Community & Business Development Update – August 2014

Karen True, Director of Business Development

Everybody’s talking…

Café Nordo co-founders Erin Brindley and Terry Podgorski fell in love with Pioneer Square when they produced last year’s spaghetti western, SMOKED!, at The Kitchen by Delicatus. Later, after they tired of moving their live theatre-dinner productions from venue to venue, they decided to look for a permanent home in our neighborhood. Last month they announced they are ready to begin the build-out of Nordo’s Culinarium in the Globe Building. They’ll take the space at 109 S Main that runs along Nord Alley. (Nordo’s on Nord Alley. Fun, yes?)

The press is all a-twitter about the news. (Check out a couple of articles here and here.) While we’re thrilled about bringing live theatre to Pioneer Square, it’s especially sweet because of the deep connection Erin and Terry feel to our neighborhood. So much so, that they asked to share a personal letter with all who live and work in Pioneer Square. This one’s for you. Read it here.

As you know, things are picking up quickly on the retail front. Several new businesses are busy building out their spaces and should be opening their doors for business by fall.

  • Velouria – in Stadium Place. Owners Cat Wilcox and Chika Eustace are thrilled about being part of the Pioneer Square community. They sell all U.S. and Canadian-made goods with an emphasis on Pacific Northwest designers.  “We love the personal touch of handmade items that are not mass-produced, and above all, goods that are beautiful and high quality.” They will be open in Ballard for a few more weeks. You can check them out on instagram (@hellovelouria).
  • Dry Goods Design – at S Main St & Occidental Ave S. Keli Faw just got the keys on Friday and is hard at work to get the space opened on August 29th. They’re planning an opening party on Friday, September 5th. “We are so excited to be providing a space where people can work as individuals and with others to use their hands (and often a machine) to make something or everything, providing both  machines and tools for our students. Our fall class schedule, including ‘Lunchbreak Lessons’, will range from ‘This is a Sewing Machine’ to advanced garment construction classes, dyeing workshops, hand lettering, embroidery and more.” In addition to classes, Dry Good Design will offer a thoughtfully and lovingly curated selection of fabrics, notions, home goods, stationery, and more.
  • Clementines – on Occidental Mall, next door to London Plane.  Linda Walsh is moving her popular women’s shoe store from West Seattle to Pioneer Square. She’s all about fabulous women’s shoes and clothing. She said they are on a tight timeline, but are “up for the challenge.” She hopes to be open within 4-6 weeks. “If we aren’t open in time for the big weekend in September (Seahawks on September 4–Design Festival sets up the following day) we will be around to pass out coupons to use at the new space.”
  • Cone & Steinerin Stadium Place. In addition to everything else we might find in an urban general store, they’ll have a “growler station” with local beers. We’re all watching those windows, waiting for the paper to come down and the doors to open…
  • Elm Coffee – in Pacific Commercial Building at 2nd Ave S & S Main St. The roll out menus for the Elm Coffee micro-roaster and cafe will feature some lightly roasted excellent coffees from Guatemala, Colombia and Ethiopia.  Perhaps a few choice Kenyans on occasion, too.  Owner, Brendan Mullally, explained, “We want to be a comfortably elegant café. Super friendly, non-pretentious service is paramount.  Great clean coffees served simply.  Occasional special treats like affagotos, espresso with bitters, horchata, and home-made peppermint mochas.” Brendan hopes to be serving coffee for the neighborhood by the end of September.
  • Good Bar – in the Pacific Commercial Building at 2nd Ave S & S Main. Though the build-out is taking a little longer than expected, Good Bar owners say they’ll be open for happy hours and dinners this fall.
  • Sprout – next door to Smith Tower on 2nd Ave. Michael Kelly’s vision of a restaurant where everything on the menu is healthy (really, everything!), is on track to become a reality. He’s hard at work building out the space and will keep us posted as things unfold.
  • Fleurt – on S Washington St, next to Pioneer Passage Alley. We’re having fun watching this lovely space come to life. Stay tuned. Flowers ahead.
  • Seattle Sounders – in the Washington Shoe Building on Occidental Ave S. This is late-breaking news: in addition to moving their offices to Pioneer Square, the Sounders are developing plans to open something very special on the street for the public. Curious? So are we. More details soon.
  • Pizzeria Gabbiano – in the Pacific Commercial Building at 2nd Ave S & S Main St. Mike Easton is in the thick of putting the last touches on his fabulous space in preparation of opening. It should be any day now…

I had hoped to write about some of our existing retail and restaurant businesses this month—both those who’ve weathered multiple economic turns and those who haven’t been open as long. While it’s fabulous fun to talk about what’s new, this neighborhood works because so many are committed to a bigger vision of Pioneer Square and believe in the possibilities. New stores and restaurants complement what long-established favorites put in place.

So…I’m going to work to pull together a few new stories about old favorites and how they helped set the stage for the new. Got some ideas? Please share. The coffee’s on me!


Karen True

Director of Business Development

Alliance for Pioneer Square