Monthly Archives: March 2010

A geniune Eastlake Ave. street sign can be yours (but hurry)

I wrote about this last summer but never managed to get down to SoDo to do it: buying a surplus street sign.

But, thanks to Jules James at Lake Union Mail, I now have an Eastlake Avenue E. sign of my very own. Excellent!

The City of Seattle has been phasing out the old aluminum signs in favor of new, larger fiberglass signs. The old signs go to the city’s surplus warehouse at 3807 2nd Ave. S., behind the City Light warehouse just south of the Spokane Street Viaduct. The signs are either $5 or $10, depending on the size.

There’s a list of which street signs are still available. Looks like there are a few in the neighborhood, include some Eastlake Avenue signs, but their stock is definitely down from what it was last summer. It’s always a good idea to check with the warehouse before you drive down there.

The warehouse is open Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Questions? Call them at (206) 684-0827 or e-mail

Bomb scare shuts Roanoke Park — again

For the second time in less than three months, a bomb scare has shut down streets around Roanoke Park. Capitol Hill Seattle has the story from Sunday night:

The area near 10th Ave E and Roanoke Park was locked down for more than an hour Sunday night as investigators worked to determine whether a suspicious item left near Fire Station 22 was a bomb. The area was also closed around 8:30 PM according to police radio chatter. Tonight’s item turned out to be luggage.

A bomb scare on a Metro bus on New Year’s Eve also shut down the same streets. No explosive was found that time either.

CHS has more on last night’s scare as well as a photo.

The end is near for original Red Robin on Eastlake; it closes tonight

They’re down to the last few hours at the Eastlake Red Robin, the chain’s original location. The restaurant closes tonight for the last time.

Staff at the restaurant at Eastlake E. and Fuhrman E. say that after several very busy weeks since the closure was announced, it’s been quieter today. I was there around 4:45 p.m. and you wouldn’t have had a problem getting a table.

That situation may not hold as the closing at 10 p.m. gets closer tonight. One staff member said people have been calling, asking about getting in for one last meal.

The staff will get together one last time after they close up tonight and go out to mark the event. Many of them will be transferred to other Red Robins in the area.

Anne Marie Kriedler, the building’s owner, said yesterday that she’s negotiating with a new operator to take over the space and possibly run it as a sports bar. No deal has been signed, however.

The Red Robin has occupied the builiding, which was built in 1916, since 1969. Red Robin said the building needed a big investment to make it more efficient for the restaurant and more comfortable for guests.

Life celebration for Marjorie Nelson is Monday

The Life Celebration for Marjorie Nelson will be Monday starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Seattle Rep’s Leo K Theatre at Seattle Center.

Nelson, a long time Eastlake resident, actress and activist, died Feb. 12 at her home on Franklin Avenue. Nelson played on stages all across the U.S. and was one of the founding members of the Seattle Rep in 1963. She and her first husband, actor Howard da Silva, were blacklisted during the Communist witch hunts of the 1950s.

She was the widow of noted Seattle architect Victor Steinbrueck.

Nelson’s daughters, Judith and Rachel, have been collecting stories, photos and video for the Life Celebration. It’s probably not to late to send them your memories. You can call Judith at 206-524-6699 or email them at

Red Robin’s final day is Sunday; sports bar may be next in the space

This is it: your last chance to dine at the original Red Robin on Eastlake Ave. The chain’s first restaurant, located at Eastlake and Fuhrman, is closing on Sunday.

Red Robin is closing their Eastlake outlet because the building is old (it was built in 1916) and would require too much investment to make it meet the company’s needs. The lease on the building is up on April.

General Manager Jessi Klein says it will be business as usual on Sunday, but it hasn’t exactly been business as usual since the closure was announced.

“Sales doubled,” she says. Lots of people have been coming in for their last chance to dine at the original Red Robin. I’ve heard reports of people lining up to get in for one last meal.

“The coolest stuff has been people driving in and flying in from out of state,” she says. “They’re telling cool stories and meeting their friends.”

Red Robin has been asking people to send their memories of the restaurant to Klein says she believes the company will be putting those memories online at some point.

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

What’s next for the space? Anne Marie Kriedler, who owns the building (she’s also an investor in Montlake Plaza and Zesto’s in Ballard), says they are currently negotiating with someone to open a sports bar there.

“It will be pretty much the same as it is now,” she says. The furnishings will stay much as they are now, she adds, but there will be additions to the menu, such as salmon salad. “It will have the same atmosphere. The food will be what the community is used to.”

The new operators will be making improvements in the building, she says, including adding bike racks out front. There’s a lot of deferred maintenance that needs to be done, she says, adding that Red Robin didn’t keep up the building the way she thought they would.

“I want to get someone in there with high standards and good food,” Kriedler says. “I want to make sure they’re doing to stay there. Also, it has high rent so they’ll have to be successful to run it.”

She says she hopes the new restaurant will be open in two months.

Nettletown, newest Eastlake restaurant, opens Tuesday

Christina Choi, chef/owner of Nettletown

UPDATE: This post has been changed since it was first published. Opening hours have been added.

