Business & Community Development Update- March 2015

The energy in the neighborhood is palpable, a great feeling as spring unfolds in Pioneer Square.

The reasons are many:

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Intrigue Chocolate Co. has signed the lease on the new retail space just east of the intersection of Jackson and Occidental. Owners Aaron Barthel and Karl Mueller currently operate from a small kitchen down Washington street west of 1st avenue on the second floor of a historic building. Despite being a bit tricky to find, their walk-in traffic has grown to exceed the small shop’s capacity. A dedicated street-level shop will give them more room for their conversational-style retail and chocolate tasting experience. Look for their sign to go in the window in a couple months. Want to help support the build-out of the space and chocolate tasting bar? Check out their Community Sourced Capital fundraising campaign.
• Could we be more excited? The Sounders FC  season kicks into gear with the first match on Sunday, March 8. GO SOUNDERS!
• The opening of Nordo’s Culinarium and “Don Nordo del Midwest”, the inaugural show in Pioneer Square’s Globe Building at 109 S Main will be next month. Check out the article in this month’s City Arts, then order your tickets at
Nirmal’s will be serving “re-imagined” Indian food on Occidental Ave in the Interurban Building soon. The build-out is happening and plans for signage and a sidewalk café will go to the Preservation Board are in the works. Gita Bangera, the owner, reports that Chef Nirmal’s visa was approved. He’ll be arriving in Pioneer Square in the next few weeks.
The Faerie Queen at 90 Yesler Way is shooting to be open for lunch and happy hour on Monday! Una Kim, the owner, says the focus will be seafood and they’ll be serving oysters for lunch and happy hour Monday-Friday.
Kraken Congee, a popular pop-up restaurant with an enthusiastic following, will open in the neighborhood very soon. Where? You’ll need to wait just a little longer for that announcement. To be among the first to know, follow them here. (Or follow us at @PioneerSquare for up-to-the-minute neighborhood updates.)
• We’re thrilled about the opening of the Mariane Ibrahim Gallery at 608 2nd Ave. “Maimouna Guerresi—Light Bodies” will no doubt draw lots of attention during this month’s First Thursday Art Walk. Stop by and welcome them to the neighborhood!
Gallery Frames completed their move to 311 3rd Ave S. Though Daniel says they’re still getting settled, they’re open for business and eager for everyone to stop by to see the new digs.
Sweetgrass – a new organic, whole foods restaurant is scheduled to open this fall in the long-vacant space on 1st Ave S between Damn the Weather and Tango Zulu. Their plans for a juice bar – and juice growlers – are creating quite the buzz. Colleen Kerr and Michael Moon are opening another location in a different Seattle neighborhood this summer, but we all know where they will really shine, right?
Girin is still on track to open their seasonal Korean restaurant in Stadium Place next month. Chef Brandon Kirksey, formerly of San Francisco’s flour+water and Ethan Stowell’s Tavolata will lead the kitchen.
• As you may have heard, the Post Office at 93 S. Jackson is looking for a new space. We are working with the USPS real estate brokers to help them find another space in the neighborhood. We’ll keep you posted as more information is available.
• AND construction on 200 Occidental is underway. The developer for this game-changing development is Urban Visions. Weyerhaeuser – in case you haven’t heard – will be the office tenant.
And for Pioneer Square business owners who’d like to learn more about the implementation of the Minimum Wage Ordinance, there are a few public meetings that may be helpful, including an event sponsored by OED and WorkSource scheduled for April 8. I’m compiling a list, so give me a shout if you’d like details. You can also go direct to the City’s Minimum Wage website for more information.
Wow. That’s a lot of information, yet I’m sure I forgot something. These are great times in our neighborhood. Get out there to see what you can see and stay in touch!
Karen True –