News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood

 

Westlake Ave Cycle Track Project meeting tonight at Fremont Studios

October 22nd, 2014 by Cara

The Seattle Department of Transportation will host the third open house about the proposed Westlake Ave Cycle Track (or Bikeway) from 5:30-8:00pm this evening at Fremont Studios.

The proposed addition of a cycle track along Westlake Ave seeks to address the lack of a bike-specific thoroughfare along this popular route between South Lake Union and Fremont/Points Beyond. Pedestrians, vehicle traffic, businesses in the area, marina users, and of course, cyclists all have a stake in the decision. A project of this scope is unlikely to find unanimous support, numerous debates have arisen on the cost/benefit of the project. Local media outlets have been covering the project for the past eighteen months including those linked below:

Final Westlake Bikeway open house is Wednesday + A look at updated plans by Tom Fucoloro on the Seattle Bike Blog

The Stranger’s take on the Cycle Track Showdown by Ansel Herz

This overview of the project from May 2014 by our friend Kirby Lindsey at Fremocentrist.com

And this letter featured in local sailing magazine 48 North about the impact on liveaboards and sailing businesses along Westlake.

Here is the information from SDOT about tonight’s Open House:

Join us for our third project open house!

Wednesday, Oct. 22
5:30 – 8 PM
Presentation at 6:15 PM

Fremont Studios
155 N 35th Street
Bus routes: 5, 16, 26, 28, 31, 32, 40
Paid parking and bike racks available

Join project staff and designers to view the latest concept, learn about biking, walking, driving and parking in the corridor, and share your feedback.

Make it a family event – we’ll have activities for kids too!

View open house materials and click here to complete the comment form.

 

Project Description:

The Westlake Avenue N corridor between Fremont and South Lake Union neighborhoods connects to the Fremont Bridge, Ship Canal Trail and Lake Union Park. This unique 1.2-mile corridor is a major truck street with transit and is home to marine-related businesses, moorage areas, floating homes and more. The west side is a four lane street with one sidewalk. On the east side, people walking, using wheelchairs, biking and driving all share an undefined space. People walking and biking use the sidewalk, the parking area and a service lane meant for drop-off, pick-up and deliveries. There is no dedicated space for bicycles. This project will add predictability and create a safer, more comfortable place for drivers, walkers and bicyclists.

Full details about the project can be found on SDOT’s website here.

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Makerhaus powers down

October 12th, 2014 by Cara

Makerhaus, a creative space open to the community for fabrication, design, and other pursuits closed it doors last month. Founded in 2012, the unique “sandbox of inspirational studio” offered classes, workspaces and a variety of professional design and fabrication equipment not often easily accessible to the public. Makerhaus’ 10,000 square foot location on N 36th Street formerly housed Evo before the retailers development of a new flagship store on Stone Way.

Founders Mike and Ellie Kemery shared this statement on the Makerhaus website, blog, and Facebook:

Dear Makerhaus members, students, educators, and creative community,

Over the last eighteen months you have helped cultivate an amazing HAUS of learning, making, and connection by attending events, classes, workshops, joining our membership programs, and supporting us through social media and word of mouth. Our goal to empower creative minds and make a meaningful contribution to our community would not have been possible without your involvement and interest. We sincerely thank you for your support.

While there has been great love for our mission, customer demand has fallen short of what is needed to continue to run the business. That said, it is with extreme regret that we are announcing Makerhaus will be closing its doors on September 16th.

Makerhaus has been home to some amazingly talented people. Many of which have directly contributed their time to building the space and cultivating a uniquely creative culture. Without their shared belief in our mission and passion for our goals none of this would have been possible. We are also extremely grateful and fortunate to have been backed by a team of forward thinkers who believe in our mission and shared our vision of helping our society move ahead.

We still believe in the makers, teachers, entrepreneurs, and curious minds who have come to visit us over the past eighteen months. Some came by for a day, some have stayed with us for over a year. Many built new personal and business relationships resulting in Kickstarter campaigns, jobs, new found awareness for their skills & services, and the incubation of their own companies. We are glad to have been able to help others bridge the gap in their lives and realize their dreams.

