May 8th, 2013 by Laura
At Queen Anne View, we love tips. Readers help us cover the neighborhood and give us the heads up on new and interesting items. Recent tips? Calva Café closing, a new sushi place on Queen Anne Ave N, Cederberg Tea House – and that’s just from the past week or so. If you see something interesting or newsworthy, send it our way!
While we always dig up what we can on tips, available research sometimes leads us only so far. With that disclaimer, we received a tip on sushi happenings at 500 Mercer St sent in by a reader (thanks, Mark!) that we’ve followed as far as we can at this point.
Genki Sushi is no more
Photo courtesy of Genki Sushi
Here’s the scoop: Genki Sushi at 500 Mercer St closed in March (not sure how that one slipped by us or our usual tipsters…), but a new sushi spot, Ten Sushi, has applied for a business license at the same location.
Ten Sushi has also applied for a liquor license to sell beer, wine, and spirits, and it appears that the applicant, Shinichiro Takahashi, is a former Genki Sushi operations manager. Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available.
If you have any additional info on this spot or any other neighborhood happenings, just let us know.
Tags: business closure, business opening, sushi
May 5th, 2013 by Laura
Several weeks ago a sign went up outside Calva Café – “restaurant space for lease”. When a “for lease” sign goes up with a long-time staple still in the advertised spot, it’s usually not good news for said business. In this case, Calva Cafe is the only restaurant space at 1905 Queen Anne Ave N… and it’s closing.
In the past few days, we’ve received tips from multiple Queen Anne View readers who’ve recently dined at the mom-and-pop Chinese/Sushi restaurant, and I also talked with owner today about the restaurant’s future. After 7 years in business on Queen Anne, Calva Café will indeed be closing on May 24th, just a few weeks away. Calva, like other local Queen Anne businesses, is faced with limited options – pay an increased rental rate they can’t afford or close up shop on Queen Anne.
The landlord of the building has increased Calva’s rent twice in the past few years, and with the end of their current lease, the increase is just too much for them to stay in business on Queen Anne. Just as with Tup Tim Thai, Calva’s owners have always paid their rent and have been good tenants. They just can’t keep up with the cost of renting restaurant space on Queen Anne – an increasing cost that’s hard to understand given the number of empty retail spaces on both Upper and Lower Queen Anne.
Although they would like to keep the restaurant open, Calva’s owners have no plans at this time to relocate, so stop by to get one last home-cooked stir-fry meal or plate of hand-made sushi, and say goodbye before May 24th.
Tags: business closure, Calva cafe, rental rates
May 2nd, 2013 by Laura
Queen Anne is losing another long-time independent business to increasing rents. After 24 years at 118 W Mercer Street, Tup Tim Thai will close its doors on May 28th.
According to a tweet by Hanna Raskin, Seattle Weekly food critic, the restaurant’s landlord is doubling the rent, forcing Tup Tim Thai to close. Per Raskin, Tup Tim Thai’s Nat Chien says that the restaurant has never been late on rent payments or short on customers. So, if you have a favorite dish, you have 25 more days (and counting down) to get your orders in.
As for the new tenant, no word yet.
Tags: business closure, Lower Queen Anne
April 2nd, 2013 by Laura
Sadly, another Queen Anne merchant is closing up shop. Pink Ginger, one of the locally owned businesses at 6th W and Crockett, will close its doors on April 30th.
According to owner Tina Christou, business has been too slow and she’s decided to move on. The location at 610 W Crockett St didn’t yield the foot traffic needed to keep the shop in business, but if she finds a new space, she’ll consider reopening.
The last day of business at Pink Ginger will be Tuesday, April 30th. If you have outstanding credits or gift certificates at the store, please use them prior to the end of the month. Also, during this final month of business, if you shop at the store with cash or debit, you’ll get a better discount than credit card purchases.
Stop by Pink Ginger to say goodbye and wish Tina well – hopefully we’ll see her bring a new venture to Queen Anne in the future.
Tags: business closure
February 27th, 2013 by Laura
First we lost Easy Street Records, it closed its doors in January. Now, it looks like the music is truly going to die this June when Silver Platters’ Queen Anne shop moves to SODO.
Photo courtesy of Silver Platters
According to our news partner, The Seattle Times, the store couldn’t negotiate the lease it wanted. In this case, Silver Platters wanted a longer lease (Easy Street wanted a shorter lease), but it couldn’t get a lease longer than 2 years at the 5th Ave N and Roy St location.
The new SODO digs at 2930 First Ave. S (across from Starbucks HQ) are guaranteed for 5 years, and it’s cheaper to boot. Silver Platters will be moving in June – no word yet on what will fill their place.
