Category Archives: Local Business

Manager hopes Greenwood Market can find a new home in South Seattle

by Michael Harthorne, KOMO Communities (Beacon Hill Blog news partners)

When Greenwood Market is forced to close early next year to make room for an expanded Fred Meyer, one of its managers is hoping to convince ownership to open a new location in a South Seattle neighborhood.

The manager, who lives in Columbia City, asked community council leaders in South Seattle to see what residents think about a new grocery store in their area, pointing out the old Eagles Hall location at Corson and Michigan as one potential site, according to an email from Georgetown Community Council Chair Patty Foley.

The Greenwood Market manager invited anyone with an opinion on a new South Seattle grocery store to email Bill Weymer or Jim Huffman at Town & Country Markets, owner of Greenwood Market.

In her email, Foley asked residents to weigh the benefits of a large, new grocery store in the neighborhood versus what that could mean for smaller neighborhood stores.

Though the Greenwood Market manager is hoping for a new location in South Seattle, Town & Country Markets has not officially committed to a new store or made any decisions regarding future locations.

The Greenwood Market will close when its lease expires early next year to make way for an expansion of the neighboring Fred Meyer, located at 100 N.W. 85th St. The Greenwood Market site will become Fred Meyer’s new home-and-garden center.

The city approved Fred Meyer’s construction permit in September, and Fred Meyer hopes to start work in early 2013.

In addition to Greenwood Market, Town & Country Markets owns the Ballard Market and Town & Country Market on Bainbridge Island.

Hello Bicycle gets some press

Hello Bicycle has come a long way since they opened in Fall 2008. This is what their window looked like then. Photo by Jason Simpson.
Beacon Avenue bike shop Hello Bicycle has been very visible lately in both online and on-air media.

Last month, Seattle Pulp published “Hello Bicycle, goodbye bike snobs,” a profile of the shop and bicycle mechanic Sam Lettes:

“Somewhere in Seattle, one bicycle mechanic isn’t feeling smug. He’s not leering at shop patrons as they push their mangled machines through the shop door. He’s not belittling new customers who’ve never heard the word Shimano. And he’s happy to see penniless pre-teen BMXers hovering outside the shop door.”

Then yesterday, Hello Bicycle founder Miki Nishihata was interviewed on American Public Media’s Marketplace radio show, for a story about small businesses and technology by Steve Henn. You can read the interview or listen to it here.

Hello Bicycle is located at 3067 Beacon Ave. S.

El Centro Christmas tree sale coming soon

Photo by Chip Harlan via Creative Commons/Flickr.
El Centro de la Raza is selling locally-grown Christmas trees and wreaths again this year, supplied by a local family-owned business. Proceeds from the sale will help support El Centro’s programs.

You can pre-order a tree before November 23 to receive a discount, and then pick out your tree from the El Centro tree lot between November 25 and December 21. Prices for trees range from $21-$80 until November 23, and $25-$85 from November 25-December 21. Wreaths are $18-$28 during the discount period, and $20-$30 afterward.

The order form is here. For more information, call 206-957-4605 or email

El Quetzal, La Esperanza approved for new liquor licenses

Two new liquor licenses have been granted to Beacon Hill businesses.

El Quetzal, at 3209 Beacon Ave. S., received a license of the type “Spirits/beer/wine restaurant service bar; off-premises sale of wine.” This was an additional liquor license class beyond their previous license, and allows the restaurant to sell wine by the unopened bottle for off-premises consumption.

La Esperanza de Seattle, at 2505 Beacon Ave. S., received a Grocery Store – Beer/Wine license.

Travelers Tea Co. asks for your support tonight

Travelers Tea Company has added bright new color to the purple house on Beacon Avenue. Photo by Wendi.
The new Travelers restaurant at 2524 Beacon Ave. S. has been open for a month or so now, serving Indian food and also selling Indian cooking supplies from a tiny store in the restaurant. However, opening the new restaurant along with their existing Capitol Hill location has apparently put the business into a financial crunch. Here’s a message posted today on their Facebook page:

Dear Fellow Travelers,

We’ve always been open with our customers, our community, when we’ve needed your help, and you have always come through for us. Thank you for your continuing support that has allowed us to survive 13 years, including some very hard times. Travelers is again at a difficult point, our survival depends upon your support.

