Here they come to snuff the Rooster (crane)

Aww yeah*.

One of the two large cranes gracing the downtown Roosevelt skyline is moving on.

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The Roosevelt Neighborhood Association has received word from the developer of the Rooster Apartments (902 NE 65th Street) that their contractor’s large construction crane is coming down on Saturday, February 28th. “NE 65th street will be shut down in front of the Rooster from 6am to 6pm. Traffic control will be on site detouring traffic around the site.”

Occupancy of the approximately 195-unit apartment building is still scheduled for the first week of August, says the developer (Lake Union Partners), with one of the first floor tenants, a fourth Portage Bay Cafe, opening this summer as well.

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*Headline and first sentence by Alice in Chains, of course. Probably the last time we’ll use it. Probably.

Shop local, get a chance at touring new UW Light Rail Station

In February 2014, when Capitol Hill Light Rail Station construction started severely disrupting Annapurna Cafe  — a business which choose to remain in place and open while others around it shuttered or relocated due to the station construction — Sound Transit cooked up a contest with Annapurna to encourage diners to drop in.

Banner near the Capitol Hill Light Rail Station construction site advertising the Sound Transit/Annapurna  contest in February 2014. (Photo courtesy Capitol Hill Seattle)

Banner near the Capitol Hill Light Rail Station construction site advertising the Sound Transit/Annapurna contest in February 2014. (Photo courtesy Capitol Hill Seattle, used with permission)

From the contest details by Sound Transit:

When you eat at Annapurna Café, 1833 Broadway, you can enter to win a Sound Transit walking tour of the U-Link tunnel-from Capitol Hill to the University of Washington.

To be eligible, you must spend at least $10 at the Annapurna Café and fill out an entry form at the restaurant. You can enter every time you visit. You must be at least 18 and able to walk the entire 3-mile concrete-lined tunnel.

The fine folks at Capitol Hill Seattle also went along on the tour, and you can watch some footage of their travels below.

What does all this have to do with Northeast Seattle in the year 2015?

Lucky us, Sound Transit is holding another contest involving businesses located near our Roosevelt and University District light rail construction zones. This time, the prize is a tour of the University of Washington Station — open to all in early 2016, but open for winner(s) (sans trains) in the second half of 2015.

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Also, lucky us, entries can be found not at just one local business but two dozen: 10 near the future University District Station, and 14 near the future Roosevelt Station. And we only need to spend $5 at these businesses to receive an entry form.

More details from Sound Transit:

To be eligible, you must spend at least $5 and complete an entry form at one of the participating businesses. You can enter every time you visit. You must be at least 18 years old.

A drawing will be held in May 2015 to select the winners. You will be notified by email or phone. No entry form information will be sold to an outside party and this prize has no cash value.

You can see the full list of participating local businesses here (Cedars! Pies and Pints! Toronado! Brooklyn Avenue Dental!).

If you win, you can compare the current, finished University of Washington Station to these pictures we took in a 60% finished station, back in January 2013.

NE 65th Street bakery location to rise again as Sod House Bakery

Not long after the Ravenna Blog was born, the front doors to Morning Star Bakery (2114 NE 65th Street) closed and the business went full wholesale. If one wanted one of their soft pretzels bespeckled with salt, one had to trek away from the business district location to the nearest PCC.

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The old Morning Star Bakery double Dutch doors will swing open once again to customers in April.

We’re pleased to report that these doors will once again open to customers this spring.

Sod House Bakery and Bonniecake (also known as New Renaissance Cakes) will be sharing the space, and hope to open their joint retail venture the first week of April.

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A peek inside the Sod House Bakery farmers market case (photo courtesy Sod House Bakery).

Evan Radick and Nina Faccone got their start selling their wares at local farmers markets, including the nearby University District Farmers Market and the more distant West Seattle Farmers Market*. They have now ceased their market stand for the time being while their first brick and mortar operation is completed.

