Category Archives: Neighborhood

Where to Watch the Suberbowl in the Neighborhood


Want to stay local? Here’s a roundup of where to watch the game on Sunday:

Ark Lodge Cinema Superbowl Potluck:

Please join us for this free family friendly event. We won’t be showing movies on Game day, so we can host this fun event as a community potluck. Please let us know if you are coming and just a hint, I love 7 layer dip.

The game will be projected on the screen in our 200 seat house and in the banquet room upstairs(no lift or wheelchair access) plus we will have a tv behind the concession stand on the main floor.

See you there! David

The Royal Room:

Looking forward to SuperBowl XLIX this weekend! The Royal Room will be hosting a viewing party for all ages serving $3 12th man tacos, a limited menu, and full bar! GO HAWKS!

Rookies (unless you made reservations, you are too late):

Attention 12’s! Rookies is completely full for our upcoming Superbowl party. Thanks for all the inquiries, but we are no longer taking reservations. Just a heads up…we are not going to be open to the general public! GO SEAHAWKS!!


…there’s a rather popular sporting event going on this Sunday involving a team that some Seattlites hold quite dear. Blue and green Jello Shots! Big screen TV! Food specials! We can’t wait! Join us!

Island Soul has the following invite up on their website…no word on if there are still tables available:

Island Soul

Be sure to use the comments to let everyone know if I missed anywhere…

More on Neighborhood Celebrity Chef, Tarik Abdullah

Last week, Tarik Abdullah brought his pop-restaurant, Morningstar Cafe, to La Isla Mojito for a special guest-chef brunch at the Columbia/Hillman city Latin restaurant. Soon, the participant on ABC’s reality cooking show, The Taste, will begin cooking classes at Hillman City’s Collaboratory.


CityArts’s Jonathan Zwickel recently posted this interview with Abdullah:

People cried when Tarik Abdullah was cut from ABC cooking show The Taste. Not Abdullah himself, who’d made it to the sixth-episode semi-finals of the competition as part of Anthony Bourdain’s team; he handled the disappointment with his usual big-hearted dignity and grace. But his competitors were crushed: “Not a lot of times there’s that much class…” said one of the remaining cooks, choking up. “And he’s so supportive.” The Taste aired its Season 3 finale last week.

Abdullah, the DJ and cook I wrote about in October, before The Taste began airing, has been back in Seattle hosting twice-monthly pop-up brunches at La Isla del Mojito in Columbia City. A week after the episode aired, I met up with him at the Collaboratory, the Columbia City complex not far from his home where he’ll begin his first series of cooking classes for kids on Feb. 8. He walked me upstairs to the second-floor retail space and workshop he uses for producing leather bicycle accessories and upcycled bags. As always, he was dressed in casual-formal hepcat style and wore an enormous smile…

To read the whole interview, click here.


Columbia City Featured on Oregonlive

Oregonlive, the online blog for the Oregonian (Portland’s local paper) has a brief write-up on Columbia City:

Photo: Oregonlive

Photo: Oregonlive

Between downtown and the airport, Columbia City (read about it on the Visit Seattle web site) is the most interesting stop along Seattle’s Central Link light rail line for visitors.

The heart of the designated national historic district lies a three-block walk east of the Columbia City light rail stop, via Edmunds Street from the station on Martin Luther King Way to the business district in Rainier Avenue South. A half mile farther east is Seward Park, the city park on a peninsula in Lake Washington.

Columbia City was once its own incorporated city, but voted to join Seattle in 1903. Now it is part of Rainer Valley, which is one of 65 or so neighborhoods in Seattle…

To read the whole post, click here.

Gun at Columbia City’s Ineragency Academy Puts Neighborhood into Lockdown

Seattle Public School’s Interagency Academy (located at the Columbia School at 35th between Ferdinand and Edmunds) was put into lockdown today after it was reported a student had a weapon in the halls.

Photo: Flickr

Photo: Flickr

According to the SPD Blotter:

Columbia City High School Locked Down After Report of Student With Gun

A report of a teen with a gun sent a South Seattle high school into lockdown Tuesday afternoon.

Police received a report from the Interagency High School—located in the 3500 block S. Ferdinand Street—just before 1 pm that a male student was carrying a gun through a campus hallway.

As students took shelter on campus and police arrived at the scene, the suspect—who is in his late teens 17 years old—fled the building and was arrested by officers.

Police have not received any reports of gunfire or injuries during the incident, and have recovered a firearm at the scene.

We’ll post additional details as they become available.

Columbia City neighbors located to the west of Rainier reported lots of police presence as SPD searched for the suspect and the weapon. Other local schools were put into an official “Shelter in Place” as police secured the neighborhood.

