First Day Of Fall 2019: Can't-Miss Events In Puget Sound

Recent dreary weather in Puget Sound might have you looking forward to fall. Grab a sweater and check out some bigger local events.

By Neal McNamara , Patch Staff | Courtesy of Patch.com

Sep 17, 2019 1:46 pm ET

Changing leaves seen at a SeaTac park in October 2018. (Patch file photo/Neal McNamara)

Changing leaves seen at a SeaTac park in October 2018. (Patch file photo/Neal McNamara)

SEATTLE, WA — The fall equinox on Monday, Sept. 23, officially ushers in the new season and its promise of crisp air, show-stopping leaf displays (in select parts of Washington) and more sunny afternoons in college football stadiums.

The autumnal equinox isn't a day-long event, but rather occurs at the exact moment the sun crosses the celestial equator. In Western Washington, fall officially arrives at 12:50 a.m. PST.

In Puget Sound, you can celebrate the arrival of fall with some cozy, auburn events like:

Fremont Oktoberfest, Sept. 20 – 22, Seattle

The 22nd annual Fremont Oktoberfest is the region's largest annual beer festival. The event features over 100 beer and ciders from Washington, Germany, and everywhere in between. Other cities around the region, like Kirkland and Edmonds, also hold Oktoberfest celebrations in fall.

Bellewether 2019, through Sept. 22, Bellevue

Bellevue's yearly arts-and-ideas festival takes place in multiple locations across the city through Sept. 22.

Fresh Hop Ale Festival, Oct. 5, Yakima

Washington has a unique phenomenon every autumn. Brewers descend on the Yakima area to buy un-dried, freshly harvested hops. The resulting beers are known as "fresh hop," and they're only available during this time of year.

Issaquah Salmon Days, Oct. 5 – 6, Issaquah

The 50th celebration of fall salmon runs takes over downtown Issaquah the weekend of Oct. 5. But there's more than just fish — there will be live music, a grand parade, food, and beer and wine.

Orting Pumpkin Fest, Oct 12, Orting

Think of this as Salmon Days for pumpkins. This annual event, part of the Tacoma Freedom Festival, mixes food and entertainment with activities like pumpkin carving and amusement rides.

Woodland Park Zoo Pumpkin Bash, Oct. 26, Seattle

Families are invited to the zoo (in costume, of course) to watch animals devour pumpkins AND do some trick-or-treating.

We're also coming up on the end of Daylight Saving Time, which officially ends on Sunday, Nov. 3, but that's a while off.

The word equinox comes from the Latin words "aequus," which means "equal," and "nox," which means night. That's led to the perception that everyone worldwide sees the same amount of daylight and nighttime, but it's not the absolute truth. To be precise, daylight lasts about 8 minutes longer than nighttime on the day of the equinox.

Here are five other things to know about the September equinox:

1. There's no guarantee, of course, but the chances of seeing stunning aurora borealis displays increase after the fall equinox, according to NASA. Both the spring and fall equinoxes are good aurora seasons, but autumn produces a surplus of geomagnetic storms — almost twice the annual average.

2. Nobody alive has seen a rare Sept. 21 autumnal equinox, and only young people have any hope of seeing one barring any big shifts in life expectancy. It hasn't happened on that date in many millennia, and it won't happen again until 2092 and 2096.

The date of the September equinox varies. Usually, it's on the 22nd or, as it is this year, the 23rd, but it can occur as early as Sept. 21 or as late as Sept. 24 (that hasn't happened since 1931, and won't again until 2303).

The reason: A year is defined as 365 days by the Gregorian calendar, but it takes the Earth 365 and ¼ days to orbit the sun. What this means is the autumnal equinox occurs about 6 hours later than it did the year prior, which eventually moves the date by a day.

3. Thank Canada for spectacular fall sunsets with more vivid with pinks, reds and oranges than at any other time of the year. The Weather Channel offers an explanation: Dry, clean Canadian air begins to sweep across the country, fewer colors of the rainbow spectrum are scattered by air molecules. That means the reds, oranges, yellows and pinks make it through for your sunset-viewing pleasure.

4. No matter where you are in the world, the sun will rise due east and set due west during the fall equinox (the same thing happens during the spring equinox). For the directionally challenged, it's a good time for a reset. Go outside around sunset or sunrise, find a landmark and mark the sun's location in relation to it.

5. Fall isn't just a time for the human world to start buttoning things up outside. It's rutting — or mating — season for deer, elk and moose, and males will battle it out by thrusting their antlers together until one of them gives up or dies. Swans, geese and ducks begin their migration south. Frogs burrow deep into mud holes to wait out the winter. Chipmunks retreat to their underground tunnels. Bears eat and drink almost non-stop as they prepare for hibernation. And, according to the Mother Nature Network, the male Siberian hamster goes through a huge biological change: Its testicles swell almost 17 times their normal size.

Tips To Beat Puget Sound Labor Day Traffic By Land, Air, And Sea

Check out these travel tips to spend less of your end-of-summer vacation stuck in traffic around the region.

By Neal McNamara , Patch Staff | Courtesy of Patch.com

I-90 will be one of the busiest routes in and out of Puget Sound during the 2019 Labor Day weekend, WSDOT says. (Patch file photo/Neal McNamara)

I-90 will be one of the busiest routes in and out of Puget Sound during the 2019 Labor Day weekend, WSDOT says. (Patch file photo/Neal McNamara)

SEATTLE, WA — Whether you're heading east to Lake Wenatchee, north to Vancouver, or much farther away via Sea-Tac Airport, there are some travel tips you're going to want to know to beat Labor Day 2019 traffic.

Two factors might make this a particularly busy Labor Day: the weather is going to be relatively clear and warm across the state, and AAA thinks Labor Day weekend gas prices will be at the lowest level since 2016.

As with most big travel holidays, WSDOT has prepared a traffic forecast to help you plan the best time to drive this weekend. Friday is going to be the busiest travel day heading out of the Seattle area — and so that means Monday is going to be the heaviest day for travel back into the area. Westbound U.S. 2 will be the least congested route out of the region on Friday, according to estimates. You can see all the travel forecasts for U.S. 2, I-5, and I-90 on the WSDOT website

If you're flying out of Sea-Tac, the airport is recommending travelers do four things:

  • Download the Sea-Tac smartphone app to keep track of travel delays and cancellations

  • Arrive at least two hours early for domestic flights and three hours early for international flights

  • Avoid driving: take light rail or a rideshare car to the airport

  • Bring limited carry-on items so that you (and everyone else) can get through security faster

If you're heading to the San Juan Islands, make sure to reserve a spot — and do it soon. Some of the most popular routes are mostly booked. On Monday afternoon, only one sailing from Anacortes to Orcas Island had spots left.

Not going away this weekend? No problem, there's plenty to do nearby, and all these events are accessible by bus or train: 

The Seattle Outdoor Patio Hall of Fame

Claim your spot at the city’s rooftops or decks. It’s packed? Industry insiders share how to score a seat (without throwing elbows).

By Rosin Saez  5/29/2019 at 9:00am  Published in the June/July 2019 issue of Seattle Met | Courtesy of SeattleMet.com

Summit to a seat at the University District’s rooftop Mountaineering Club.  IMAGE:  CHONA KASINGER

Summit to a seat at the University District’s rooftop Mountaineering Club.

IMAGE: CHONA KASINGER

LOFTY PERCHES

Mbar

Situated on a sky-grazing rooftop in South Lake Union, this bar traffics in Levantine fare and views of the Space Needle. Up close, picture grilled halloumi cheese and a spritz fizzing with sparkling rosé.

Terra Plata

Chef Tamara Murphy serves savory combinations like roast pig, manila clams, smoky paprika, and bay-scented potatoes on a wedge-shaped rooftop one floor above the harried shuffle of Capitol Hill streets.

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Mountaineering Club

If a hiking influencer’s Instagram account and herb-forward cocktail menu collided it would create this University District rooftop bar that’s worth the summit (ahem, elevator ride). 

Bastille

June through September, the Ballard restaurant’s rooftop garden sets up long tables and hosts an intimate summer dinner series, serving beautiful seasonal fare right next to the raised garden beds whence it came. 

The Nest

A bird’s eye view of Pike Place Market and Elliott Bay from the tip-top of the Thompson Hotel is rarely a bad idea. Neither is a daiquiri made with strawberry-infused rum inspired by early aughts cocktail trends.

Monsoon

The elegance inside North Capitol Hill’s destination-worthy Vietnamese restaurant belies the neighborhood cookout feel up on its breezy roof deck—but both levels serve up five-spice pork ribs, crispy chicken, and wok-seared squid.

CAN’T BEAT THE SQUARE FEET

King’s Hardware

Mismatched chairs. Chipped paint, sun-worn picnic tables outside. Divey burgers and fries. This Ballard watering hole isn’t fancy and that’s exactly why it’s beloved.

The Masonry

The pizza bar specializes in absurdly good wood-fired pie, with an absurdly good beer list that leans European in style and, at its Fremont location, a wraparound deck that always seems to have a free table on a sunny day.

Ciudad

In Georgetown, an enclosed patio does double dining duty as seating for both Ciudad and Bar Ciudad next door. But it’s so spacious, you won’t have to jockey for tables; you can have your sangria and harissa-spiced chicken with room aplenty. 

Wood Shop BBQ

The barbecue is great—a lineup of pulled pork, brisket, and mac and cheese bowls devised by unabashed barbecue geek Matt Davis. But the sprawling, dog-friendly patio out the side door? That’s even better.

Pono Ranch

The food is fuss-free and homey; craft beer floweth freely. And, oh, the real estate—an urban secret garden fenced in from Ballard’s busy Shilshole Avenue.

White Swan Public House’s dockside patio.  IMAGE:  CHONA KASINGER

White Swan Public House’s dockside patio.

IMAGE: CHONA KASINGER

WHOA, THOSE VIEWS

Westward

Striped umbrellas and low-slung adirondack chairs do a convincing impression of a Mediterranean beachfront, and while the menu hews to those warm-climate flavors—fried octopus, clams in saffron fish broth—the Wallingford restaurant is all city skyline and Lake Union vistas.

Captain Blacks

Off East Olive Way lives a bar that checks many boxes: reliably divey vibe, a nautical theme that’s less yacht club and more goth beach house, plus a deck that overlooks Capitol Hill and some downtown skyline.

Marination Ma Kai

The Hawaiian-hewn restaurant nestled along West Seattle’s Alki shoreline delivers island-style vibes via bundles of Spam musubi, kalua pork tacos, and tropically flavored shave ice (guava, coconut, mango)—not to mention a sterling beer list and cocktails built for warm weather.

Magnuson Cafe and Brewery

The brewery, cafe, and instant favorite al fresco destination opened last year on the grounds of this former naval air station. No wonder Lake Washington boaters and area residents park themselves here on good weather days.

White Swan Public House

At Matt’s in the Market’s waterside sibling, boats bob in the surrounding marina, while sea planes and waterfront provide a backdrop to trays of fresh-shucked oysters on ice or cornmeal-crusted fish and chips.

Praise macaroni and cheeses at Jerk Shack.  IMAGE:  LAUREN SEGAL

Praise macaroni and cheeses at Jerk Shack.

IMAGE: LAUREN SEGAL

HIDDEN GEMS

Canon

With a liquor list as long as a graduate thesis, Jamie Boudreau’s much acclaimed Capitol Hill bar is everything good about our local drink scene. Ditto the back patio which, unlike the bar, is only open Tuesday through Saturday. 

Serafina

A charming vine-entwined courtyard delivers a slice of Italy in Eastlake, complete with decadent rabbit cavatelli and balanced cocktails made of sharp limoncello and smooth amaro. 

Jerk Shack

The Caribbeanesque interior, with its repurposed rum barrels, bright murals, and wide-frond plants, may subtly evoke tropical climes, but an evening spent with punch and jerk-spiced chicken out on the back deck is as close as one gets to island life in Belltown.

Stampede Cocktail Club

Barman Paul Shanrock is not one to hold back. Dinosaur head wall mount? Check. Sharply crafted and oft changing drink menu? Yup. The front deck at his Fremont watering hole even assumed a new secret garden identity recently, complete with booths and late-summer movie nights.

Bottlehouse

The Madrona wine bar’s leaf-shrouded patio is barely visible from the street, but inside it’s like your friend’s cool back deck—with surprisingly ambitious snacks and a ferociously legit roster of options by bottle and glass (including, yes, frosé…see “In Seattle, Frosé Is Here to Stay”).

How to Patio Like a Pro

1. “We don’t offer reservations for any of our outdoor seating, [but] whenever a guest does make a reservation, they can request outdoor seating. We do our absolute best to accommodate but it’s not 100 percent possible all of the time.” —Sarah Zehner, general manager, Westward

2. “At Mbar, make a reservation for the dining room and then you can walk out to the patio, either before or after your meal, because we have kind of a free flow area where you go out and enjoy that.” —Jason Bitsko, former general manager, Mbar

3. “My best advice is [go on] weekdays. You’re going to get way more bang for your buck on a weekday. Seattle is very much a weekend warrior town. You come on Friday and Saturday—it’s going to be busy.” —Paul Shanrock, bartender-owner, Stampede Cocktail Club

Seattle’s Best Pizza: From Thick Crust to Thin

And some great crusts that are right in the middle, too.

By Seattle Met Staff  Edited by Courtney Cummings  7/2/2019 at 9:00am | Courtesy of SeattleMet.com

Slices come thick and square at Dino’s.  IMAGE:  SARA MARIE D’EUGENIO

Slices come thick and square at Dino’s.