Evan tells us that the Ravenna bakery will be open five days a week to start (Wednesday-Sunday, 6 AM-2 PM) with plans to work up to seven days a week with additional staff. Along with the usual farmers market selection, Sod House Bakery will have challah and brioche breads available. A full selection of breads will become available as proper equipment is acquired and recipes are tested.

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Tables (tables!) being assembled inside the new Sod House Bakery space.

Alongside the sweet stuff, espresso and drip coffee will also be available, made with Seven Coffee Roasters beans.

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Bonnie Lyons has been making custom wedding cakes for some time now (as New Renaissance Cakes), working out of a commercial kitchen in Lower Queen Anne. But with the owners selling the kitchen’s building, it was time to move on. Rents being what they are these days, sharing a space was financially attractive, and with the lack of product overlap with Sod House Bakery’s offereings, the match feels like a good pairing.

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Detail of hand-made fondant Dogwood flowers on a custom wedding cake. Cakes in the case for the new bakery will not be so intricate. (Photo courtesy Bonniecakes.)

Bonnie tells us her cakes are “made from all ‘whole ingredients’ and baked from scratch. No margarine or canned frosting or cake mixes. The cakes are definitely not low calorie, but they are made from all ‘real food’ ingredients.” Flavors include:

Chocolate Ginger Cake – Chocolate cake layers filled with Dark Chocolate Ginger Mousse, ganache, and iced with ginger buttercream.

Coconut Cake – White Cake layers filled with coconut white chocolate mousse, pastry cream, and iced with buttercream.

Luscious Lemon Cake – Lemon Cake layers filled with lemon curd, lemon white chocolate mousse, and iced with cream cheese icing.

Hearty Carrot Cake – Carrot cake layers filled with cream cheese icing and iced with cream cheese buttercream.

Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Cake – White Cake layers filled with White Chocolate Mousse and pastry cream and iced with cream cheese icing.

Gluten-Free Dark Belgian Chocolate Cake – Gluten-Free chocolate cake layers filled with dark chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache and iced with chocolate buttercream.

Bonnie will be continuing her custom wedding cake business in the new Ravenna space, as well as providing 6-inch and 9-inch cakes to the bakery’s pastry case. Cake by the slice will also be available.

You can watch the interior transformation of the space on the Sod House Bakery Instagram feed.

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*Thank you to our friends over at the West Seattle Blog who first shared this tasty news with us.

Watch this space: Old Pied Piper/Eggnest space finally leased again?

Patty’s Eggnest and Turkey House (2404 65th Avenue NE), closed and empty since fall, has a couple subtle signs about it that may indicate the space has been leased once again.

For one, the large neon green FOR LEASE sign has been removed from the window.  The other sign is a small, partially torn sticker found on the inside of one of the doors.

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Even with the upper-righthand corner of the sticker missing, the phrase “that has been leased” is intact.

Unfortunately, no liquor license actions have popped up for the address —  one of the ways to catch a new restaurant in the making.

Here’s hoping something tasty moves in soon. (And that they accept debit cards again.)

Bank robbery near NE 75th Street and 35th Avenue NE (UPDATES)

Just before noon on Thursday, neighbors reported seeing multiple Seattle Police Department patrol cars in the vicinity of NE 75 Street and 35th Avenue NE.

We have since learned that Seattle Police were responding to a bank robbery in the area.

Via the SPD Twitter feed:

Police searching for bank robber near
7500 blk 35th Ave NE. Susp is white male, 50s, 5’3, denim jacket/jeans, black hat, may be armed.

Seattle Public Schools had local schools in shelter-in-place mode around the same time as police arrived on the scene. The list of schools includes Eckstein, Bryant, Thornton Creek, View Ridge, and Wedgwood.

UPDATE (12:35 PM): Unconfirmed as of yet by SPD, but attention seems to be on the coin store Chase Bank on 35th Avenue NE just north of NE 75th Street.

Here is an image from KIRO’s Chopper 7 which could be heard hovering over our area earlier:

Also, the shelter-in-place was lifted at local schools moments ago.

UPDATE (2:18 PM): The Seattle Police Department Blotter has a post up now about the robbery. Unfortunately, it does not contain the words “in custody.”

