News Blog for Seattle's University District Neighborhood

 

Can vinyl survive in the U-District?

April 27th, 2011 by master

After opening the doors in February, the owner of Mossy Bottom Records at NE 52nd and Brooklyn believes he can compete in the age of digital music.

“People, even if they don’t know it necessarily, are really wanting community places where they can get together and talk about music and art,” Nick Gorfkle told The Daily. “They also want the neighborhood-shows that you can just walk into and see a bunch of smiling people.”

Read more about this new venture from our news partners at The Daily.

Photo by Patrick Riley, The Daily

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The Shoe Zoo is going out of business

January 30th, 2011 by master

We just received the following email from the owner of the Shoe Zoo near U Village letting us know the store is going out of business. A sale on all remaining merchandise started today.  The Shoe Zoo is located at 2920 NE Blakeley.

Well, it is with a very heavy heart, that after 23 years of taking care of the best customers I could ask for, I must announce, that starting today, we will begin our last sale ever – our going out of business sale. This was a very tough decision to make, but one that had to be made. I can’t give an exact date of how long we will be here, but I must sell everything in the store. You name it, it’s for sale. I will start by making all merchandise 30% off. Hopefully, you can help me get the word out. Please tell everyone you know, who has kids, the news. I would really appreciate it. If this store has made a difference for your families over the years, please come in and pick up a few pair of shoes. Please be sure to use any credits, or gift certificates as soon as possible.

Image from Google street view

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Giggles to Jiggles? Owner doesn't have proper license yet for strip club

November 12th, 2010 by master

Although he’s taken out ads to hire dancers, it appears a plan to turn the old Giggles comedy club into a strip club has a long way to go.  As we reported yesterday, owner Bob Davis told us that he’d obtained all the proper permits and licenses to open Jiggles Gentlemen’s Club on Roosevelt Way.  But we contacted the city and found out he only has a license to remodel the building as a nightclub, meaning he could bring in comedy or musical acts.  Nude dancing would require a cabaret license, which the city says Davis doesn’t have. 

If Davis tried to obtain a cabaret license, there would be one big problem.  The club is across the street from University Child Development School, and Seattle municipal code states an adult cabaret must be at least 800 feet away from schools, daycares, community centers, and parks. 

“Our quick assessment is there are problems,” Alan Justad from the city’s Planning and Development department told us.

We also spoke with an official at University Child Development School who tells us they are waiting to see where the issue goes and will be updating parents.

“Knowing he doesn’t have the license is telling us it’s not going to move forward,” said Stephen Harrison with UCDS.

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Giggles to Jiggles? Owner doesn’t have proper license yet for strip club

November 12th, 2010 by master

Although he’s taken out ads to hire dancers, it appears a plan to turn the old Giggles comedy club into a strip club has a long way to go.  As we reported yesterday, owner Bob Davis told us that he’d obtained all the proper permits and licenses to open Jiggles Gentlemen’s Club on Roosevelt Way.  But we contacted the city and found out he only has a license to remodel the building as a nightclub, meaning he could bring in comedy or musical acts.  Nude dancing would require a cabaret license, which the city says Davis doesn’t have. 

If Davis tried to obtain a cabaret license, there would be one big problem.  The club is across the street from University Child Development School, and Seattle municipal code states an adult cabaret must be at least 800 feet away from schools, daycares, community centers, and parks. 

“Our quick assessment is there are problems,” Alan Justad from the city’s Planning and Development department told us.

We also spoke with an official at University Child Development School who tells us they are waiting to see where the issue goes and will be updating parents.

“Knowing he doesn’t have the license is telling us it’s not going to move forward,” said Stephen Harrison with UCDS.

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Strip club opening in the U-District

November 11th, 2010 by master

The old Giggles Comedy Club at 5220 Roosevelt Way in the University District is about to become Jiggles Gentlemen’s Club.  SeattleCrime.com discovered city records about plans to turn the building into a strip club. 

We contacted the owner, Bob Davis, who tells UDistrictDaily that he’s obtained all the necessary licenses and permits to operate the club.  He expects Jiggles to open in the next couple of weeks.  Right now, he’s still hiring dancers (SeattleCrime.com mentions an ad running in the Seattle Weekly). 

The building is across the street from the playground at University Child Development School, an independent elementary school serving children from ages three through fifth grade. (Thanks Mina for pointing this out.)

Giggles, which had been operating since 1985, closed earlier this year.  The voice mail for the former comedy club explains that it closed “due to increased competition from the Indian casinos and the Moore and Paramount theaters,” which are booking major acts.

We’ll be tracking reaction and new developments in the coming days.

Update: Owner doesn’t have the proper license yet, says city

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Wine superstore opening on NE 45th

October 11th, 2010 by master

Wine lovers whose lust for the grape isn’t satisfied at local wine shops and grocery stores, start planning your trip to the Northwest’s largest wine store. Owner David LeClaire plans to open the 23,000-square-foot superstore Wine World at 400 NE 45th St. in Wallingford by Thanksgiving.

