628 stories

Magic Acrylic Makes This Ring Stand Out

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LEDs look great no matter how you use them, but sometimes you want to hide them from direct view. [Charlyn] found a great way to do that, using a special material designed just for the purpose.

[Charlyn] built a ring as a piece of fashion jewelry, hooking up a Gemma M0 microcontroller to a Neopixel Jewel, which packs 7 individual LEDs. The hardware is secreted away inside an enclosure featuring both 3D-printed and lasercut parts.

Rather than openly show off the electronics, it’s all hidden away inside. Instead, a piece of black Chemcast LED acrylic is used, which allows LED light to shine through, while otherwise appearing opaque. Those interested in learning more can check out the product details on the manufacturer site.

It’s a great way to make a subtle costume piece that only reveals its flashier side when you so decide. We’ve seen badges use similar techniques on PCBs to great effect, too. Video after the break.




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3 days ago
Well that stuff's neat.
3 days ago
Fun fact: this material can often be salvaged from old LCD panels. Better yet, it can be used with or without the diffuser to get more or less diffusion.
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Capitol Hill ‘neighborhood cafe’ Tallulah’s isn’t closed — but it’s not open, either

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(Image: CHS)

Diners hoping for a Friday night visit found the 19th at Mercer restaurant dark and a paper sign on the door announcing it was closed for the night. Weekend brunch patrons had their reservations canceled. The weekend closure followed other nights of unannounced shuttering. This Monday and Tuesday brought more of the same.

Ownership hasn’t said anything definitive but Capitol Hill restaurant Tallulah’s did not have the best week of business even as the venue marked its sixth year on Capitol Hill’s quieter side along the leafy 19th Ave E.

The restaurant ownership won’t say it is done. But it’s not open, either. Owner Brad Haggen tells CHS the restaurant was closed due to staffing issues. “We lost some key staff and were not able to take care of our guests properly,” Haggen said.

He has not responded to further requests as the restaurant remained shuttered this week.

(Image: Tallulah’s)

The wrinkle comes just over a year since CHS reported on new ownership for the Linda Derschang creation.

Tallulah’s debuted in December 2013 in a lighter vision, veggie-friendly menu, and more modern design design that was partly a response to Derschang’s reputation for vintage and dive vibes.

Entrepreneur and investor Haggen, part of the family behind the grocery chain told CHS after the 2018 acquisition that the Derschang founded restaurant represented a “no brainer” opportunity as was looking for businesses to start or buy following his family’s sale of their interest in the grocery company.

Haggen made Tallulah’s part of a small collection of “neighborhood cafes” including Skylark’s in Bellingham and ownership of regional franchise rights to a Neopolitan pizza chain.

For now, it isn’t clear what Haggen’s next move will be on 19th Ave E.

IT'S NEARLY THE END OF 2019! YOU'VE BEEN MEANING TO! SUBSCRIBE TO KEEP CHS GOING INTO 2020! EXCLAMATION! The holidays are busy times when we typically lose subscribers. We need your help. Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE TODAY. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment. CHS currently has just over 800 subscribers! That's a lot! But we need more. Why support CHS? More here.

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34 days ago
Well, at least Lisa and I got in once?
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Now open: Zaika — new Indian on Pike at the base of Capitol Hill

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Zaika owner Nitin Panchal (Images: CHS)

Not everyone is shying away from big food and drink opportunities on Capitol Hill.

Zaika, a new Indian restaurant taking over the Tango space at the base of Pike just above downtown, is setting out to be, well, new Indian — a new take on the familiar food and drink that blends in with its colorful neighborhood and the bustling nightlife of Pike/Pine.

“There’s something new out there,” owner Nitin Panchal tells CHS. “Most of the people, they might not ever have tried something like this.”

IT'S NEARLY THE END OF 2019! YOU'VE BEEN MEANING TO! SUBSCRIBE TO KEEP CHS GOING INTO 2020! EXCLAMATION! The holidays are busy times when we typically lose subscribers. We need your help. Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE TODAY. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment. CHS currently has just over 800 subscribers! That's a lot! But we need more. Why support CHS? More here.

