Talk:Capitol Hill (Seattle)

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Population Figures[edit]

This article currently uses population/density figures from city data. However, the city data page uses an incredibly broad definition of Capitol Hill, encompassing all of Portage Bay, Montlake, and Madison Park. Not only would most Seattlites agree that many of these areas are not part of the neighborhood, but the information doesn't even match the map above.

I am going to go ahead and change this information. I propose doing a twofold population count. One that encompasses the urban core, bounded by the freeway, Roy, 15th, and Union (more specifically, census tracts 74.01, 74.02, 84, and 75), and a greater Capitol Hill which encompasses all of the northern and western sections down to 23rd (more specifically, census tracts 65, 64, and 76).JoshMahar (talk) 16:48, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

1925 fire[edit]

Good article on 1925 Auto Row fire. Definitely citeable: Rob Ketcherside sits on the city Landmarks Board. - Jmabel | Talk 19:13, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

Category:Capitol Hill, Seattle?[edit]

I think the category Category:Capitol Hill, Seattle would be very beneficial by grouping sites, landmarks, businesses, etc. associated with the neighborhood. ---Another Believer (Talk) 21:33, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

Culture, businesses[edit]

The style and lack of independent, third-party references for most of the following material suggests original research similar to a personal essay or travel guide, both of which Wikipedia is not – see Wikipedia is not a publisher of original thought and Wikipedia is not a manual, guidebook, textbook, or scientific journal: according to the latter, "Wikipedia is not the place to recreate content more suited to entries in hotel or culinary guides, travelogues, and the like. Notable locations may meet the inclusion criteria, but the resulting articles need not include every tourist attraction, restaurant, hotel or venue, etc." Since the stated purpose of Wikipedia is to provide for a general audience a summary of established knowledge as represented by what is published in reliable sources, and not to be a vehicle for personal opinions or marketing (see Wikipedia is not a soapbox or means of promotion), I have removed this material from the article. —Coconutporkpie (talk) 01:15, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Extended content


At night enthusiastic (and at times eccentric) people fill the streets enjoying the diverse entertainment and the culture of openness and acceptance. Spontaneous street parties have been known to break out with music playing and people dancing in the streets like on Election Day 2008 and the freak snow storm in December 2008 (snow is very unusual in Seattle and can stifle transit). In these instances, police officers observe but will usually let the revelling continue. When clubs do shut down at around 2 AM, people can now flock to the plethora of new street vendors opening up as well as the late-closing restaurants serving quick and tasty food.

With a rich and diverse history, Capitol Hill has been a bastion of arts and culture. Boutiques dot the commercial streets, specifically in the Southern Pike/Pine area. The neighborhood boasts a number of small performing arts theaters, including the Erickson Theater, the Balagan Theater, and the Annex Theater. There are also a number of dance studios, most prominently Velocity Dance on 12th. Not far away, Richard Hugo House hosts literary artists-in-residence and presents a wide variety of public performances, classes, and other events throughout the year. Public art, both government-sponsored and not, can also be seen throughout the neighborhood.

Bars and clubs

At least since the 1970s, the Hill has played a prominent role in Seattle's nightlife. Prominent bars in the 1970s, inevitably also full-scale restaurants, were the upmarket and elegant Henry's Off Broadway and two Broadway "fern bars" owned by Gerry Kingen. (Kingen also turned the Red Robin from a single tavern at the southern end of the University Bridge into a restaurant chain.) Lion O'Reilly's had a last hurrah as "Lion O's Rock Hard Cafe", which resulted in legal action by the Hard Rock Cafe chain. Surviving from that era, with a rougher-hewn version of the same style, is Canterbury Ales and Eats on 15th Avenue E.

With a similar look, but far more emblematic of what was to come was Brass Connection which was a bar and disco with a predominantly gay male crowd and occasional drag shows. It played a key role in moving the heart of Seattle's gay nightlife scene from relative hidey-holes, mainly in the Pioneer Square and Belltown neighborhoods, to higher-profile venues, mainly on Capitol Hill and especially in the Pike-Pine Corridor.

In the late 1980s, another gay bar, Tugs Belltown, moved up to the Hill (corner of Pine and Belmont) and became Tugs Belmont where underwear parties were held. In this new venue, it played a key role in Seattle's burgeoning and sexy fringe theater scene. Possibly the first bar in Seattle since before the Prohibition era to host regular theater performances, in the early 1990s it was the primary home of the Greek Active Theater, founded by sex columnist and Capitol Hill resident Dan Savage (working pseudonymously as Keenan Hollohan).

The scene along the Pike-Pine corridor was never exclusively gay. In the 1990s Moe's, on Pike just east of Broadway (now named Neumos), transformed a former Salvation Army facility into a combination bar, restaurant, and performance venue, with local and national acts as well as dance nights, and became for several years one of Seattle's most prominent musical performance venues. Now Neumos and nearby Chop Suey continue that live music tradition and dozens of trendy (and friendly-but-divey) bars and clubs cater to gay- and straight-themed nightlife.

In late 2007, the 500 block of East Pine was demolished for a condominium/street-level businesses project that as of 2012 is only now coming to fruition. The 500 block housed the Manray gay bar as well as gay-friendly Cha Cha Lounge, Bus Stop, Kincora and the raunchy Pony (which was supposed to be only a temporary venue before its demolishing). The block has been described as a "hub for Seattle music, nightlife, art, fashion, and small business".[1] Though most of the bars and clubs on this block have relocated (including Pony), the lower Pike-Pine corridor has a distinctly different feel west of Broadway.