IMAGE: SARA MARIE D’EUGENIO

THICK AND STURDY (DEEP DISH, ROMAN-STYLE, ETC.)

Breezy Town Pizza

Windy City Pie was the best deep dish in town—until it spun off this destination for sourdough-crust pies inside Beacon Hill’s Clock-Out Lounge. It’s all that crisped cheese goodness, now with a saltier, slightly tangy crust, a style that hovers somewhere between Chicago and Detroit. The Pepperoni Paint Job, with its dual layers of meat, is a great introduction, but the experimental specials, like slices inspired by quiche or everything bagels, are bizarre and wonderful.

Dino’s Tomato Pie

The project of Delancey co-owner and pizzaiolo Brandon Pettit—a pizza scholar who knows the importance of wet dough and dry ovens—Dino’s is an intentionally crafted dive at the Capitol Hill epicenter of Denny and Olive, whose deep booths and long bar pay homage to the pizza taverns of Pettit’s native Jersey. Also its pizza: Sicilian thick-crusted squares with bright sauce, first-rate toppings (Zoe’s bacon, aged mozzarella, extraordinary Grana Padano), and a high quotient of char. Done well, char will caramelize the sugars in the crust and lend a transporting complexity; too well done, it will blacken the crust to ash. Both have been known to transpire here at Dino’s. Thin crust pizzas, salads, and cocktails too.

Resonate Brewery and Pizzeria

Why yes, an aging strip mall in the Newport Hills part of Bellevue is home to a legit pizzeria, where oblong Roman-style pies arrive at your booth or long table on a personal sheet pan. Crusts have admirable chew, and toppings update classic parlor combos with high quality meat. Even better, Resonate brews its own beer, an accessible spectrum from kolsch to imperial coffee stout, plus a gaggle of IPAs. Bring a laptop, a baby, or your work team to take advantage of the lunch specials.

Willmott’s Ghost

Renee Erickson has transplanted Rome’s culture of sturdy, streetside pizza into the undercarriage of the Amazon Spheres. Though this crescent-shaped space layered with mod light fixtures, plush circular leather booths, and liberal doses of pink is more Jetsons chic than Campo de Fiori. Willmott’s Ghost doles out square slices, with crust a beat removed from really good bread and restrained Roman topping combos heavy on seasonal produce. Let bread be your north star, guiding you to pizza of course, but also a porchetta sandwich on a perfect crusty rosetta roll, and focaccia to make you forget every bland version you’ve ever had before. Willmott’s riffs on Italy’s typical menu format—starters, sides, the pasta-heavy primi course, and meatier secondi—subbing pizza in place of pasta. Though authenticity quibbles seem silly when they happen beneath an artificially engineered jungle in Seattle’s urban core. 

Windy City Pie

It’s the halo of crisp cheese that makes this Chicago-style pizza worth the advance online order (no longer necessary at the new Phinney Ridge quarters, but still highly advisable). Deep dish is often a gut bomb, but owner Dave Lichterman layers flavors with thought—a lighter, briochelike crust, just enough cheese to mean business, a surface of tangy tomato sauce. Request mushrooms and olives on a meaty pie, and he’ll politely suggest these add-ons will mess with his moisture and salt ratios, not to mention the very specific conditions necessary to turn slices of mozzarella layered around the sides of the pan into a fortifying wall of mahogany burnt cheese. The bar area’s already proving a popular destination for a drink and a slice, but the remainder of the dining room is all ages—a nice change from the no-minors restriction of the Batch 206 days.

Pizza at Bruciato’s well worth the ferry ride to Bainbridge.  IMAGE:  SARA MARIE D’EUGENIO

Pizza at Bruciato’s well worth the ferry ride to Bainbridge.

IMAGE: SARA MARIE D’EUGENIO

THIN AND/OR FOLDABLE (FROM HARDCORE NAPLES TO NYC)

Bar del Corso

Lucky Beacon Hill, that one of the town’s most emphatically destination-worthy pizzerias occupies a vintage storefront in the heart of the neighborhood. The place bubbles, from the sheer crush of devotees inside its tidy, clean-lined quarters to its wood-fired pizza crusts—crispy and flavorful like Neapolitan with a little more tooth to the chew. These pies are the province of master pizzaiolo Jerry Corso, who delivers a short list of Italian regional antipasti, seasonal salads, and terrific Italian desserts. As for drinks, there’s wine, beer, and cocktails—those skew Italian, too. Though the most Italian thing in the place might be its back patio on which one sips an Aperol spritz in the sunshine.

Big Mario’s

The New York–style pizzeria slings slices and 18-inch pies seven days a week. And, hello munchies, it’s open until 2am every night of the week on Capitol Hill. Other perks: A full bar and a takeaway window. Other other perks: carbo-loading for the post-drinking masses. 

Bruciato

Hitchcock’s weekly pizza popup has morphed into its own restaurant on Bainbridge’s Winslow Way. Flour, cheese, tomatoes, and technique hew to Naples tradition, but toppings take some cues from Hitchcock Deli’s hearty sandwiches—bursting with whatever’s in season, and often finished with paper-thin ribbons of cured, fatty flesh of owner Brendan McGill’s own Mangalitsa hogs.

Central Pizza

The neighborhood’s go-to pizza parlor brings the basic thin-crust pizza of our youth into twenty-first century Seattle with combos like the Kale-Zer Soze, which tops bechamel sauce with bacon, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and slivers of the city’s favorite fibrous green. The menu devotes an entire section to vegetarian combos like the Morrissey (roasted eggplant, cherry tomatoes, olives, and pomodoro sauce, sans cheese) plus the standard 12- and 18-inch pies topped with various combos of meatball, pepperoni, and housemade sausage. Central Pizza retains the weird layout of its past life as All-Purpose Pizza, welcomes kids by day, then morphs into more of a bar vibe by night. Both constituencies appreciate the handful of pizzas sold by the enormous slice.

Cornuto

This Phinney Ridge spot, care of brothers Andrew and Giancarlo Martino, doles out legit pizze napoletane. Fresh out the wood-fired brick oven comes rounds of thin pies with the exact right amount of char and toppings like salame piccante, prosciutto di Parma, and smoked mozzarella. The Vongole pizza bears local oven-roasted clams, a wealth of garlic, and a healthy glug of olive oil. And don’t sleep on the Mezza Luna Nutella, a half moon of sweet pastry dough brimming with hazelnut spread that takes a spin in the oven before landing table side—insides all melty, outer crust nice and crisp.

Delancey

This Ballard haunt has been open for nearly a decade, and still people wait upwards of an hour for simple combos of carefully sourced, often seasonal toppings on char-bubbled crusts. While Delancey’s name and pizza style nod to New York, chef Brandon Pettit’s pillowy-crackly crusted pie with untempered tomato brightness and pairings of Zoe’s bacon, cremini mushrooms, basil, have become a Seattle institution. Impeccable seasonal salads and those bittersweet chocolate chip cookies dusted with gray salt only seal the deal.

Elemental Pizza 

Deep in the heart of familyville, old-school pizza tossers prep fire-bubbled pies with genuine ambition. Local faves like Zoe’s meats and Mama Lil’s adorn the sort of thin-crusted pizza guaranteed to please the crowds. More adventurous pies are up and down (don’t knock the baked potato–themed version until you try it) but vegetarians have some solid options, and the kitchen does gluten-free crust and even a vegan cheese. Slammed and shiny, Elemental can fall down on service when the hordes descend, but it rebounds with a solid happy hour menu.

Humble Pie

Not even the Space Needle delivers a stiffer shot of Seattle than an organic pizza joint, hand built of recycled materials by its LEED-certified architect owner—he even made the stools. Humble Pie smokes its own GMO-free pulled pork, imports just five ingredients from out of state, processes its own rainwater, and maintains a chicken coop. Snicker at your own peril, for these are killer, wood-fired pizza crusts, thin but with plenty of spring in the chew, topped with combos like organic Fuji apples, Beecher’s Flagship cheese, and bacon or smoked eggplant with cherry tomatoes and red onions. Mostly outdoor seating makes this a mostly-in-summer place, but bevs (boutique brews, rotating ciders) and the neighborhood vibe are irresistible even if you have to cram into the tiny building.

The Independent Pizzeria

The Independent Pizzeria, founded by one Tom Siegel and now in the hands of former apprentice Joe Heffernan, took over the lake-facing space that held Impromptu Wine Bar Cafe years back. The small spot has beer and root beer on tap, but the star is the thin curst wood-fired pizza available for dining in or carrying out.

The Masonry

No-nonsense thin crust pizzas from the wood oven, a small list of thoughtful sides (could be a beautiful seasonal salad, could be hearty pozole), and a top-notch draft list that leans more European than hophead. Lower Queen Anne needs more casually grownup spaces like the Masonry, but for now that blessing goes to Fremont, where the Masonry opened a second spot housing a few more taps of craft beers and just as many satisfying pizzas, all of which can be had on the expansive front deck until late.

Petoskey’s

This neighborly tavern in Fremont is an ode to the big games and even bigger cuisine of the upper Midwest. Homesick Wisconsinites order bottles of Leinenkugel, Minnesota Vikings and Michigan paraphernalia cover the walls, and five large TVs show constant sports and the occasional rom com (even those are usually at least set in Chicago). The menu bolsters bar food standards with regional favorites like bouja and tater tot hotdish, and everything’s made with way more care than you’d expect to see in a low-key bar. The pizza skews a little more Neapolitan—the Italian wood-fired oven is a souvenir from the space’s previous identity and does better with that type of dough—but the large groups that descend upon square-cut slices while watching basketball don’t seem to mind.

Pizzeria 22

Verifiable Neapolitan pizza with the credentials to prove it, this West Seattle pizzeria on Admiral is ultralegit. See, owner Cary Kemp learned the ways of pizza napoletana on Via Tribunali in Naples before launching the local chainlet of Via Tribunalis in Seattle circa 2004. Then the pizzaiolo opened this Admiral District joint in 2011 and has been sating the neighborhood with hot pies topped with the likes of buffalo milk mozzarella, sweet Italian sausage, and, for a couple of bucks, you can put an egg on it. Something wholly American though: wood-fired s’mores with melted chocolate and marshmallows bubbly and golden brown from the oven’s flames.

Proletariat Pizza

We’re pretty sure the soul of White Center emanates directly from the busy ovens of Proletariat Pizza, where the young Albaeck family labors to feed the masses simply spectacular pizza. Self-taught, they figured out the basics of thin crusts—puffed and golden and bursting with flavor—and pristine ingredients, from the organic over-easy eggs and prosciutto and meadow of fresh arugula on the ham and egg pie to the anchovies and ricotta and milky mozzarella on the anchovy. “Nothing that we use contains…anything we don’t feel good about putting in our bodies,” the menu reads. “Except Spam.” Taken together with the U.S. Army Medical Department dishes, the utterly sterile interior decor, the toe-curling homemade tiramisu for dessert, and the coalition of families eating it all up, well…soul of White Center indeed.

Tutta Bella Neapolitan

Time was, 20-plus years ago, you had to trek to Filiberto’s in outer Burien to find pizza made the way it was meant to be made: thin crusted and barely scorched in a wood-fired brick oven built by Neapolitan masons. Now, many burn wood, but none to better effect than the cozy Tutta Bella, a cornerstone of Columbia City’s renaissance. The toppings show zealous attention to proportion, quality, and authenticity, from real San Marzano tomatoes in the sauce to a seasonal wild mushroom special heavy with funghi. Salads and desserts are the only extras; the shaved fennel in the insalata di Salerno is an especially nice home-country touch. Newer outposts in Wallingford, South Lake Union, Bellevue, and Issaquah spread the love—if not the warm, old-brick atmosphere.

South Town Pie’s pastrami pizza—and yes, that’s “everything” seasoning on the crust.  IMAGE:  ELIZABETH PODLESNIK

South Town Pie’s pastrami pizza—and yes, that’s “everything” seasoning on the crust.

IMAGE: ELIZABETH PODLESNIK

EVERYTHING (GREAT) IN-BETWEEN

Flying Squirrel Pizza Co.

Over the past decade, they’ve added locations in Maple Leaf and Georgetown, but the pizzeria’s original outpost in Seward Park is the origin story of this pizza hangout with a love of old-school mixtape cassettes. It offers a few tables in shiny, crisply appointed spaces and stellar pies, along with salads and apps and ice creams. But Flying Squirrel is all about artisan toppings—cured meats from Salumi, chicken from Roy’s BBQ, Maytag blue cheese, and locally grown produce—on chewy, sinking crusts bound up with tangy tomato sauce.

Italian Family Pizza

If the family owners at this First Hill pie shop don’t know your name on your first visit, they will by your third. And there will be a third, for their Jersey-style pies feature golden, perfect crusts crackling with heft and bursting with flavor. Of course such hifalutin descriptors are all wrong for pizza this down to earth; order a white pie (built on ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella) or bright tomato pie, with choices of toppings, to the strains of good old ’70s rock. Checkered tablecloths, family photos, and cheap price tags dial up the sense of community. Hint: The large pie means it.

Pagliacci Pizza

The go-to in this town since 1979 for delivery pizza, now in neighborhoods from Kirkland to West Seattle, Shoreline to Capitol Hill (see their website for an up-to-date list of locations). Crusts are bready and serviceable, and best as platforms for some inspired combos. Classicists like the AGOG (roasted garlic, kalamata olives, tomatoes, and goat cheese, along with mushrooms, mozzarella, and fontina) but gourmands like to try seasonal specials, like autumn’s inimitable gorgonzola pear pizza. These folks employ such a sophisticated call-in system they greet you by name before you’ve even given it to them.