With the exit of much loved Poppy from Broadway earlier this year, Zaika is ready to step in and offer forward looking takes on Indian cuisine with a menu that has room for both Malai Chicken and Chicken Tikka Tacos. Beyond the menu, Zaika’s opening took longer than expected as Panchal said he tossed out the initial designs for overhauling the space and spent extra weeks on refining his launch menu. It’s an ambition not far removed from the efforts that drove the creation of Mamnoon as a showcase of Middle Eastern flavors just up the block from Zaika on Melrose.

CHS talked with Panchal this summer about his plans for Zaika and hopes to bring “a Capitol Hill happy hour take on Indian food” to the former Tango space. Tango Restaurant and Lounge closed after 19 years of date nights and tapas at the corner of Pike and Boren to make way for the new venture.

When Tango was born, its area wasn’t quite the draw Zaika inherits. Today, it shares the block with the massive Starbucks Reserve Roastery and the Melrose Market, both huge magnets for neighborhood visitors, shoppers, and diners. Not everything has changed. Though its building sold, Club Z still does its thing across the street.

Panchal, who ran the Chutneys on Queen Anne for a decade — though not its Capitol Hill cousin that closed in 2013 — and also operates Subway franchise locations in the area — didn’t want to add another traditional Indian restaurant to Seattle. For one, it would be a waste of Capitol Hill. “This is where we can do something different,” he said, saying his hope is for his Indian clientele to seek out Zaika as an alternative to more traditional restaurants and for neighborhood diners to embrace the new project as a great place for meals and drinks mixing seasonal Pacific Northwest tastes and ingredients with Indian flavors and spices. Eater Seattle attended a tasting and has more here on Zaika’s offerings including pumpkin soup with coconut cream, goat cheese potli, fish moili, and dahl jeera cauliflower.

There is also lunch. Eschewing the business lunch buffet scene, Zaika instead offers an elegant — and filling — $15 thali that is an excellent showcase of the simple twists it is hoping to bring to the Pike and Melrose dining scene.

Zaika is now open at 1100 Pike. You can learn more at zaikaseattle.com.

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40 days ago
Tango replacement is open. Run by the guy who ran Queen Anne's Chutneys (which I love(d?)) and doing Thalis for lunch? I'm very interested.
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Freedom! Capitol Hill is getting a ‘self pour’ wine and beer bar

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Wine entrepreneur David Clawson is back in the States and ready to lead a revolution of freedom in the wine and beer biz while putting an important Capitol Hill cafe space back into motion. He may have been “Brexited,” as he puts it, but his new battle in Seattle on the north end of Broadway will be about “self pour” and the freedom to explore beyond the class system of fine wine.

“We are flipping all that on its head,” Clawson tells CHS. “Why not let the customers try an amazing range of variety and wines.”

In coming days, construction will begin to overhaul the former Starbucks indie-flavored Roy Street Coffee into a new cafe by day, wine and beer bar by night venture.

Clawson is still working on a name for the project but he knows what will be at the center of it — self pour.

It will be an experiment — the cafe will be the first in the region to venture into what Clawson said is a popular and successful UK and European trend — in wine and beer democracy.

“You’ll go in, get a card, and use the machines — like a credit card — selected, dispense different pour sizes. Hit the button, off you go,” Clawson explains.

“It’s giving them freedom to try a huge range — likely more than 100 wines and beers by the glass, more heavy on the wine. And letting people do what they want.”

This being the United States and Seattle, Clawson has ready answers for any cluck clucking. Recent changes in state laws make the whole thing even more clearly legal and in line with regulations — though Clawson says much of it could have probably been done under previous rules. Still, it’s a new approach that authorities will be dealing with for the first time. And it has a rebel spirit — it would be illegal in Oregon, Clawson points out.

As for the other obvious question, there is also an answer for preventing “over service” and over indulgence. The credit system on the cafe’s cards ensure that the law is followed. After 10 ounces of wine or 24 ounces of beer, the card must be reactivated so staff will be able to assess whether a customer is in proper shape for another round. Poor pours and worse choices? Those are up to the customer. We do not recommend you try the 7-11 “suicide” approach when playing with the spigots.

