I was at The Station the other night having a drink with some friends (Thanks Luis!), and we got to discussing Columbia City and how much it has changed over the past 10 years. Today, there are a number of great destinations there including Empire Espresso on Edmunds (best latte in Seattle, though they can’t touch The Station’s Mexican mochas); Columbia City Cinema (now playing: Black Swan and a couple movies about hornets); Tutta Bella (a stopgap until we get our own brick oven pizza place); Full Tilt (old school video games and small batch ice cream… ’nuff said); a bakery, bar, toy store, etc.; and—of course—Bike Works!
Bike Works was established in the mid ’90s with the goal of promoting cycling in the underserved communities of Southeast Seattle. When the bike shop went in, it was the only one between Capitol Hill and Renton! They currently run the earn a bike program for kids and are generally bicycle angels in our midst. I biked there with my kids a few months ago to get some hand grips for Kai’s bike. It was Malia’s longest ride and she did great (we took the light rail to get back). The key to getting to Columbia City safely on a bike is Renton Ave. S. which runs between MLK and Rainier. You can see our mapped route with videos here.
There are many reasons why Columbia City has changed so much while Beacon Hill has not (topography, demographics, arterial access) and I am sure the next 10 years will bring similar change to our community. This will, of course, have complex ramifications: some good, some bad. One good one, that my kids will appreciate, is that our bike rides will get a little easier.