About LizWas

I love writing, wine, dance, design, and Oxford commas. See also: ballet and architecture.

Judkins Street Cafe will scoop up ice cream at May 1 grand opening

As we reported in February Charlie’s Flame Broiled Burgers burned out and Judkins Street Cafe took its place in the little store front at 2608 S Judkins. Since then the cafe has been experimenting with menu items and hours with a soft opening, while getting acquainted with the neighborhood and its new patrons.

The Judkins Street Cafe Grand Opening is finally here. Owner Michael McGloin released the details in an email to the existing customer list for the restaurant: 

We are having our Grand Opening Celebration on Sunday, May 1 from 4pm to 8pm. There will be lots of food to share as well as beer and wine and Judkins Sunday Sundaes with home-made fudge or caramel sauce and Snoqualmie Ice Cream.

Our first weeks at Judkins Street have been a wonderful, wild adventure. Now it is time to celebrate!

Judkins Street Cafe’s new menu is up on its updated website, as well as enticing photographs of the comfort food it serves and links to the cafe’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.  You can also sign up for their email list, read more about the Judkins Street Cafe’s mission to become part of the surrounding community and learn about special events.  (HINT: There are even printable coupons on the website, good for the Grand Opening Day Only!) 

So stop by for the official Grand Opening of the Judkins Street Cafe on Sunday from 4-8 pm and join in the celebration! 


19th & Madison construction crane celebrates site’s history

As CHS has reported, there is progress being made in the construction of a six story mixed use project at 1818 E Madison.  The construction project, headed by Seattle contracting giant W.G. Clark, will include over 6,000 square feet of retail with ground floor parking and 131 studio, one and two bedroom loft-style apartments ranging from 625 to 900 square feet.  Construction is slated to be complete in March 2012.

The project is at the site of the former Fratelli’s Ice Cream plant, and used to feature of delightful mural of cows along the 19th Avenue exterior.  More about the history of the building and the mural can be found on the Miller Park Neighborhood blog.

Today the enormous crane hovering over the 19th and Madison construction site is decorated with a giant cutout of a dairy cow on one side, and a sign with a web address listed on the other: www.wheresthecow.com. A visit to the website gives you more history of the ice cream factory and an opportunity for more information about the mixed use project that is replacing it.

One can only hope they’ll paint a few cows on the side of the building.

DJC: Promenade 23 prime real estate for re-development

Promenade 23!, originally uploaded by rutlo.

Promenade 23 is one of four properties identified in the Daily Journal of Commerce Tuesday as retail sites recently purchased and poised for redevelopment or recapitalization. 

The other retail centers were Westwood Village, Burien Town Plaza, and Broadway Market.

According to the report, the shopping development’s likely future include mixed-use development including housing.

The shifting of Promenade 23 to new owners was discussed at length on the CDN site earlier this year.  Here is a portion of what DJC had to report on Promenade 23:

Promenade 23

Some of the biggest changes could occur at Promenade 23, a 97,000-square-foot urban infill property that straddles South Jackson Street at 23rd Avenue.

Houston-based Weingarten Realty, a publicly traded company, acquired the site from a partnership that included the heirs of the original owner, Jimmy Sumler, as well as the Central Area Development Association, a nonprofit established to revitalize the area.

George Staggers, the CEO for CADA, said some owners in the partnership are aging and others live outside the area. “They just reached a point where I think they felt it was time to let someone else take it to the next level,” Staggers said.

He thinks the parcel south of Jackson could be redeveloped with five stories of housing above retail.

more… (subscription required)

Our sister site Capitolhillseattle.com reported on the Broadway Market situation on Monday.

Where to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the Central District

We all know that the Central District has a diverse population, and judging from recent census numbers, at least a few of our neighbors must be of Irish descent.  And even if they’re not, who doesn’t enjoy a little green beer once a year?  If you feel like taking part in some St. Patrick’s Day festivities, here are a few neighborhood businesses promising to help you have a little fun (but don’t forget to wear some green – we won’t take responsibility for any pinching)…

Judkins Street Cafe opened their doors mid-February and are planning their first St. Patty’s Day event with a “new and improved” boiled Irish dinner for $13, and $2.50 pints of Guinness from 6:00 pm until the keg runs dry, and there really is only one keg, so plan accordingly – at that price, it won’t last long.  Veggie options are included for dinner too.  Stop by the cafe at 2608 S Judkins to get acquainted with the staff before their grand opening, which is planned for the beginning of May.  If this special event goes well they plan to have others, so show your support for this new venture. 

