Category Archives: Local Business

The Tippe and Drague is open

The Tippe and Drague as it looked in July, before opening. Photo by Wendi Dunlap.

The Tippe and Drague neighborhood pub at 3315 Beacon Ave. S. opened for business this afternoon. When we went by to check it out, there was a cheerful crowd within ordering beer and food, and watching football on TV. The kitchen won’t have a fryer, so the menu consists of sandwiches and salads, including a very evil grilled peanut butter and Nutella sandwich (with optional bacon). There is also fresh popped popcorn—the popcorn machine was formerly installed at the Columbia City Cinema.

You can see the beer list on their website.

Owner Melissa told us that the pub has hired several Beacon Hill neighbors as staff, so the business has not only brought food and drink to the Hill, it’s also brought a few jobs.

ABC Supermarket applies for new liquor license

The ABC Supermarket at 2500 Beacon Ave. S. has applied for a new liquor license of the type “Grocery store: beer/wine.” The listed applicants are ABC Supermarket, Inc., James Che, Jenny Che, and Ky Ho. The license number is 354645.

If you’d like to make any comments on this application, whether positive or negative, e-mail customerservice@liq.wa.gov or send regular mail to:

Washington State Liquor Control Board
3000 Pacific Avenue SE
P. O. Box 43098
Olympia, Washington 98504-3098

ABC Supermarket in 2009. Photo by Jason Simpson.

August changes include new/returning art, opening of Tippe and Drague

The Tippe and Drague is almost open! Photo by Wendi Dunlap.
Change is in the air in North Beacon Hill these days, with the long-awaited opening of the Tippe and Drague Alehouse just around the corner, alongside some new (and returning) art on view around Beacon Hill Station.

We’ve been hearing that Tippe and Drague (in the old ROCKiT space at 3315 Beacon Ave. S.) would probably open this week or next, but Seattle Beer News provides more details on the new establishment, and says that owners Melissa Cabal and Robert McConaughy plan to open next week if all goes well. SBN reports the opening tap list is heavily local, and the menu will include “simple but good food with fresh ingredients; don’t look for any fried food here.” Hours will be 4 p.m. until late, 7 days a week, with weekend brunches.

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Photo by Wendi Dunlap.
In other neighborhood change: the metal banner art designed by Carl Smool has finally returned to Beacon Hill Station. One of the flagpoles fell in a windstorm in March 2011, so the poles were removed to improve them for safety. Earlier this year, Sound Transit tried to reinstall them but discovered a problem, so the poles were removed again. Now, the banners are back to decorate the station plaza once again.

You can see in these photos some indications of how the poles have been retrofitted:

The original pole bases looked like this. Photo from March 2011 by Wendi Dunlap.
Where one of the pole bases broke and fell. Photo from March 2011 by Wendi Dunlap.
The retrofitted pole bases look like this. Photo by Wendi Dunlap.
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Photo by Wendi Dunlap.
Just across Roberto Maestas Festival Street from the station, the El Sabroso taco truck is also looking more artistic these days. The truck was closed for a while this week while it was painted with decorative murals.

Progress at the Tippe and Drague

The new alehouse on Beacon Avenue must be getting a bit closer to opening. The new “Tippe and Drague” sign is painted on the front of the building, and the interior is looking pretty close to completion. At least one subset of customers is already getting served there — neighborhood dogs can drink from the doggie dish outside the door.

Photo by Susan Sanders.
Shiny and new. Photo by Wendi Dunlap.
The interior looks like it will have a warm and cozy feel. Photo by Wendi Dunlap.
Dogs are welcome to drink up. Photo by Wendi Dunlap.

Fortified wines, some beers a bit harder to buy on Beacon Hill

Photo (not of Beacon Hill, as far as we know) by Steve Snodgrass via Creative Commons/Flickr.

Casey McNerthney at SeattlePI.com reports that a pilot program to voluntarily restrict sales of certain beers and fortified wines on Beacon Hill (previously discussed here) has gone into effect.

The plan addresses retailers such as convenience stores, who will receive “strong prompting” (from alcohol distributors and the mayor’s office) to prohibit sales of the problem products between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m., seven days a week. The plan does not include bars and restaurants.

According to McNerthney, the city is providing a kit of suggested options for small businesses that have previously relied on the sales of fortified wine and beer.

Some Beacon Hill neighbors have been working on creating an Alcohol Impact Area (AIA) on the Hill. In an AIA, retailers may be restricted from selling certain types of alcoholic beverages that are linked to local chronic public inebriation problems. This is the list of products currently banned in AIA areas. The current voluntary plan would not preclude the city from eventually creating an AIA if necessary.

We don’t yet know which Beacon Hill businesses are participating in the plan, but we have asked the Mayor’s office for further clarification.

“High-octane” booze sales may be voluntarily restricted on Beacon Hill

Photo (not of Beacon Hill, as far as we know) by Steve Snodgrass via Creative Commons/Flickr.
Retailers in Beacon Hill, Sodo, and Lake City would be asked to voluntarily refrain from selling certain “high-octane” alcohol products during morning hours under a pilot program currently being developed by Mayor Mike McGinn’s office.

