday, September 24th, 2010

It is amazing how you can pass by some buildings and not realize the place’s history. 908 12th Avenue (near Marion) has a new coat of paint and is set to open as Habibi Restaurant sometime this year. The CD News has more details about the building’s history as Doc Hamilton’s restaurant and “possibly the most notable speakeasy” back the 1930s. I absolutely love the historic photo of Doc Hamilton’s. I wonder if the new owner is willing to consider a colorful awning out front and restoring that charming roof detail?

Given the popularity of the urban speakeasy, maybe it is time to fix up the basement and bring the original speakeasy back to life? I had the chance to tour the building many months ago and took some pictures of the basement. It was in pretty rough shape but still had a few details that hinted at the place’s past.

the old bar?

cool little alcoves

The only interior photo I found (after a very quick search) was this photo of the upstairs from 1932 thanks to the Black Heritage Society of Washington. At the time, the bar was known as the 908 Club.

12th Ave in the news

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

There’s a lot of activity on the horizon on 12th Avenue. As always, thanks to the CHS blog for the first hand information.

Another restaurant on 12th?? Dawson’s Plumbing, next to the Packard Building, is going out of business and the building has apparently been sold. Rumors abound that an un-named restaurant will be moving into the space.

How energy efficient is your home? EnergySavvy moves into the Coho building next to Northwest Film Forum. The “clean-tech incubator” designs software to help us find ways to increase the energy efficiency of our homes.

Pies Pies Pies! And perhaps a little bit of old new, High Five Pies will be opening a pie shop in the corner retail space of Trace Lofts at 12th and Madison. My only request…please have one of those awesome revolving pie cases.

Bluebird Ice Cream in nation’s top ten!

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

We all love Bluebird Ice Cream. And folks at MSN agree! Bluebird was named one of the top ten ice cream shops in the country. Hooray for a local favorite to get such great recognition! And hooray for Elysian Stout, my personal favorite at Bluebird.

Take the 12th Avenue Retail Survey!

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Through the 12th Avenue Initiative, we are working on a retail survey to gauge what types of businesses are missing from the 12th Avenue neighborhood.  We’re specifically looking at 12th Avenue between Yesler and John Street.   I know this overlaps a bit with Pike Pine so when you’re taking this survey, please focus on 12th Avenue by itself.  We’re looking for ways to improve 12th as a commercial corridor and to help create an identity for the street.

Click here to take survey

Please take a few moments and fill out the survey so that we can understand what YOU want from 12th Avenue. All input will be extremely valuable and can help guide future development in the area.  This information will also be compiled as part of a larger retail study that should be completed by mid-summer.

We appreciate your help!

Retrofit Home (re)Opening Party

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010


Retrofit Home (a former 12th Avenue business) has moved to 11th and Pike into the old Aria space. While we loved them in the old location, we really love their new space, which is FABULOUS!

Come check it out at their (re)Opening Party this Saturday , June 5th from noon to 9pm. Explore the new space, say hello, buy some awesome stuff, and celebrate another great local business!

“No National Chains”

Friday, April 9th, 2010
retrofit storefront

retrofit storefront

Something that makes the 12th Avenue Business District great is the distinct lack of national chains along the corridor. This isn’t just by chance. Today there was a nice piece in the CHS Blog on vacant retail space in Capitol Hill/Pike-Pine, where we noticed the listing for the Retrofit Home space. This space is owned by local developer Liz Dunn’s company, Dunn+Hobbes (full disclosure, Liz also happens to be a CHH Board Member).  The CHS post describes the space as:

"AWESOME COMMERCIAL SPACE ON CAP. HILL! Retrofit Home is Moving Around the Corner!!! We are moving around the corner and our Space will become available some time May-ish. Restaurant/Cafe/Retail Storefront Super Hot, Super Hip Location. Restaurant / retail / café space in extremely desirable location on 12th Avenue in the heart of Pike-Pine. 30’ x 100’ clearspan storefront space in vintage wood and concrete building. 3,000 square feet @ $25/sf plus NNN. No national chains ." (emphasis mine)

Many developers in the neighborhood understand that it is the presence of small local businesses that makes a business district feel vibrant, exciting and unique. National chains aren’t necessarily bad — but a mix of business types is needed for an authentic feeling and a thriving district. Liz Dunn is just one Pike/Pine developer who gets this concept. Hopefully we will get another great tenant in this space soon and we will miss Retrofit on 12th!

Marjorie in the Neighborhood. Welcome!

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Welcome to Donna Moodie and her fantastic new restaurant Marjorie , coming soon (May) to the little stand-alone commercial space at Chloe, on 14th and Union.  We are so excited to have her and this great restaurant, in the neighborhood!

Recycle your bubble wrap and padded envelopes!

Friday, February 26th, 2010


Do you know what to do with used bubble wrap, padded envelopes and other packaging material? Unless you’re trying to make a fun dress as modeled by this creepy mannequin, you’re in luck because local businessman Alan Goldwasser will reuse your packaging materials.

You usually can’t recycle this stuff so this is a welcome change to dumping it in the trash and knowing that it will just sit in the landfill for another 100 years.

For more information on Alan’s good work and his local partners, check out the full story on the CHS blog .

You can drop off bubble wrap and padded mailers at Retrofit Home (currently at 12th Ave between Union and Pike but moving to 11th Ave and Pike later this spring). Unfortunately no styrofoam peanuts will be accepted.