If you have any information on today’s bank robbery (in the 7500 block of 35th Avenue NE), please call the police at 625-5011.

UPDATE (2:31 PM): University Prep (8000 25th Ave NE) was in “modified lockdown” from 12:15-12:35 PM.

Spoke & Food is back! Ride and dine, and support Outdoors For All

For the second year in a row, thanks to Ravenna Blog’s sponsors and supporters, we are able to sponsor the Ravenna neighborhood during the Spoke & Food evening of dining and bikes* on Tuesday, July 29th.

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Vios Cafe at Third Place and the Ravenna Blog, together again for Spoke & Food 2014.

Starting at 5 PM on Tuesday, various restaurants around the city and beyond (Bothell! Lake Forest Park!) will be donating 20% of their dinner bills to a local non-profit. And you get a great excuse to dust off your Schwinn and enjoy a summer ride to dinner with friends and/or family.

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Full list Spoke & Food 2014 host restaurants, sponsors, and supporters. Click to enlarge.

This year’s fundraising recipient is the Outdoors For All Foundation (headquarters located at Magnuson Park, so you’ll even be supporting a Northeast Seattle non-profit). From their About page:

Sit Skiing. (Photo by Outdoors For All, used with permission.)

Sit Skiing. (Photo by Outdoors For All, used with permission.)

The Outdoors for All Foundation is a national leader and one of the largest nonprofit organizations providing year round instruction in outdoor recreation for people with physical, developmental, and sensory disabilities since 1979. Outdoors for All’s year round programming includes snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross country and downhill skiing, cycling, hiking, river rafting, canoeing and kayaking, day camps, water skiing, rock-climbing, camping and Custom Events.We are a customer driven organization where each year more than 2,000 children and adults with disabilities exercise their abilities thanks to the training and support of more than 700 volunteers. Outdoors for All offers opportunities for individuals, families and custom programming to meet your needs. Please take a look at our programs and contact us at anytime so we can find a recreation option to fit your needs.

The Northeast-ish Seattle restaurants who are participating this year are:

Green Lake: Duke’s Chowderhouse
Maple Leaf: Flying Squirrel Pizza
Montlake: Traveler Montlake
Ravenna (WOO!): Vios Cafe at Third Place Books
U-Village/U-District: Eureka

*Bikes not actually required! If your party would like to donate 20% of your bill to the Outdoors For All Foundation during the event, but you arrived at the restaurant by other means, no sweat!

Bull Moose Festival this Saturday!

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Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Festival is back! Let’s show the Moose some love and head over to our next door neighborhood’s community party which this year is celebrating aspects of sustainable living.

When: Saturday, July 26th, 11:30 AM-7:30 PM

Where: NE 68th Street and Roosevelt Way NE  Festival Map

Food, music, beer garden, dog show, fashion show, raffle, and more!

In fact, you can print out a raffle card and start getting stamps at participating neighborhood businesses ahead of time. You’ll win a small prize just for submitting your completed raffle card and will be entered in a drawing for $25 prize from the same businesses for things like spa services, food, and fair-trade goods.

You can also donate your unwanted textiles in any condition at the festival. Clothes for the Cause turns these recycled donations into funds which will go to the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association. Just bring them in a tightly closed plastic bag to keep them dry.

The annual-ish festival is coordinated by the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association.

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Your Moment of Ravenna Zen: Dark Side of the Top Pot

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At certain angles, the heavy glass doors of the Wedgwood Top Pot make a rainbow connection with the sun.

Road safety improvements coming to NE Blakeley Street / Union Bay Place NE

Some well-known traffic trouble spots near University Village are getting some overdue attention next month.