Serious Pie

Tom Douglas’s duo of pizza places hold shared plank tables, with enormous granite ovens for the serious business at hand: rustic applewood-smoky pizza crusts with blistery crackle and satisfying chew topped with seasonal harvests, like Yukon Gold potatoes with rosemary or Penn Cove clams with pancetta and lemon thyme. Short lists of vegetal starters and memorable finales round out the brief menu. At the Westlake branch, breakfast means swoonworthy biscuit sandwiches stuffed with fried chicken or truffles frittata or bananas and honey with housemade peanut butter.

Sizzle Pie

In some ways, Sizzle Pie’s decision to open an outpost in the last gritty vestiges of Capitol Hill is almost comically obvious. The Portland pizza outfit’s locations on either side of the Willamette River fuse punk and metalhead sensibilities with a deep respect for dietary restrictions (pies have names like Universal Order of Parmageddon and Vegan Angel of Doom). Cofounder Mikey McKennedy grew up in Olympia and since high school frequented nearby venues like Neumos and the Comet. His business partner Matt Jacobson owns a heavy metal record label. Their joints are fueled by cocktails, local beer, and loud music; like much of Capitol Hill, they keep going until 3 or 4am.

Southpaw

Lark’s original home on 12th Ave is now a casual pizza tavern, serving John Sundstrom’s interpretation of pizza: sturdy wood-fired crusts somehow both chewy and crunchy, topped with cool seasonal combos like chickpea pesto and feta, or padrone peppers, chorizo, and cotija. Pies skew vegetarian, but meat lovers get to choose from the add-on menu, which goes way beyond the traditional salami and sausage with toppings like crispy chicken skins, oxtail, and spicy nduja. There’s a kids menu and some pies come by the slice. Come for the pizza and soft serve, stay for the karaoke night.

South Town Pie

If you thought the complex magic of “everything” seasoning was only for bagels, you haven’t met the crunchy edges of a pastrami pizza, piping hot from the vintage deck oven inside South Town Pie. At this South Park joint, a classic deli sandwich comes in the form of a thin-crust pie: gruyere fondue instead of sauce, with caramelized onions, cubes of pastrami meat, and sweet crinkle-cut coins of dill pickles.

Supreme

Ma‘ono chef Mark Fuller’s a lot more fun since he pivoted away from Spring Hill’s fine dining expectations. So is his food. What his pizza bars on California Ave and the Ave lack in proper plates or utensils, or napkins not from a dispenser, they make up for with gonzo pizzas, fun frozen drinks, and a blaring soundtrack seemingly lifted from some illicit teen house party on an old WB show. The lineup of white- and red-sauced pies start in familiar Americana territory, like the double pep with ample curled-edge pepperoni, and get ever bolder. One of the best sports bits of Ma‘ono’s famed fried chicken, kimchi, and slices of American cheese. They all come on a crust that hints at Fuller’s culinary cred (and that of his lieutenant, Cam Hanin), and that finesse bobs up again in seemingly retro side dishes like wings, a Caesar, and the cult favorite garlic knots.

World Pizza

This comfortably worn vegetarian pizza bar fits in surprisingly well in Chinatown, with slices and pies that pair utilitarian crusts with clever topping combos. The signature rosemary-potato-gorgonzola pizza migrated from the original Belltown location, as did the plate-sized chocolate chip cookies. 

Five Local Adventures for Summer Break

With so many great play spaces, fun parks, exciting museums, and more in the area, keeping kids entertained — both indoors and outdoors — this summer is easier than ever! To help you plan some summer activities, we’ve compiled a list of a few places you won’t want to miss.

By Antoinette Alexander | July 5, 2019 | Courtesy of 425magazine.com

Photo-by-Ylanite-Koppens-from-Pexelsfeat.jpg

MEYDENBAUER  BAY PARK

Come visit Bellevue’s new beach park, which celebrated its grand reopening in March. With a relocated and expanded public swimming beach, walking paths, picnic areas, pedestrian promenade, children’s play area, and more, visiting Meydenbauer Bay Park is the perfect outdoor summer activity for kids. Also on site is the REI Boathouse, which offers classes, outings, or rentals for stand-up paddle boards, canoes, kayaks, or pedal boats on Lake Washington.

Meydenbauer Bay Park is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., and is located at 9899 Lake Washington Blvd. N.E. in Bellevue.

KELSEY CREEK PARK & FARM

Owned by the City of Bellevue and operated by the Parks and Community Services Department, Kelsey Creek Park is a country oasis centrally located in downtown Bellevue. The farm dates back to the 1930s — complete with white-rail fencing, beautiful lawns, and play fields — and is home to ponies, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs, rabbits, and waterfowl that the little ones are sure to enjoy. There also are lots of trails, so be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes.

The playground, picnic tables, and picnic shelter are open every day from dawn to dusk. Reservations are not needed to visit the farm, and there are no entrance fees. Kelsey Creek Farm is located at 410 130 Place S.E. in Bellevue. For more information, call 425.452.7688, or visit farmerjayne.com.

KIDSQUEST CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

If you’re looking for a fun, educational indoor activity, KidsQuest Children’s Museum is the ideal spot. Since its doors opened in 2005, more than 2 million people have visited this award-winning museum — and it’s easy to understand why. Let your child’s imagination run wild in such exhibits as the Story Tree, which is a climbable tree full of animals and tucked-away reading nooks; the Bellevue Mercantile, which is a store, barn, and yard set in the year 1915; and Cityscape, which offers a mini-city table that is an expansive landscape for kid-powered trains, cars, and boats. These are just a few of the exhibits to explore. KidsQuest also offers nearly 300 unique programs throughout the year, including early learning classes, summer camps, school age workshops, free art and science programs, and many special events. KidsQuest is located at 1116 108th Ave. N.E. in Bellevue. For more information, call 425.637.8100, or visit kidsquestmuseum.org.

LIVING COMPUTERS: MUSEUM + LABS

Kids (and adults) can geek out in this one-of-a-kind, hands-on computer and technology museum in Seattle. Featuring computer technology from the 1960s to the present, the museum houses the world’s largest collection of fully restored — and usable — supercomputers, mainframes, minicomputers, and microcomputers.

There’s also a gallery that offers direct experiences with robotics, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, big data, the Internet of Things, video-game making, and digital art.

The museum is located at 2245 First Ave. S. in Seattle. For more information, call 206.342.2020, or visit livingcomputers.org.

SIT AND KIT

Is your little one a budding artist? If so, you can take a break from the hot, summer sun and visit the Sit and Kit drop-in arts and crafts studio.

No scheduling is needed — just come in, choose a project kit, and start having fun. Each kit includes everything you need, both the supplies and instructions. With a range of projects from paper crafts to watercolor painting, to origami, to polymer clay, and more, there’s something for every young artist.

Sit and Kit is located at 14510 N.E. 20th St. in Bellevue. For more information, call 425.523.1745, or visit sitandkit.com.

Seattle Area 4th Of July Traffic: The Worst Time To Leave

The July 4 holiday is Thursday. Here's when to avoid driving around Puget Sound.

By Neal McNamara , Patch Staff | Courtesy of Patch.com

Avoid the post-Seattle fireworks traffic by not driving at around 11 p.m. on July 4. (Patch file photo/Neal McNamara)

Avoid the post-Seattle fireworks traffic by not driving at around 11 p.m. on July 4. (Patch file photo/Neal McNamara)

SEATTLE, WA — July 4 is Thursday and Puget Sound residents are already making plans to head out of town. If that includes you, know that this year you'll be joined by more Americans than ever, according to a new report by the American Automobile Association, better known as AAA.

The motor club federation estimated that nearly 49 million Americans across the country plan to celebrate the nation's 243rd birthday this year with a getaway trip.

And if you're staying in Puget Sound this week, you'll need to be aware of other delays you'll find on the July 4 holiday itself.

AAA expects travel volume overall to increase more than 4 percent compared to 2018, with 1.9 million more people taking a road trip or other type of vacation. That includes a record-high 41.4 million Americans who will be on the road, according to the analytics company INRIX. The company predicted drivers in major metro areas could see delays as much as four times as high as their normal commute. Wednesday is expected to be the worst day on the roads for the country as a whole.

That not true for the Seattle area, however. Here's what AAA expects for the local area:

  • Worst day for travel: July 4

  • Worst time to travel: noon to 2 p.m.

  • Delay multiplier: 3X

On top of that, there are many big local fireworks shows going on Thursday that will impede traffic all day. The main event in the region is the Seafair Summer 4th festival, which lasts all day around the South Lake Union neighborhood. 

Fireworks kick off at 10:15 p.m. and will last until around 11 p.m. That means you'll see a mass exodus of revelers leaving downtown Seattle at that time. Your best bet is to use public transportation. The South Lake Union streetcar can get you from Lake Union to Westlake (and to light rail and buses).

Even if you don't venture into Seattle, there will be big fireworks shows in downtown Bellevue, Renton (at Gene Coulon Memorial Park), and Kirkland. There will also be a big show at Lake Sammamish State Park just off I-90 in Issaquah. All these shows start around 10 p.m.

Lower gas prices and a strong economy are part of the reason more drivers are expected to be on the road this year, AAA said in a news release. The national average for gas prices was at $2.66, 19 cents cheaper than 2018, and that number was expected to drop further into the summer.

"As Independence Day approaches, it's time for the much loved family road trip and this year will be one for the record books, with more Americans than ever planning vacations," said Paula Twidale, vice president at AAA Travel. "This holiday builds on the strong travel demand seen for Memorial Day, and with schools now out of session across the country, families coast to coast are eager to travel."

Patch national staffer Dan Hampton contributed to this report.

Best Beer Destinations Around Seattle

We’ve switched things up for our annual beer awards— behold, our must-visit list of the best breweries, brewpubs and other hops-driven destinations for Seattle-area beer lovers

BY: KENDALL JONES | FROM THE PRINT EDITION |JULY 2019

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Image Credit:

All photos by Alex Crook

RICH BREWS: Porters, stouts and barrel-aged beers are Fremont Brewing specialties

This article appears in print in the July 2019 issue. Click here to subscribe.

If you frequent any beer-focused bar these days you’ve probably noticed that the selection of beers rotates constantly. That’s because many beer lovers continually look for something new, something different, something they haven’t tried yet. Like those ever-changing tap lists, our local breweries are responding to this recent shift in consumer habits, and while they may still offer some flagship beers, more and more breweries are expending a lot of energy to create new, limited-release and one-off beers.

Some breweries have a knack for producing a particular type of beer, so instead of judging individual beers that you may never be able to find again, as we’ve done in the past, this year we polled 36 local beer experts to determine the best brewery in each of seven different style categories. Whatever style of beer you crave, we’ve done all the heavy lifting so that you don’t have to.

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CLEAR AS DAY: Pick up a six-pack of Georgetown Brewing Company’s Lucille IPA at your local beer retailer to enjoy this fruity, bitter beverage at home

BEST NON-HAZY IPAs
Sometimes referred to as Northwest IPA or West Coast IPA, this style of beer offers lots of hops flavor without the hazy appearance
Georgetown Brewing Company
Most beer drinkers around here are familiar with Manny’s pale ale, Georgetown’s flagship beer, but this brewery also pumps out other world-class offerings, including our panel’s favorite non-hazy IPAs. Stop by the brewery’s taproom, where you’ll often find three or four new, limited-release IPAs to tickle your palate. These are actually experimental beers, intended to help develop new recipes that may become regular offerings, like the delightfully fruity and refreshingly bitter Lucille IPA, which you’ll always find at your local grocery store in 12-ounce cans. Georgetown, 5200 Denver Ave. S; 206.766.8055; georgetownbeer.com; all ages; dog-friendly
Runner Up: Reuben’s Brews, Ballard, 5010 14th Ave. NW; 206.784.2859; reubensbrews.com; all ages; dog-friendly

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MISMATCH: Arlington’s Skookum Brewery is worth the trek out of town, as much for the patchwork decor as the hazy IPAs

BEST HAZY IPAs
A very popular style currently, these beers are brewed with a touch of wheat and/or oats, which lends the beer a hazy, turbid appearance. Hoppy like an IPA, but usually with a fruitier, juicier flavor profile
Skookum Brewery
This might be the best brewery you’ve never heard of. It’s located about 45 miles north of Seattle, where the spacious taproom is decorated with a random, mismatched collection of kitchen tables and chairs. Try all of Skookum’s beers, but make sure you take one of the hazy IPAs for a spin, like the Glow Inc. IPA, a draft-only beer that you’ll often find at the brewery’s taproom and occasionally at better beer bars around the Seattle area. Arlington, 17925 59th Ave. NE; 360.403.7094; skookumbrewery.com; 21 and older; dog-friendly
Runner Up: Cloudburst Brewing, downtown, 2116 Western Ave.; cloudburstbrew.com; 21 and older; dog-friendly

BEST BREWERY TAPROOM FOR YOUR POOCH
Postdoc Brewing
Conveniently located at the east entrance to Redmond’s Marymoor Park, home to one of the region’s largest off-leash areas, this all-ages taproom welcomes your pup both inside and on the patio. Along with the beer, there is often a food truck in the parking lot for human visitors; for Bowser and Fifi, there’s always a selection of healthy doggie snacks made with the same grains the brewery uses to brew the beer. Redmond, 17625 NE 65th St., No. 100; 425.658.4963; postdocbrewing.com; all ages; dog-friendly

