Monthly Archives: April 2011

Eastlake’s Quick Stop Grocery and Deli closes

SATURDAY UPDATE: A sign in the door at the Quick Stop says the business closed “due to unforseen circumstances.” It says that the store will undergo renovations and a change in management and open again “in the near future.” We’ll keep you posted.


UPDATE: This post has been changed since it was first published. The name of Earl’s Garden Patch has been corrected. Details on the history of the building and current ownership have been added.

The Quick Stop Grocery and Deli, 2352 Eastlake Ave. E., closed abruptly this week.

The store’s last day was apparently Tuesday. The doors were chained closed on Wednesday morning (see photo). A short note says simply: “Business is closed. Thank you.”

The store has been a fixture on Eastlake Avenue for many years. It was originally known as Earl’s Garden Patch. A portion of the store’s parking lot was acquired by Starbucks in the early 2000′s and used as a site for the company’s Eastlake store.

Records at the King County Assessor’s Office list the current owner of the building as Castellum LLC.

A 1995 Seattle Times obituary of the store’s original owner, V. Earl Blomberg, provides details of its history. Blomberg, known as “the singing grocery,” opened Earl’s Garden Patch in 1933. The Times quotes Blomberg’s daughter, Gail Hendrickson, as saying: “He opened the store in the depths of the Depression, where a fruit-and-vegetable stand had been.”

Blomberg sold Christmas trees in the parking lot and, the Times reported, sold “quality items” at the store. His wife, Helen, who died in 1993, kept the books for the store and made ice cream on Tuesdays.

Read more of the Times’ obituary here.

Jules James, neighborhood businessperson and activist, believes the site, which is only half a block from TOPS@Seward School and Rogers Playfield and is on the same side of the street as both, would be a great site for a preschool:

“First glance at the expected property costs aren’t promising, but projected operations pencil out well.  I hope and am encouraging for the right mix of entrepreneurial capital and pre-school experience to meet pent-up local and regional pre-school market demand at this location.”

No word on what will happen to the market. We’ll let you know what we find out.

ECC sets several public meetings this week

The Eastlake Community Council has several free public events scheduled this week:

  • Paul Dorpat: Local writer and historian Paul Dorpat will bring his popular slideshow and talk about Eastlake history to the Tyee Yacht Club, 3229 Fairview Ave. E., from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27. Dorpat’s talk last year was extremely popular. If you have historic photos or documents to share, I suspect he’d be thrilled to see them.
  • Restore the shoreline: Wear your sturdy shoes and bring work gloves to this event to restore the Lake Union shoreline from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, May 1. There will be a chance to help complete the native planting beds, clean up, weed, mulch and wire up trees to protect them from beavers. This is in the 1500 block of Fairview Ave. E., just north of Lake Union Drydock.
  • Public meeting on Eastlake’s parks and trails needs: This meeting at TOPS@Seward School, 2500 Franklin Ave. E., from 7-9 p.m. on Monday, May 2, will focus on parks and trails in the neighborhood. Have ideas about what you’d like to see added or improved? Bring them to the meeting or email them to

Auto theft, burglary highlight relatively quiet week in Eastlake police reports

It was a relatively quiet week in Eastlake with regard to Seattle Police reports. Only three major crimes to report:

  • April 19: Auto theft, 200 block of E. Boston, 4 p.m.
  • April 19: Credit fraud, 2200 block of Eastlake Ave. E., midnight.
  • April 23: Burglary, residential, no forced entry, parking lot/garage, 2800 block of Franklin Ave.  E., 1 a.m.

View the complete map at

Olmsted Avenue!

Eastlake gained a new street and intersection this week: Omsted Avenue. The newly installed sidewalk cornerstone at East Shelby Street and Eastlake (just north of the new-to-be Little Waters Cantina) is the intersection of Omsted and Fairview Avenues. Never mind that Seattle’s avenues run North-South, Omsted Avenue doesn’t exist, and that the cornerstone is on Eastlake not Fairview — our E-Coli cornerstone has returned.

            OK – perhaps Eastlake’s much-anticipated new restaurant might prefer distance from E-Coli, but the little squirmies are a valuable component of this little piece of neighborhood folklore.