Our immediate goal is to ensure our members and stakeholders are properly taken care of during this transition. We will continue to operate under our regular business hours during our final days. If you have any questions please contact us at info@makerhaus.com and we will respond as quickly as possible.

Thank you again for an amazing experience. We which you all the very best!

Sincerely, Mike & Ellie Kemery

Makerhaus

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Lifted with Levitas: Seattle’s first Anti-Gravity yoga studio

October 11th, 2014 by Cara

Fremont has long been a hub for yoga of a variety of disciplines, we even practice yoga on the streets during the Solstice Festival! Now Levitas brings a new form of yoga, Anti-Gravity yoga among others, to Fremont and the Seattle area. Previously,  Portland and Vancouver BC where Levitas owner and instructor Samantha originally hails from, were the nearest Anti-Gravity studios.

After learning about Anti-Gravity yoga and seeing a void to be filled Samantha leased a studio-sized space just off N 36th down the staircase between Qazis Indian Curry House and Kwanjai Thai. Beyond the Ink Tattoo, Suenos Salsa, and the Asian Bliss Spa are also located downstairs.

Never heard of Anti-Gravity yoga? It looks like this:

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Image from the Levitas Studio website

Anti-Gravity yoga doesn’t eliminate the gravity from the room, wouldn’t that be cool! Instead it uses special hammocks to support you while combining yoga poses with other aerial and fitness practices. The overall result is pretty fun!

Despite it’s initial appearance Anti-Gravity yoga can be very accessible, it has different benefits from other forms of yoga and Levitas’ instructors pair the “hybrid mind-body workout” with a variety of soundtracks. New students are encouraged to try out Anti-Gravity Basics 1 and 2 and allow several classes to become comfortable in the cocoon of the hammock.

Anti-Gravity is not Levitas’ only yoga offering though, the studio also has a variety of Vinyasa classes including Reggae Yoga and Throw Back Thursday where the class gets to “kick it old school, tune in while you tune out to hip hop from the 80′s and 90′s.” For Samantha being able to offer yoga with a variety of music is a priority and very important for the studio.

Due to the size of the studio and popularity of classes Samantha asks all students to sign up online ahead of time. You can find out more about Levitas Studios’ playlists, class schedule, and styles of yoga here on their website. You can also find them on Facebook.

Oh and check out this video! http://youtu.be/7aai1wkO2tk

 

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Fire at Asko has all eyes on Fremont

October 1st, 2014 by Cara

Asko, an industrial metal finishing plant located in Fremont on N 35th Street quickly became the center of attention yesterday as black smoke and flames poured out of the roof. All twelve employees working at the time were evacuated without injury according to news media. The fire was reported at 1pm on Tuesday September 30th and extinguished by 3:15pm that same day.

The plant, a very present reminder of Fremont’s industrial culture, did use potentially hazardous materials in their processing which has delayed identifying the cause of the fire. Following the containment of the fire the Seattle Fire Department tweeted:

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These aerial photos were taken from the KOMO News chopper below, a full story can be found here. Q13 Fox and King 5 also had news crews in action covering the blaze.

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A Fremont Universe reader also shared this photo from across Lake Union:

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Send photos and more information about the fire to tips@fremontuniverse.com. More information will be posted as it becomes available.

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Norm’s seating update benefits patrons and pooches

September 30th, 2014 by Cara

With the debut of football season this summer’s updates at Norm’s are even more apparent. The popular dog-friendly establishment removed several traditional booths and replaced them with a more open seating plan with a booth-style bench on one side and chairs on the other.

From the Norm's Eatery and Alehouse Facebook

From the Norm’s Eatery and Alehouse Facebook

The overall affect makes the area feel lighter, makes TV screens more accessible, and has curious canines visiting all around. Norm’s kept the signature look of their red booths with a similar material on the bench however not all visitors see the pop of red like we do:

Image modified with www.dog-vision.com

Image modified with www.dog-vision.com

For those who are Norm’s veterans what do you think of the new seating arrangement?

Find out more about Norm’s Eatery and Alehouse online here or Facebook

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CAN’t stop this: Fremont Brewing’s expansions

September 25th, 2014 by Cara

When the sun comes out, and often even when it doesn’t, it is no surprise to find Fremont Brewing‘s Urban Beer Garden packed to the brim. The local brewery, located on N 34th Street between Albion Place N and Woodland Park Ave N, has been brewing and growing in the neighborhood for the past five years.