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SCHOOL'S OUT: The old school vibe, cold pints and approachable pub grub make this classic spot near the University of Washington an evergreen favorite

BEST BREWPUB
A restaurant or pub with its own brewery on-site
Big Time Brewery and Alehouse
Seattle’s oldest and this year’s best brewpub opened in 1988 near the University of Washington, the first brewpub to open in the city since Prohibition. The ongoing cycle of matriculation and graduation at the UW continually introduces newbies to the brewery’s award-winning beers in a convivial pub atmosphere, where professors share tables with grad students and neighborhood old-timers sit elbow to elbow at the bar with scientific researchers, all slurping down pints of the beloved Scarlet Fire IPA alongside pizzas, sandwiches and other pub grub.
There is something truly nostalgic here. Wood floors, large oak library-style tables and a beautiful antique back bar complement modern, award-winning beers. About four years ago, one of the bartenders, Rick McLaughlin, became the owner and is now a pillar of the business community, advocating for the rights of small businesses that face an army of challenges as Seattle charges into the future. In a city where everything is shiny and new, Big Time Brewery and Alehouse endures. To quote Field of Dreams, “It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again.” University District, 4133 University Way NE; 206.545.4509; bigtimebrewery.com; all ages before 8 p.m., 21 and older thereafter; no dogs
Readers' Choice: 
Big Time Brewery and Alehouse, University District, 4133 University Way NE; 206.545.4509; bigtimebrewery.com; all ages before 8 p.m., 21 and older thereafter; no dogs 
The Pike Pub, downtown, 1415 First Ave.; 206.622.6044; 
pikebrewing.com; all ages; no dogs 
Redhook Brewlab, Capitol Hill, 714 E Pike St.; 206.823.3026; 
redhook.com; all ages; dogs welcome on the front and back patios

BEST BEER RETAILER
A place to savor a pint or take some bottles or growlers to go
Full Throttle Bottles
Full Throttle Bottles, opened in 2008, was one of the first dedicated beer stores in Seattle. By 2016, the Georgetown shop was getting a bit long in the tooth. That’s when a change of ownership and a change in direction infused new energy into the business. The space was cleaned up and remodeled, and the store reimagined to better serve the crowds along the now-bustling strip of restaurants and nightspots on Airport Way. Patrons are now invited to have a seat and enjoy a pint while perusing the coolers for beers to go.
Other bottle shops around Seattle may boast a larger selection, but owner Jon Olken focuses on a carefully curated collection of beers, including familiar favorites from locals such as Georgetown Brewing Company and Fremont Brewing, along with less common, ultrarare gems from breweries like De Garde Brewing of Tillamook, Oregon. The 12 taps reflect a similar diversity at this friendly little beer boutique. Georgetown, 5909 Airport Way S; 206.763.207921; fullthrottlebottles.com; 21 and older; dog-friendly
Readers' Choice
Chuck’s Hop Shop (Greenwood), Greenwood, 656 NW 85th St.; 206.297.6212; chuckshopshop.com; all ages; dog-friendly 
The Beer Junction, West Seattle, 4511 California Ave. SW; 206.938.2337; 
thebeerjunction.com; 21 and older; no dogs 
Full Throttle Bottles, Georgetown, 5909 Airport Way S; 206.763.2079; 
fullthrottlebottles.com; 21 and older; dog-friendly

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BARRLE THIEF: Holy Mountain Brewing Company owners Colin Lenfesty (left) and Mike Murphy stand amidst the oak barrels used to age their beers

BEST SAISON (FARMHOUSE-STYLE) BEERS
Originally brewed at farmhouses in France and Belgium, this style of beer is noted for its fruity and spicy character
Holy Mountain Brewing Company
This brewery blends the old world with the new to create saisons that are rustic (as though they were brewed in a barn) and refined (as though they were brewed using modern technology). Many of its beers are aged in wood (in oak barrels, for instance) to add layers of flavor complexity. The Seer saison—available in the fall, one of a rotating four-brew series—is a great example, presenting a cornucopia of flavors such as lemon, pine, wheat and honey. It can be found at bottle shops around Seattle in 750-milliliter bottles. Stop by the brewery’s tasting room to see what more uncommon creations it might have on tap. Interbay, 1421 Elliott Ave. W; holymountainbrewing.com; 21 and older; no dogs allowed
Runner Up: Garden Path Fermentation; Burlington, 11653 Higgins Airport Way; 360.503.8956; gardenpathwa.com; 21 and older only; dog-friendly

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FRUIT FORWARD: The fruited sour beers at Urban Family Brewing Company, brewed with tropical and stone fruits, are crowd favorites

BEST SOUR BEERS (WILD-FERMENTED, MIXED CULTURE)
Less common but increasingly popular, these beers are intentionally tart and often fruity, overturning many preconceived notions of how beer is supposed to taste
Urban Family Brewing Company
Magnolia’s loss will be Ballard’s gain as Urban Family Brewing prepares to move across the Ship Canal to a new, larger home in Ballard later this year, returning to the neighborhood where it first opened as a tiny brewery and pub in 2012 before moving south in 2015. The current location will remain open until the move is completed. Local beer lovers are smitten with the fruited sour beers, puckering up for the likes of Sun Seeker, brewed with a blend of tropical and stone fruits, available on tap and in 750-milliliter bottles at the brewery’s taproom. Sour beers age at their own, unpredictable pace and cannot be rushed; always keep an eye out for Urban Family’s Reserve Series beers, which will be ready when they’re ready.Magnolia, 4441 26th Ave. W; 206.946.8533; urbanfamilybrewing.com; all ages; dog-friendly
Runner Up: Engine House No. 9; Tacoma; 611 N Pine St.; 253.272.3435; ehouse9.com; all ages; no dogs

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THREE'S A CROWD: Stoup Brewing co-owners (from left) Brad Benson, Robyn Schumacher and Lara Zahaba have created a warm, welcoming space to enjoy their excellent beers in Ballard

BEST BREWERY TAPROOM
Brewery with a taproom serving tasters and pints and isn’t a brewpub or restaurant
Stoup Brewing
What sets this brewery taproom apart from the many others in Ballard is the different types of spaces it offers. The main taproom, immediately adjacent to the stainless steel brewing equipment and beer-loaded oak barrels, is always crowded and energetic, with a garage door that opens to a small patio out front; that’s where you’ll often find a food truck at dinnertime. Outside, on the west side of the building, the beer garden offers elbow room, picnic tables and Adirondack chairs beneath suspended shade-casting sails. Upstairs, you’ll find a separate bar where beers are poured in a quieter, adults-only space overlooking the beer garden.
Among the many design elements lending ambiance to the otherwise industrial space, notice the wall-mounted light fixtures near the bathrooms: They’re bottle-cap chandeliers that Lara Zahaba, one of the owners, found in Austin, Texas. The array of lights is mesmerizing, and so are the medal-winning beers, like the robust porter, Stoup Brewing’s most highly decorated drink. Ballard, 1108 NW 52nd St.; 206.457.5524; stoupbrewing.com; all ages (except upstairs); dog-friendly
Readers' Choice
Reuben’s Brews, Ballard, 5010 14th Ave. NW; 206.784.2859; reubensbrews.com; all ages; dog-friendly 
Holy Mountain Brewing Company, Interbay, 1421 Elliott Ave. W; 
holymountainbrewing.com; 21 and older; no dogs 
Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery, Greenwood, 8570 Greenwood Ave. N; 206.428.7709; 
flyingbike.coop; all ages; dog-friendly

BEST BEER-FOCUSED BAR
At least 12 beers on tap, rotating regularly; bar only, no food
Beveridge Place Pub
For over 15 years, Beveridge Place Pub has combined the coziness of a neighborhood pub with the beer list of a world-class beer bar. Owner Gary Sink and his beer-savvy crew consistently offer a rotating draft list that is 32 beers deep and chock-full of beloved local favorites, such as Crikey IPA from Reuben’s Brews, as well as eclectic offerings from Europe and beyond. Beer geeks from across the region flock to the pub’s annual special events, like the Fresh Hop Festival (October), Barleywine Bacchanal (January) and Seattle Cask-O-Rama (May).
The pub’s front room is filled with couches, large family-size tables, and a huge, beautiful antique bar. The back room is where you’ll find darts, foosball and a flat-screen television showing sports (especially European soccer). On an important game day, you might find Sink, a former UW football player, wearing his jersey and championship ring from the 1982 Rose Bowl. And while you’re enjoying the game, order some food from one of the nearby restaurants, many of which deliver to your table.West Seattle, 6413 California Ave. SW; 206.932.9906; beveridgeplacepub.com; 21 and older; dog-friendly
Readers' Choice
Chuck’s Hop Shop (Greenwood), Greenwood, 656 NW 85th St.; 206.297.6212; chuckshopshop.com; all ages; dog-friendly 
Beveridge Place Pub, West Seattle, 6413 California Ave. SW; 206.932.9906; 
beveridgeplacepub.com; 21 and older; dog-friendly 
The Beer Junction, West Seattle, 4511 California Ave. SW; 206.938.2337; 
thebeerjunction.com; 21 and older only; no dogs

BEST BREWERY TAPROOM FOR A FIRST DATE
Two Beers Brewing Co., The Woods Taproom
In addition to brewing beer, this company also produces cider (Seattle Cider Company) and spiked seltzer (Sound Craft Seltzer Co.), so when you arrive here with that special someone—who isn’t a beer lover—there are options. Also, this is a grown-ups-only establishment (21 and older), so there won’t be any rambunctious children around to break the mood. Spacious, but with cozy nooks and corners for privacy, the space is furnished with heavy wood and steel tables spread out beneath suspended, custom-made barrel lamps that provide mood lighting. SoDo, 4700 Ohio Ave. S; 206.762.0490;twobeersbrewery.com; 21 and older; dog-friendly

BEST BEER-FOCUSED RESTAURANT
A restaurant or pub with a strong focus on beer
The Shambles
Named after a historic butchery district in York, England, The Shambles is a self-described butcher shop and bar, but that description is incomplete. Yes, there is a meat case with house-smoked, -cured and -butchered meats (eventually the owners hope to produce enough to sell it to go), and yes there is a rotating selection of 32 draft beers, along with wine and cocktails. But the meals cranked out by the kitchen are beyond drool-worthy. The menu changes based on what’s available, but don’t miss the meat board, piled with house-made charcuterie, for $12. When available, the 10-ounce wagyu bavette ($36) is a decadent treat.
The Shambles is located in a single-story brick building, with large windows facing the street. The interior is reminiscent of an old English pub with lots of oak decor and millwork, and sturdy oak pillars bolster arched eaves. Keep an eye on the large bookcase; try to guess which book opens the secret door to the beer fridge. Maple Leaf, 7777 15th Ave. NE; 206.659.0074; delimeatsbar.com; 21 and older; no dogs
Readers' Choice: 
Brouwer’s Cafe, Fremont, 400 N 35th St.; 206.267.2437; brouwerscafe.com; 21 and older only; no dogs 
The Shambles, Maple Leaf, 7777 15th Ave. NE; 206.659.0074; 
delimeatsbar.com; 21 and older; no dogs 
The Pine Box, Capitol Hill, 1600 Melrose Ave.; 206.588.0375; 
pineboxbar.com; 21 and older; no dogs

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HEERIO: Mike Hale has built a name synonymous with simple, easy-drinking beers

MOST ICONIC WASHINGTON BEER BRAND
The pioneers
Hale’s Ales
America is now freckled with more than 7,000 small, independent craft breweries, and Seattle’s Hale’s Ales brewery was one of the first dozen. Mike Hale built his original brewery in Colville in 1983, hoping to emulate the beers he’d tasted while visiting England that he simply could not find in America at the time. After relocating to Spokane and then to Kirkland, Hale’s Ales found its forever home on NW Leary Way in Ballard, where the brewery and pub have served the community since 1995. Today, the kitchen at the brewery’s pub is operated by El Camión, of local food truck fame.
Like his brewery, Hale wears those years well: He’s a tall, smiling, soft-spoken, omnipresent fixture on the local beer scene who seems completely unimpressed by his own amazing accomplishments. For decades, Hale’s Pale American Ale, one of the brewery’s original beers, has endured because it is a clear reflection of Hale himself: It isn’t complicated or overpowering, just delicious and easy to enjoy. If you see a red London-style double-decker bus tooling around Ballard, know that Mike Hale is probably behind the wheel. Ballard, 4301 Leary Way NW; 206.782.0737; halesbrewery.com; all ages; no dogs
Readers' Choice
Rainier Brewing Company, no local brewery or tasting room
Georgetown Brewing Company, Georgetown, 5200 Denver Ave. S; 206.766.8055; 
georgetownbeer.com; all ages; dog-friendly 
Pike Brewing Company, downtown, 1415 First Ave.; 206.622.6044; 
pikebrewing.com; all ages; no dogs

BEST BREWERY FOR A POST-HIKE BEER
No Boat Brewing Company
Located just a few miles off Interstate 90 at Snoqualmie Ridge, this brewery and all-ages taproom offers a refreshing detour after a hike on Mount Si, Rattlesnake Ridge, Mailbox Peak or one of the many other nearby trails. On weekends, the beer garden, which is actually a very cleverly disguised parking lot, is often crowded with people shaking off dirt from the trail as they slurp brews after hiking. Reach for a Snoqualmie Maybe pale ale, a mild yet tasty, easy-drinking treat, after you’ve left it all out there on the trail. Pair that with something from whatever food truck happens to be there and reflect on the day’s adventure. Snoqualmie, 35214 SE Center St., No. 2; 425.292.0702; noboatbrewing.com; all ages; dog-friendly