Under this voluntary plan, sales of fortified wine and some beers would be prohibited between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m., seven days a week. Bars and restaurants would not be included. Community organizations would be notified if local businesses don’t participate.

According to a report by Casey McNerthney at seattlepi.com, the project will involve a partnership with several alcohol distributors who will encourage local retailers to participate in the program, and will keep track of the program’s progress. The program is still in the planning stages, but could be operating as soon as May.

The voluntary program would not preclude the city from eventually creating an Alcohol Impact Area (AIA) on Beacon Hill if necessary. In an AIA, retailers may be restricted from selling certain types of alcoholic beverages that are linked to local chronic public inebriation problems. This is the list of products currently banned in AIA areas. A group of Beacon Hill neighbors began a drive last year to form an AIA.

The Oak needs support to earn liquor license

This site on Beacon Avenue is being remodeled into The Oak. Photo by Wendi Dunlap.
The much-talked-about Oak restaurant, expected to open on Beacon Avenue this spring, has a problem. Owners Lisa Jack and Mat Brooke have received a letter from the state Liquor Control Board which states that they face possible denial of their liquor license because the Board has received 14 protest letters but only 5 letters of support for the business.

They must respond by March 26 with a statement outlining why the Oak should still be approved for a liquor license, and letters from the community will be considered as well.

Brooke and Jack attended the North Beacon Hill Council meeting last week and spoke about the project. They have taken steps to reduce neighborhood concerns, including locating the 21+ bar portion in the center of the building, to limit exterior noise; no door access to the alley, except for emergency exits; no smoking allowed in the back of the building; and no karaoke or live music. There will be all-ages kid-friendly dining space. The menu is planned to be “family-friendly” comfort food such as burgers,salads, macaroni and cheese, and sweet potato fries, with lunch and dinner seven days a week until 10 p.m. as well as weekend brunch. Ingredients will be locally-sourced.

Brooke and Jack will not be absentee owners; at the meeting, they explained that they will be living at the site themselves, and have a direct stake in the quality of the neighborhood.

After the NBHC discussion, several neighbors who live or work adjacent to the Oak site and had attended the meeting to express their concerns about a possible “tavern” moving in indicated that their concerns had been addressed and they seemed to have a much more positive feeling about the new restaurant.

It is unclear whether the protest letters the Liquor Board has received were sent before the NBHC meeting. When the news came out on the Beacon Hill mailing list last night about the Oak’s difficulty with the Board, the reaction on the list was one of surprise, with several subscribers expressing their intent to write in support of the business. In the previous discussion on the Beacon Hill Blog, the comments were overwhelmingly in favor of the Oak.

If you would like to express your opinion on the Oak, send a (snail mail) letter to the Liquor Control Board at:

Washington State Liquor Control Board
Licensing and Regulation
P.O. Box 43098
Olympia, WA 98504-3098

Here’s what has to go in the letter:

Referencing The Oak
License #408904
3019 Beacon Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98144-5853

“Lotto luck” on Beacon Hill

The Hilltop Red Apple on North Beacon Hill and the Aloha Market on South Beacon Hill sell a lot of winning lottery tickets. Photo by Wendi Dunlap.
You might be able to pick up a little luck with your lettuce at a couple of Beacon Hill retailers. Washington’s Lottery just announced the retailers in the Puget Sound region that sold the most winning lottery tickets of prizes worth $1,000 or more in 2011. Though the top store on the list is in Yelm, Beacon Hill stores took slots two and three on the list. The Aloha Market at 7762 Beacon Ave. S. had 15 $1,000+ wins, and the Hilltop Red Apple at 2701 Beacon Ave. S. had 14 $1,000+ wins.

The only other retailer in the Seattle city limits to finish in the top ten was the Lake City Fred Meyer, ranked seventh with 12 “big wins.”

According to the Lottery, “the Hilltop Red Apple on Beacon Ave. South in Seattle is a regular to this yearly list.” Last year the Red Apple tied for fifth place on the list with nearby Uwajimaya, with 13 wins. It’s not likely that your odds are better at the Red Apple—it’s that the volume of lottery ticket sales there is very high. Though we haven’t been able to get this year’s stats, the Red Apple has previously been the state’s highest-grossing outlet for lottery ticket sales.

In the last few weeks, Floyd A. Goffney won $1,000 from a ticket purchased at the Red Apple, but Zack H. McCain topped that with a $10,000 win.

City making investment in Beacon Hill’s business district

Today, Mayor Mike McGinn announced a $1.1 million investment in 19 neighborhood business districts, including Beacon Hill, as part of the Seattle Jobs Plan.

Of that $1.1 million, the lion’s share is going toward “comprehensive, multi-year” strategies” developed by the business communities in some neighborhoods, including the Central Area, Chinatown/International District, Columbia City, MLK (Rainier Valley), Rainier Beach, and others. Beacon Hill is not included in this list.