The North Broadway project is part of a recent tradition of business innovation rippling through Capitol Hill bars and breweries. Optimism Brewing famously opened in 2015 as a no cash venue. We have a “wine on tap” wine bar — Footprint on E Madison. And the natural wine trend will be represented soon on E Pike at La Dive.

Meanwhile, if the coming beer taps and islands of wine dispensers sounds a little Amazon Go, CHS has led you astray. Clawson is planning a fully-staffed cafe and bar with baristas pulling shots and a menu of daytime breakfasts and lunches, and nighttime bites to accompany the booze.

The new cafe and bar will replace the Starbucks-backed Roy Street as the project shuttered in April after a decade on Broadway. Roy Street debuted in 2009 as part of a pair of new Capitol Hill cafes that looked, felt, and in some ways operated like the independent cafes the new joints were designed to mimic. “As part of Starbucks standard course of business, we continually evaluate our business to ensure a healthy store portfolio,” the company told CHS earlier this year. “After careful consideration, we’ve made the difficult decision to close the store on Roy Street.”

Clawson said he wants to keep Roy Street’s place as a community gathering spot intact with room for meetings and gatherings by day and events at night.

Self pour, for him, is clearly about an entrepreneurial opportunity and a passion for craft beer and, especially, wine. If you’re looking for a model, Clawson tells us about the 15 years he spent in London where he helped to create The Remedy Wine Bar & Kitchen, “a relaxed, intimate, and friendly slightly geeky wine bar.” His return to his hometown of Seattle included a search for a new project and a new place to do business. He looked across the city including across Capitol Hill. Pike/Pine didn’t feel right, he said. North Broadway with a collection of unique restaurants, a quieter bar scene, and, probably most importantly, an amazingly large and amazingly available cafe space fit the bill.

While he is still working on the name, Strata Architects is setting about a redesign of Roy Street that will continue the space’s more intimate warrens and separation while creating a “lightened up,” more modern approach. Work will probably stretch into spring with a planned opening, perhaps, by March or April.

As he learned in densely packed London, the best customers will live nearby. Clawson says his focus for the new cafe and bar will be to  create a “local community feel, a local destination.”

“It’s the local populace we care about,” Clawson said.

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84 days ago
Lisa and I were just talking about what might end up in this space.
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A Dragon-Themed Pub Will Replace a Robot-Themed Pub on Broadway

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The Seattle izakaya version of Godzilla vs Moguera. by Rich Smith
Clockwise, the seals on the dragon represent Makoto Kimotos family crest, the Suika watermelon, Dragon Ball Z (a pun on Rondo), and Tamari Bar
Clockwise from the top, the seals on the dragon represent Makoto Kimoto's family crest, the Suika watermelon, Dragon Ball Z (a sort of pun on "Rondo"), and Tamari Bar Mokoto Kimoto

By the end of the year, Capitol Hill will boast yet another izakaya from Makoto Kimoto, the owner of Suika and Tamari Bar, two playful Japanese pubs situated practically across the street from one another on Pine.

Rondo Japanese Kitchen will be a 50-seat lunch and early-dinner spot serving up noodle dishes, teishoku, donburi, and a bunch of drinking snacks. In an interview, Kimoto said he's also considering eventually catering small batches of extremely Instagramable bento boxes.

But for now he's just focusing on opening up Rondo, which will fill the space most recently occupied by Junkichi Robata Izakaya at 224 Broadway E. Last month, Capitol Hill Seattle Blog reported that the restaurant, which featured a cool "customer service robot," shuttered unexpectedly.

I'm not sure why that happened, but I do know Kimoto and general manager Kan Terao are now in there redecorating the place. You can follow their progress on Instagram.

For both the menu and decor, Kimoto says he's taking some inspiration from the tale of Urashima Tarō.

The story begins when Urashima, a young fisherman, saves a turtle. To repay the favor, the turtle whisks him away to an underwater Dragon Palace. After spending several evenings earnestly romancing Princess Otohime, he swims back up to the surface with a box he's not supposed to open—a souvenir of the love he shared with the princess. Back on land, Urashima realizes that 100 years have passed, and when he opens the box—because of course he opens the box—smoke billows out of it and transforms him into an old man.