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SO SMOOTH: A selection of Chuckanut Brewery’s lagers can be found at better groceries and beer retailers, but you’ll have to travel to the Bellingham brewery location for the excellent Reuben sandwich

BEST LAGERS
The term “lager” describes a number of different styles, but what they all have in common is time; they’re slowly fermented in a cold setting and conditioned for several weeks, at least, to smooth out the flavors
Chuckanut Brewery
This Bellingham-based brewery is perhaps the most highly esteemed producer of traditional European-style lagers in the United States. Its beers have won dozens of medals at the world’s most prestigious beer competitions. No wonder our panel selected it, almost unanimously, as the best lager-focused brewery. Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen in Bellingham is a full-service brewpub, while the satellite location in Burlington is a brewery and taproom (no food). Look for Chuckanut pilsner in 22-ounce bottles at better grocery stores and beer retailers, or visit one of brewery’s locations for a broad selection of world-class lagers. Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen; Bellingham, 601 W Holly St.; 360.752.3377; chuckanutbreweryandkitchen.com; all ages; no dogs. Chuckanut Brewery & Tap Room; Burlington, 11937 Higgins Airport Way; 360.752.3377; chuckanutbreweryandkitchen.com; all ages; dogs on patio only
Runner Up: Chainline Brewing Company, Kirkland, 503 Sixth St. S; 425.242.0923; chainlinebrew.com; all ages; dog-friendly

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WINNER WINNER: Sara Nelson, co-owner of Fremont Brewing, where you’ll find some of the finest barrel-aged and dark beers

BEST BARREL-AGED BEER
These highly coveted beers spend time aging in oak barrels, most often repurposed from wine or liquor. These add character and, in some cases, alcohol content to the beer
Fremont Brewing
According to our panel of experts, the state’s largest producer of barrel-aged beer is also the best. It’s not uncommon for a brewery to take one of its existing beers, like a stout or a porter, and age it in a barrel, but Fremont Brewing’s most coveted creations are designed specifically for barrel aging. These are not barrel-aged versions of existing beers; rather, they are engineered from the get-go for time in the barrel, whether it be a whiskey barrel or a wine barrel. Lovers of big, bodacious brews should mark November 29 on their calendars: At the brewery’s Urban Beer Garden, Black Friday is known as B-Bomb Friday, the day when the brewery releases its most ballyhooed winter ale (B-Bomb), a dark, strong and complex beer lovingly aged for many months in bourbon barrels. Fremont, 1050 N 34th St.; 206.420.2407; fremontbrewing.com; all ages; dog-friendly
Runner Up: Holy Mountain Brewing Company, Interbay, 1421 Elliott Ave. W; holymountainbrewing.com; 21 and older; no dogs allowed

BEST DARK BEERS (STOUTS, PORTERS)
Two very traditional English-style beers that are dark, in most cases opaque, and feature lots of rich malt character
Fremont Brewing
The brewery’s regular, year-round lineup only includes one big beer, but it’s a very good one, Dark Star imperial oatmeal stout. Beyond that, Fremont frequently introduces limited-release beers that are big, burly and dark as night. Many of its most opaque and boldest beers are released during the darker months, but Dark Star is always available and always satisfies, with hints of coffee and chocolate in a silky-smooth beer. It’s uncommon that such a robust beer finds its way into a 12-ounce can, but nobody ever accused Fremont Brewing of being normal. Fremont, 1050 N 34th St.; 206.420.2407; fremontbrewing.com; all ages; dog-friendly
Runner Up: Skookum Brewery; Arlington, 17925 59th Ave. NE; skookumbrewery.com; 21 and older; dog-friendly

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD FOR BEER TOURING
Ballard
Beer lovers call it the Ballard Brewery District. Nobody keeps track of these things, but it probably represents the highest density of breweries of any neighborhood in the world. Eleven breweries currently call Ballard home, and at least one more is on the way as Urban Family Brewing Company plans to open right across the street from Stoup Brewing and Obec Brewing by year’s end. Most of these breweries are located on the east side of the neighborhood, not more than a block or two away from each other, which makes it easy to stroll from one to the next.
As you wander the streets on a Saturday afternoon, you’ll have company; urban beer hiking in Ballard is a real thing, and you’ll find healthy crowds at most of the taprooms, especially at Reuben’s Brews, on 14th Avenue NW, and Stoup Brewing, on NW 52nd Street, perhaps the two most popular brewery destinations in the neighborhood. All but one taproom, Obec Brewing, welcomes kids, and many of the breweries regularly host food trucks to keep you nourished on your trek.

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MOTLEY CREW: Future Primitive Brewing Company’s ownership group is an impressive assortment of beer industry legends: (clockwise from top left) Dean Hudgins, Mike Baker, Larry Solomon, Ian Roberts and Kevin Watson

BEST NEWBIE OF THE YEAR
Future Primitive Brewing Company
White Center’s crawl toward gentrification continues with the addition of this highly anticipated new brewery, located in the former home of Big Al Brewing. After giving a massive face-lift to the property, which included the installation of a new, state-of-the-art brewing system and a complete reimagining of the taproom, Future Primitive opened in December 2018. The ownership group includes some local beer-industry nobility: Dean Hudgins and Ian Roberts, owners of The Pine Box (our Best Beer-focused Restaurant in 2018); Mike Baker, a distributor of imported European beers; and Kevin Watson, a native of White Center who brewed for many years at Elysian Brewing. 
From the large beer garden and covered deck out front to the designated kids’ play area upstairs, Future Primitive Brewing fires on all cylinders. It even has its own food truck parked out front. Offering Central European cuisine, it’s actually a food trailer operated on afternoons and evenings by the same people who run Good Day Donuts. As for the beer, brewmaster Kevin Watson puts his experience to good use, creating a range of beers to appeal to all palates, such as the Green River IPA, which has thus far emerged as the brewery’s flagship beer. White Center, 9832 14th Ave. SW; futureprimitivebeer.com; all ages; dog-friendly

Methodology: Our panel of beer experts included certified beer judges, bar owners, bottle-shop owners, beer writers and other beer-savvy individuals. Panelists were invited to vote anonymously for their favorite brewery in each style category with one restriction: Only Washington breweries creating beers that are available around the Seattle area were eligible. In most cases, a clear winner was easily established. When necessary, we circled back for a second vote on a set of finalists until we determined a top brewery in each style category.  

Fourth of July Guide for the Eastside

By Teaghan Skulszki | June 24, 2019

Photo by Jingda Chen on Unsplash

Photo by Jingda Chen on Unsplash

The Fourth of July is almost like Christmas in the summer. It is a time where our family and friends come together during the busy season to rejoice and celebrate our home, hot dogs, and of course, fireworks. Let the fourth festivities begin with this ultimate guide to every celebration the fourth has to offer.

Bellevue Downtown

Located in the Bellevue Downtown Park, this celebration includes, live music with a coordinated fireworks show. Spend the day listening to live music (plus entertainment for the kids) while snacking plenty of food options. At 9:30 p.m. the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra will take center stage before the firework show.

Kenmore Fireworks Show

Kenmore is ringing in the fourth with a variety of food and fireworks. Starting at 7:30 p.m. in Log Boom Park, Kenmore will celebrate the Fourth with a variety of activities. Dogs are permitted, as long as they are on a leash and well behaved. They’ll be offering your favorite fourth delicacies with food prepared by Spot Hot Dogs & Brats, 314 Pie, and Fun Times Ice Cream. The fireworks show starts at 10:00 p.m.

Lake Sammamish

Give back to the community, while also enjoying the Fourth of July. This show is dedicated to the Summer Lunch Program at Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank. You’ll be able to catch the 10:15 p.m. show from South Lake Sammamish. Looking for the best viewing area? Check out Vasa Park.

Newcastle Fourth on the Lake

This annual celebration commences at Lake Boren Park. There be various food vendors and even a behind-the-scenes look at how the fireworks show is put together at 6:30 p.m. The fireworks start around 10 p.m.

An Edmonds Kind of 4th

This all-day celebration kicks off with a Beat Bracket 5k and Baby Bracket 1k. Next, there will be a parade starting at Sixth Avenue and Bells Street. Enjoy festivities around town and head to the civic center round 6 p.m. for even more celebrations. Want to show off your beard and mustache? Register for the competition at the civic field at 8:30 p.m. And of course, there will be a fireworks that begins at 10 p.m.

Renton’s 4th of July

Head to the beach for this celebration at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park starting at 8 a.m. with a volleyball tournament. There will be two Kids Activity Zone, a Bubble Up show, Steel drum party, and even more live music. Firework’s start at 10 p.m.

Bothell’s Freedom Festival

Bothell will start the fourth with a pancake breakfast at 8:30 a.m. at the Downtown Fire Station. After that, burn off breakfast by enjoying the children’s parade at 11:15 a.m., which starts at Main Street and 104th Avenue North East. The grand parade will also start on Main Street and 104th at noon. Afterward, enjoy food trucks at the North Shore senior center from 2 to 4 p.m.

Fourth of July Splash in Kent

Kent will be celebrating the fourth at Lake Meridian Park from noon to 11 p.m. There will be a free shuttle bus taking people to the park — you can learn more about that here. Once you arrive, a variety of activities, including bouncy houses, T-bird Puck and shoot, and more, will keep you busy until sunset. There will be live music with a fireworks finale at 10 p.m.

SeaTac’s Family Fourth of July

This celebration will be held at Angle Lake Park. The celebration will feature a water spray park that is open from 11 a.m. to 8p.m. at no cost. Let the kiddos burn off their energy in the bounce houses while you enjoy live music. The firework show will begin at 10 p.m.

Where to Watch Outdoor Movies in the Seattle Area This Summer

On a warm summer evening as the stars begin to shimmer, pack your blanket and attend one of Seattle’s outdoor movie nights, showcasing classics and new releases

BY: CHRIS ROBINSON | Courtesy of SeattleMag.com

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Crossroads Movies at the Park 
Crossroads Community Park (Bellevue), Free, parks.bellevuewa.gov 

Aug 1: Christopher Robin
August 8: Ralph Breaks the Internet
August 15: Incredibles 2
August 22: Mary Poppins Returns

Downtown Movies at the Park 
Bellevue Downtown Park (Bellevue), Free, parks.bellevuewa.gov 

July 9: Hotel Transylvania 3
July 16: A Dog’s Way Home
July 23: Small Foot
July 31: Goodbye Christopher Robin
Aug 7: Paddington 2
August 14: The Greatest Showman
August 21: Ferdinand
August 28: Ghostbusters (1984)

Films in the Field 
Park Ridge Community Church (Bothell), Free, parkridgeonline.org 

July 9: Hotel Transylvania 3
July 16: A Dog’s Way Home
July 23: Smallfoot 
July 30: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World 
August 6: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part 
August 13: Ferdinand 
August 20: Wonder Park
August 27: Back to the Future

LeMay Car Museum’s Drive-In Movie Series 
LeMay Car Museum, Free, americascarmuseum.org 

July 6:  Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 
July 27: The Goonies
Aug 10: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Aug 24:  Captain Marvel

Bite of Seattle 
Seattle Center, Free, biteofseattle.com 

July 19: Wayne's World

Movies at Marymoor 
Marymoor Park (Redmond), $5, epiceap.com 

July 10: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
July 17: Bohemian Rhapsody
July 24: Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse
July 31: Top Gun
August 7: Incredibles 2
August 13: The Sandlot
August 22: Grease
August 28: The Princess Bride

Movies at the Mural 
Seattle Center, Free, seattlecenter.com 

July 27: The Princess Bride
August 4: Crazy Rich Asians
August 10: Bohemian Rhapsody
August 17: Dirty Dancing
August 24: Black Panther

Movies in the Plaza 
Carillon Point Plaza (Kirkland), $5, carillon-point.com

July 6: Mean Girls 
July 20: Crazy Rich Asians 
August 3: Incredibles 2 
August 17: Solo: A Star Wars Story

Peddler Brewing Company Outdoor Movie Nights 
Peddler Brewing Company, Free, peddlerbrewing.com 

May 30: The Goonies 
June 6: Bridesmaids 
June 13: Super Troopers 
June 20: Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark 
June 27: Mean Girls 
July 11: The Hangover 
July 18: The Princess Bride 
July 25: 10 Things I Hate About You 
August 1: Back to the Future 
August 8: Point Break 
August 15: Pitch Perfect 
August 22: The Sandlot 
August 29: The Big Lebowski

Summer Sounds and Cinema 
Lea Hill Park (Auburn), Free, auburnwa.gov

July 26: Incredibles 2 
August 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet 
August 9: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Skyway Outdoor Cinema 
12610 76th Ave. S., Free, mywesthill.org 

August 2: Incredibles 2 
August 9: The Princess Bride 
August 16: Aquaman 
August 23: Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse

Center City Cinema

Free, seatle.gov/parks

Cascade Playground

July 12: Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse 
July 19: Up 
July 26: Shrek

Westlake Park

July 12: Aquaman 
July 19: Christopher Robin 
August 2: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (original) 
August 9: Jurassic Park 
August 16: Captain Marvel 
August 23: Incredibles 2

Freeway Park

August 2: Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse 
August 9: Best in Show 
August 16: Won’t You Be My Neighbor 
August 23: Crazy Rich Asians 
August 30: Labyrinth

Hing Hay Park

August 3: Crazy Rich Asians 
August 10: Iron Monkey (Cantonese) 
August 17: Mirai 
August 24: Up

Eating Al Fresco on the Eastside

By Charles Koh | June 24, 2019 | Courtesy of 425magazine.com

Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Eastsiders will rejoice this summer with these stunning outdoor patio options — no need to drive over the bridge. From unprecedented waterfront views of Lake Washington, to patios with umbrellas and local neighborhood gems, these outdoor escapes will provide ultimate Vitamin D along with your al fresco experience. 

