Seattle's Queen Anne Neighborhood News Blog


Weekend Roundup – On & Around Queen Anne, Holiday Edition

December 23rd, 2012 by Laura Fonda

It’s been pretty quiet this past week as people prep for the holidays, packing for travel, last minute shopping, or finishing up work before the holiday. Here are the closures and events for the holiday week:

Holiday Closures:

  • Seattle Public Library – closed Monday, Dec 24 and Tuesday, Dec 25
  • City of Seattle – offices closed Tuesday, Dec 25
  • Free Parking Days – Tuesday, Dec 25th and Tuesday, January 1st are Free Parking day in Seattle
  • Garbage & Recycling – no collection on Tuesday, Dec 25 or Tuesday, January 1
    • if your pickup day is Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, collections will be one day later both weeks

Traffic Impacts:

  • Aurora Bridge: Bridge reduced to one lane in each direction 9pm-5am Wednesday, Dec 26 through Thursday, Dec 28; Fremont Way N southbound on-ramp to the Aurora Bridge will be closed 9pm-5am Sunday, Dec 22 through Wednesday, Dec 27

Multi-Day Events:

Sunday, December 23

Tuesday, December 25

Have an event that you would like us to report on? Drop us an email at

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emmer&rye to Close This Sunday, October 28

October 25th, 2012 by Laura Fonda

More sad news about a local Queen Anne business – emmer&rye has announced that they are closing after dinner service this Sunday, October 28. It’s just a few days away, and follows on the heels of closing announcements from Queen Anne Books and Pinkabella Cupcakes.

emmer&rye has been in its Queen Anne Ave N location for almost 3 three years, but rising costs have forced chef Seth Caswell to shutter the Queen Anne location. In the statement from emmer&rye, there’s a vision for another venture in the future in a “neighborhood near you” – so, we’ve likely lost another local, independent Queen Anne business for good.

And, for this particular loss, we do have some insight as to why – rising costs and a space that doesn’t quite fit with the restaurant’s vision. The email from emmer&rye reads as follows:

“With restaurants operating on such tight profit margins, it is very difficult to deal with the increasing cost of goods and services today. My bills are 150% higher than they were when emmer&rye opened, but the check averages are the same.

Initially, I was attracted to the large, beautiful house in this quaint neighborhood, but I have seen repeatedly that Seattle diners really want to be supporting small, intimate spaces where they can be more attached to the stories that the food has to tell. So, with an awesome private dining room, two outdoor seating areas and a large dining room, the house proved to be much too large for the needs it was trying to fill. Despite the immense pleasure I receive from cooking for each and every guest, I felt too distanced from many of the diners and became uncertain if my message was being transferred through the plates of food.”

The full note to emmer&rye customers is also online.

As always, we will mourn the loss of another local business. If you’re wondering what you can do to stem the loss of our local, independently-owned businesses – while there’s not much we as residents can do about rising rents and costs, we can patronize these businesses and spend locally.

emmer&rye, we wish the best for the staff and any future endeavors.

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Week-long library furlough begins today

August 29th, 2011 by Thea

Due to budget cuts, the Seattle Public Library system has closed down for a week-long furlough beginning today, Monday, August 29 until Sunday, September 4. All branches will also be closed the following day, Monday, September 5, for Labor Day, reopening on Tuesday, September 6.

From the Seattle Public Library:

The week-long closure will help the Library achieve its $3.7 million budget reduction target for 2011. The closure will save approximately $650,000. The closure will mean salary reductions for nearly 640 employees who will not be paid during that week and who are taking cuts in their cost of living adjustments. In addition, the book budget has been reduced, positions have been eliminated and 2010 cuts to branch hours have continued this year. Fifteen branches are only open 35 hours a week.

No materials will be due and no fines will be charged during the one-week closure, and most library services will be unavailable, including book drops, Wi-Fi,  regular programs and events in library meeting rooms, TeleCirc (the library’s telephone circulation service that provides patrons with information on their library account), and text, email or or phone communication with a librarian.

Access to the online catalog will be limited to searching and checking library records, but patrons won’t be able to place holds.