UnionBlakeleyProjectMap

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is in the process of designing the following safety improvements to the Union Bay Place NE/NE Blakeley Street area (projected to begin construction as early as August 2014):

  • 25th Ave NE & NE Blakeley Street: Modified signal timing and intersection design. New bicycle leaning rails* (allow cyclists to wait for light change without dismounting, placing one foot on the rail).
  • 30th Ave NE & the Burke-Gilman Trail: Raised pedestrian crosswalk and repaired sidewalks approaching this crosswalk along 30th Ave NE between NE 50th Street and Union Bay Place NE.
  • Union Bay Place NE between NE 45th St & 30th Ave NE: New paved and painted pedestrian pathway along both sides.


View Safety Improvements to NE Blakeley St and Union Bay Place NE in a larger map

This work is funded by mitigation from the University Village and the Village QFC as well as Pedestrian Master Plan improvements. You can read more about the mitigation funding of this project on page 17 of this SDOT analysis of QFC’s 2012 land use application (208 KB PDF) to expand the store and build a parking garage.

The pedestrian improvements are part of SDOT’s Sidewalk Development Program and funded by the voter-approved Bridging the Gap levy. The Program’s 2014 projects include these new sidewalk connections:

Questions?  Contact Maribel Cruz with SDOT at 206-684-7963 or maribel.cruz@seattle.gov.

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*We are looking into the bicycle leaning rails to find out more about them (and see if these will be the first ones installed in Seattle).  We will update the post as we learn more!

Sneak peek inside the new Greenlake Village PCC

We have neighbors who still, over 13 years after its closure, lament the loss of the original PCC (located where Ravenna Third Place Books now resides). That store was 7,000-square-feet in size. The next closest location, the still-open-for-business View Ridge PCC, is not much larger.

The new Greenlake Village PCC, that opens to the public on Wednesday, June 4? It’s a 27,000-square-foot store.

We were invited to the pre-opening event on the evening of Monday, June 2, and in the interest of our more western NE Seattle readers, we attended.

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Keep moving, sir: The store isn’t open to the public until 9 AM on Wednesday, June 4.

As you walk into the front doors of the new grocery store (via the central courtyard of the three buildings that make up Green Lake Village), you’ve got two choices: Turn left and head into the Make Your Meal sections (bulk, produce) or turn right and head into the Make It For Me area (deli, espresso/smoothies, salad bar). Everything else (toilet paper, beans, kale chips) is in between, and makes up the bulk of the store.

Left Turn

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Bulk section, produce, and a fishbowl-style classroom on this side of the store.

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BULK.

Strangely enough (to View Ridge PCC shoppers, anyway) bulk coffee is not located in this section of the store. Think about tired parents needing caffeine with breakfast and find your fix in the aisle with baby food and boxed cereal.

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Ravenna Blog recommends the Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Malt Balls.

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Beyond the produce section is beer, wine, and what I’m calling the Cheese Bunker (on the right, above). It’s a four-sided, highly defensible bastion of curds.

Right Turn

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Walk in the main doors and hang a right to find the pre-prepared food (handy for to-go meals headed to the park), as well as seating lining the front windows both inside and out.

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Here you’ll also find the deli (on the right above). Both this picture and the one above it show a full view across the entire store.

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Much of the store was stocked and ready to go, except for the most perishable of items. However, I was able to find some kale being made into a smoothie.

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When shoppers are ready to check out, the main register section of the store has five assisted checkout lines with a bank of six self-checkout registers in the middle.

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Bicycle parking is a bit sparse around the rest of the Green Lake Village commercial spaces, but two full racks line the front of the new store, just to the right of the entrance (where the special event guard is standing above).

Folks on wheels will need to approach the inner courtyard from Woodlawn Avenue NE to the west or NE 71st Street to the south for ramps. The NE 72nd Street side to the north is stairs only.

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Greenlake_PCC_preopening17Full disclosure: PCC Natural Markets is (very shortly!) a Ravenna Blog sponsor. At the pre-opening we didn’t eat any of the tasty party food placed all over the new store, but we were given a frisbee as we headed out to file this report. You can borrow it anytime you like.

Further full disclosure: Being the independent local news publisher that we are, we were impressed back in 2011 when PCC broke the news of their anchor tenancy in the Vitamilk pit project with a fellow independent local news publisher, the now shuttered My Green Lake.