Photos courtesy of their respective restaurants

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BEARDSLEE PUBLIC HOUSE | BOTHELL

John Howie’s Beardslee Public House in Bothell offers the perfect outdoor escape for families and sun-seekers looking for Pacific Northwest eats and world-class signature brews. The patio features planters crafted from barrels that grow both hops and assorted herbs. Grab your friends and huddle around the crown jewel, which seats 15 around a hand-crafted gas fire pit. 

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BAKES PLACE | BELLEVUE

The Eastside’s largest patio space offers guests the perfect outdoor environment to kick back and enjoy live music, patio games like giant Jenga, and drinks from the impressive cocktail program that includes more than 180 bourbons, whiskeys, and the like. On chillier days, guests can warm up around fire pits and stay covered under the heated whiskey bar.

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W HOTEL – LIVING ROOM | BELLEVUE

In the heart of downtown Bellevue lies an ultra-chic outdoor lounge that is the place to see and be seen. Hungry? W Bellevue has you covered with food from James Beard Award-winning chef Jason Wilson’s Lakehouse Restaurant. With newly installed heaters, guests are covered year-round to enjoy this fully covered urban destination. Dogs are welcome, so bring them along.

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EL GAUCHO | BELLEVUE

Escape the bustling business district of downtown Bellevue, and discover a quiet and relaxed patio with custom tabletop fire pits, ensuring warmth in any condition. Slice into El Gaucho’s signature steaks from local farms and Sound Sustainable providers while being surrounded by beautiful landscaping and big grassy lawns. 

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LA PARISIENNE FRENCH BAKERY | BELLEVUE

La Parisienne Bakery, located inside the Soma Towers in downtown Bellevue, offers guests an unprecedented glass pour selection of more than 120 different bottles and French pastries led by award-winning chef Orphée Fouano. On sunny days, staff pull up the garage-style doors so you enjoy the indoor-outdoor escape with a glass of wine (and pastries).

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DANIEL’S BROILER | BELLEVUE

Perched on the 21st floor of the Bank of America building, Daniel’s Broiler Bellevue offers guests soaring views of Lake Washington, the Olympic Mountains, downtown Bellevue, and the Seattle skyline while enjoying USDA Prime steaks and a selection of high-end spirits from
the Prime 21 Spirits Lounge. This is the place to go to impress your guests. 

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JOEY RESTAURANT | BELLEVUE / TUKWILA

Joey Restaurant, located in the vibrant epicenter of Lincoln Square, offers guests a polished, urban outdoor escape with group seating, outdoor heaters, and picnic-style lights hanging throughout, giving the space warmth and coziness in the bustling downtown area. Expect great people-watching combined with eclectic eats and cocktail pairings.

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ASCEND PRIME | BELLEVUE

This sky-high steak and sushi restaurant is setting the bar for fine dining on the Eastside, offering imaginative dishes and exceptional service. Ride 31 floors up inside Lincoln Square South, and you’ll find yourself in the clouds overlooking Bellevue, Lake Washington, the Cascades, and the Seattle skyline. The main patio is open all year on sunny days, with two more on the west side slated to reopen in July.

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WATER’S TABLE | RENTON

South of Bellevue, guests can experience lakeside luxury at Water’s Table in Renton. The patio sits on the second story, overlooking Lake Washington, Mercer Island, and a peep of Seattle’s skyline. Diners can enjoy a Pacific Northwest menu led by Andrew Cross bringing a farm-to-table experience. Full after your meal? Take a stroll at Coulon Memorial Beach Park just outside the restaurant. The food is great, and the views are stunning.

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NEWCASTLE COUNTRY CLUB | NEWCASTLE

One word — breathtaking. The views from the Calcutta Grill at Newcastle Country Club make every scene look like a postcard that would say, “Wish You Were Here.” If you’re up for it, bring your clubs, as there is no venue that offers a more picturesque Pacific Northwest course.

Pro tip: Every evening from May through September, a bagpiper plays at sunset. 

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MASA MEXICAN KITCHEN & CANTINA | ISSAQUAH

Masa Mexican Kitchen & Cantina in Issaquah’s Gilman Village serves up homestyle Mexican food and inspired cocktails made with juice freshly squeezed-in house. This neighborhood spot is kid-friendly and offers an inside-outside dining experience on sunny days and a full outside patio area. And it’s dog-friendly!

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TUTTA BELLA | ISSAQUAH

There’s something special about eating Neapolitan-style pizza on a patio — maybe it’s because it transports us to Naples, Italy, where pizza was invented. Tutta Bella, located in Issaquah, offers guests a beautiful outdoor patio with potted plants to give a veranda feel and large umbrellas to block off direct sun. Those in Bellevue also can check out the Crossroads location.

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SPARK PIZZA | REDMOND

The newly opened Spark Pizza located in Redmond offers wood-fired pizza with an extensive beer and wine list. The outdoor patio is lined with beautiful cherry trees and stringed lights and is covered for those potential rainy days during the summer. On chillier days, blankets and heaters are available to keep you nice and toasty. It also is dog-friendly.

OTHER OUTDOOR DINING WINNERS

Woodmark | Kirkland

The Woodmark has two dining options with stunning views — Beach Café and Carillon Kitchen. Dine, and then paddle it off in a kayak afterward. Yes, it’s that close to the beach. You might as well carve out time to hit the
water, too!

The Commons | Woodinville

Give us the BLTA during happy hour with a good brew, and let us soak in the sun.

Isarn Thai | Kirkland

Spicy food and sunshine. Yes, please. Bring on the heat.

Flat Iron Grill | Issaquah

You can grill steak at home, or let them do it way better and enjoy your steak outside with a glass of wine and zero effort. Done.

Cactus | Kirkland

Because what’s better than nachos, margaritas and people watching downtown?

Central Bar + Restaurant | Lincoln Square South

Strings of lights overhead make you feel like you are sitting outside somewhere very special. Oh, wait. You are. Head to Bellevue for this Instagram-worthy outdoor dining experience.

Kirkland Named One Of The Best Beach Towns In U.S.

To be clear, that's lake beach towns. Kirkland came in on top in Washington, followed by Mercer Island and Redmond.

By Neal McNamara , Patch Staff Courtesy of Patch.com

Juanita Beach in Kirkland. (City of Kirkland)

Juanita Beach in Kirkland. (City of Kirkland)

KIRKLAND, WA — When it comes to the best lakeside cities in the U.S., Washington dominates the nation.

In a ranking compiled by WalletHub, three of the top 10 best lake beach cities in the whole country are in Washington. Kirkland came in on top in Washington, followed by Mercer Island and Redmond. No other state had as many cities in the top 10.

Those three Lake Washington cities ranked high due to factors like the local economy, safety, quality of life, and education. Mercer Island, for example, was ranked No. 1 among lakeside cities for education and health.

One factor WalletHub didn't consider: bird poop.

Kirkland's Juanita Beach was closed last week for high levels of E. coli, which King County health officials thought was due to all the birds gathered along the shore. Kirkland isn't the only city with this problem. Seattle's Magnuson Park beach and Renton's Gene Coulon beach were also closed recently for high E. coli levels, and both those beaches have plenty of birds. The only beach King County monitors for water quality in Redmond is Idylwood Beach along Lake Sammamish.

The study also ranked the best seaside cities. In Washington, Edmonds came in No. 29, Shoreline No. 79, and Burien No. 92. Strangely, Seattle, which touches both the lake and the sea, didn't make the list at all. Lakewood in Pierce County was also ranked, coming in No. 36 on the lake cities list — although Lakewood also has both fresh and saltwater shorelines.

You can read the whole ranking here.


15 Last-Minute and Affordable Father's Day 2019 Events in Seattle: June 14-16, 2019

Bell Harbor Classic Weekend, a KEXP Dance Party, and More $15-and-Under Events

by Julianne BellElaina FriedmanKim Selling and Joule Zelman | Courtesy of TheStranger.com

Check out 40 pre-WWII yachts with your favorite nautical dads at the    Bell Harbor Classic Weekend   .CLASSIC WEEKEND VIA FACEBOOK

Check out 40 pre-WWII yachts with your favorite nautical dads at the Bell Harbor Classic Weekend.CLASSIC WEEKEND VIA FACEBOOK

If Father's Day (Sun June 16) snuck up on you and you haven't yet made plans, your dad doesn't have to know. Below, we've compiled all the last-minute ways to spend time with your favorite father figures for $15 and under, from a KEXP Father's Day Kids Dance Party to the Bell Harbor Classic Weekend. Check out even more options on our complete Father's Day calendar. For more things to do this weekend, check out our regular cheap & easy roundup.

  1. FRIDAY-SUNDAY

    FESTIVALS

  2. Bell Harbor Classic Weekend
    Gather your favorite dads and check out over 40 pre-WWII yachts—including several Blanchard Stock Cruisers "dreamboats," a 72-foot schooner and a 100-foot fantail motor yacht—to inspire your nautical adventures. 
    (Downtown, free)

    SATURDAY

    COMMUNITY

  3. DIY Father's Day Keychain Workshop
    Is your dad always losing his keys? Typical. Help him out by gifting him a leather keychain assembled, riveted, and debossed by you. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided. 
    (Sodo, free)

    FOOD & DRINK

  4. Father's Day Burger Brawl Presented by AHG and Corfini
    Do some belly stretches and stuff your face with burgers to win dinner for four at Ascend on Father's Day (first place) or a family pack of steaks from Corfini Gourmet (second place). 
    (Bellevue, free)

    SATURDAY-SUNDAY

    FESTIVALS

  5. Strawberry Days
    Families will gather for craft vendors, kids' activities, strawberry shortcake, a strawberry beer garden, and more summertime fun in Burien. 
    (Burien, free)

    GEEK

  6. Olympic Air Show
    See heritage aircraft from Vietnam, Korea, and WWII do tricks in the sky. 
    (Olympia, $15)

    SUNDAY

    COMMUNITY

  7. Half-Price Dad's Day
    If you're down in Tacoma, bring your dad to see some animals and marine mammals for half-off admission. 
    (Tacoma, $9.50)

    FOOD & DRINK

  8. Father's Day Car Show & Chili Cook-Off
    There are few things that are more stereotypically associated with dads than classic cars and chili, so spend your Father's Day with both.  Just don't ruin the paternal bonding by spilling your chili on/in any cars, particularly your dad's (he probably wouldn't be too stoked about that).
    (Burien, free)

  9. Father’s Day All You Can Eat Pancakes
    Treat your breakfast-loving dad to all-you-can-eat pancakes (there will be a choice of plain flapjacks or ones with peanut butter chocolate chips and cocoa whip) and sausage, plus beer mimosas and "cowboy coffee."
    (Ballard, $12.50)

  10. Mustaches Eat Free on Father's Day
    All mustachioed dads can eat on the house at all locations of the mad-scientist burger joint Lunchbox Laboratory. (If Dad is clean-shaven, they'll offer him a fake 'stache to sport during the meal so he isn't left out of this deal.)
    (South Lake Union, free)

    GEEK

  11. Fenders on Front Street
    Dads and families can feast their eyes on classic cars at this free Father's Day expo. 
    (Issaquah, free)

  12. Free Admission for Dads
    Dads can get in free to the Museum of Flight and try a STEM and aviation-themed activity. 
    (Tukwila, free)

    MUSIC

  13. Father's Day Brunch Party
    If taking your dad on a tropical vacation is out of the question, settle for a Caribbean-themed Father's Day party with live DJs, frozen cocktail specials, and a buffet. 
    (First Hill, free/$15)

  14. KEXP Father's Day Kids Dance Party
    Dads who love to boogie can dance with their loved ones to tunes spun by KEXP DJs Larry Rose and Darek Mazzone. Plus, Pagliacci will be on site to show everyone how to toss pizza dough. 
    (Seattle Center, $10)

  15. The Rock and Roll Playhouse: The Music of the Grateful Dead for Kids
    Dads looking to share their love of the Grateful Dead with their kids can do so at this kids' concert dedicated to the seminal '70s rockers. 
    (Downtown, $15)

    SPORTS & RECREATION

  16. Father's Day Mini Golf
    The second floor of the Hard Rock Cafe will be transformed into a nine-hole mini-golf course just for dads. 
    (Downtown, free)

How Kirkland Beer Contributes To Washington's Economy

A new report shows how the beer industry affects every local economy in America. See what the researchers found for Puget Sound.

By Neal McNamara , Patch Staff | May 28, 2019 8:19 pm ET | Updated May 29, 2019 7:47 am ET | Courtesy of Patch.com

You can enjoy the taste of beer, and how much it contributes to Washington's economy. (Shutterstock )

You can enjoy the taste of beer, and how much it contributes to Washington's economy. (Shutterstock )

KIRKLAND, WA — If you're a beer lover, Washington is a great place to live. Not only is the world's best hops grown here, many of the best beers in the U.S. are brewed here.

But a new report out this week shows that beer isn't just good on a hot summer day (or a dark winter night, if you're having a Scotch ale or an imperial stout) — it's also a major contributor to our local economy, according to the Beer Institute and National Beer Wholesalers Association.