One day a year one of the Central District’s most popular bars changes its name for one very special holiday. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at The O’BottleNeck at 2328 E Madison.  The BottleNeck has a truckload of Guinness chilling and Ireland’s own Harp Lager on draft and will be serving corned beef on rye with traditional cabbage.  This year they are featuring a vegetarian alternative, The Dubliner: a delicious hot pretzel smothered in Irish Cheddar and served with two types of mustard. Their doors at 4:00 pm.  There is no cover, but arrive early to get a table!

Our friends at The Twilight Exit at 2514 E Cherry are offering great drink specials for St. Patrick’s Day: $5 Car Bombs, $5 Jameson, and $8 Jameson and Guinness.  As always at this neighborhood watering hole, there is no cover and you are guaranteed to have a very enjoyable time. 

And finally, if you’d rather celebrate with a tinge of evil, Central Cinema is showing Leprechaun in the Hood at 8:00 pm.  Tickets are $8.  And yes, they will be serving green beer.  

If you feel like venturing outside of the neighborhood there is a breakdown of the festivities going on around Capitol Hill on our sister site, CHS.  

CD Forum presents ‘Wench’ author Dolen Perkins-Valdez tonight at NAAM

The Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas recently kicked off their 2011 season with Lenelle Moise: Expatriate, which ran February 10-12. The next event in their lineup is will be an evening with Dolen Perkins-Valdez, author of Wench, a New York Times Bestseller which has recently been released in paperback.  The event is being co-sponsored by Elliott Bay Book Company, and will begin at 7:00 pm tonight, February 28, at the Northwest African American Museum. Tickets are $10 at the door, $8 in advance, and $5 for students, and are available for purchase online at Brown Paper Tickets

CD Forum’s next event will be a FREE viewing of Prince Among Slaves: The Cultural Legacy of Enslaved Africans. This viewing will be on Thursday, March 3 at 7:00 pm at Seattle University’s Piggot Hall at 901 12th Avenue.  This documentary film is narrated by rapper and actor Mos Def and explores the history of African Muslims enslaved on this continent as early as the 17th century. Though the viewing of this film is free, please RSVP for the event.

CD Forum is a non-profit that collaborates with local arts and performance venues to bring artists of all medias to Seattle.  The entity exists to bring art to the people, particularly the diverse population of the Central District.  Blair Brown, Marketing Coordinator for CD Forum said the organization relies on patrons, donations, and grants for its small operating budget. 

Food As Art, CD Forum’s annual fundraising event, is being held April 16 at Bell Harbor. This event features delicacies created by some of Seattle’s most talented chefs.  There is a silent auction, dessert auction, and a feast of gourmet, local cuisine.  

To learn more about how you can support arts in the Central District, please visit Central District Forum for Arts & Idea’s website at www.cdforum.org.  You can also follow CD Forum on Twitter, and ‘Like’ them on Facebook

Girl Scouts learn business and life skills, but lack volunteer leadership

Editor’s Note: Though Liz is a reporter for CDN, she’s putting on her Girl Scout troop leader cap for this post to get you ready for cookie season.

Beginning today Girl Scouts will be standing outside many of your neighborhood supermarkets, bank branches, drugstores – seemingly everywhere – trying to sell you their infamous Girl Scout Cookies.  Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Trefoils…everyone seems to have their favorites and can recognize them by their brightly covered boxes plastered with pictures of smiling Girl Scouts. 

But where do all these Girl Scouts come from? And why are they selling cookies? Maybe you should ask them. Their answers might surprise you. 