This is the Interagency Academy’s second year at the Columbia School (which used to house Orca K-8 before it moved up the hill to Whitworth). Prior to its current location, Interagency was housed in the Seattle Public Schools building just west of the light rail station on Alaska. Interagency is often considered a “last-chance high school” for struggling students. This Seattle Times article from 2012 outlines the work that they do.

Columbia City Wins Curbed’s 2014 Neighborhood of the Year

Thanks to some solid efforts on the CC Facebook page, Columbia City swept Curbed’s annual Curbed Cup Championship for the 2014 Seattle neighborhood of the year:

fixedseattle2014curbedcup_bracket-16Despite starting out at as a 14-seed, Columbia City dispatched with Queen Anne in easy fashion in the first round. In the second round, voters helped it top Pioneer Square almost 4-to-1. Down went defending Curbed Cup champ Greenwood in the Final Four. In the finals, the showdown between two South Seattle neighborhoods wasn’t even close as Columbia City drubbed fellow underdog Georgetown to claim the title.

Columbia City now joins 2011 champion Fremont, 2012 champion Ballard and 2013 champ Greenwood in the pantheon of great Seattle neighborhoods. Thanks to everyone who voted!

Rainier Valley Post Interviews Tutta Bella Founder, Joe Fugere

In another installment of its People in Your Neighborhood series, The RVP has posted an interview with Joe Fugere, the founder of Tutta Bella:


Fugere with Murray, Obama, Locke. Photo from


When Tutta Bella founder Joe Fugere says he’s passionate about the role of business in positive social change, he’s not kidding.

Ten years ago, before Columbia City was all the rage, Joe took an old building on the northeast corner of Rainier Avenue South and South Hudson Street and turned it into the Northwest’s first certified Neapolitan pizzeria, also known as the Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant in Southeast Seattle. Since then he’s opened three more wildly successful restaurants in Seattle and one in Issaquah. All of Joe’s employees — including hourly workers — have received health insurance since 2008 — years before it was mandated by Obamacare.

“My only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner, because the unexpected consequences have been unbelievably positive,” he told Radius last year. “I learned that nothing trumps employee health and happiness. Our turnover is way below industry average, and it’s so great to see employees getting regular check-ups and displaying big bright smiles.”

In 2010, when President Obama traveled to Seattle to meet with several small business owners for a discussion about strengthening the economy and creating jobs, Joe was invited to participate in the discussion (above).

This week, he was kind enough to answer a few questions for your RVP’s People in Your Neighborhood column, a space dedicated to highlighting the unsung heroes of the south-end community.

Click here to read the full interview with Fugere and get some insight into the owner of one of the neighborhood’s cornerstone businesses.

Columbia City Highlighted in Seattle Times Neighborhood Restaurant Feature

The Seattle Time’s Nancy Leson has a feature on how restaurants are key to “bringing life” to a neighborhood. Columbia City earned itself an entire section:


JOHN LOK / THE SEATTLE TIMES Meredith Molli, co-owner of La Medusa (center), tends to customers at her Columbia City restaurant. Tuesdays are big nights for regulars, she says, but with a growing influx of newcomers to the neighborhood, most nights, “50 to 60 percent are first-time diners.”

WHEN Meredith Molli moved with her boyfriend from Minneapolis to Seattle in 2008, they made a beeline for Ballard, aware of its reputation as a restaurant mecca.

“When we lived there, we never left there,” says Molli, save to head to the University of Washington for grad school (him) and commute to a job cooking at Sea Breeze Farm on Vashon Island (her).

It didn’t take long for them to realize “Ballard wasn’t our scene. We wanted something that felt more small town, more homey — with restaurants within walking distance.”

Hello, Columbia City.

Five years later, Molli is co-owner of La Medusa in the heart of Columbia City’s Historic District — where history is clearly repeating itself in one of the most ethnically and economically diverse ZIP codes in the nation.

“For me, it was a bit of a rash decision,” says Molli, 32, who was sous chef under Gordon Wishard when the two bought the restaurant last year from their former boss, Julie Andres.

Andres was sous chef when she purchased the place from its original owners, chefs Lisa Becklund and Sherri Serino.

As owner, Molli manages the front of the house. Looking out onto Rainier Avenue South — and back into her dining room — she sees a generational shift: “It’s getting significantly younger.”

She ascribes that, in part, to the availability of the “trendy” new condos and apartments that may soon have Columbia City looking more like Ballard.

Gordon Wishard, executive chef/co-owner of La Medusa, presides over the kitchen. He and his business partner, Meredith Molli, bought the restaurant from their friend and former employer, Julie Andres.

Trendy is not the word her landlord, Mark Hannum, would use to describe the Columbia City he moved into in 1992. Back then, he worked at Grazie restaurant in Southcenter. In his newly adopted neighborhood, “there was no place to eat.”

No Columbia City Ale House. No Tutta Bella. No Lottie’s Lounge, Geraldine’s Corner or Island Soul. Not even a Starbucks.

