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.

Welcome our newest sponsor, Ravenna Animal Hospital

We are very pleased to tell you that Ravenna Animal Hospital is now a Ravenna Blog sponsor.

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Seattle Veterinary Associates (SVA) has been offering the foundation to a lifetime of compassionate pet care for more than 40 years, and the recently remodeled Ravenna Animal Hospital (4541 Union Bay Pl. NE, opened in 2002) now enables them to provide even greater levels of service.

You’re invited to visit the Ravenna location for an open house on Sunday, October 20, 2013, from 1-3 PM (1.3 MB PDF) — enjoy refreshments, quiz the doctors and staff, win prizes, and more.

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Seattle Veterinary Associates was founded in 1971 by Dr. Sanford Olson, Dr. Donald Canfield, and Dr. Stephen Jones. To provide patients with the extraordinary care they deserve, they:

  • Actively pursue client education and involvement in the care of their pet
  • Develop and maintain quality medical care teams through education and training
  • Participate in training and educational advancements in their profession
  • Develop and maintain a health partnership with clients to ensure their satisfaction
  • Apply the highest standards in care, compassion, and veterinary technologies
  • Value and respect the individual talents and skills of their people
  • Accept accountability for their performances
  • Model ethical behavior in all their interactions with clients, patients, and staff.

The vision of providing the highest quality veterinary care to pets in the Puget Sound area remains integral to each of their staff members today.

Coupled with SVA’s considerate expansion and the advancement of their medical capabilities at all their hospitals, SVA is proud to be providing the highest quality veterinary care to pets and their families.

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Learn more about Seattle Veterinary Associates’ experienced veterinarians and technicians or the services they provide to pets on their website, or at any of their four Seattle locations:

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A Bit of Seattle Veterinary Associates’ History:

  • In 1971, the original practice opened its doors at the current location of Queen Anne Animal Clinic.
  • In 1972, Green Lake Animal Hospital opened and become the central hospital serving the Queen Anne Animal Clinic.
  • In 1979, acquired Ravenna Park Animal Hospital (originally located at 5125 25th Avenue NE). That same year, Dr. Patrick Richardson joined the partnership.
  • In 1992, Dr. Stuart Spencer joined the partnership.
  • In 2000, Dr. Jeb Mortimer joined as a partner.
  • In 2002, Ravenna Park Animal Clinic moved and became Ravenna Animal Hospital.
  • In 2003, added in-house ultrasound capabilities to the list of services.
  • In 2008, Dr. Mark Donovan and Northwest Veterinary Hospital joined the partnership.

Annual University Village summer concert series starts July 10

On Wednesday nights starting July 10 through August 21, from 6:30-8:30 PM, the University Village presents another season of their annual free summer concerts.

The 2013 Sounds of Summer Concert Series line-up features:

July 10 – The Nowhere Men

July 17 – Mycle Wastman

July 24 – The Dudley Manlove Quartet

July 31 – LeRoy Bell & His Only Friends

August 7 – The Paperboys

August 14 – Clinton Fearon & The Boogie Brown Band

August 21 – Hit Explosion

In addition to their favorite bands, concert-goers look forward to gourmet bites from University Village restaurants, the lively Ram beer garden and fun activities in the kid’s play area.

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The University Village Sounds of Summer Concert Series is presented by UW Medicine, with major support from Bob Byers Volvo [also a Ravenna Blog sponsor], Mrs. Cook’s, the Ram Restaurant and Brewery and Click 98.9.

Hungry for a business opportunity? Three Ravenna restaurants for sale (UPDATE)

As we mentioned in our newly returned Sunday Edition, there were some local restaurant sale mysteries we were puzzling over. Then, on Monday afternoon, we had a break-through: There were not TWO Ravenna restaurants looking to change hands, but THREE.

The first local restaurant for sale is the Pied Piper Ale House (2404 NE 65th St).