The Urban Beer Garden first set up shop in the loading area of the brewery facing Woodland Park Ave. There was a long communal table built up on kegs, several round booths that also incorporated keg furniture, and a rocking horse for the little ones. The tap system came directly from the brewery behind it and the whole thing got packed away during the week to resume normal business.

In October 2012, the Urban Beer Garden (UBG) found a more permanent home in the opposite corner of the building along N 34th Street and Albion Place, where it remains today. This addition allowed the UBG to offer Fremont’s beers 7 days a week, a cold case with pre-filled growlers, six packs of cans, as well as indoor and outdoor seating.

From Fremont Brewing's website

From Fremont Brewing’s website

As word got out the new layout couldn’t contain the thirsty and devoted patrons, this past summer Fremont Brewing increased the outdoor seating available by taking over a section of the adjacent parking lot. As the barrels rolled in and new benches were built Fremont Brewing’s neighbor Bikram Yoga also made a big move to a new location farther west on N 34th Street.

With the yoga studio’s departure Fremont Brewing is now the sole tenant in the building. With cooler weather imminent construction has been focused on expanding the interior of the UBG as well as creating additional workspaces for employees.

The newest part of the Urban Beer Garden is connected to the main entrance through a rolling garage door that replace the adjacent wall and with a separate entrance to the garden. The new space mirrors the current UBG that customers know and love. Warm wood, bold Fremont colors, and a 20 taps stand at the ready.

In addition to more seating and restrooms the new space includes an indoor fire pit that is sure to be popular this winter. At the east end of the building there are now several offices, a kitchen, and locker room for employees.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Fremont Brewing has also announced it will be moving the majority of it’s production to a new space in Frellard at 47th Ave NW and 9th Ave NW. The change will take the brewery from an 8,000 square foot facility to an 80,000 square foot facility.

The building is currently home to McCallum Envelope & Printing. Fremont Brewing will begin renovations on the building in May 2015 to create a new brewhouse, as well as new canning and bottling lines. The original brewing location will be maintained with a lab as an experimental brewery.

As with all of Fremont Brewing’s expansions thus far the renovations will take sustainability into consideration including energy and water conservation. The new production facility will also increase Fremont Brewing’s team, 35-40 full time employees are expected to be hired in 2015.

Matt Lincecum, Founder/Owner of Fremont Brewing explains the company’s choice in choosing the location of the new production facility in a recent press release:

“We chose Ballard because of its strong manufacturing base and besides, the new brewery is only one block outside of Fremont. Even though it’s very expensive, we’re committed to remaining in the City and we simply refuse to accept that blue-collar manufacturing jobs can’t coexist in the new Seattle.”

To top it off Fremont Brewing fans had the opportunity to share where they take their Fremont beer with the popular Fremont Brewing CANpaign. Check out all the winners from the on Fremont Brewing’s Instagram or Facebook.

Join in the festivities, tonight! 
Tonight is the Bonfire Ale Release Party from 5-9pm, introducing Fremont’s winter favorite. Five Bonfire Ale infusions will be on tap:
  1. Campfire Coffee
  2. Peach Cobbler
  3. Mexican Hot Chocolate
  4. S’mores
  5. Vanilla Chai

Guests will also have the opportunity to discuss Bonfire Ale with a Fremont brewer at 7pm.

Cheers Fremont!

FBC-Bonfire-release-IG

 

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ZapVerr rolls out the red carpet

September 22nd, 2014 by Cara

ZapVerr Thai Restaurant and Lounge rolled out the red carpet last month after an extensive remodel of the former Tawon Thai. The new space combines modern decor with playful lighting and a unique Thai menu from “E-Sann”, the northeastern part of Thailand.

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Dramatic rings add to ZapVerr’s ambiance and hone in on the bar

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ZapVerr’s logo facing Fremont Ave

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The remodeled and modernized facade of Fremont’s newest Thai restaurant

Entrees range from $10-18 and include some familiar and other regional dishes diners may have not yet experienced. There is also a variety of Thai soup options available. The bar is not to be missed either with an extensive cocktail menu available.

