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. Â 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 theÂ underservedÂ communities of Southeast Seattle. Â When the bike shop went in, it was the only one between Capitol Hill and Renton! Â 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. Â It was Malia’s longest ride and she did great (we took the light rail to get back). Â The key to getting to Columbia City safely on a bike is Renton Ave. S. which runs between MLK and Rainier. Â 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.Â This will, of course, have complex ramifications: some good, some bad. Â One good one, that my kids will appreciate, is that our bike rides will get a little easier.