The family friendly pub and Geeks Who Drink pub trivia spot has been closed with no explanation since the end of 2012. Then, this week, we learned from a follower on twitter who spoke to the Pied Piper manager on what happened to be their last day of business (the end of December, either the 27th or 28th).

Here is the listing for the location, with the name included in the picture, leaving no mystery:

Commercial Brokers Association listing for the Pied Piper Ale House (click to read the full listing)

Commercial Brokers Association listing for the Pied Piper Ale House (click to read the full listing).

The second closure is a long-time Ravenna neighborhood fixture: Casa D’Italia* (2615 NE 65th St).

We were first alerted to this closure via a Craigslist post just last week, which included the ominous line, “We are no longer able to run the restaurant due to family issues but the restaurant has great potential for the future.”

Since then, three more Craigslist posts have popped up: Two on Saturday, February 16 (one showing the furniture for sale, the other listing other fixtures), and a final one on Monday, February 18, stating that the location is for lease.

We visited the location Monday evening, and found this note on the door:

To all our guests,

On February 16th, we made a family decision to close Casa D’Italia. We would like to thank everyone for your support throughout the last 12 years. We will be keeping our website running so check us out at www.casaditaliaseattle.com to keep up on our next venture and find out where Anthony is cooking next.

Again, thank you for your support.

God bless,

- The Donatone Family

Turns out the closure seems fast because it was.

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We’ve reached out to the family for more information, and will update this post if we hear anything back.

UPDATE (Thursday, February 28): From Angeli Donatone, wife of Chef Anthony (via email):

Yes, it was a sudden closure but one that had been looming for awhile. Like so many others, we have been affected by the changing economy, both personally and professionally. It was a challenge for us to say good-bye to Casa D’Italia, which grew in 11 years to be like family for so many. We trust that when one door closes, many others will open, and it is with this blind faith that we made the decision to close.

Our lease had been month-to-month for many years, and we felt the deferred maintenance on the building was catching up with it, and didn’t want this to become a liability to us, an independant family-run business. We are so proud of the community that was built and all of the fans of “Casa” “Anthony’s” or “the two tomatoes” among other nick-names…Please thank the neighbors for sharing their lives with us. We also have referrals for some great Italian caterers…They may contact us via our website where we will post updates to our whereabouts.

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The third local restaurant sale is more of a mystery.

The listing states a location of the Ravenna neighborhood, but is not any more specific. In fact, interested parties are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement before learning of its location.

Our only clues are in the description, which includes the following:

[E]xposed timber beams and soaring 18′ ceilings. Opened August 2011 after extensive remodel. 1,760 SF (restaurant) plus 220 SF (on site office and storage room). Seats 60 including 18 counter seats in bar area.

Craigslist ad for the mystery restaurant (click to read the full listing).

Craigslist ad for the mystery restaurant (click to read the full listing).

We have our guesses. We’ve been told we’re wrong (by a friend of friends of the owner), but with an NDA on the table, all bets are off.

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*Casa D’Italia was the Ravenna Blog’s very first paying customer, in terms of advertising. We will always have a hyperlocal place in our heart for them, and we wish them the very best in the future.

Welcome our newest sponsor, Roaring Mouse Creative Arts!

We’re very pleased to tell you that Roaring Mouse Creative Arts is now a Ravenna Blog sponsor.

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Roaring Mouse got its start back in 1989 when founder Lassie Webster started teaching arts-centric classes and workshops in elementary schools in the Seattle area. In 1997, a studio space was opened in the Sand Point area. And in 2004, the studio moved to its current location at NE 75th St and 20th Ave NE.

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Among the many classes and services at Roaring Mouse:

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Below is a video showing more of the studio space in use, accompanied by a narration explaining more about the studio:

And you can learn more about the Roaring Mouse preschool program at their open house on Saturday, January 12, 2013, from 10 AM – 2 PM.

Candy Cane Lane prepping to open this Saturday night

The word on the street boulevard is that Candy Cane Lane will get totally lit* this Saturday, December 8.