What’s in a name? According to the restaurant’s website, Zap is Thai for “delicious” while Verr means “over the top.” The combination can be translated as “overly delicious.”

You can check out ZapVerr at their website or Facebook.

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M&S Deli expands with fresh Middle Eastern offerings

September 20th, 2014 by Cara

M&S Deli and Grocery located on the corner of N 36th Street and N Francis Avenue expanded into the adjoining space this spring to increase their deli offerings.

M&S Deli expanded to the storefront just west of the corner store this spring.

M&S Deli expanded to the storefront just west of the corner store this spring.

The new space advertises “Gyros for $5.49″ with shawarma, falafel, hummus and other popular Middle Eastern fare on the menu. Find out more about the M&S Deli on their Facebook page.

M&S Deli joins the ranks of Sinbad’s Express, Cafe Turko, and Sunday Market vendor Falafel Salam in providing Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food to the Fremont area.

Where is your favorite gyro in Fremont?
Let us know on Facebook or Twitter

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It’s PARK(ing) Day!

September 19th, 2014 by Cara

Parking Day Poster 2014

On the third Friday in September Seattleites are invited to turn ordinary parking spaces into miniature parks for anyone to enjoy. This year over 50 pop-up parks will appear! Parks will be open from 9:00am until 3:00pm and can be sponsored by individuals, businesses, or organizations.

In addition to creating unique, out of the ordinary spaces, the Seattle Department of Transportation explains that ”the event raises awareness about important issues like creating a walkable, livable, healthy city and helps people re-think how our streets can be used.”

Fremont’s own pop-up park is the Literacy Source Book + Tea Park which will be located at 711 N 35th Street between Fremont Ave and Troll Ave. The organizers invite you to “Come relax and read in our parklet filled with pillows and chairs. Read and enjoy a cup of tea.”

 Make it to the Literacy Source Book + Tea Park tomorrow? Share your photos with us on Facebook or to tips@fremontuniverse.com.
Other PARK(ing) Day parks nearby:

  • The Molly Moon’s Parklet (a permanent parklet still under construction) on N 45th Street between Woodlawn Ave N and Densmore Ave N.
  • The Peddler Brewing Park on NW Leary Way between 15th Ave NW and 17th Ave NW will offer “cornhole and video testimonial recording for those who have crashed on the Missing Link.” Peddler’s Facebook also promises coloring for kids and adults!
  • A-1 Piano hosts a park on Greenwood Ave N between N 70th and N 71st Streets where visitors can play on outdoor pianos!

See what other PARK(ing) Day parks there are throughout Seattle here.

Want to make a park in the future? SDOT has the how to here.

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Fremont Oktoberfest is here!

September 19th, 2014 by Cara

fokt_logo

The 18th annual Fremont Oktoberfest benefitting the Fremont Chamber of Commerce. The beer-centric event opens at 5pm this evening, tickets are available here. The festival will take place between Phinney Ave N and 1st Ave NW along N 35th Street and N Canal Street. The Sunday Market will take place as normal on N 34th Street.

The most notable change this year is that Friday and Saturday remain 21 and over but Sunday is now Family Friendly! Children and dogs are welcome for free with a paying adult.

For the full festival rundown visit this page with a very useful infographic.

Festivities include but are not limited to…

The Tasting Garden:

Image from Fremont Oktoberfest's Facebook

Image from Fremont Oktoberfest’s Facebook

The Buxom Beer Garden with liter steins and boots for the photo op

The Oktoberfest 5k Run on Sunday at 10am. Not into running? There is also the Street Scramble scavenger hunt at 10:30am.

There will also be live music, an indoor sports bar, food and of course, the Miss Buxom contest.

Again, this event benefits the Fremont Chamber of Commerce who’s mission is to ”strengthen the business climate and improves the quality of life in the Fremont area.” This includes supporting local schools, art groups, community events, and promoting Fremont as the “Center of the Universe.”

Not planning on participating in the festivities?

Expect increased traffic and crowds in Fremont all weekend. 

Festival hours are as follows:

  • Friday, September 19 – 5:00pm-12:00midnight* (21+ Only)
  • Saturday, September 20 – 11:00am-12:00midnight* (21+ Only)
  • Sunday, September 21 – 11:00am-6:00pm** (Guests under 21 admitted for free when accompanied by paying adult)

Attendees are encouraged by the organizers to cab, Uber, or have a designated driver.