From our news partner The Seattle Times:
“Commercial real estate is starting to get on the upswing again,” explained Silver Platters owner Mike Batt (pictured here), who has operated the Queen Anne Store (one of three Silver Platters) since 2007. “(Owners) who are sitting on a property with two floors on it are not looking after their investment.”
And, a familiar refrain:
He emphasized that he was sorry to leave Queen Anne. “If I had the same deal here, I would stay,” he said.
Let’s hope that there’s some light at the end of the tunnel for Lower Queen Anne/Uptown. With many new developments coming in the next year, density will increase – let’s hope the new residents shop local and support our business owners!
Tags: business closure
February 15th, 2013 by Laura
Today marks 3 weeks since Easy Street Records hosted its last in-store performance and shuttered its Queen Anne location’s doors for good. To reminiscence about the loss of one of our independent, locally-owned shops, we have a special guest contributor – Tim Shields was at Easy Street on their last night, watching Yo La Tengo and all of the evening’s events, and he wrote the following article that he’s shared with Queen Anne View.
Easy Street Records, January 2013
Soon-to-be Chase Bank, February 2013
Seattle Bids Farewell to a Musical Institution
by Tim Shields
There were tears. There were goodbyes. There was a marriage proposal. And there was Yo La Tengo, a band underappreciated by the mainstream yet undeniably influential in its own musical community. It was the perfect band to bid farewell to Easy Street Records in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle on Friday, January 18th, 2013. For more than a decade Easy Street has been a staple of the Queen Anne neighborhood and a bastion of Independent music, however, due to the landowner’s request for a ten-year lease, it will soon become a Chase Manhattan Bank.
Waiting anxiously in the crowd were preteens with their parents, gender confused 18-year-olds with braces and lipstick, 20-something hipsters in hunting caps and tight jeans, and balding middle aged music-aficionados who possessed the kind of encyclopedic musical knowledge you’d expect from someone who’s been browsing the record bins for more than a decade.
By the time the crowd started pouring in, most of the record bins had been, or were in the process of, being removed. In the rear of the store behind a sliding garage door was the stage that supported and helped launch countless bands, from Pearl Jam side projects, to Modest Mouse, The Shins, Brandi Carlile, The Head and the Heart, and Macklemore (before he met Ryan).
For more than an hour the crowd waited shoulder-to-shoulder as foreheads beaded with perspiration and colored shirts ran dark around the arms. Shortly before 7pm, Matt Vaughan, who 12-years prior introduced Elvis Costello to open its doors, stood emotionally before the capacity crowd of 500.
He thanked the countless people who supported the store over the years and gushed at the incredible time he had. Behind him on stage were his past and present employees, some who flew in from as far as Los Angeles and Tennessee to attend the historic closing. Arm in arm they stood like proud cast members on closing night of a successful Broadway run; some in tears, some in embrace, some in awe as they moved between the joy of what they experienced and gained and the sadness and lament of what they were losing. [Read more →]
Tags: business closure, Easy Street
January 27th, 2013 by Laura
Another business closure on Queen Anne has come across our radar thanks to tips from readers. Lily’s Pampering Salon & Party Boutique will be closing its doors on January 31st.
The salon catered to girls, with kids haircuts and birthday parties, and offered full salon services for adults as well. The building that houses the salon has been sold, and Lily’s has chosen to close at the end of this month, just a few days away.
From Lily’s blog
Looking back over the past eight years, I realize how much of my life has been enjoyed in this wonderful community here in Queen Anne, and at the heart of it all has been LILY’S. From the mechanics across the street to Italian restaurant’s daughters that come see me for cupcakes….I have built a family here.
So with a heavy heart, I wish you all a fabulous goodbye and thank you for your loyalty and love! Lily’s will be closing January 31, 2013.
Stop in and say goodbye to another small, independent business this week, and pick up some of the last hair and nail accessories that Lily’s has in stock for girls.
Updated 1/28: The building will have a new owner/landlord – no confirmation on if rents will rise or not.
Tags: business closure
January 2nd, 2013 by Laura
What a downer for the start of the new year… Easy Street Records, a Queen Anne icon, is closing on January 18th due to the landlord requesting a new long-term lease that included an increased rent rate. Chase Bank will be the new tenant.
Here’s the letter from Easy Street Records owner Matt Vaughan:
It’s with a heavy heart that we have to say goodbye to our beloved Queen Anne neighborhood. Thanks to you, 2012 was one of our better years. We posted some good sales numbers and hosted some amazing events. We have been at this location for 12 years. We did not want to close.