Girl Scouts of Western Washington, or GSWW, is the local Girl Scout Council that represents approximately 26,000 girls from kindergarten through 12th grade.  GSWW belongs to the umbrella nonprofit organization, Girl Scouts USA, which will be celebrating its 100th year in 2012.  Girl Scouts and its international sister organizations make up the largest girl-oriented program in the world, with more than 3.2 million girl and adult members in the United States alone.  When we think about Girl Scouts, most of us are familiar with Brownies, but there are actually six levels in Girl Scouting divided by grades, beginning with Daisies in Kindergarten and going all the way through high school with 11th and 12th graders called Ambassadors. 

Girl Scouts of Western Washington is split into dozens of smaller Service Units that represent cities or regional areas.  The Service Unit that represents Central Seattle, including Capitol Hill, the Central District, Columbia City and Rainier Beach, is Service Unit 540, and as a GSWW employee, Emily Nolan is the Service Unit’s Regional Director.  

She is also the Service Unit Manager, the Cookie Manager and the Treasurer – all of which are supposed to be volunteer positions filled by troop leaders.  But Nolan’s problem is that there just aren’t enough volunteers. 

“We have about 20 volunteer-led troops serving approximately 150 girls in this service area.  But we also have a waiting list 200 girls long,” said Nolan.  Besides the 20 volunteer-led troops in Service Unit 540, this area is also home to about 15 outreach troops, which together include about 200 girls. Outreach troops are run by GSWW Council employees and are designed to meet the needs of girls in high risk situations: girls in foster care, those with parents who are incarcerated, or populations who are under-served, like recent immigrants or refugees, or girls living in very deep poverty.  

Every fall, just as the school year gears up, Nolan and other Regional Directors in GSWW hold recruitment meetings at libraries, community centers and schools; the Central District recruitment meetings are held at the Douglass-Truth Library.  These meetings are usually very well attended, advertised by fliers at local schools.  The issue though is that parents who attend often say, “My daughter wants to join a Girl Scout troop,” and rarely add, “…and I want to lead it.”  

But here’s a little known fact: parents aren’t the only adults who can be Girl Scout leaders.  That’s where people like my friend Lindsey and I come in.  We have been leading a Girl Scout troop in White Center for eight years. When we started it was a mixed level troop of Daisies, Brownies and Cadettes. Today we have a core group of 14 girls ranging from 7th through 10th grades.  Besides going camping, hiking and singing songs around a campfire, our girls study careers, volunteer at the Red Cross, learn about healthy lifestyles, collect donations for victims of house fires, get help with homework, plan college visits, take swimming lessons, and volunteer at the local food bank.  Selling cookies every year helps the girls learn good business sense and marketing, teaches them about profit margins, quick addition and subtraction, and hones their organizational skills. Year after year we’ve sold more cookies than the year before. We use the money earned from cookie sales to keep our troop running year-round without the need for monetary support from the girls’ families. And this year we’re working extra hard to take a trip to New York City.

And guess where our girls love to sell cookies?  In Capitol Hill and the Central District.  There are lots of popular stores who have set agreements with GSWW to let Girl Scouts sell cookies outside their doors, and too few Girl Scouts in this area to take all the spots.  This imbalance between supply and demand means that Girl Scouts from other areas get to visit our vibrant neighborhoods and fill the spots left over after the Central Seattle Girl Scouts have signed up for the shifts they want.

So those girls outside the grocery store might be from down the street, or they might be from across town or even from the suburbs.  They may be from White Center, and I may be there with them.  Each of them has a different reason for selling cookies and a different story behind why they love being a Girl Scout. 

In the words of Marina, age 16: “My favorite part of Girl Scouts? If I had to nail down the best aspect about Girl Scouts, out of the hundreds, I would have to say I simply love the feeling. The amazing feeling I get after giving back to the most important place in my life, my community.”  

Jenny, age 14, said, “When I first heard of Girl Scouts I was a 4th grader and I didn’t know what it was but one day my friend invited me and I came to a meeting. In the end, I loved Girl Scouts and I knew that it was something I wanted to be in for a while. Throughout the years I came to have a very strong bond with not only the leaders but the other members, and I know that when I need someone to talk to they are there for me.”

Ranny, a freshman at Evergreen High School who recently won a bicycle in an essay contest in White Center, said that Girl Scouts has helped her by giving her more freedom.  “When I was young, my parents were strict and overprotective. Ever since joining Girl Scouts, they have eased up to let my sister and I go places, do different things.”  And after three years of being in the troop and asking over and over again, they finally let them go Girl Scout camping. “It was such a surprise to us, we almost cried…the trip is something I will never forget.” 