We have been really excited about our new restaurant, and we were slammed with customers when we opened the doors. We hired more people, “real servers,” more kitchen support, a Nepali farm woman (seriously!). All great folks. But business has dropped off, and the bills kept coming. Payday is coming, and we need your help.

Here’s what we are doing to make us easy to support

Payroll Party! Thursday night September 22nd, come help us harvest enough bounty to compensate our wonderful staff and get us through our big crunch. To make it a real party we are offering a couple of super deals

Get an extra 20% with any $100 gift certificate
Take 20% off any sale totaling $100 or more

You can add up lots of little stuff and still get the 20% discount. With the certificates, the extra 20% can be a separate $20 certificate if you prefer. We’ll be open at both locations with tasty food and beverages. We have wine and beer too at the Beacon location (try a Taj from India, or a Kingfisher), delicious with pakoras.

Though we don’t like reviewing restaurants until they’ve been open for a few months, we’ve been to Travelers several times already and found the food to be tasty and inexpensive. We like it, and hope they will stay around.

See also this story at the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog.

Tonight: Say goodbye to the Beacon Pub

Photo by Wendi.
Tonight is the last night of the Beacon Pub, and so it’s the Last Ever Beacon Pub Solstice Social, from 7:00 pm to 1:00 am at the Pub, 3057 Beacon Avenue South. The Pub is closing and moving to Hillman City. The current Pub site on Beacon Avenue will become a pizza parlor next year.

Here’s the email Beacon Arts sent out about tonight’s event:

That’s right: the Beacon Pub’s last night is this Wednesday. It’ll be too crazy to get any business done, and it’s not the time of year for business anyway! This will be a good night to get together with friends and remember the good ol’ days and think ahead to the ones on their way. Come have some cheer and a tear for our neighborhood pub! and Happy New Year!

ROCKiT space closed, community challenged to take over

Photo by Jason.
Another establishment on the Hill is closing, this time ROCKit space. The music and art organization on Beacon Avenue is closing due to illness in founder Jessie McKenna’s family. However, the space may not go away if there is the will to keep it alive, as McKenna is offering the space, equipment, and supplies to those in the community who can take it over and make something happen.

In a letter to the neighborhood this weekend, McKenna said: “I propose that those of you out there who feel there is a real need for a place like ROCKiT space to exist in our neighborhood… come forward with your ideas, motivation, financial contributions, whatever you’ve got to make that happen and propose to take it over. Our landlords will be advertising the space in about a week, but are willing to consider a lease extension for another party.”

ROCKiT space provided music rehearsal space and instruments, art supplies and workspace, books on the creative arts, classes in language and the arts for kids and adults, open mic nights, meeting space for local groups, and more. Additionally, it hosted the auditions for performers in last summer’s Beacon Rocks! music event.

Here is Jessie’s letter to the community:

Dear Beacon Hill,

You have been my home, my community, my friends for so long now. ROCKiT space was not our gift to Beacon Hill, but a potential commodity—a community space for us to share and use for whatever need it could fulfill. We have had an amazing go of it, but the time has come to say goodbye. Hundreds of people, probably well over 1,000, have shared ROCKiT space with us. We have laughed, cried, been frightened, overwhelmed with excitement and an outpouring of love and understanding; we have been appreciated and praised and we have used the space in so many ways.

Beacon Hill has confirmed for us what we knew going into this crazy experiment: It isn’t possible to fail when you set out to do something inherently pure and good with all your heart. We shared a vision with you. I want to see a world where people come first, where children are treated as equals, where adults are free to behave as children, where all people are welcome and encouraged and exist in a mindset that we are capable of anything we can imagine. I have truly glimpsed such a world in ROCKiT space and the people who have touched us with their individual and truly unique qualities and in turn have been touched by this place and the dream it represents.

I would like to give the Beacon Hill community the opportunity to turn ROCKiT space into whatever it is you are dreaming about. We have tried to make it a place for all people to share, and maybe it can be just that with enough time, money and energy put into it. But through unforeseen circumstances—a serious illness in the family—we have been forced to face reality. ROCKiT space has enormous potential, but after more than a year now, it is still rarely used as a creative space for teens or adults. Our open mic has been delightfully successful in the past, but has for some time now been a much smaller event. The people are incredible, the talent, the friendships made, but the event is not one that generates revenue for the space.