Some online services will remain available, including the calendar of events; the SPL Mobile page; online payment of fines and fees; library podcasts; access to premium online databases, including Britannica Online,, Mango Languages, Consumer Reports and Morningstar Investment Research Center; access to downloadable media, such as e-books and audiobooks, songs and movies; and digital collections, such as photos from the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Collection, the Northwest Art Collection and The Seattle Historical Photograph Collection; the Seattle City Directory Collection; and the Century 21 Exposition Digital Collection.

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All Seattle Public Libraries to close Aug. 29-Sept. 5

July 11th, 2011 by Thea

The Seattle Public Library system will be closing down for the week before Labor Day weekend, from Monday, August 29 through Sunday, September 4 due to citywide budget cuts. All libraries will be closed for the Labor Day holiday Monday, September 5. Regular Library operations will resume Tuesday, September 6.

Most Library services will be unavailable during the one-week closure and will have the following impacts:

No materials will be due and no fines will be charged.

The last day to check out Library items before the closure is Sunday, August 28. The Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., will be open until 6 p.m. that day and another 11 branches will be open until 5 p.m. Visit or call 206-386-4636 for more information on Library locations and hours.

No book drops will be open. The Central Library book drops will close at 8 p.m. Sunday, August 28 and will reopen at 6 a.m. Tuesday, September 6.

If you’re desperate for library access, the Lake City Neighborhood Service Center and parking garage will remain open. It is co-located with the Lake City Branch, but has a separate entrance. The Ballard Neighborhood Service Center, which is co-located with the Ballard Branch, will stay open as well.

August 29 through September 4 was the week selected for the closure because general Library use at that time is not as high as other times during the year, school is not in session and there are fewer Library programs scheduled.

For more info, visit the Seattle Library site.

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Sezoni restaurant suddenly closes

June 24th, 2011 by Thea

After just over two years in its new incarnation, Sezoni Gourmet Pizzeria & Restaurant has closed. From the same family that ran Vincenzo’s for five years (in the house on Queen Anne Ave N and McGraw that now houses Tenoch), Sezoni opened in the former Ace Hardware space in March 2009 (1515 Queen Anne Ave. N.) as an Italian, Greek and Mediterranean restaurant.

Now just two years and a few months later, Sezoni has shuttered its doors somewhat suddenly.

“Walked by Sezoni (ex-Vincenzo’s) last night and there was a big Closed sign on the door,” writes Mark. “Another good restaurant gone? Just had pizza from there last week!”

Exactly why Sezoni’s owners decided to close up shop is still unknown, as is what, if anything, will replace it. A voice mail left with the business, as well as a note to its reservations email account, have not yet been returned. While Sezoni’s website is still active, its online ordering system has been disabled. There is no information on its Facebook page as to why the business has closed. We’ll update this story as soon as we learn more.

* Thanks to Mark Taylor for the tip.

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Monkey Love Rubber Stamps to close

June 15th, 2011 by Thea

After 16 years in Lower Queen Anne, Monkey Love Rubber Stamps owner Sandy Ono says she has decided to close the store’s physical location and transfer her business over to its online store full-time.

Monkey Love will most likely close on or around next Friday, June 24, according to Ono, though she has not set a definite close date yet. When it does shut, it will make the third closure this month within one block of Uptown’s retail district–following the closures of Nucleus hair salon just down the street last week, and Wanna Noodle on Mercer the week before that.

Ono says it will be hard to close the store after 16 years on Queen Anne Avenue (11 of those just five doors down from Monkey Love’s current location), but she is ready to move to online-only.

“I decided to just go with my eBay store,” she said, adding that the hardest part about closing will be letting go of the community. “It’s going to be hard not seeing the customers I’ve known for years now, not seeing them as often.”

In the remaining time Ono is clearing out Monkey Love’s stock with a closing sale. The store’s wood mounted stamps are 35 percent off, scrapbook paper and ribbon by the yard are 50 percent off, and almost everything else is at a 25 percent discount, she says.

While Ono will be continuing to sell Monkey Love stock through its eBay store, she says that not everything will be making the transition from the physical storefront to the online one–most of the online store will be made up of wood mounted rubber stamps, with select other items. So if you’re a fan of Monkey Love in need of some of its more obscure items, better stock up now.

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Wanna Noodle closes, new operator going in

June 8th, 2011 by Thea

If you’ve walked down Mercer Street lately  you may have noticed that Lower Queen Anne’s newest restaurant Wanna Noodle, which opened its doors just two months ago, inexplicably closed last week.