In the past year, we received various honors and accolades. We were named King County’s Small Business of the Year and Mayor McGinn proclaimed Dec 20 Easy Street Records Day, in which he stated that “Easy Street Records embodies the diverse musical styles that Seattle produces and is an essential part of the community.” We found good reason to be optimistic about 2013.
After fulfilling our 10-year lease, our landlord was looking for another long-term lease. We felt this might be risky, particularly with the current economic landscape of retail and some changes that had affected the neighborhood. Furthermore, the rent that the landlord was looking for was significantly more than what we had been paying. Initially, we were fortunate in negotiating a couple one-year leases. That is what kept us here these last couple of years.
The new tenant, Chase Bank, will take possession of 20 Mercer St on Jan 21. We thank our committed customers, this beautiful neighborhood, our fellow merchants and neighbors, and all of the music lovers and musicians that supported Easy Street Records at this location. We will miss all of you and cherish the memories forever.
We recently signed a new 15-year lease at our original store in West Seattle, where we will carry on the Easy Street tradition of great in-stores, yummy breakfasts, tasty vinyl, and overall, an excellent selection of music. We hope to see you there soon.
Forever grateful, Matt Vaughan and the 20 Mercer Crew
Tags: business closure, Easy Street Records
December 26th, 2012 by Laura
My least favorite blog posts to write are the ones on business closures. It’s never a happy occasion, and we’ve had too many businesses close in the past year. And, speaking with the owners makes it all too real – the businesses that close impact not only Queen Anne, but also the families that have invested their lives in these shops and restaurants.
So, I had a sad conversation today with Farzaneh Forouzan, co-owner of Caffe Appassionato. The coffee shop located at the corner of Galer and Queen Anne Ave N, will be closing on Friday, just a few days away. One of 5 Seattle-area locations for the company, the Queen Anne shop has been serving the neighborhood since it opened in 1997.
Farzaneh and her husband, Ali Lotsi, had hoped to keep the coffee shop open, but the rent for the space became too high for them to afford – a reason that has become all too familiar over the past year as we lose more and more businesses on the top of Queen Anne. They tried to negotiate with the current landlord, as if the rent had been lowered, they could have kept the business open – but unfortunately their requests were in vain.
Despite losing their livelihood, Farzaneh and Ali remain positive about Queen Anne – they love the neighborhood and their customers, and are throwing a “goodbye party” on Friday night to say goodbye to their loyal customers and the Queen Anne neighborhood. The shop will close its business at 3pm, and will then reopen from 5pm-8pm for the Farewell Celebration, which is open to all.
Stop by and say goodbye to a long-running Queen Anne business between now and the Farewell Celebration, and let’s hope for a better 2013 for Ali and Farzaneh, and for all of our local Queen Anne businesses.
Tags: business closure, Queen Anne Ave N
December 8th, 2012 by Laura
Several readers have asked about the future of Queen Anne Books, and, unfortunately we have no good news to report. The store has been emptied of its inventory, and the Facebook page is now Books on Queen Anne – check it out, it’ll keep you up-to-date on book news and hopefully will keep the spirit of reading alive on Queen Anne.
Back in October, we reported the sad news that Queen Anne Books was closing as of October 31st; the owner was looking for a buyer, but there was a limited window – a buyer needed to step up by the end of November. Well, that hasn’t happened, so the store has been cleared out and is now up for lease.
No word yet on a possible lessee for the space.
Tags: business closure, Queen Anne Books
October 19th, 2012 by Laura
We’ve been receiving tips, reader mail, and even a Forum post on rumors that local independent book store, Queen Anne Books, would be either closing or sold in the very near future. We’ve been in contact with Queen Anne Books, and we now have official word on the store’s future.
Today, owner Katherine Hershey sent us the following official statement:
“I am writing today to let you know that I will be leaving Queen Anne Books as of the end of November. This has not been an easy or hastily made decision, and I thank all of you for your loyalty and your commitment to Queen Anne Books during the period of time that I have been a part of the store.
I would like to find a buyer for the store from among the wonderful community of people who have supported Queen Anne Books over the years. I encourage anyone who is interested to contact the store in person, by phone, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
In February of this year, the independent book store was put up for sale, with new owner Katherine Hershey taking over the business in April.
Queen Anne Books has been part of the community since 1988. In 2004, owners Patti McCall and Cindy Mitchell moved the store to its current location, and in 2008, Mitchell sold her interest in the store to McCall.
With the latest change of hands, Queen Anne Books continued to host author readings, book club meetings, and other events, but its future is now uncertain – if you know of anyone with interest in owning a locally-owned, independent book store, please encourage them to contact the store.
Tags: business closure, Queen Anne, Queen Anne Ave N