Now, those groups may have their reasons for touting the non-alcohol-related benefits of their product, but their conclusions are pretty sobering when it comes to flat cash.

In Washington's 1st Congressional District (Rep. Suzan Delbene), which includes Woodinville, Bellevue, Kirkland, and Redmond, the beer industry generated 9,110 jobs and $361 million in wages amounting to a $1 billion in total output in 2018, according to the Beer Institute and National Beer Wholesalers Association study.

The 1st District is home to one of the top 10 brewers in the state, Mac and Jacks's (and a former top 10 brewer, Redhook). Smaller but still revered local brewers like Chainline, Bellevue Brewing Co., Black Raven, Triplehorn, and Postdoc also contribute to the region's beer-economy.

Here's the breakdown:

Direct economic impact

  • Jobs: 6,679

  • Wages: $212 million

  • Output: $541 million

Supplier economic impact

  • Jobs: 979

  • Wages: $68.5 million

  • Output: $218 million

Induced economic impact

  • Jobs: 1,452

  • Wages: $81.6 million

  • Output: $245 million

Craig Purser, president and CEO of the National Beer Wholesalers Association, told Patch on Tuesday the beer industry is the "biggest little industry you've never paid any attention to."

"It puts a lot of food on a lot of peoples' tables," he said. "In addition to providing great, liquid refreshment for all, it really is the economic engine that can."

And the facts bear that out.

Nationwide, the beer industry contributed $328.4 billion in economic output, the report found. That's roughly the same amount as the GDP for all of Denmark. Beer also generated about 2.19 million jobs in the country, while production and sales created $58.6 billion in tax revenue.

But while it's useful to be able to talk about the beer industry from the national standpoint, the report delved into local data to better tell the whole story. The researchers also measured local economic output down to state, congressional district, state house district and state senate district. Total economic impact consisted of direct, supplier and induced output.

"Being able to dial that in and take it down to a very local level has great value," said Purser, adding that it allows people to be able to visit their local lawmakers' offices and be able to provide hard facts and figures on local jobs and other economic effects.

"It really makes a difference," he said. "Not all industries operate in such a local manner, and it has become a lot more local with the proliferation of breweries."

The direct economic impact category looked at people working directly in the industry, whether that's in making beer or distributing it to retailers. Supplier looked at jobs that produce and sell beer-related goods, such as grocery store workers. Induced activity, meanwhile, involved what is known as the "multiplier effect." This looks at spending by workers in the beer industry and those of supplier companies whose jobs are dependent on beer sales and production. This includes housing, food and educational services.

The number of distribution jobs nationwide has increased by more than 19 percent over the last 10 years to nearly 141,600. Purser credited the increase in distributing jobs to the overall increase in number of breweries over the last three decades.

"Those jobs are helping to get beer made in Maine on the shelves in California," he said.

By contrast, despite the increase in breweries, the number of brewing jobs actually fell over the past two years. Brewers and beer importers have roughly 70,000 U.S. workers, the study found, and Purser said the slight decrease is likely because breweries are becoming more efficient. 
"Frankly, in some cases, it's those smaller breweries getting established," he said, adding that to get those products across the country, they use distributors.

The study noted there has been a shift away from cheaper beers to more expensive local and craft beers in bars and restaurants, as well as to imported beverages. Indeed, craft breweries have grown and now account for about 13 percent of the overall U.S. market. With the rise of craft beer, retail jobs overall fell slightly. While on-premise retail was up slightly, those gains were offset by losses in off-premise retailing, reflecting how more beer is being sold through
local brewery taprooms and restaurants.

"Consumers purchase smaller volumes of these higher priced beers than they do of less expensive domestic light lagers and pilsners, suggesting that fewer employees are required to serve beer in a given bar or tavern," the study said.

Even so, big brand names still have a stranglehold on the industry. Even with declines in recent years, Bud Light owned a 15.4 percent market share in 2017, double that of America's second most popular beer, Coors Light.

Messages left with Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, Constellation Brands and D.G. Yuengling & Son weren't immediately returned.

Patch national staffer Dan Hampton contributed to this report.

Washington: It's The Best State

Washington has been ranked as the No. 1 state in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report.

By Neal McNamara , Patch Staff | May 14, 2019 10:51 am ET | Updated May 14, 2019 11:07 am ET | Courtesy of Patch.com

One of the state's iconic ferries heads west from Seattle in January, 2019. (Patch file photo/Neal McNamara)

One of the state's iconic ferries heads west from Seattle in January, 2019. (Patch file photo/Neal McNamara)

SEATTLE, WA — Congrats, Washingtonians, our state has been ranked No. 1 in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report's third annual best states rankings.

Why? It's partially because of the big businesses located here, but according to (former Seattle P-I reporter) Levi Pulkkinen writing in U.S. News, it's because of our clean energy present, and future.

"Cheap, climate-friendly electricity drives Washington's economy, the nation's fastest growing, according to the U.S. News' Best States ranking of economic growth. The tech-heavy state's expectedly strong broadband network sits atop one of the nation's best electrical systems, one well-positioned as the country shifts away from coal- and natural gas-generated electricity. The state expects to be coal-free by 2025, while still charging rates among the nation's lowest," Pulkkinen wrote.

Gov. Jay Inslee, hoping to bring Washington's success to the rest of the nation as president, was "thrilled" by the news.

"We are thrilled that U.S. News & World Report has named Washington the No. 1 state in the country," Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement shared by U.S. News. "This confirms what we, in Washington have always known, that our state is great for businesses, workers, and investments, coupled with natural beauty and innovative, creative people."

There were, of course, some areas where Washington didn't get high marks. The ranking points out that high school grads enter college at an underwhelming rate. There's also our "middling" transportation system, which has created some of the worst commute times in the nation. And relief is far off, with light rail linking Federal Way and Lynnwood to Seattle are still about six years away.

There's also the astronomical cost of house and its link to increased homelessness. A Zillow study found that every 5 percent increase in housing costs in Seattle, 258 people become homeless.

The 2019 King County homelessness survey, Count Us In, found that most people became homeless due to a housing crisis, like eviction or foreclosure.

"Prior to losing their housing, 70 percent of Count Us In Survey respondents reported living either in a home owned or rented by themselves or their partner, or with friends or relatives. Approximately 21 percent of survey respondents indicated that issues related to housing affordability were the primary conditions leading to their homelessness, including eviction (11 percent), inability to afford a rent increase (6 percent), family or friend could no longer afford to let them stay (2 percent), and foreclosure (2 percent)," the report said. 

Falling behind Washington in the top five states ranking: New Hampshire, Minnesota, Utah, and Vermont.

Read the whole article in U.S. News on why Washington is best.

To compile the rankings, U.S. News looked at 71 metrics under eight categories. The eight rankings were weighted based on the average of three years data from a national survey that asked respondents to prioritize each category in their state. Health care, education and economy received the top three weights in the methodology. After U.S. News calculated category scores and rankings, it compiled overall rankings by creating weighted averages of the individual category rankings.

Read the whole article in U.S. News on why Washington is best.

Retailers Committed to Kirkland Urban

By 425 staff | May 7, 2019 | Courtesy of 435magazine.com

Rendering courtesy Kirkland Urban/Talon Private Capital

Rendering courtesy Kirkland Urban/Talon Private Capital

Kirkland Urban, a mixed-use project where people can live, work, and play, recently announced a handful of the tenants that will be opening for business in the coming months. QFC’s new flagship store — which plans to open this month — will be joined by Top Golf, AT&T, Bright Horizons Childcare and Early Learning, Shake Shack, and more. Most of these tenants plan on opening their doors by August. 

When completed, Kirkland Urban — the dual vision of Ryan Companies and Talon Private Capital — will be more than 1 million square feet of office, retail, and living space along Kirkland’s waterfront. 

“This project is becoming exactly what our team envisioned, said Jim Neal, managing principal of Talon Private Capital. “(It will be) a place for people to gather, work, play — (and find) a sense of community.”

Homeless May Be Trending Down After Seven Years

A press release from the annual count showed a reduction in people living without a home.

By Aaron Kunkler | Thursday, May 2, 2019 11:31am | Courtesy of KirklandReporter.com

16664529_web1_Homeless-report.jpg

A preliminary release from the 2019 point in time homelessness count shows the number of people experiencing homelessness in King County has dropped for the first time since 2012.

The press release was issued by All Home, Seattle and the county following a point in time count this January. The count found there were 11,199 people who were homeless across the county, with 5,971 living in shelters and 5,228 people unsheltered. That’s an 8-percent overall decrease from 2018 and a 17-percent decrease among unsheltered people. The full report will be complete by the end of the month and will include geographic data and analysis.

Although the counts generally don’t find every person experiencing homelessness it does provide useful data for lawmakers, researchers and governments. The count found there was a decrease across all groups of homelessness, including families which saw a 7-percent reduction, veterans with a 10-percent drop and unaccompanied youth and young adults for a 28-percent decrease.

The press release did not mention homelessness rates for other demographics including Native Americans or African Americans, groups which have become homeless at disproportionate rates. Native Americans were found to make up less than 1 percent of King County’s population but accounted for nearly 6 percent of its homeless population, a report from the Seattle Times found in 2018. Further data will be included in the full report due by the end of May.

At the same time as those living unsheltered decreased, the number of people in shelters went up, which the press release credited to people getting connected to services and more than 530 shelter beds being created in 2018.

Over the past three years there were nearly 18,000 people who found housing, but the rate at which people are becoming homeless outpaces existing housing resources, the report said.

The 2018 report found there were 12,112 people experiencing homelessness in the county and 11,643 in 2017. While there were fewer people experiencing homelessness in the 2019 count, it was still higher than the 10,688 counted in 2016.

Pierce County also saw a reduction in homelessness in 2019, with a decrease of 14 percent from 1,628 in 2018 to 1,486 this January. Snohomish County has not released information from its 2019 count.

2 LWSD High Schools Ranked Among Top 20 In Washington: U.S. News

The annual U.S. News & World Report high school rankings are out. See where Lake Washington School District schools ranked.

By Neal McNamara , Patch Staff | Apr 30, 2019 1:53 pm ET | Courtesy of Patch.com

LWSD had six schools on the 2019 best high schools list. (Shutterstock)

LWSD had six schools on the 2019 best high schools list. (Shutterstock)

KIRKLAND, WA — For the second year in a row, Kirkland's International Community School was ranked the No. 2 best high school in the state in U.S. News and World Report's annual high school rankings.

ICS was one of six Lake Washington School District high schools to make the list, which included 17,000 schools from across the U.S. Although Bellevue's International School beat ICS for the No. 1 spot, the high school was ranked the best in the state for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curriculum.

The five other LWSD schools that made the list include: Redmond High (No. 14 in Washington); Lake Washington High (No. 22); Juanita High (No. 29); Eastlake High School (No. 73); and Futures School (No. 125).

Redmond High School made a notable improvement over the 2018 rankings, when it was ranked No. 21 in the state overall.

U.S. News & World Report is the gold standard for education rankings and is widely considered the global authority. Anita Narayan, managing editor of education at U.S. News, said the aim of the rankings is to give families more information about the schools in their district.

"By evaluating more schools than ever before, the new edition expands that focus so all communities can see which schools in their area are successfully serving their students — including historically underserved populations," Narayan said in a news release.

Here are the top 10 high schools in Washington, according to U.S. News:

  1. International School, Bellevue

  2. International Community School (Lake Washington School District), Kirkland

  3. Aviation High School (Highline School District), Tukwila

  4. Newport Senior High School, Bellevue

  5. Bellevue High School

  6. Mercer Island High School

  7. Garfield High School (Seattle Public Schools), Seattle

  8. Bainbridge High School, Bainbridge Island

  9. Bridgeport High School, Bridgeport

  10. Interlake Senior High School, Bellevue

The factors considered in compiling the list include college readiness; reading and math proficiency; reading and math performance; underserved student performance; college curriculum breadth; and graduation rates. College readiness measures participation and performance on advanced placement and international baccalaureate exams.

The data also take into account school enrollment, student diversity, participation in free and reduced-price meal programs, graduation rates and the results of state assessment tests. U.S. News worked with the global research firm RTI International to rank the schools.

"We enhanced the methodology to provide an even more comprehensive ranking that is easier to understand and, therefore, more useful to parents and educators," Robert Morse, chief data strategist at U.S. News, said in a news release. "Now, each school's score correlates to its national percentile — a school with a score of 70 is in the 70th percentile and ranks higher than 70 percent of schools. Going forward, this methodology will allow for intuitive comparisons of a school's performance year after year."

The top 10 schools are in 10 different states, demonstrating that a high-quality education can be found across the country, the report said. Those schools are:

  1. Academic Magnet High School, South Carolina

  2. Maine School of Science and Mathematics

  3. BASIS Scottsdale, Arizona

  4. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Virginia

  5. Central Magnet School, Tennessee

  6. Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology, Georgia

  7. Haas Hall Academy, Arkansas

  8. International Academy of Macomb, Michigan

  9. Payton College Preparatory High School, Illinois

  10. Signature School, Indiana

Several of those schools also were included among rankings for specialized schools.

The top five schools nationally for an education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM schools, are:

  1. High Technology High School, New Jersey

  2. BASIS Scottsdale, Arizona

  3. BASIS Peoria, Arizona

  4. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Georgia

  5. The Early College at Guilford, North Carolina

Charter and magnet schools performed well in the rankings, U.S. News said. Within the top 5 percent of ranked schools, a third are either charter or magnet. In the national rankings, more than 18 percent are charter schools, and 15 percent are magnet schools.