The hard truth is that these are difficult times for most of us financially. We at ROCKiT space totally understand if this is not a time to try a lot of new things or work a new “hot spot” on the Hill into your routines. And we also get that it’s not for everybody. Many of the people who love ROCKiT and frequent the space are not even members or paying fees to “use” the space. They just genuinely like the vibe and support the mission. We LOVE that! But let’s face it, The wonderful fact of the matter is that kids get it. Kids know how to ROCK iT like nobody’s business. As the community at ROCKiT grew, we saw over and over again just how much children, especially young children and their parents/caregivers got out of the space.

I propose that those of you out there who feel there is a real need for a place like ROCKiT space to exist in our neighborhood, either in more or less its current form or in another form, such as a space dedicated to children and their artistic/creative/social growth, come forward with your ideas, motivation, financial contributions, whatever you’ve got to make that happen and propose to take it over. Our landlords will be advertising the space in about a week, but are willing to consider a lease extension for another party. It’s no done deal, but it’s worth a shot if you are interested or know someone who would be.

I personally am no longer able to continue my outrageous (and totally awesome!) attempt to build ROCKiT from the ground up and see it through to success in whatever shape and form it comes. I have been working on a “volunteer” basis for 16mos and have reached the limit of my ability financially, emotionally and otherwise to keep going. I have learned so much, had the pleasure to get to know countless individuals and meet new, amazing people all the time. I would love to be able to take all the things about ROCKiT space that are incredibly fulfilling and wonderful and shelve the perpetual challenges of starting a nonprofit art space during a recession. But as we all know, it doesn’t work that way.

We would like to offer to the community virtually everything that has been donated to us as well as many things that were purchased specifically for ROCKiT space: musical equipment, art/office supplies and we would love to offer our insight/advice based on our experience to someone who would like to combine it with their own vision and propel the space into 2011.

ROCKiT space is now closed aside from musician rehearsals and one more Tots Jam and Spanish class. The well-meaning gal who has been running the space needs to focus on family right now. If ROCKiT space, or some incarnation of it is to go on, it will go on in new hands. I’m hoping that will be the case! But if it isn’t and we do close our doors with no particular hope of opening them up again, I must say from the bottom of my heart, thank you Beacon Hill for being such a dear friend to me. This is not goodbye, not for me, or for ROCKiT.

ROCKiT space is a state of mind. And I for one will do my very best to maintain that state and continue to share not only that vision, but make it my personal mission to remain grounded, true to myself, my heart and to all of you.

Jessie McKenna
Owner/Operator/Director/Janitor, ROCKiT space NPO
3315 Beacon Ave S
Seattle, WA 98144

A young artist creates at ROCKiT space. Photo by Bridget Christian in the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool on Flickr.

Opinion: Impromptu farmers’ market shows what could be

Photo by Joel Lee.
by Joel Lee

On Beacon Hill we are blessed with a wide variety of produce. From the overflowing displays at McPherson’s, to the tidy convenience of Red Apple Market, we have several opportunities close by. But I’m a firm believer that a healthy economy needs a wide variety of participants and part of that formula needs to be a way for individuals with little or no money to get their foot in the door. I do my best to shop locally but I also have an extra soft spot in my heart for micro-businesses. I have a strict personal rule to never pass a child’s lemonade stand without buying something.

It is with this spirit that I was happy to see an impromptu farmers’ market popped up on Beacon Hill this last Friday in the parking lot along Beacon near the VA hospital. I’m not sure how it got organized or if it will even happen again, but if you happen to see the tents set up there, it’s worth a stop to check it out. We bought a variety of locally grown vegetables from the half dozen stands that were set up including eggplant, corn, and green peppers, but they also had many foods that I was less familiar with, such as bitter melon.

Clearly, from the amount of foot traffic that was at this unadvertised event there is a sustainable demand for this type of service on Beacon Hill, but I would love to see a more permanent and accessible area created somewhere for such a market. Imagine a mini Pike Place Market where not only seasonal foods but handmade arts and crafts could be found. An area like this could become the heart of our neighborhood—and a boost for all of the businesses in our area if we are able to attract shoppers from other regions.

Joel Lee maintains the Beacon Hill Public Art website.

Do you have an opinion? We welcome opinion articles on topics related to Beacon Hill. Please email us your ideas.

Photo by Joel Lee.