However, $142,500 of the total will be going to support focused investments in certain neighborhoods, along with the Only In Seattle marketing campaign and a drive to form Business Improvement Areas (BIA). Beacon Hill won’t be getting a BIA or the Only In Seattle push, but the neighborhood will be seeing focused investment, as will several other neighborhoods, mostly in south Seattle: Belltown, Columbia City, Georgetown, Madison Valley, Rainier Beach, Sodo, South Park, and White Center. Still, once you divide $142,500 among all of those neighborhoods, it’s probably going to be a relatively small investment here on the Hill.

We’re not yet sure what sort of “focused investments” Beacon Hill is in line for, but we are gathering further information. Stay tuned.

Some neighbors not happy about The Oak

This flyer recently appeared on doorsteps near the location of the planned new bar/restaurant, The Oak.
[Editor’s note: Gwen Lewis’ letter has been edited on 2/22 to remove her address and phone number.]

Online reactions to The Oak, the new restaurant/bar planned to open soon on Beacon Avenue South, have generally been positive. However, not everyone is thrilled about the new business. Residents living in the area around the Oak, at 3019 Beacon Ave. S., recently found flyers on their doorsteps bearing the headline “Are You Aware?”

“Are you aware that there is a pending application with the Washington State Liquor Control Board for our new neighbor @ 3019 Beacon Ave. South to operate a TAVERN in our neighborhood? … This will definitely impact all of us (positive or otherwise) but the bottom line is that we should have a say about this matter. We are asking you to get involved!”

The flyer suggests sending objections to Alan Rathbun of the Liquor Control Board, as well as to James Kenny, the Assistant City Attorney, then ends with the appeal “Act Now … Participate … Beacon Hill is also yours!”

Redd Mateo is the contact person listed on the flyer. The Beacon Hill Blog asked Mateo how many people are involved in the group protesting The Oak, and he said “I can’t tell you that as of yet but from the initial input we gather, there is a good number of neighbors (mostly with children).” Asked about his group’s specific concerns with The Oak, he listed several potential issues: littering, noise, crowd control, and public urination. “The bar they operate in Capitol Hill opens from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Assuming that they close at 10 p.m., who will stop them from extending those hours to 2 a.m.?”

Mateo forwarded a letter written by another neighbor, Gwen Lewis, addressed to the Liquor Control Board and objecting to The Oak’s liquor license. (Read the letter here.) Lewis’ letter includes a concern that “…Beacon Baptist Church, Beacon Lutheran Church, and the Beacon Hill Library may be within 500 feet.” (According to Google Maps, the Oak would be roughly 630 feet from the front door of the Library, about 730 from the Baptist Church, and roughly 800 feet from the front door of the Lutheran Church. The Lutheran Church no longer operates but there is still a preschool on the site.)

The letter also alleges “chronic illegal activity (Per RCW 66.24.010) associated with the applicants operations of the premises proposed to be licensed AND the applicant’s operation of another licensed premise.” The letter then describes circumstances at the owners’ other establishment, The Redwood, back in 2006 when the bar had newly opened and had problems with some of its neighbors on Capitol Hill, who complained about noise and filed a zoning complaint with the Department of Planning and Development (DPD). However, The Redwood’s case with the DPD has been closed since 2007 and the business is still operating at the same location on Capitol Hill.

Other allegations in the letter include statements that the Oak’s owners have worked on the property without permits and were issued a violation, and that representatives of the Oak “informed neighbors that the applicant was opening up a coffee shop (but) on February 6 the applicant posted a liquor license application notice.” According to the DPD website, there was a complaint and violation last month, but the Oak’s owners have also received two permits since that date.

Lewis’ letter also brings up the 2008 shooting at the Beacon Pub, limited parking in the area, and a “known drug area at nearby Triangle Park” (Stevens Place Park) as additional reasons to object to the Oak’s liquor license application.

Lisa Jack, one of the co-owners of The Oak, was shocked to hear about the flyers and the opposition by these neighbors. She told the BHB, “When buying this building we were told that Beacon Hill would support this move wholeheartedly as they were looking for new fun businesses. The Redwood is an entirely different establishment in an entirely different neighborhood; it would be lovely if one of these disgruntled people would just come talk to us.”

She added, “We have been very honest with everyone, even in the early stages of not knowing what it would be… we have said ‘restaurant/lounge that will serve children as well in the dining area.’ We intend The Oak will be a neighborhood place for Beacon Hill residents and we hope to have weekend brunch too.”

Mateo and Lewis are concerned that The Oak, as a drinking establishment, won’t be a good fit for the location, which is a commercial building but has residences directly adjacent to the south and west. Mateo said, “Please don’t get me wrong. I really welcome new business in our neighborhood… just like that new pizza place. What a great place. But a tavern is totally different. This is something that will impact a lot of people in the neighborhood.”

Jack, who along with co-owner Mat Brooke is moving to the neighborhood herself, is disappointed at the turn of events. “It seems like the responses in your blog as well as passers-by have been very excited by what we are doing. It breaks my heart that we may have to struggle once again to make a good honest business.”