We toured the space, most recently an OfficeMax, with LeClaire while he and workers hurried to prepare the store for its new cork flooring, which will be installed this week.

The enormous store will “blow people away,” LeClaire said. “There’s nothing like what we’re doing in the Northwest.” With its location right off I-5, LeClaire intends for his Wine World to attract oenophiles from all over Puget Sound and beyond.

Northwest wines will take center stage at Wine World; they’ll occupy the entire west section of the store, in front of the dark purple wall pictured above. Along both sides of that purple wall will be tasting bars where wineries will pour samples five nights a week, as well as during the day on weekends. A large area to the right side of the store will be devoted to cheeses, charcuterie, chocolates and flowers.

On the north, pumpkin-colored wall will be beers and a cooler for wine. The green wall will be reserved for eco-friendly wines. The north side of the store will house high-end bottles in a reserve cellar, which will include vanity lockers, lounge chairs and a cigar humidor. The reserve cellar door will be locked because “you don’t want college students stashing a $400 bottle in their backpack,” LeClaire said.

This is the area for wines from outside the Northwest.

An event room (pictured above) with views to the south and west takes up half of the south side of the space. Part of that room will be a curtained “owners lounge” for LeClaire’s 14 investors (and counting) who have funded the $1.4 million venture. In the future, LeClaire plans to add a demo kitchen to the event space.

If either Initiative 1100 or 1105 passes and he can sell hard liquor, LeClaire has set aside space for artisan and harder-to-find liquors, he said. He would plan to leave the bulk sales of less expensive liquor to Costco. Of the initiatives, he said, “It’ll help us if either one passes, but 1100 would be best for us because we’d get a quantity discount on wine and beer as well as hard liquor.”

LeClaire is blunt about the biggest problem he anticipates with the new store — traffic, specifically shoppers trying to turn east on N. 45th after leaving the store: “You could have a great experience here, then wait for 10 minutes at that stop sign and never want to come back.” He said that his staff will educate customers to drive from the parking lot north of the store (where there will be 36 spaces of free parking for Wine World) down the alley to get to 5th Ave. NE.

Good luck making a left turn onto N. 45th St. from this intersection. Take the alley behind Wine World instead, David LeClaire advises.

Since the news first broke that the massive wine store would open in Wallingford, we’ve heard fear for the smaller neighborhood stores such as City Cellars, a half mile to the east at 1710 N. 45th St. LeClaire would like to put any worries to rest: “City Cellars is a nice little wine store, but it’s not a destination. Neighborhood places will still serve the neighborhood; what we’ll do is draw people from all over.”

LeClaire pictures shoppers strolling through the store’s wide aisles, sipping a glass of wine, and taking their time with the excursion. “We want it to be like Ace Hardware meets Home Depot — a huge selection with service,” he said. “The idea is people won’t be overwhelmed, and they’ll feel they were helped. It’s not just shopping for wine, it’s an experience.”

Wine World will be open seven days a week till from 10 or 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.

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Sunfresh Market gets liquor license

September 8th, 2010 by master

That little convenience store at 5501 Roosevelt Way will now be able to sell beer and wine.  Sunfresh Market, formerly known as Veggie Alley, just had its liquor license approved.  It’s not the typical convenience store since it offers local and organic products.  You can even pick up coffee and flowers.

Photo by Laura Bernstein

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New bike shop needs help finding stolen signs

September 2nd, 2010 by master

Update: Ride Bicycles say an employee from the Seattle parks department brought the signs back. They are not allowed to put them on the Ravenna green space.

Less than a week after they opened in the U-District, a local business had its A-frame signs stolen.  Ride Bicycles at 6029 Roosevelt Way had 2 of the signs stolen from the intersection of Roosevelt & Ravenna.  The folks at Ride Bicycles say the signs, that look like the one pictured left, will be expensive to replace.  Call 206-985-7433 if you have any information on the signs.

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U-District grocery stores once again offer wine and beer tastings

September 1st, 2010 by master

Just a few months after state lawmakers gave the green light for permanent beer and wine tastings in grocery stores, some U-District stores are getting in on the action.

The QFC in U Village just applied for an additional liquor license class that would allow them to offer beer and wine tastings.  The Whole Foods on NE 64th was approved for one a few weeks ago.

The state tried a pilot program back in 2008 and legislators in Olympia passed a bill in March to start the tastings again.  Only grocery stores that are 9000 square feet or larger will be allowed to take part.  The tastings have to be offered in a designated area.  The samples have to be 2 ounces or less and customers can only drink up to 4 ounces per visit.

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New restaurant serving Thai and Lao food

August 16th, 2010 by master


We hadn’t noticed the latest addition to the U-District dining scene, but one of our readers did.  Open about one month, Savatdee has moved in at 5801 Roosevelt Way.  The new place has a website, but there’s no menu listed yet.  Over on Yelp, readers say Savatdee is serving up pad thai, beef curry, spicy fried rice, and much more.  Savatdee  replaced the old Blue Onion Bistro.  Thanks to Robby for the tip and the photo.

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