Since the closure we’ve received a number of emails from Queen Anne-ers wondering why this new Asian fusion noodle shop left so suddenly, many of whom were disappointed to hear the news.

“We really liked the place and went there pretty often,” Mark Taylor wrote. “It’s very weird.”

There isn’t a lot of information indicating why the new business closed. Wanna Noodle’s website has since been taken down and now redirects to a Wikipedia page on Noodles. Wanna Noodle’s Facebook page has also been taken down, and there are no faulty permit applications, liquor license or restaurant inspection problems for the business on file with the city. An email to the former Wanna Noodle contact address has not yet been answered.

While the reasons for Wanna Noodle’s sudden closure is somewhat of a mystery, Hesch & Shain commercial real estate broker for the space at 12 Mercer Street, Constance Shain, confirmed that the business is officially closed.

“It is unfortunate that the former business has closed,” Shain said. “And it is not because they weren’t doing well.”

Shain wouldn’t elaborate on why the business has shuttered its doors, but she did add that a new operator will be going into the space, “though I can’t confirm what the concept will be,” she said.

We’ll keep following this story, and will update this post with any developments.

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Nucleus hair salon closing Wednesday

June 7th, 2011 by Thea

Lower Queen Anne’s Nucleus hair salon, at 621 Queen Anne Ave N, is closing up shop at the end of the week, according to owner Will Francalangia. The last day the salon will be taking appointments will be tomorrow, Wednesday, June 8.

Francalangia, who opened the Queen Anne Nucleus two years ago, says he was growing tired of running his own business, and the neighborhood’s customer base never really took off at this location. For ten years Francalangia owned a second Nucleus in Capital Hill, which he sold last year, and he says that location had greater foot traffic and more community interest in the business.

“This particular part of the neighborhood is not really conducive to a cool hair salon,” he said.

“Nucleus was put up for sale on May 5th, and after entertaining a few interested buyers, a suitable offer was not made, and I’ve decided to close up shop,” he said. “Not exactly the way I would have liked to end things, but fortunately, things are working out.”

Francalangia will be taking appointments at Nucleus through Wednesday, moving out by Friday, and will be taking clients at another local hair salon – Mars Hair/Art/Life, located on Lake Union on the east side of Queen Anne at 2046 Westlake Ave N #202. Mars Hair is the new project of former Nucleus stylist Jake Gravbro, and it is becomming home for 3/4 of Nucleus’ staff. Along with Gravbro and Francalangia, Nucleus stylist Kala Armijo has also moved over to the new salon.

“Jake had been working toward opening his own salon for awhile, and when he left, I put Nucleus up for sale,” Francalangia said. “Jake, has all the desire in the world to be a salon owner, and promote the online portion of the salon as well, so I feel like we’re in good hands.”

No word yet on what, if anything, will be replacing Nucleus. But for the time being if you’d like to take a piece of the hair salon home with you, Francalangia is selling the one-of-a-kind vanities (pictured above) that he decorated with favorite hair styles and old family photos for $100 each. There are three left, so if you’re interested in snatching one up, swing by Nucleus this week.

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Shuttered movie house to reopen with new focus

June 3rd, 2011 by Thea

Ballard’s Majestic Bay Theatres (2044 NW Market St) is one of the few remaining independent neighborhood movie houses in Seattle. Lower Queen Anne’s Uptown Theatre closed back in November, and the Neptune Theater in the U District followed soon after, recently closing its doors, the latest casualty to hit Seattle’s small movie houses. Unlike the Uptown Theater, which is sitting empty until AMC’s contract runs out in three years time, the Neptune has been saved from both sitting idle and from the wrecking ball, and will soon become a live music venue.

Students from the UW Entrepreneurial Journalism class, taught by our partners at the Common Language Project, talk with former employees of the Neptune who say the closure could have been prevented.

Continue reading “The rebirth of the Neptune Theatre“

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Prepare for Mercer Street on and off-ramp weekend closures throughout the month of May

April 27th, 2011 by Thea

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is preparing for more weekend-long closures at the Mercer Street on and off-ramp to I-5 throughout May.