“Why don’t you open a restaurant?” his neighbors asked.

“We were a little ahead of ourselves,” Hannum laughs, recalling the decision to open his short-lived bistro Rutabaga, now La Medusa. But he and his former partner were savvy: They’d bought the building.

The mid-’90s were a low point for retail, though, with rampant closures in Columbia City’s center. But with the debut of the landmark Columbia City Bakery a decade later, says Hannum, the neighborhood took off.

For a business district to remain healthy, it must have a broad mix of restaurants and retail, insists Hannum, now a mortgage loan officer and former chairman of Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board.

“Everyone has to eat, and there will always be a strong market for restaurants. But attracting — and keeping — independent retailers in the small buildings that define the historic district remains a constant challenge.

“If it was someplace else in Seattle,” he says, “they’d probably mow the buildings down and build a six-story mixed-use.”

Click here to read the whole article.

New Columbia City Businesses…(kind of)

10345993_10205435363350441_2605288595004544499_nFor about the past week or so, the windows have been covered at the former salon at Rainier and Edmunds which had been vacant since Exclusive Persistent Image relocated shortly after a car drove into the attached Fashion Nails Salon about 7 months ago (not to be confused with the other 3 cars that have driven into Columbia City buildings since then). Today, the good people at Columbia City Cuts and Barbers (located in the back section of Retroactive Kids) announced that they are taking over the space with a new storefront, The Parlour:

We’re excited to finally tell you, The Parlour is now open!

With some hard work, dedication and your support, Shelly has been able to open a new barber shop/salon. You’ll find us near the corner of Edmunds and Rainier, next to La Medusa. Right in the heart of Columbia City.

The Parlour is open to fulfill all your needs for cuts, shaves, and color. It’s styled in a way to make your appointment as comfortable as possible. With this we ask that kids that require a booster or would like to have a ride in the firetruck for their haircuts continue to book with Dina and Pam.

Online booking with schedulicity and the 206-664-1964 phone number will remain the same for booking appointments with Shelly and Jen. You will find us in the Parlour store front on Rainier.

You can still find Dina and Pam at the Columbia City Cuts snuggled inside Retroactive kids, just call 206-307-1721 to book your appointments

We appreciate your business and your patience through transitional period.

Stay warm & healthy

The ladies at the Parlour and Columbia City Cuts & Barbers

Also coming to a Columbia City 10367594_10205435231787152_5125076213293455005_nstorefront is Alma, a local jewelry and accessory pop up run by Julie Andres (formerly of La Medusa) who managed to score a window display at 3806 S. Ferdinand for the holidays, the crumbling (but awesome) building that’s been vacant/used for storage (and coveted by many a restaurateur and business owner) for years next to Geraldine’s. As of now, there’s no indication of an actual store in the future, but the window display will be a nice addition to the neighborhood look and feel. Details about when/where to actually track down Alma when it pops-up next can be found here.

Thanks to Scott for the pics!

Halloween in Columbia City

Interested in celebrating Halloween locally this year?

Columbia City is once-again hosting its annual Halloween event in the main business district complete with trick or treating, lots of adorable kids, and Geraldine’s Annual Halloween Costume Contest. As always, the competition is fierce.CCHalloween-Poster

The Rainier Valley Post also has a great overview of the events in the south-end. Be sure to click here to check out the RVP’s full post with links to all the details. Below are the details on just a few on the list.

There are so many fun Halloween events happening right here in the Rainier Valley both this weekend and next. Have fun, stay safe and use the comment section below to tell us what you did. You can even post your “South-End Halloween Scenes” on our Facebook Page. Enjoy!

The Fright On 44thColumbia City’s free annual haunted house comin’ at you live on Halloween night since the mid-nineties! The Fright (5036 44th Ave. S.) continues to expand by popular demand and even held a toned down pre-show for the little ones this year. Complete with backyard maze with live actors, props, attractions, tricks, treats, and the unexpected. All ages welcome but parental supervision is recommended. #BOO!

Trick or treat in Columbia CityThis is a fun, safe, annual trick-or-treat event in the heart of the Columbia City business district and sponsored by the Columbia City Business Association (CCBA). Look for orange and black balloons from 3 to 6 pm on Fri., Oct. 31, to identify participating businesses. Don’t forget to say, “Trick-or-treat, smell my feet, gimme somethin’ good to eat!” I mean, “Thank you!”

Lantern Walk in Cheasty Greenspace/Mt. ViewBased on traditions and cultures from all over the world that see the deepening darkness of Autumn as an invitation to shine our own personal light even brighter. Co-sponsored by The Makery and New Rainier Vista’s Seattle Housing Authority. Scheduled for Sat., Nov. 1, from 5:30 to 6:30(ish). Lantern making events are even in the works!