Welcome to the “Center of the Brewniverse!”

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Art, Dancing, and Cider!

September 5th, 2014 by Cara

Don’t let the summer adventures slow down! Fremont has even more fun festivities for you in September including these highlights from this weekend:

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Fremont First Friday

Pick up a brochure from one of the venues and map your route. Canvas! Paint and Sip studio is the most recent addition to the venue roster. Also be sure to swing by Osprey Letterpress which is tucked away on canal street. The venue provides even more interesting things to look at in addition to the art.

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Live Music at Nectar

Nectar pulls out all the stops with dance music blending afro beats and latin music on Friday, to funk on Saturday, and partnering with Dusty Strings for Uke Heaven on Sunday. Ticket prices range from $10 to $25 day of the show and you can bet the garage door will be open for a weekend as nice as this!

 ciderhouse

Schilling Cider House Grand Opening

It’s here! The Schilling Cider House will have it’s grand opening this Saturday September 6th from 11am-11pm. The new cider-centric bar will have 32 rotating taps with exclusively cider. A wide selection of bottled and canned ciders are also available. Find out more about the Grand Opening festivities here.

The new Cider House is located on N 34th Street just across from Blue Moon Burgers. Don’t let the scaffolding deter you! Schilling Cider House and Old School Frozen Custard are both open while the exterior of the building gets a facelift.

The Schilling Cider team put in extensive hours revamping the space and tailoring it to celebrate the already passionate cider fans and convert plenty more. It’s Washington Cider Week to boot! You can expect even more cider events in Fremont over the next 10 days.

You can read more about the Schilling Cider story in our previous post “Schilling Cider set to open cider bar in Fremont.”

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The cold cases are stocked and the taps are ready to go!

 

 

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Fremont Bridge Closure this Weekend

September 4th, 2014 by Cara

SDOT’s current painting project will close the Fremont Bridge completely this Saturday and Sunday from midnight until 7am. Pedestrians and bicycles will have an opportunity to cross at 1:20am and 2:20am. Cars will have a signed detour.

This is an August 26th update from SDOT:

Crews have been busy working inside the “heel” of the bridge on the north side of the ship canal – the area under the bridge that pivots down when the part you see goes up.  They’ve been hauling out road grit and pigeon guano, pressure washing and scraping paint, and – yes – priming and painting this area for a month now.

Crews have also strung cables below the northern bascule, from the base of the bridge toward the center or “toe” of the bridge.   These cables will support a containment system which protects the Ship Canal from anything might fall during the work: rust, scraped paint, tools, paint drips, etc.

Watch out for that pigeon guano!

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Dog-centric in the Center of the Universe

August 28th, 2014 by Cara

There are plenty of happy pooches in Seattle during the summer! They get to run, swim, and explore with their owners often with plenty of panting involved. However, most owners have to return to work after the weekend or maybe can’t venture as far as their pup would like to. For dogs who don’t enjoy spending all that extra time  inside, Fremont-based Jogs for Dogs offers an innovative solution. Jogs for Dogs (or JFD) pairs and coordinates payment between dog owners with runners to get dogs out and exercising.

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Jogs for Dogs was founded by Brendan Fahey during his time at the University of Washington. An avid runner and dog lover Brendan began running dogs, and soon he needed help. Brendan hired friends and fellow students a like to help get dogs out and running. After graduating he realized a different model was needed to meet the growing and evolving needs of both clients and runners.

We caught up with Brendan earlier this year  after the debut of the new Jogs for Dogs website and app. Here’s what we learned:

1. What makes Jogs for Dogs an important service?

JFD connects Dogs, who might otherwise not get some great exercise, with fun and energetic Runners who are looking for an awesome running partner.  There are lots of services for dogs, but JFD is unique because it is Just One Runner, and One Dog, and of course, it’s Running, not Walking. JFD Runners run because they love it, it’s fantastic exercise, and it’s a sweet way to make really good money for an hour of your time.