Arizona had three of the top five charter high schools in the country. They are:

  1. BASIS Scottsdale, Arizona

  2. Haas Hall Academy, Arkansas

  3. Signature Academy, Indiana

  4. BASIS Chandler, Arizona

  5. BASIS Peoria, Arizona

The top five magnet high schools are:

  1. Academic Magnet High School, South Carolina

  2. Maine School of Science and Mathematics

  3. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Virginia

  4. Central Magnet School, Tennessee

  5. International Academy of Macomb, Michigan

In the state-by-state performance, based on the number of high schools in the top 25 percent of national rankings, Massachusetts was the leader. This year, nearly half — 48.8 percent — of the commonwealth's high schools were ranked in the top 25 percent of high schools. Maryland was second with 43.7 percent, followed by California, with 40 percent, and Connecticut, with 39.8 percent in the top 25 percent of schools ranked nationally.

Overall, only seven states had more than a third of their schools in the top 25 percent, and 20 states had 25 percent or more of their schools in the top 25 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, 22 states had fewer than 20 percent of their high schools in the top 25 percent, and seven had fewer than 10 percent of schools in the top tier. South Dakota's schools finished at the bottom of the list since it was the only state that didn't give U.S. News permission to use advanced placement data in the rankings. Even so, 1.9 percent of South Dakota's schools finished in the top 25 percent of rankings.

The full list is available exclusively on usnews.com.

Looking to Adopt a Flower Pot?

Kirkland Downtown Association continues to keep downtown beautiful and vibrant.

From left: Flower Pot program chair Anne Hess, KDA executive director Michael Friedline, and Flower Pot program chair Kathy Feek pose near flower pots in downtown Kirkland with a sample of the new plaques. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.

From left: Flower Pot program chair Anne Hess, KDA executive director Michael Friedline, and Flower Pot program chair Kathy Feek pose near flower pots in downtown Kirkland with a sample of the new plaques. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.

By Stephanie Quiroz | Monday, April 22, 2019 8:30am | Courtesy of KirklandReporter.com

Kirkland is a unique city. The atmosphere is vibrant and special, and people visit Kirkland for that reason. That is what Kirkland Downtown Association (KDA) executive director Michael Friedline believes.

“Part of what we’re trying to do is draw people,” Friedline said. “Not only [for] our residents but also [for the] people from out of town who come down here because it’s a great way to spend an afternoon.”

As a way to keep Kirkland looking vibrant, the KDA is once again looking for 40 individuals, families, or businesses to adopt a flowerpot each in downtown Kirkland through its flowerpot sponsorship program. The downtown flowerpots have been in Kirkland for more than 25 years.

“We think it’s important because it contributes to the ambiance, the quality of life, the feeling of Kirkland,” Friedline said about the flowerpots that are scattered around Kirkland.

KDA overtook the flowerpot program around 20 years ago when the city lacked funding for the program. The association continues to maintain the pots through the sponsorship program but is still seeking more funding. KDA is seeking locals to sponsor and dedicate a flowerpot for $250. This year, KDA is creating a plaque for each pot. Flower Pot adopters have the option to print their name, dedicate or memorialize someone, list their business, or leave an inspiring message. The goal is to adopt out all the pots by mid-May.

The flowerpots are replanted and maintained through all seasons, “bringing cheer and beauty” to the community. All the pots are self-watering and pots are maintained year round with different looks each season. The fowerpot program is chaired by long-time Kirkland residents and KDA board members, Kathy Feek and Anne Hess.

“It really makes a difference,” Hess said about the flowerpots. “It’s a great way to take part in the community and it makes a difference. It’s fun to be able to walk [downtown] and see the pots [with] the plaques.”

Feek explained that KDA would like to expand in the future by hanging flowerpots on Park Lane and down by the marina.

“Everything is ready to go but we don’t have additional [funds],” Feek said.

KDA’s tag line this year is, Celebrate Kirkland. And that is what it is trying to do with these flowerpots.

Aside from their flowerpot program, KDA presents community-wide events including the family 4th of July parade and fireworks, concerts in the park, the summer farmer’s market and more. The organization also beautifies downtown with periodic clean-ups and maintaining the flower pots. KDA serves as a communication link and liaison to the city and others on behalf of the downtown merchants.

To learn more about KDA visit www.kirklanddowntown.org.

To adopt a flowerpot, email Friedline at michael@kirklanddowntown.org.

The Kirkland Downtown Association is once again looking for 40 individuals, families, or businesses that will adopt a flowerpot in downtown Kirkland through their Flower Pot sponsorship program. Each pot os $250 and includes a personalized plaque.

The Kirkland Downtown Association is once again looking for 40 individuals, families, or businesses that will adopt a flowerpot in downtown Kirkland through their Flower Pot sponsorship program. Each pot os $250 and includes a personalized plaque.

KDA is working towards completing all the adoptions by mid-May. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.

KDA is working towards completing all the adoptions by mid-May. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.

Eastside’s First Permanent Shelter Breaks Ground in Kirkland

The shelter will serve single women and families with children who are experiencing homelessness.

By Kailan Manandic | Monday, April 15, 2019 8:30am | Courtesy of KirklandReporter.com

Officials break ground outside Salt House Church for the Eastside’s first permanent women and family shelter. Workers hope to complete construction in 2020. Kailan Manandic/staff photo

Officials break ground outside Salt House Church for the Eastside’s first permanent women and family shelter. Workers hope to complete construction in 2020. Kailan Manandic/staff photo

Shovels struck the earth in celebration of an Eastside-wide partnership that brought residents, nonprofits, cities and King County together in an effort to assist families and women in need.

The Eastside’s first and only permanent shelter for women and families broke ground in Kirkland on the evening of April 10 and will eventually serve locals experiencing homelessness. The two-story, 19,000 square feet facility will provide 100 beds, housing and supportive case management, shower and laundry facilities, medical services and a general safe space 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the year.

“I am so thrilled to be here with all of you for this incredible occasion,” Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet said. “This project is the result of unprecedented collaboration by nonprofits, faith communities, city, county and state governments, and the community.”

Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet gives her remarks at the groundbreaking celebration for the Eastside’s first permanent women and family shelter. The shelter is funded by community support, King County, Kirkland and Washington state. Kailan Manandic/staff photo

Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet gives her remarks at the groundbreaking celebration for the Eastside’s first permanent women and family shelter. The shelter is funded by community support, King County, Kirkland and Washington state. Kailan Manandic/staff photo

The shelter was first conceived in 2016 when the city of Kirkland began discussing a permanent facility to serve adult women and children experiencing homelessness. The project has seen wide-spread support, securing more than $9 million in funding from various communities, nonprofits and government entities.

The city of Kirkland will contribute $1.15 million; King County will contribute a total of $5.2 million, $2.5 million of which will come through its veterans, seniors and human services levy and through a community development block grant; the state will contribute $2.35 million; A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH) will contribute $504,406; and private donations from the Eastside community, particularly Holy Family Church, St. Louise Church and donors from The Sophia Way will contribute $2.1 million and continue to fund shelter operations.

“The 24-hour services are really critical to helping people get back momentum in their lives…Today, we are breaking ground for a new permanent location, which is cause for a real celebration,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine at the event. “King County is proud to be a partner in the regional shelter effort…We are able to invest $2.7 million to help build the shelter and the levy will also provide an additional $2.5 million in operating and services funding because we know a warm safe bed is an extremely important thing for people but so too is access to onsite supportive services.”

King County Executive Dow Constantine gives his remarks at the groundbreaking celebration for the Eastside’s first permanent women and family shelter. The shelter is funded by community support, King County, Kirkland and Washington state. Kailan Manandic/staff photo

King County Executive Dow Constantine gives his remarks at the groundbreaking celebration for the Eastside’s first permanent women and family shelter. The shelter is funded by community support, King County, Kirkland and Washington state. Kailan Manandic/staff photo

Salt House Church has offered up space to host the facility and in a groundbreaking celebration, various church officials, community members and local government leaders and workers gathered at the church. Everyone involved had an opportunity to help dig up the first patch of dirt as onlookers cheered.

The land was secured in a 2017 Memorandum of Understanding between Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, Salt House Church and the city of Kirkland. The city purchased the property and leased it out to Catholic Community Services (CCS). Salt House will also help support the neighboring shelter and the women and children it will serve.

Officials break ground outside Salt House Church for the Eastside’s first permanent women and family shelter. Workers hope to complete construction in 2020. Kailan Manandic/staff photo

Officials break ground outside Salt House Church for the Eastside’s first permanent women and family shelter. Workers hope to complete construction in 2020. Kailan Manandic/staff photo

Workers hope to finish construction in 2020.

“So this is how we will be successful in creating the emergency and the long-term housing and services we need to give every person in our communities the opportunity to reclaim their health, their security [and] their dignity,” Constantine said. “So I look forward to coming back with you, madam mayor, and cutting the ribbon this fantastic new opportunity for our community.”

The Sophia Way and CCS’s New Bethlehem Project will occupy the new facility, offering their various services to any woman or family who need the help. The Sophia Way will serve single adult women on the facility’s second floor while the New Bethlehem Project will serve families with children on the first floor.

Officials break ground outside Salt House Church for the Eastside’s first permanent women and family shelter. Workers hope to complete construction in 2020. Kailan Manandic/staff photo

Officials break ground outside Salt House Church for the Eastside’s first permanent women and family shelter. Workers hope to complete construction in 2020. Kailan Manandic/staff photo

Community members join local government leaders, church officials and workers at the Salt House Church in Kirkland to celebrate the shelter groundbreaking. Locals were able to see designs for the shelter and ask questions of staff. Kailan Manandic/staff photo

Community members join local government leaders, church officials and workers at the Salt House Church in Kirkland to celebrate the shelter groundbreaking. Locals were able to see designs for the shelter and ask questions of staff. Kailan Manandic/staff photo

Kirkland Plans for Major Infrastructure Investments at 132nd Square Park

Residents are being asked to give their input.

Friday, April 12, 2019 8:30am | Courtesy of KirklandReporter.com

A patch of mud in the middle of 132nd Square Park’s soccer field dries in the unseasonably warm weather of March 20. The city of Kirkland is planning to install a stormwater system beneath this field that will consolidate and treat stormwater run-off from the surrounding 48.5 acres. The project will require a 10-foot-deep hole that is nearly the size of the soccer field. Kirkland’s leaders are seizing on this money-saving opportunity — as well as the need to expand park access — to replace the grass surface with synthetic turf. Photo courtesy of the city of Kirkland

A patch of mud in the middle of 132nd Square Park’s soccer field dries in the unseasonably warm weather of March 20. The city of Kirkland is planning to install a stormwater system beneath this field that will consolidate and treat stormwater run-off from the surrounding 48.5 acres. The project will require a 10-foot-deep hole that is nearly the size of the soccer field. Kirkland’s leaders are seizing on this money-saving opportunity — as well as the need to expand park access — to replace the grass surface with synthetic turf. Photo courtesy of the city of Kirkland

The city of Kirkland is in the design phase for a project that will look to improve stormwater management and add amenities in 132nd Square Park.

Before construction is expected in summer 2020, the city is doing a community outreach effort that has so far involved a neighborhood meeting, an open house and an online survey.

The need to enhance stormwater infrastructure in the the Totem Lake and Juanita Basin drainage systems was the “catalyst” for the project, said Kellie Stickney, communications program manager for the city. Heavy rains and snowmelt can overwhelm the drainage systems, flooding streets, sidewalks and homes in the area.

The plan was to put a water filtration system underneath one of the ballfields at the nearby park, which involves “opening up the ground in a pretty major way,” said Lynn Zwaagstra, Kirkland’s parks and community services director.

The city saw an opportunity to consider other amenities that could be installed over the completed stormwater project, like synthetic turf and overhead lights. It also decided to initiate a master plan process to fully consider the usefulness of the park to both neighbors and the broader community.

“There’s a lot of people who use the park, and love the park,” Zwaagstra said, and the city wants to understand what people like about the amenities and how they can be improved.

132nd Square Park is one of Kirkland’s seven community parks. It is about 10 acres and has two ballfields, a playground, a parking lot, restrooms, a small picnic shelter, some pathways and, according to neighbors, a “fantastic sledding hill.”

“Any time we’re going to develop a park, we do a master plan and that helps for a lot of reasons,” Zwaagstra said. “It gives us design concepts that we can then seek funding for. You can’t apply for grants if you don’t know what you’re building and approximately at what cost.”

The stormwater part of the project is partly funded by a Department of Ecology grant and King County flood control fund, said Aparna Khanal, senior project engineer. The city may also pursue funding from the youth athletic field grant program, as the ballfield is expected to cost between $3 million and $5 million.

Zwaagstra said that Kirkland’s most recent Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) plan, last updated in 2015, identified the need for additional ballfields and a desire to convert some fields to synthetic turf.

“In this wet climate, [turf] increases playability of the field and it also gives you a greatly expanded season,” Zwaagstra said. “We already had a project identified to rehab this specific field…That project was put on hold knowing that field would be dug up in a year or two.”

The stormwater project presented the “perfect opportunity” to reinstate project and consider synthetic turf, she said.

The project is in an early phase of design right now and construction should take six to nine months. The city expects to go out for bids this spring or summer.

In mid-March, a consultant hired by the city tested soil in the park to understand how water moves through it. When construction starts in spring of 2020, crews will be doing extensive digging in the park to create a large underground vault for managing stormwater flows.

Interested parties can comment online, or at any Kirkland City Council or Park Board meeting, Stickney said.

See 132ndsquarepark.participate.online for more.