Library needs your ideas

Do you check out books or DVDs from the Library? Do you come to the Library for story time, to use a free computer or listen to an author? Or do you come for homework help for students, Internet access, research, community events, job search activities, or online learning? The Seattle Public Library needs to hear from you!

The Library wants your input on priorities for improvement in four essential areas: hours, books and materials, computers and online services, and maintenance. Strategies for stabilizing Library funding will also be discussed. Please consider attending these community meetings and help improve your library system. For more information, visit and select “Libraries for All: A Plan for the Present, A Foundation for the Future,” or call 206-386-4636.
The community meetings are scheduled as follows:
•10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 7, Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Auditorium (206-386-4636)
•6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, Ballard Branch, 5614 22nd Ave. N.W. (206-684-4089).

If you cannot attend a meeting, you can visit the library online to share your feedback at For more information call 206-386-4636.

Curbed puts Queen Anne in ‘hood final four

Curbed, an online site for real estate goings-on, has put Queen Anne in the final four of its Curb Cup, a competition to see which neighborhood will be the neighborhood of the year. Queen Anne is facing off with Capitol Hill. Curbed has ranked Queen Anne as the underdog claiming a Queen Anne victory would be a “Cinderella story.” Click here to vote.

Ototo, Enza (Polpetta) closing on Dec. 31.

While the closure of Ototo Sushi has been rumored this past week, owner Takashi Ogawa, who has operated the popular sushi restaurant on the hill for 10 years, confirmed today that the restaurant is closing and its last day will be Saturday, Dec. 31. And landlord Sue Wanwig has confirmed that fellow tenant Enza, newly named Polpetta, will also shut down at the end of the year.

In an already  turbulent industry, Ogawa’s restaurant was further hit by the recession and, despite a loyal following of neighborhood customers, could no longer stay operational. Ogawa was paying $5,000 a month in rent and had been in lease negotations with Wandig to temporarily decrease the rent. The idea was considered but nothing came of it. Ogawa said by Dec. 1, he was a month late on rent and received a letter from Wanwig saying as much. The letter further requested he vacate by the end of December.

Ogawa has 10 employees. One, named Hutch, an experienced sushi maker, will pursue options elsewhere as Ogawa will not reopen in a new location.

The popular brick building at the southeast corner of West Boston Street and Queen Anne Avenue North has been in Wanwig’s family for decades. Wanwig has space for six tenants. Ground floor tenants included Ototo Sushi, The Teacup, Museum Quality Framing and Polpetta. The framing shop which is a chain in this region will stay, Wanwig said. Polpetta though, has been given notice to vacate by Saturday, too. The Teacup owner Elisabeth Knottingham had been negotiating her lease with Wanwig but to no avail. She too has employed as many as 10 and the tea shop will vacate by Dec. 31. Knottingham said she will sell tea online and might do some writing.

The timing of three stores closing their doors on the same day is coincidental and likely the result of the bad economy, Wanwig said. “We tried to keep them in as long as possible,” she said. “I’m not sure why everyone reached their breaking point at the same time.”

Wanwig has not listed the space and has no tenants set. But as the building is on a grade, there can be no consolidation of space. She said there are no plans for a large, single tenant to move in. She said she is willing to consider any tenant so long as the business isn’t a detraction to the neighborhood.

Tip jar thief at Le Reve caught on film
The tip jar at Le Reve Bakery, which was full of money a barista was counting on for Christmas money, was stolen Friday.
Just before closing time at the Bakery at 1805 Queen Anne Ave. N., a man in a knitted snow hat and dark-blue jacket with a Pabst Blue Ribbon logo on the back, snatched the tip jar. Unbeknownst to the man, the act was caught on video. Le Reve owner Andrea Nakata sent the video to Seattle Police.
Nakata reported that Emerald City Smoothie just up the street also had its tip jar stolen. Anyone with any information on the thefts should contact Ricardo Martinez of the Seattle police department. The non-emergency line is (206) 625-5011.

Ototo Sushi next to go?

In a potential double dose of bad news following Friday’s report that The Teacup is closing, next-door neighbor Ototo Sushi, at 7 W. Boston St., may be shuttering its doors as well.
A reader, and regular customer at Ototo was speaking with the owner on Saturday and learned that the business may close because an agreement on a lease cannot be reached. The reader reports that the owner may relocate the restaurant.
The View will find out the facts as soon as possible.
And yes, as reported on Friday, The Teacup, owned by Elisabeth Knottingham, is closing at the end of the year. Knottingham. She too could not agree on lease terms with the landlord. Knottingham will keep the website operational and use it to continue selling tea online as she has for the 10 years she has owned the business.

Teacup closing Dec. 31

The Teacup, a popular purveyor of tea on the hill, is closing Dec. 31.

For a couple of days now, readers and tea bloggers have been posting stories and sharing emails alluding to the sudden closure of the Teacup, the popular tea purveyor at Queen Anne’s caffein corner of West Boston Street and Queen Anne Avenue North. Elisabeth Knottingham took over the business about 10 years ago when it was located next door to Scott Cooper and Brian Benninck’s Blue Highway Games. Two years ago she moved into the corner location upon the departure of Tullys.

The View has since confirmed that the Teacup is closing. Its last day is Dec. 31. Staff learned of the decision a week ago. Knottingham plans to continue selling tea online, which has always been an integral part of her business.
“It’s both heartbreaking and heart-wrenching,” Knottingham said of the business’s closing. Her chief concern was with the welfare of her employees. She said some have already received job offers.
Knottingham had been negotiating lease terms with the landlord, but an agreement could not be met. Knottingham isn’t sure of her next move but with a background in physics and in nonfiction writing, she may venture in that direction again.