If you are interested in volunteering to lead a troop or want to get involved in Girl Scouts of Western Washington in another way, please contact the Regional Director Emily Nolan via email at [email protected]. Please put “CDNews Article” in the subject line so she will know you’re contacting her about volunteering in our area.

Girl Scout cookies will be available at booth sales at local businesses February 25 through March 13.  Cookies are $4 a box; girls earn between $.55 and $.70 per box.  Girl Scout cookies can be purchased and donated to Operation Cookie Drop, which sends cookies to United States soldiers stationed abroad, or Gift of Caring, which delivers cookies to food banks and shelters.  Ask the Girl Scouts you purchase cookies from about which charitable organization your cookie donations will go to.  Thank you for supporting Girl Scouts. 

Sarap Cafe serves sandwiches, soups and smiles

Sarap Cafe has set up a food truck in the Pratt Fine Arts parking lot at 19th Avenue S & S Jackson Street. Sarap Cafe’s proprietor, Victor, said he set up shop about two months ago. He worked in food service in Las Vegas for many years, but now lives in Kent.

Victor chose to locate Sarap Cafe in Seattle rather than in Kent because food cart regulations are different in the two cities. In Kent, food carts have to relocate every three months, but in Seattle they can stay established in one location for as long as the property owner approves, he said.

Sarap Cafe serves up cold cut sandwiches, egg rolls, noodle soups, milkshakes and coffee.  For $5.20 customers can get a combo consisting of a sandwich, bag of chips, and a can of soda.  Six egg rolls are $3.00 and sandwiches alone are $3.20.  The friendly service is included free of charge. 

Sarap Cafe is open Monday-Friday, 8:30-3:30 and accepts cash only.  

Judkins Street Cafe opening February 15

As we reported on February 9, Charlie’s Flame Broiled Burgers closed their doors on February 12 after just over a year in their location at 2608 S Judkins St.  Thankfully Madison Valley resident Michael McGloin has purchased the building, is giving it a quick update with new interior paint and signage, and is opening Judkins Street Cafe in the location on Tuesday, February 15. 

McGloin said his chef, Steel Orr, has worked in the restaurant business off and on for decades and will be creating classic comfort food, including homemade soups, natural beef burgers, mac ‘n cheese, and lasagna.  They will also have veggie options.  The Judkins Street Cafe menu will also offer selected sweets and pastries in the morning.  The cafe will have a minimal set menu and offer multiple specials that change depending on what is in season and what can be purchased locally.  The restaurant will be serving La Panzanella breads and offer Cafe Vita drip and french press coffees, but no espresso at this time.

“We’ll see,” said McGloin.  “We’ll see what the neighborhood wants and adjust the menu and service accordingly.” 

Judkins Street Cafe will have a soft opening on Tuesday, February 15.  Their regular hours will be Tuesday-Friday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, and they will be closed on Mondays.  

Charlie’s Flame Broiled Burgers go cold

Just over a year ago Charlie’s Flame Broiled Burgers opened their doors at 2608 S Judkins in the Central District. Charlie’s was featured on the Central District News Blog at the end of 2010, and the owner and manager said that business had been good and they had big plans for 2011. On February 6th Charlie’s announced on their web site that they would be closing their doors February 12th, which caught many by surprise.  

Owner Daniel Urenda said that though business has been “pretty steady,” he has back problems that are forcing him out of the restaurant business for a while.  He will be having surgery to repair five ruptured disks in his spine and then will have to be off his feet for a few months.  

“We’re just not busy enough to stay open and have a manager run it when I can’t work,” he said. Urenda said he and his wife owned the building Charlie’s is housed in, as well as the restaurant they opened in Everett last year.  They have sold both properties and hope to reopen Charlie’s in another CD location in about six months. 

