Monthly Archives: November 2009

Roanoke Street history: houseboats, Boeing’s first flight and Roanoke Reef

Houseboats at Roanoke, 1953 (Seattle Municipal Archives, via Flickr)

The Seattle Municipal Archives recently posted an intriguiging photo on their Flickr photostream of Lake Union houseboats at Roanoke.

The photo was taken in 1953 and would appear to be in the same spot where Mallard Cove houseboats float today. I wasn’t aware that this spot had previously contained houseboats. These 1953 models are a little more rustic than the homes anchored there today.

This part of the lake was the spot where a significant piece of Seattle history was made: Bill Boeing flew his first airplane in the air above Lake Union. has this to say about the B&W Bluebill’s flight on June 15, 1916:

B&W stood for the initials of Boeing and his partner Navy Lt. Conrad Westervelt. Herb Munter also helped to design and construct the two-seat, single-engine float plane in the Pacific Aero Club’s hangar-boathouse in a converted house at the foot of Roanoke Street in Seattle.

Boeing didn’t stay on Roanoke for long. By 1919, the company had moved to the Red Barn on the Duwamish River. The Red Barn is now part of the Museum of Flight.

Another historic moment for this area of lake came in 1971 when developers began construction on Roanoke Reef, a 112-unit condo project over the water at the foot of Roanoke Street. The concrete base and part of the parking garage were built before construction was stopped. According to

It began with the bulldozing of the historic Boeing hanger. The Floating Homes Association joined a suit with the Eastlake Community Council to stop construction, but not before the pilings, platform, and part of the first story were built. The project was never completed.

Eventually, the pier was removed to make way for the Roanoke Reef houseboat community.

Land use updates: Construction permit; change of use from retail to office

The old Daly’s Drive-In on the site will be torn down to make way for the new building.

Two land use items of note, both on Eastlake Avenue E.:

  • 2701 Eastlake Ave. E.: The developers of this project on the site of the old Daly’s Drive-In applied for a construction permit on Nov. 20. The project will build a three-story commercial building with two stories of parking below grade.
    On Nov. 5, the developers were granted a demolition permit for the old Daly’s building. Since it appears that all the other permits for this long-aborning project have been approved by the city’s Department of Planning and Development (the project passed a design review earlier this fall), demolition and construction would seem to be not too far off. 
    I’ve made repeated requests for information from the developers but haven’t received any reply. Let me know if you see them at work on the site.
    A previous post about the design review on the project is here.
  • 2851 Eastlake Ave. E.: Owners of this apartment building on the site of the old BarMart received a “construction/addition or alteration” permit to convert street-level space in building C from retail to office use. The permit says they expect to spend $30,000 on altering the space. 

Seattle Marathon still under way; photos of route through Eastlake

The Seattle Marathon is still under way and is having an impact on traffic on two Eastlake neighborhood streets: E. Roanoke and Boylston E. Both streets will be affected until around 4 p.m. when the course closes.

Roanoke is limited to a single lane for cars westbound past Roanoke Park and over the freeway. Boylston is limited to a single lane southbound from Roanoke to the freeway.

The route continues on Lakeview Drive where it connects with Eastlake Avenue. Warning signs advise motorists to not travel down the stretch of Eastlake between Lakeview and the area around REI.

If you’d like to know who won, check the Marathon results page.

Traffic advisory: Seattle Marathon will clog streets on Sunday

Early warning: The Seattle Marathon is Sunday and two streets in the Eastlake area will be affected. The marathon starts at Seattle Center at 8:15 a.m.

One lane will be closed on E. Roanoke, Boylston Avenue E. and Lakeview from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you’re driving, it’s best to avoid those streets.

The route eventually goes down Harrison in South Lake Union on its way to the finish at Seattle Center. Driving through South Lake Union can be complicated during the marathon.

For more information on the marathon, check the official Web site. To see streets that will be closed by the race, check the PDF accompanying this post.

What’s open, what’s running on Thanksgiving Day

UPDATE: This post has been changed since it was first published. The Flower Lady has been added.

Wondering what’s open and which buses are running on Thanksgiving? Here’s the info:

WHAT’S OPEN: Other than groceries and mini-marts, not much (even the Zoo is closed):

  • 14 Carrot Cafe, 2305 Eastlake Ave. E.: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Voxx Coffee, 2245 Eastlake Ave. E: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Starbucks, 2344 Eastlake Ave. E.: 5 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Flower Lady, 3230 Eastlake Ave. E.: Morning and early afternoon

METRO BUS ROUTES: Metro runs a Sunday schedule on Thursday and a reduced weekday schedule on Friday. If your route doesn’t normally run on a Sunday, it won’t run on Thanksgiving day.

Routes with some trip cancellations on Friday include 49 and 70. Route 988 is canceled on Friday.

Metro’s Customer Information Office is closed from 6 a.m. Wednesday morning to 6 a.m. Saturday morning in a cost-saving furlough day.

GARBAGE, FOOD, YARD WASTE, RECYCLING COLLECTIONS: None of these services will be operating on Thursday. Recycling and disposal stations will also be closed on Thursday, open on Friday.

Seattle Public Utilities advises that most of the waste from your Thanksgiving dinner — turkey bones, celery, yams, potatoes, etc. — can go in your food and yard waste carts. And, be kind to the sewers, they say, by not pouring dairy products, fats, oil, grease or greasy foods down the drain. Put those in a lidded container and put them in the trash.

DID I MISS ANYTHING? Post in the comments, please.

Update: Power restored after morning outage due to car crash

UPDATE: City Light says power was restored about 8:45 a.m. About 15 customers were affected.

The lights currently are out in a section of Eastlake due to a car hitting a power pole. City Light expects power to be restored by 8 a.m.