2. Why did you choose Fremont for JFD headquarters? How does being here affect or influence Jogs for Dogs, if at all?

 Well of course if we had to be someplace, the Center of the Universe is a good place to start. Jogs For Dogs is all about “creating a fun platform for people to connect with one another.” And in a sentence, I’d say that’s pretty similar to Fremont.
JFD is a tech company rooted very solidly in “real non-tech” reality. In other words: we use technology to enable a very real marketplace (that has actual tangible value) to function.  And so, we were looking for a place that has a great tech vibe, and also a great “real-world” feel. Fremont is perfect. Google shares a block with a chocolate factory. You’re as likely to run into a Facebook Engineer as you are a Brew-master.  And of course, from Fremont you can run some of the coolest runs in the city…whether you’re circling Lake Union, running the Queen Anne Crown, or doing the Ballard/Fremont Bridge Loop.
Like many other Fremont business Jogs for Dogs fits the Seattle, and Fremont lifestyle, however it is not just limited to Seattle. Jogs for Dogs offers connections to runners in Portland, San Francisco, and even London!
Have a dog that needs a jog? Connect with a runner in Seattle or another major US city here.
Interested in becoming a runner? You’ll want to get JFD certified! Find out more here. You can also connect with JFD on their Facebook.
Fun Fact: The Jogs for Dogs logo is taken from a photo of Brendan and his dog Scout! You can often see them running some of the runs Brendan mentioned above.
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Fremont Outdoor Movies honors the late Robin Williams

August 22nd, 2014 by Cara

 

 

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On Wednesday Fremont Outdoor Movies honored the late Robin Williams with a screening of one of his most well-known films. Initially the Outdoor Movies crew did not reveal with film would be shown hinting at Patch Adams, Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire, or The Dead Poets Society.

Robin Williams passed away earlier this month on August 11th. After being active in comedy, film, and TV for over forty years his death sparked an overwhelming response from the public through nearly every available medium. The big screen was no exception.

When the film began Wednesday evening Mrs. Doubtfire claimed the honors, a film with both humorous and serious themes set in San Francisco a city to which Williams had strong ties. A smaller but dedicated crowd than normal attended this weekday screening.

Sally Field and Robin Williams in a scene from Mrs. Doubtfire at the Fremont Outdoor Movies

Sally Field and Robin Williams in a scene from Mrs. Doubtfire at the Fremont Outdoor Movies

The Fremont Outdoor Movies schedule continues this weekend with a cult-favorite: The Big Lebowski on Saturday evening. The Dude costume contest included. This is a 21+ showing.

The final movie of the season will be shown Saturday August 30th and promises to be prehistoric

 

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Stairway Project Completed in North Fremont

August 14th, 2014 by Cara

If you live in Fremont you know about the hill. Yes, that big one. Fremont Ave gradually rises from the canal up to 45th but the streets to the west are a fair bit steeper. Among the twisting roads on the hillside are several public staircases to increase pedestrian access to the area.

The new staircase replaces an older staircase connecting Greenwood Ave N and Palatine Ave N between the 43rd and 44th Street blocks. The new staircase is more open and already in use, especially on sunny days. Interested in learning more about Seattle’s stairways? Check out Seattle Stairway Walks: Fremont for tips and tours.

The newly completed staircase

The newly completed staircase

 

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Starbucks Switches It Up

August 12th, 2014 by Cara

Regulars at the Fremont Starbucks will have to change their pre-caffeine route following Starbuck’s move last week. Starbuck’s is now located in the space formerly occupied by Peet’s which has sat empty for the past year. After closing both locations for a couple of days the new location was ready for business last Friday.

The new location will offer all the same Starbucks products including a Clover Machine. However there will be increased seating especially with the addition of an upstairs. This move has also required the Fremont Starbucks to hire additional staff and the store plans to continue it’s participation with the Fremont Art Walk in the new space.

Starbucks moves one block south to 34th Street and Fremont Ave N

Starbucks moves one block south to 34th Street and Fremont Ave N

While speaking with the store manager, Nicole, she described a natural progression that led Starbucks to make this move and that they realized it was a good thing long term. After 21 years in Fremont, they understand the importance of the community.

At this new location Nicole aims to have a “great community presence” by building on their pre-existing partnerships with artists, maintaining a notice board, and serving as a space for customers and the Fremont community.

A Grand Opening celebration is being planned for September, you can find out more on the Fremont Starbucks Facebook page.

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