The newest Eastlake restaurant, Nettletown, 2238 Eastlake Ave. E. (Sitka & Spruce’s old location), opens tomorrow, Tuesday (March 16).

Chef/owner Christina Choi says she’ll be open 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday-Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Dinner will be added later.

Choi co-founded Foraged & Found Edibles with Jeremy Faber. The company supplies all kinds of wild ingredients — think mushrooms to ferns — to local restaurants. Nettletown will be in a similar vein with wild food, seasonal and local specials, and Asian themes.

On March 29, Nettletown will be serving a Spring Foraging Dinner. Choi will be assisted by S&S Chef Matt Dillon in preparing the meal, “a feast to celebrating the emerging foods of the season,” according to Nettletown’s Web site. Cost is $50 a person.

Nettletown’s phone number is 206-588-3607.

Our previous post about Nettletown is here.

Comment period on SR 520 replacement extended to April 15

The Washington State Department of Transportation has announced that extended the deadline to comment on the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the SR 520 replacement/expansion plan until April 15.

The project will replace the aging 520 floating bridge with a newer, bigger bridge. What happens when the bridge reaches Seattle is currently the focus of much debate and discussion. Montlake neighbors, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and some state lawmakers are opposed to the plans put forth by the WSDOT. Eastside interests, including Microsoft, are urging that the project proceed as planned.

You can get more information on the project on the WSDOT’s Web site. You can also download the Supplemental Draft EIS there and make your comments there. Copies of the EIS are also available in local libraries. Or, you can call the project office at 206-770-3500 to get a free copy of the executive summary and a CD of the material or to purchase a printed copy of the document.

We wrote in February about a neighborhood meeting that included presentations on SR 520.

Eastlake artists: Tell us about yourself and your work

The Eastlake Merchants Association had its second meeting last week. One of the ideas talked about was some sort of event involving neighborhood artists (an art walk, perhaps).

To that end, I’m curious who the artists are in the neighborhood:

  • Where do you work?
  • What sort of art do you create?
  • What drew you to Eastlake and what keeps you here?
  • Would you be interested in showing your work in the neighborhood?
  • What else should your Eastlake neighbors know about you?

You can answer in the comments to this post or e-mail me at I’d love to do a series of articles on local artists and, maybe, we’ll find places to show your work in the neighborhood.

Renovated Wards Cove office building is fully leased

The waterfront office building at Wards Cove is now fully leased, the Wards Cove Packing Company announced this morning.

The 12,500-square-foot building, which was previously part of the company’s salmon packing operations, will be open to seven tenants who will begin moving in on April 1:

  • Envirotecture
  • Shilshole Development
  • Dave Dykstra Architect Group
  • Lally Consulting
  • Shoreline Marine Engineer
  • SoundEarth Strategies
  • the sales center for The Enclave, the 21-unit townhome development across the street

The Wards Cove development includes 12 houseboat slips and a 10-slip marina, a new beach and a conference room. The renovation of the office building included use of recycled, reused and sustainable building materials.

Streetlight replacement project heads north; will new LED lights come to Eastlake?

Seattle City Light’s four-year “re-lamping” project for streetlights is headed Eastlake’s way, and it may include installation of the new LED lights seen on Capitol Hill and elsewhere in the city.

Suzanne Hartman, director of Communications and Public Affairs for City Light, says this year’s re-lamping work will start at Denny Way and go north to 65th, starting sometime at the end of March. The schedule isn’t set yet so she can’t say when the work will get to Eastlake. 

As part of the project, City Light is using federal stimulus dollars to replace high pressure sodium (HSP) lights with light emitting diode (LED) lights that are brighter, last longer (12-15 years versus four to six for HPS) and cost less to operate. 

In an article written in February, City Councilmember Bruce Harrell and City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said approximately 5,000 LED lights will be installed in this first round. Eventually, all 84,000 city streetlights will be replaced with the new technology.

If you’ve seen the new lights, you know that they are much brighter than the older lights and that the light has an intense, blue/white color. The photo with this post was taken at 10th Ave. E. and E. Aloha, one of the areas that was lit with the LED bulbs last year.

In their article about streetlights, Harrell and Carrasco said City Light is seeking data on the new lamps:

Right now, City Light is testing various types of LED lamps to determine light quality. City Light’s Lighting Design Lab is evaluating comments received from the pilot neighborhoods and providing feedback to lamp manufacturers to identify the most versatile, standard streetlight available. A variety of factors are taken into consideration to arrive at the best lamp alternative. For instance, how the streetlight will be used and where it will be use are taken into account.

Hartman says some people like the new lamps, others don’t. “We try to work with neighborhoods on the light quality,” she says.

Neighbors who questions or opinions about the LED lights should get in touch with Edward Smalley at, she says.

If you want more information about City Light’s re-lamping project, or if you want to report a burned out lamp (they say they’ll fix them in less than 10 days), there’s a form on the Web site. You can also call 206-684-7056.