            Last century, an updated Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) tunnel was dug under Eastlake Avenue. Unfortunately, the person in charge of directing the remote-controlled tunnel boring machine forgot to calculate the dog-leg turn in Eastlake Avenue at Hamlin Street. So the boring machine, heading northbound, deviated from the street right-of-way and got stuck under the 1920s Bar-Mart building. Around this same time, the Cornerstone sidewalk art project was brewing. The CSO tunnelling and art projects might have been financially connected – a 1% For The Arts type of thing.  Don’t know.  Some say the E-Coli cornerstone was intended for Boston and Eastlake, but was deemed too close to Serafina’s. Others say the sewer tunnel’s abandoned boring machine adjacent to this location made the fecal matter hosting E-Coli bacteria cornerstone placement artfully appropriate. I don’t even know if the abandoned boring machine was removed when Bar-Mart was torn down and replaced with the Dog Building Apartments (my name – due to its wonderfully-high dog-to-human tenant ratio).

          But whatever! Our E-Coli cornerstone is back into the sidewalk. And now Olmsted Avenue joins Red Avenue, East Nelson Place and Eastlake Avenue NE as obscure urban photo scavenger hunt destinations of our Eastlake.

Mayor to accept Tree City USA Award in Eastlake on Saturday

For the 26th year in a row, the City of Seattle will be receiving the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA Award. 

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn will accept the award from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources at noon on Saturday, April 23, at E. Blaine and Fairview Avenue E. The award honors Seattle’s ongoing work to preserve its urban trees.

After that ceremony is over, an Arbor Day/Earth Day work party will begin. More than 100 members of OUT for Sustainability and other volunteers will do restorative planting along the Cheshiahud Loop Trail from Fairview Avenue N. to Terry Pettus Park (Newton Street). That work party should be over by 4 p.m.

If you’d like to volunteer, go to

According to a press release from the Seattle Department of Transportation:

SDOT and the Seattle Parks Foundation are contributing trees and plants, and the King Conservation District will donate over 200 plants and shrubs to be installed on the lakefront trail. Other sponsors of the event include the Seattle Parks and Recreation, Gay City Health Project, Seattle Works, Eastlake Community Council, Starbucks, Equal Rights Washington, Zero Waste Seattle, and the Boeing Company.  

Eastlake weekly police reports: several burglaries in the last week

The highlights from this week’s Eastlake Seattle Police reports include several burglaries:

  • April 13: Bicycle theft, 2300 block of Franklin Ave. E., 7 a.m.
  • April 13: Theft from a building, 2300 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 7:30 a.m.
  • April 14: Auto theft, 1500 block of Fairview Ave. E., 3 p.m.
  • April 14: Residential burglary, no forced entry, 2800 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 5 p.m.
  • April 14: Residential burglary, forced entry, 2600 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 7 p.m.: Sometime between 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, and today a suspect forced open the garage the victim is renting behind her apartment. A large amount of alcohol stored in the garage is missing. It was unknown if anything else was taken from the garage.
  • April 14: Car fire, 2900 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 7:08 p.m.
  • April 15: Residential burglary, no forced entry, 2000 block of Minor Ave. E., 7:30 p.m.

See the complete map at

Seattle Times: Fairview Ave. transformer is source of Lake Union oil spill

UPDATE: This post has been changed since it was first published. The location of the leaking transformer has been added.

The Seattle Times reported Friday that the source of an oil spill into Lake Union last week was a City Light transformer on Fairview Avenue E. that was damaged by vandals.

The Times reports:

The damaged transformer, located near the lake on Fairview Avenue East, contained 45 gallons of mineral oil, much of which had spilled out. The oil flowed onto the ground and into a stormwater drain that emptied into the lake. City Light discovered the damaged transformer late Tuesday, according to a news release.

A City Light spokesperson says the transformer was located on the stretch of Fairview East near Lake Union Drydock.

The Times quotes City Light as saying that firms hired by City Light were cleaning up the spill.

Read the Times story here.

Update: Mercer Street I-5 ramps reopened Saturday evening

UPDATE at 10:15 p.m.: The SDOT reports that the Mercer Street I-5 ramps reopened just before 10 p.m. Saturday. The Seattle Times has more here.


The Seattle Department of Transportation says in an email that the Mercer I-5 on- and off-ramps will reopen on Sunday at 5 a.m. instead of Monday morning as originally planned. The northbound I-5 on-ramp at University Street and Fairview Avenue N. will also reopen then.

Crews finished saw-cutting of pavement at Fairview and Mercer early for future utility installations, the email says, “as well as surveying the ramps in preparation for re-alignment with future westbound lanes of Mercer Street.”

There are numerous police on duty in South Lake Union this evening, directing traffic around the closed ramps. Traffic was heavier than usual on cross streets in South Lake Union earlier today. Things seem to be moving fairly well despite the closures.