“But we’re not going to leave you hanging,” Urenda said.  The new purchasers of the restaurant at 2608 S Judkins plan to immediately open the Judkins Street Cafe on February 14th.  Urenda said the new owner, Michael McGloin, a Madison Valley resident, plans to serve comfort food in the new establishment.  “We tried really hard to find someone who would be a good fit for the community,” said Urenda.  Judkins Street Cafe will be McGloin’s first restaurant, but he’s hired a chef named Steel, a Capitol Hill and Central District resident for many decades, to work his magic in the kitchen.

“You’re in good, capable hands,” said Urenda.  “If the community shows Judkins Street Cafe the same support they’ve showed us, it’s going to be great.”  

Central District residents have four more days to get into Charlie’s for a big juicy burger before the business closes. Urenda said they will be updating their fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter as they look to reopen later this year when Urenda is back on his feet.  In the meantime, we have a new business to welcome to the Central District. 

Chicken keeping in Squire Park

While researching urban chickens for Monday’s article about Kippen House chicken coops, I decided I needed a first hand account of what it’s like to raise chickens in the Central District.  Many CD residents like Rachelle Brown already raise hens in their backyards.  When I asked if I could check out her chicken coop, she was happy to oblige. But she warned me to wear shoes I didn’t mind getting messy.  On that advice I laced up my grunge-era Doc Marten boots and stomped down the block and into my neighbor’s backyard.

Brown and her family keep three bantam chickens in the backyard of their Squire Park home.  For their coop, Brown and her husband, Scott Meola, reworked a box they designed to attach to bicycles for tailgating at football games. Their hens Betty, Bleu and Spartaca appear to be big football fans with a Seahawks logo painted on their coop.  The roof of the coop was the hinged lid of their tailgating box, so it opens easily for cleaning.  Brown and Meola added nesting boxes and some clear plastic roofing to give the hens daylight, which they need in order to stay happy and lay eggs. 

Raising chickens takes time – you can wait up to six months for your first egg. “If you want eggs right away, consider buying year-old hens,” Brown suggested.  She recommends you have at least three, as they are flock animals and need companionship.

To allow their chickens more space to roam safely during the day, they built a larger fenced-in chicken run outside the coop and completely surrounded it with chicken wire.  When she’s home she can open the gate and the chickens can roam freely around her backyard, fertilizing the grass.  Gardeners like chickens because they peck through the soil eating bugs while leaving the fruits and vegetables untouched. 

“They help control slugs, snails, and other bugs in your garden if you let them free range, plus till your soil and garden beds,” said Brown.  She admits, however, that giving them free range of your yard means more mess to clean up.

“Chicken poop is messy and smells, so one must be prepared to manage a mess. The mess gets bigger if you let them free range without restrictions,” she said.  But even that has its benefits.  “Chicken waste is the best fertilizer if it’s been composted properly,” said Brown.

Even with a secured coop and a fenced-in chicken run, raising chickens in the city isn’t easy.  Brown says rats and squirrels find their way into the coop whenever they can to eat the chicken feed.  Parasites and mites on the birds and in the coop have to be mitigated as well, and raccoons, opossums, dogs and hawks are common predators they must beware of.

Additionally, she said finding and purchasing chicken feed can be difficult.  She has driven to Auburn and Federal Way to buy the organic feed she uses for her chickens.  

“I’ve ordered it online too, but that gets expensive because it’s so heavy and costs a lot to ship,”  she said.

Still, Brown insists that the benefits of raising chickens outweigh the challenges.

“Chickens are curious, fun and smart animals, generally pleasant to have around and great for kids to learn aspects of the ‘circle of life’ and how food is produced,” said Brown. Chickens eat your food scraps so you know what’s going into them, you have less waste and, in the long run, better compost.  And of course, one of the greatest benefits is the fresh eggs.

“It’s about 10 minutes a day and an hour cleaning the coop and sanitizing the feeding and watering containers every other weekend,” Brown said.  “It’s not a lot of work, there are just a lot of things to be mindful of.” 

Betty, Bleu and Spartaca certainly seem to appreciate all the attention.

Photos courtesy of Rachelle Brown

Do you raise hens in your backyard?  Do you grow your own vegetables or share a community p-patch or garden?  Have you joined the urban agriculture movement here in the Central District?  Please post your pictures or share your stories to let us know what’s growing in your corner of the neighborhood.