In Japanese, “ron” means dragon and “do” means palace, so "Rondo" refers to the Dragon Palace in the story. (Kimoto also says he loves dragons in general, which makes sense, because dragons rule.) In honor of the mythical beast, Kimoto says he wants to use dry ice in certain food and drink presentations, and he wants to put cold-smoked dishes on the menu.

Because the dragon in the story is a water protector, the cocktail menu will offer bubbly drinks, including sparkling sake, chūhai, and Sapporo beer. They'll also make some cocktails with a brand new Suntory Whisky Toki Highball machine, which creates superfine, ultra-powerful, champagne-like bubbles. This izakaya won't have a bar, though, so all the drinks will come from the kitchen.

Kimoto typically adorns his restaurants with artifacts of Japanese pop culture from the 1980s. Rondo will be the same but different. "Our goal is to surprise customers with the food, but also with the service and the environment," Kimoto said. "I just want to make a place where people walk in and say 'oh wow' look at all this!"

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99 days ago
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Bauhaus and its ‘strong coffee’ will return to Capitol Hill with Harvard Ave E cafe

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After finding its footing in Ballard, Bauhaus ready for Capitol Hill return (Image: Bauhaus)

Older and wiser, a legendary name in Capitol Hill coffee is preparing to return to the neighborhood.

Bauhaus, one of the earliest purveyors of Capitol Hill cafe coffee culture, is set to return to its birth neighborhood with a new project that will open in coming weeks on Harvard Ave E.

Smita Patel says she and significant other, Bauhaus founder Joel Radin will open the new Bauhaus in the 500-block Harvard Ave E cafe location recently left empty with the departure of Down Pour Coffee.

Patel tells CHS the new location will test a new concept for Bauhaus of a smaller cafe with a focus beyond coffee that will include beer, wine, and a bottle shop.

Bauhaus’s “last night” at Melrose and Pine in 2013 (Image: CHS)

The Harvard Ave E location was a challenge for the previous owners who expanded from Redmond but told CHS that business below the Rubix Apartments was terrible from the first day.

Bauhaus now returns to Capitol Hill after settling down and establishing a new base in Ballard in the wake of the abrupt closure of its “temporary” E Pine cafe in late 2015, a move that also killed any plans of a return to it original location at Melrose and Pine. Months later, CHS would report on Radin’s financial troubles and personal bankruptcy that accompanied the sad news of Bauhaus’s demise.

Debuting in 1993 at the corner of Melrose and Pine and known for its “strong coffee” and book-lined walls, Bauhaus was loved for its library-like feel, plentiful tables, and long hours — 6 AM to 1 AM.

Bauhaus and its block of neighboring small businesses on E Pine at Melrose eventually became part of one of the first in a wave of nostalgia demolishing real estate deals that ushered in a decade of construction on relatively massive mixed-use developments boosted taller by Pike/Pine’s preservation incentives. In April 2012, CHS reported on the acquisition of Bauhaus’s block that would displace the 1993-born cafe and other shops like Wall of Sound, Edie’s Shoes and Le Frock.

With a plan to eventually return to the corner, Bauhaus moved up Pine to the former Capitol Club location and settled in for what many hoped would be a temporary stay until construction was completed on the development at Melrose and Pine. But, instead, that Bauhaus saw its final days on Capitol Hill.

The coffee shop found new life in Ballard, however. Now organized under Patel’s ownership, the Bauhaus family includes the NW Market St. cafe, the Midwest-spirited bar Petoskey’s in Fremont, and Ballard’s Hog Island Hoagie sandwiches. Patel says she has managed to also keep her “day job” as an orthodontist as the businesses have grown.

Now, she says, she is ready for an important step Bauhaus has been preparing for ever since it left E Pine.

Bauhaus Capitol Hill will is set to open before the end of the month at 515 Harvard Ave E. You can learn more at bauhausstrong.coffee.


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126 days ago
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