The homes along NE Park Rd/Park Rd NE will be in full-on powered up festive mode from 4-10 PM. The theme for the street this year is “The Nutcracker,” with the gigantic holly bush in the roundabout transformed into a carousel.


View Candy Cane Lane in a larger map

A canned food drive donation station will once again sit at the end of the route, and viewers can also leave donations at the nearby Boulevard Grocery (2007 NE Ravenna Blvd).

In case you’re new to the area, or want to know more about this over-50-year-old Northeast Seattle tradition, the Seattle Times profiled the festive neighborhood feature back in 2010.

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Click the image to read the article at the Seattle Times.

 

Traffic through the area can get pretty bogged down, so we recommend approaching the area on foot or by bicycle. Metro bus routes 30 and 74 have stops nearby, as do routes 68, 243, 372, and 980.

Another feature to being car-free near Candy Cane Lane is that you can more easily stop into nearby Boulevard Grocery (a Ravenna Blog sponsor) to see the remodel, and try one of their holiday drinks: Eggnog, apple cider, and pumpkin spice or peppermint syrup for your lattes and whatnot.

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*Yeah, that was an attempt at a joke about a recently legalized substance.

University Village announces summer concert series line-up

University Village announced today the line-up for their 2012 Sounds of Summer Concert Series.

The concerts will take place on six consecutive Wednesday nights, from 6 to 8 PM, starting July 11*. In addition, on August 1, Caspar Babypants will perform a kids’ concert at 5 PM.

The 2012 Sounds of Summer Concert Series line-up features:

July 11 – Hit Explosion    

July 18 – The Dusty 45s     

July 25 – LeRoy Bell & His Only Friends  

August 1 – Clinton Fearon & The Boogie Brown Band

Kid’s concert at 5:00 p.m. – Caspar Babypants, featuring Chris Ballew from The Presidents of The United States of America

August 8 – Special Guest Appearance  

August 15 – The Paperboys

In addition to their favorite bands, concert-goers look forward to gourmet bites from University Village restaurants, the lively beer garden and fun children’s activities in the Land of Nod Play Area.

The University Village Sounds of Summer Concert Series is presented by UW Neighborhood Clinics (a Ravenna Blog sponsor), with major support from Bob Byers Volvo (also a Ravenna Blog sponsor), the Ram Restaurant and Brewery, The Land of Nod, and KLCK-FM Click 98.9.

A U Village spokesperson tells us that “[w]hile the name, format and location have changed throughout the years, there has been some form of outdoor summer concerts at U Village for more than 15 years.”

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*Summer should have started by then. We hope.

Welcome our new sponsor, Taylor Gardens

Say hello to the Ravenna Blog’s newest sponsor — Taylor Gardens, a local small garden consulting and maintenance business based in North Seattle.

Gardening projects that Taylor Gardens can assist with include garden coaching, garden maintenance, bed renovation, hosting a garden party workshop, seed propagation help, suggestions for improving your yard if you’re planning to sell your home, and many others services.

A full list of services and rates can be found here.

Here’s more about owner Jeanie Taylor, from the Taylor Gardens ‘About’ page:

The Taylor in Taylor Gardens is Jeanie Taylor. She was a professional propagator for six years, has 15 years of horticultural experience, and was a senior gardener for the City of Seattle. She holds a B.S. in Botany and an M.S. in Conservation Biology from the University of Washington, where she wrote a thesis on the reproductive biology of the endangered plant Hackelia venusta (showy stickseed).

Jeanie enjoys working with individuals and small groups to save biodiversity one garden at a time. She does garden maintenance and renovation and helps home gardeners with projects, pruning, and garden questions. She conducts classes and demonstrations by request, most recently for the Washington Native Plant Society and the City of Seattle. Her video tutorial on propagating plants using live stakes can be viewed online.

You may also know Jeanie’s work from her garden column for Wallyhood, a neighborhood news site in Wallingford.

For more information on Taylor Gardens, click on the ad to the right, or visit TaylorGardensNW.com.