The current hubs of Capitol Hill nightlife are on Pike and side streets between Broadway and 12th Ave, 12th Ave itself heading east from Pike, Olive Way from Melrose all the way to Broadway, and portions of Pine and Pike West of Broadway. There are over 100 bars and clubs currently in the Capitol Hill area.


The company has opened three unique versions of the chain at different locations on the hill. The testing being done included unique decor, differentiated food and drink menus (e.g. specialty teas) and the sales of alcohol. These three locations are: Roy Street Coffee & Tea, 15th Ave. and most prominently at E. Olive Way.[2]

The now-defunct Cause Celebre coffeehouse and ice cream parlor on 15th Ave. E. started life as a worker-owned collective, but was eventually bought out by one of its founding members. From about 1978 until the mid-1980s, it declared itself to be "Capitol Hill's living room."

B&O Espresso (at the corner of Belmont Ave. E. and Olive Way, hence B&O: Belmont and Olive), founded 1976, was one of Seattle's oldest surviving coffeehouses, but closed in 2012 when its building was redeveloped.[3]

The minuscule Coffee Messiah (early 1990s – 2006), decorated in religious kitsch, serving little but coffee and vegan pastries, was also an all-ages performance venue for several years. The crowd frequently spilled out onto the pavement. Acts ranged from punk rock to drag cabaret, including a cross between the two known as Pho Bang (which later continued at other venues).

Present-day coffeehouses on the Hill include the local chains Caffe Ladro, Caffé Vita, and Top Pot Doughnuts, as well as bauhaus books + coffee(now closed), TnT Espresso, Espresso Vivace Sidewalk Bar, Espresso Vivace at Brix (originally Roasteria), Fuel Coffee, Insomniax (two locations), Joe Bar, Kaladi Brothers, Stumptown Coffee Roasters (two locations), Victrola Coffee Roasters (two locations) and new arrivals Cafe Solstice, Porchlight, Analog, Broadcast, and Cupcake Royale (with other locations throughout Seattle).

Espresso Vivace's primary location on 901 E. Denny Way/1512 11th Ave just a block off Broadway was closed in mid-2008 due to University Link construction, but a new location is now open in the Brix condos building further north on Broadway E. The Espresso Vivace sidewalk bar on Broadway, and Espresso Vivace Alley 24' South Lake Union location are also open for business.

Mezzanine seating, Bauhaus

Several Capitol Hill coffeehouses use mezzanines or similar architectural devices to add more seating to their relatively small spaces; some take significant advantage of nearby sidewalks for additional seating. Espresso Vivace's Broadway location has only sidewalk seating sharing a part of the lot with the bank next to it. Before its building was demolished by developers, Bauhaus took advantage of its high ceiling not only for a massive wall of books (mostly encyclopedias and other reference books), but also to place additional seating over the food prep and serving area; it also spilled out onto the sidewalk onto E. Pine Street and around the corner to Melrose, where sidewalk seats provided a higher northwestern view of downtown, including the Space Needle. Making way for the major development and construction, Bauhaus relocated in 2014 into the former Capitol Club space across the street.


Book stores, popular in the city, also find an anchor in the neighborhood. There are seven book stores: Elliott Bay Book Company, Bauhaus Books & Coffee, Twice Sold Tales, Horizon Books, Pilot Books, Spine and Crown Books, and Ada's Technical Books. A 2010 addition is the Elliott Bay Book Company, which moved from its historic Pioneer Square location.[4]


While many of Capitol Hill's churches began as suburban congregations serving to establish the newest neighborhood of young Seattle, they have changed with the neighborhood to reach out to the poor and homeless and those living with HIV, as well as continuing their work of encouraging the faithful.

A few of the original churches include St. Joseph's on 19th Avenue E., which anchored a large Roman Catholic population on the east slope. The imposing edifice of St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral overlooks I-5 on the west side of the hill and is home to a large Episcopal congregation and the seat of the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia. All Pilgrims Christian Church combines the former congregation of Seattle First Christian Church with that of Pilgrim Congregational Church. The Nisqually earthquake permanently damaged First's sanctuary across the street from SCCC (then the only other church on the Broadway strip, now demolished).

The rainbow sign reading "You Are Welcome Here" on the tower of All Pilgrims Christian Church on Broadway makes it clear that it is a gay-friendly church.

There are a number of other Christian congregations on Capitol Hill without church buildings of their own. Grace Church Seattle, Presbyterian Church of America, meets at Volunteer Park Seventh Day Adventist Church on 13th and Aloha. Church on the Hill was started by the First Advent Christian Church, which used to be on 13th and Olive; Church on the Hill meets at the Balagan Theatre Harvard between Pike and Pine. Sanctuary, Southern Baptist, meets at Piecora Pizza, Church of the Undignified (Nazarene) meets at Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church building, and Transit Assembly meets in homes across Capitol Hill each week.

One recently founded church does have a building: Capitol Hill Presbyterian (PCUSA), located on Harvard behind Seattle Central Community College, was formed on Easter 2006 when Westminster Presbyterian Church merged with Church at the Center. Capitol Hill Presbyterian has liturgical music that draws on indie rock and a strong arts influence. They are home to 21 recovery groups each week: AA, NA, CA, and CMA.

A number of immigrant populations worship throughout the neighborhood as the population diversifies, including Russian Orthodox, Ethiopian and Vietnamese. There is also a longstanding Greek Orthodox Church, the Church of the Assumption, which separated from St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in the 1930s. Christ our Foundation, a Filippino congregation, meets weekly in the Capitol Hill Presbyterian building.

Two landmark church buildings near Group Health Hospital no longer host congregations [...] The former First Church of Christ, Scientist was converted into a 12-unit townhouse development beginning in 2006.[5] Units were first sold between 2009 and 2012.[6]

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