Seattle's Queen Anne Neighborhood News Blog


A&J Meats ends an era this Saturday; KING 5 video covers their last Thanksgiving on Queen Anne

November 27th, 2014 by Laura

A&J Closing SignYou may recall when we broke the news on the looming closure of A&J Meats earlier this month. Thanks to a reader tip, we found out that A&J had just posted a placard stating that owner Rick Friar was retiring and A&J would be closing after 63 years.

This week, A&J was busy as it sold over 700 turkeys for today’s Thanksgiving meals. Did an A&J grace your table today? Or is one in the oven? Well, it’s the last one… at least from A&J.

When we spoke to Friar a couple of weeks ago, he said they were working to get a butcher in the same spot. Wild Salmon Seafood rents their counter space from A&J, and have a lease through the end of the year. Neighboring McCarthy & Schiering Wine Merchants have a 2-year lease.

In a KING 5 story that aired last night, Friar reiterated that he’s working hard to find a new owner for the butcher shop, and the new owner has to be the right fit. Ideally, a new butcher would mean that  hope is that current A&J employees would be able to remain on staff.

You can view the KING 5 coverage by clicking on the image below – and remember, A&J’s last day is Saturday:


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Bid farewell to a Queen Anne institution as A&J closes its doors after 63 years

November 3rd, 2014 by Laura

A&J Building nightDuring yesterday’s Seahawks game, we received an email from a reader who let us know that A&J Meats is closing after 63 years in business on Queen Anne. A true Queen Anne fixture, the butcher at 2401 Queen Anne Ave N draws loyal customers from both our neighborhood and beyond.

I was already planning to head to A&J after the game to pick up something for dinner. They close at 6pm and I got there as they were closing up for the night. However, true to their exceptional customer service, they offered to get me anything I needed.

A&J Closing SignIt’s that type of customer service that will be missed by many Queen Anne residents. Rick and Julia, A&J’s owners, have decided to retire and close the business at the end of this month. Rick’s been working in the family business since age 11, so it makes sense for him – but it’s going to be a big loss for our neighborhood.

A&J opened for business on Queen Anne in 1951 at the corner of W McGraw St and 6th Ave W.  Rick’s father, Jerry Friar – the “J” in A&J – started the market with a business partner. He moved A&J to its current location on the corner of Queen Anne Ave N and McGraw St in 1972. Rick took over the business in 1989. Now, 25 years later, he’s ready to retire the family business.

The shop will be open through the Thanksgiving holidays, and I was advised to let readers know to get holiday orders in asap – so if you’ve been putting off ordering a fresh turkey, rib roast, or whatever else graces your Thanksgiving table, do it today.

In an online world, A&J has always remained old-school, so get your orders in via phone (206-284-3885) or stop by in-person (note: they’re closed on Mondays). Either way, be sure to say goodbye to the great staff at A&J and wish them well in their next endeavors.

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Kidd Valley closes Queen Anne location to make way for CVS

September 3rd, 2014 by Laura

Kidd Valley closedThe Kidd Valley at the corner of Mercer St and Queen Anne Ave N has closed up shop. A sign on the door stated that September 1st was its last day in Queen Anne.

The building that houses Kidd Valley will be demolished for the upcoming construction on a CVS Pharmacy location. We first reported on the short future for the Queen Anne Kidd Valley last summer.

More on the upcoming new development is in our August 16th post.

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Floyd’s Place closes its doors

June 28th, 2014 by Laura

Floyd's PlaceWe’ve had a few readers let us know that Floyd’s Place closed earlier this week.

According to one tip, Tuesday, June 22nd was the the bar/restaurant’s last day operating at 521 1st Ave N.

Floyd's Place closedThere are no permits or plans for the space per the Seattle Department of Planning and Development, and it isn’t currently listed for sale or lease (yet).

A sign on the door thanks Queen Anne residents for their patronage over the years.

No other information is available at this time, and the Floyd’s Place web site is no more. If you know any details on the closing, let us know.

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Unique boutique charley + may closing by the end of the month

January 8th, 2014 by Laura

CharleyMaySignOne of the phrases that always comes to mind when I think of charley + may is “unique boutique” – and, sadly, this post may be the last to use that phrase. Queen Anne is losing one of our independent shops, as charley + may is closing by January 31.

The email I received from owner Lauren Formicola explains it best, so I’ll leave the rest of the post in her words:

“we were not too big to fail. charley + may co, is a wee shop that must close.”
— shopkeeper lauren formicola

why is charley + may closing?
with deep regrets and sadness, I must close charley + may co.  after three years the shop is not self sustaining and growth of the shop is limited due to location, space and low pedestrian traffic.  although it was showing a small tick up in revenue the shop fell short most months. darn it!

what now?
stop in and say goodbye. grab some deals and steals on your favorite merchandise.
all inventory must be sold and all the fabulous display pieces too!!! 30%-75% off most merchandise. display tables include: a large guatemalan table, bar cart, distressed wood tables and other great finds. more later on pricing.

hours and dates of sales.
open: wednesdays-friday 11-6, saturday 11-5, sunday 11-5
doors will be closed by January 31.

thank you.
a big thank you to all the families, individuals and fellow merchants who i have enjoyed knowing and seeing in my shop. so many people like you have supported charley + may co.

I am truly sorry that I can’t be there the next time you have a gift emergency, or your hard to buy for uncle is coming into town, or your dog sitter needs a reward, or a stocking needs stuffing, or you need a special locally designed piece of jewelry, or fluffy needs a biscuit, or a new baby arrived and a wee gift is in order, or the office party requires an unusual white elephant gift or you simply need a place to hang out and catch up on the avenue.
big cheers to all of you. thank you so much for supporting charley + may co., for the last three years.

I hope to see you during the sale and to say goodbye.
charley + may co.

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The Golden Olive to open in Sam’s Sushi spot

January 7th, 2014 by Laura

Golden Olive SamsOver the holidays, a reader wrote in to ask about Sam’s Sushi – Sam’s is closed and a sign is up in the window announcing “The Golden Olive” coming soon.

Nothing is coming up in business or liquor license applications for the new Mediterranean restaurant. All we know at this point is that it’ll replace Sam’s at 521 Queen Anne Ave N sometime this month (January).

The Sam’s awning and signage is still up, so an educated guess on “when” would be late January.

If you know anyone at The Golden Olive, let us know.

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In a sushi swap, looks like Ten Sushi to replace Genki Sushi at 500 Mercer

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 QA

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.

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Rising rents continue to impact Queen Anne businesses – Calva Café to close May 24

May 5th, 2013 by Laura

CalvaSeveral 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.

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Rising rent forcing Tup Tim Thai to close May 28

May 2nd, 2013 by Laura

tup_tim_thaiQueen 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.

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Local boutique Pink Ginger to close at the end of April

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.

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Say it isn’t so – Silver Platters leaving Queen Anne for SODO

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!

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Three weeks later – a reflection on Easy Street’s last night on Queen Anne

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 →]

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