Boundaries for the outage are East Louisa Street in the north, East Newton in the south, I-5 on the East and Franklin Avenue E. on the west.

Cicchetti, Serafina’s ‘little bratty sister,’ opens Tuesday

UPDATE: This story has been changed since it was first published. Links to Nancy Leeson’s blog post and the first reviews on Yelp have been added.

After several hectic months of renovation, Serafina’s new restaurant space, Cicchetti, opens on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

Susan Kaufman, Eastlake resident and Serafina’s owner, says she’s “very excited” to see the new restaurant open. She refers to Cicchetti (pronounced “chi-KET-tee”) as “Serafina’s little bratty sister.”

The new place is right behind Serafina in a former architects’ office that Kaufman says she had wanted to buy for years. When it became available, she bought with the intention of creating a private dining room.

But that idea soon became Cicchetti, named after the “small plates” found in restaurants in Venice. 

“I liked the idea of the small plates,” Kaufman explained Saturday evening as the restaurant bustled around her during a “soft” opening. “I like to eat like that. It’s just a nicer way to eat.”

The Moors brought this style of food to Venice, she said. She didn’t want to limit it to just what was served in Venice, so she and Executive Chef Dylan Giordan incorporated influences from around the Mediterranean, adding in touches of Portugal, Spain, Morocco and more.

Kaufman sees Cicchetti as “a little secret restaurant.” There won’t be any reservations and she says there should always be a place to sit. She thinks of it as a casual, neighborhood, drop-in place where you can sit at the bar and have a glass of wine and a couple of small dishes, or take a table and have more of a meal.

Big windows (including one that runs from behind the bar up to the second floor) give you views of Lake Union. Upstairs has space for groups as well as communal tables and a couple of cozy rooms for smaller gatherings. There’s a space on the ground floor that the hostess referred to as the “library.” 

There’s an impressive bar downstairs where bar chef Chris Bollenbacher (a “mad genius,” Kaufman says) has created an extensive list of drinks concocted with house-made infusions, syruprs and the like.

Kaufman wanted the neighborhood to know that she’s “been mindful of the parking situation.” She rents a lot a block south to serve both restaurants and diners can also park in the lot above the Eastlake Market for only $3.

And, she says she hasn’t forgotten about Serafina’s annual Eastlake Appreciation Party.  Things were too busy with work on Cicchetti to have it in the fall, Kaufman says, but it will happen sometime after the first of the year.

Cicchetti will be open Tuesday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. Enter off of East Boston. Check their web site or call 206-323-0807 for more information.

Related stories:

  • Nancy Leeson’s post about Cicchetti from her Seattle Times blog, All You Can Eat.
  • First reviews of Cicchetti on Yelp are here.

Art from Seattle Children’s Hospital patients showing at Louisa’s

A new show is hanging on the walls at Louisa’s Cafe Bakery: art from patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital. The show opened Sunday with a late-afternoon reception.

Rosalie Frankel, the art therapist at Children’s, said the work in the show comes from patients ranging in age from 6 to 18. The art therapy program usually serves patients from 5 to 21 years old. The purpose of the program is to help give the youngsters a break from being patients.

“It’s a great diversion from all the medical things going on,” Frankel said. “It helps them feel like they’re kids and not just patients.”

It also allows the young artists a way to build rapport with doctors and nurses, she added, because the kids can share their art with the medical team.

Her work is done on all units and is usually done at the bedside. She brings an art cart filled with materials and encourages the kids to create things that will make them “feel better,” according to the statement with the show.

The work in the show at Louisa’s ranges from simple crayon drawings to paper cutouts and even a very professional comic strip, episodes of which can be seen online at

Eastlake resident James Metz, a pediatrician at Children’s, helped organize the show and bring it to Louisa’s. Frankel says the works aren’t for sale but will be returned to the young artists. The show will be up until the first or second week of December.

More on the Mendoza pot-smuggling sentencing

Here’s more detail on the sentencing of David Mendoza, owner of Pazzo’s Pizzeria on Eastlake Avenue E.

A statement about the sentencing from the U.S. Attorney’s Office is here.

Turns out Pazzo’s was NOT included in the property Mendoza forfeited as part of his plea agreement as was reported by the Seattle Weekly. Former Mendoza property that now belongs to the feds is located in Bellevue, Tacoma and Deer Park, Wash., as well as a movie theater in Bend, Ore. According to the U.S. Attorney’s statement: “Mendoza admits these properties were purchased with the proceeds of the drug conspiracy.”

According to the statement, U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly told Mendoza at the sentencing:

“You truly did have all the opportunities in the world – President of Garfield High School, you got a degree, — and then you got involved in drugs…. It’s tragic…. You don’t have anybody to blame but yourself.”

The U.S. Attorney’s statement says Mendoza “was identified as the leader of a conspiracy to smuggle multiple 100 kilo loads of BC Bud marijuana into the US by commercial trucks and by helicopter.”

The statement also says Mendoza admitted responsibility for smuggling:

  • A 400 kilo load of B.C. Bud caught at the Blaine border crossing in April 2003
  • A load of over 1,000+ kilos of marijuana imported via helicopter in 2005
  • Additional unspecified amounts of marijuana seized in 2006

The statement says: “Mendoza admits he is responsible for importing and distributing thousands of pounds of marijuana in Washington and elsewhere.”

The two prosecutors in the case, Assistant United States Attorney Susan M. Roe and Roger Rogoff, say that at one point Mendoza “regularly used his aging parents to move money for him.”

Is your Eastlake business open on Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is coming next week. I’ll be compiling what I suspect will be a short a list of Eastlake businesses that will be open on the holiday. Is yours one of them? If so, post your hours here in the comments and I’ll add you to the list. Or, e-mail me at curtmilton (at)

Happy Turkey Day!