Work that is part of Mercer Corridor Project will shut down the on and off-ramps for at least two weekends this month: Friday, May 6 to Monday, May 9, and Friday, May 20 to Monday, May 23. The Mercer Street exit and on-ramp may also be closed for a third weekend, from Friday, May 13 to Monday, May 16, pending final coordination with other major work projects in the area.

The I-5 on-ramp at University Street will be concurrently closed to provide more efficient traffic flow around the closed Mercer Street exit lane. Fairview Avenue N will also be closed between Mercer Street and Valley Street. All detour routes will be clearly marked to support traffic flow around the closures.

Mercer Street ramp closures are required for utility installations on Fairview Avenue N at Mercer Street, including water, sewer, electrical and communications line installations, as well as to align the existing on- and off-ramps with the future westbound lanes of Mercer Street.

During weekend closures, Metro Transit plans to reroute its bus service on routes 70, 71, 72, 73 and 83 off of Fairview Avenue N from 11:00 p.m. on Friday to 5:00 a.m. on Monday. Buses will be rerouted via Eastlake Avenue E: northbound between Mercer Street and Galer Street; and southbound from Galer Street to Thomas Street. Rerouted buses will serve posted stops on Eastlake Avenue E, but will not make any stops on the cross streets between Eastlake and Fairview.

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Mercer Street I-5 on/off ramp closed this weekend

April 15th, 2011 by Thea

Queen Anne-ers used to taking the Mercer Street on ramp and exit will have to find another way to and from I-5 this weekend. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will be closing down the I-5 on and off ramps at Mercer Street in the first of four upcoming weekend closures due to utility improvements and ramp re-alignment work needed as part of the Mercer Corridor Project.

The closure will begin at 1 a.m. on Saturday, April 16, and run until 1 a.m. on Monday, April 18. There will also be a concurrent closure of the northbound I-5 on-ramp at University Street to improve safety and provide more efficient traffic flow around the closed Mercer Street exit lane.

Detour routes will be clearly market during the closure, though you can download the official detour maps here for access to I-5 and from I-5. From SDOT:

Three additional full weekend closures are tentatively scheduled and closure hours are anticipated to be Friday at 11:00 p.m. to Monday at 5:00 a.m.; further notification will be provided as the dates are finalized:

  • May 6 – May 9
  • May 13 – May 16
  • May 20 – May 23

Travelers are encouraged to carpool and use alternate modes of transportation. Transit information can be found at:

  • King County Metro at, or by calling 206-553-3000
  • Sound Transit at
  • Community Transit at

During weekend closures, Metro Transit plans to reroute its bus service on routes 70, 71, 72, 73 and 83 off of Fairview Avenue starting at 11:00 p.m. Friday night and lasting up to 5:00 a.m. Monday. The buses will be rerouted via Eastlake Avenue East: northbound between Mercer Street and Galer Street; and southbound from Galer Street to Thomas Street. Rerouted buses will serve posted stops on Eastlake Avenue, but will not make any stops on the cross streets between Eastlake and Fairview.

For more information on the closure and the Mercer Corridor Project, check out the project website.

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Lower Queen Anne Blockbuster closing

February 22nd, 2011 by Thea

First there were two, and then there was one, and soon there will be none – the Lower Queen Anne Blockbuster will soon be joining its Upper Queen Anne sister-store in closing up shop, for good.

Wednesday will be the last day the store will be renting out movies and games. Starting this Friday, February 25, the store will begin liquidating all of its stock, including DVDS, games, film posters and other paraphernalia, candy and snacks, and all other merchandise, according to an employee who spoke to us on the phone this morning.

“Ballard and Capitol Hill are staying open, but they’re closing five stores in our district, and unfortunately we were one of them,” the employee said.

The employee estimates that the store’s last day will be around April 10. Until then, Blockbuster will continue to mark down merchandise to clearance prices as it approaches the final day.

When the Upper Queen Anne Blockbuster closed back in September 2009, DVD titles were going for cheap ($6 and up), while other miscellaneous goods (posters, toys and character bobble heads) went for as little as $2.50 each.

What will this most recent closure mean for the Lower Queen Anne business district, which is still hurting from the closure of the Uptown Theatre right across the street in November and a number of other retail shutterings over the last several months? We’re following up with Uptown property and business owners to see how these recent closures are affecting both business and the face of the neighborhood. Look for that story soon.

(Thanks to Jai for the tip.)

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