News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood


Fremont Mischief opening soon

November 8th, 2010 by master

A craft distillery will soon be opening in the neighborhood.  Fremont Mischief was just approved for a liquor license and is expected to be open before the end of this year. 


The aquavit distillery is located at 132 N. Canal Street.  We’ve been in touch with the owner and hope to get a tour of the facility in the coming days to share some photos with you.

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‘Pie’ opening soon in Fremont with added bonus for late night crowd

November 3rd, 2010 by master

When it’s last call in Fremont, where do you go to satisfy that late night craving for food?  How about a walk-up window featuring some savory mini-pies?  That’s just one of the concepts behind a new eatery at 3515 Fremont Avenue.

“We wanted the next thing, and we thought this might be the next thing,” said co-owner Renee Steen.

For several weeks, we’ve heard from readers wondering what was behind the white paper on the windows announcing that ‘Pie’ was coming soon right next to Frame Up Studios.  We finally tracked down the two women behind one of Fremont’s newest establishments. 

Co-owners Jess Whitsitt (left) and Renee Steen

Renee Steen and Jess Whitsitt are living out their dream to offer a food niche in Fremont.  It sounds simple enough.. mini-pies both savory and sweet.  Whether you crave a breakfast pie on your way to work, or a sweet pie to finish off dinner, they hope to satisfy whatever you desire.

“We’re creating an item that not a lot of people have in the United States,” said Whitsitt.  “Lots of places over in other countries love the little pies, but we don’t have a lot of that here.”

In addition to the mini-pies, you’ll also find ice cream and Victrola Coffee.  The interior will be cozy since most of the trafffic is expected to be “grab and go.”  But they’ll also have some stools in the front window for anyone who wants to stop and savor the moment. 

Inside the space that will soon become ‘Pie’

The ladies hope to open in early December and are still figuring out their hours.  But one thing they definitely plan to do is offer a late night walk-up window on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights until 2am catering to the late night bar crowd.

“We both love Fremont,” said Whitsitt.  “I think it’s a good starting point for our business.” 

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What’s going on at the Canal Building?

October 25th, 2010 by master

A few readers sent us emails wondering about all the work going on at the Canal Building along North 34th.  We stopped by today and noticed crews doing interior renovations to 710 N 34th, the space formerly occupied by Pontevecchio.  We don’t have any exciting news about a possible new tenant, but we did get the scoop on the reason for all the work.

A representative for Real Retail, which provides tenant services for the building, tells us the Canal Building is undergoing some upgrades to make it more attractive for future occupants.  Right now, the work inside 710 N 34th involves installing an elevator to the upper levels of the building.  The second floor offices are also being renovated to give them more character.  While there are no new permanent tenants to announce yet, Halloween Express has opened in the building temporarily.

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Vintage sportswear store opens in Fremont

October 12th, 2010 by master

Want some old school Sonics gear? How about a retro Seahawks cap? A new store in Fremont has you covered. Officials Vintage just opened at 3602 Palatine Avenue (just off 36th next to the George and Dragon Pub). Rio Estolas and his wife Ashley are the owners of the shop which features vintage Starter, Ralph Lauren Polo, Nike, Pendleton, Pro Player, and more deadstock and gently worn items. You can check out some of their gear here.

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Wine superstore set to open in Wallingford

October 11th, 2010 by master

Wine lovers whose lust for the grape isn’t satisfied at local wine shops and grocery stores, start planning your trip to the Northwest’s largest wine store. Owner David LeClaire plans to open the 23,000-square-foot superstore Wine World at 400 NE 45th St. in Wallingford by Thanksgiving.

We toured the space, most recently an OfficeMax, with LeClaire while he and workers hurried to prepare the store for its new cork flooring, which will be installed this week.

The enormous store will “blow people away,” LeClaire said. “There’s nothing like what we’re doing in the Northwest.” With its location right off I-5, LeClaire intends for his Wine World to attract oenophiles from all over Puget Sound and beyond.

Northwest wines will take center stage at Wine World; they’ll occupy the entire west section of the store, in front of the dark purple wall pictured above. Along both sides of that purple wall will be tasting bars where wineries will pour samples five nights a week, as well as during the day on weekends. A large area to the right side of the store will be devoted to cheeses, charcuterie, chocolates and flowers.

On the north, pumpkin-colored wall will be beers and a cooler for wine. The green wall will be reserved for eco-friendly wines. The north side of the store will house high-end bottles in a reserve cellar, which will include vanity lockers, lounge chairs and a cigar humidor. The reserve cellar door will be locked because “you don’t want college students stashing a $400 bottle in their backpack,” LeClaire said.

This is the area for wines from outside the Northwest.

An event room (pictured above) with views to the south and west takes up half of the south side of the space. Part of that room will be a curtained “owners lounge” for LeClaire’s 14 investors (and counting) who have funded the $1.4 million venture. In the future, LeClaire plans to add a demo kitchen to the event space.

If either Initiative 1100 or 1105 passes and he can sell hard liquor, LeClaire has set aside space for artisan and harder-to-find liquors, he said. He would plan to leave the bulk sales of less expensive liquor to Costco. Of the initiatives, he said, “It’ll help us if either one passes, but 1100 would be best for us because we’d get a quantity discount on wine and beer as well as hard liquor.”

LeClaire is blunt about the biggest problem he anticipates with the new store — traffic, specifically shoppers trying to turn east on N. 45th after leaving the store: “You could have a great experience here, then wait for 10 minutes at that stop sign and never want to come back.” He said that his staff will educate customers to drive from the parking lot north of the store (where there will be 36 spaces of free parking for Wine World) down the alley to get to 5th Ave. NE.

Good luck making a left turn onto N. 45th St. from this intersection. Take the alley behind Wine World instead, David LeClaire advises.

Since the news first broke that the massive wine store would open in Wallingford, we’ve heard fear for the smaller neighborhood stores such as City Cellars, a half mile to the east at 1710 N. 45th St. LeClaire would like to put any worries to rest: “City Cellars is a nice little wine store, but it’s not a destination. Neighborhood places will still serve the neighborhood; what we’ll do is draw people from all over.”

LeClaire pictures shoppers strolling through the store’s wide aisles, sipping a glass of wine, and taking their time with the excursion. “We want it to be like Ace Hardware meets Home Depot — a huge selection with service,” he said. “The idea is people won’t be overwhelmed, and they’ll feel they were helped. It’s not just shopping for wine, it’s an experience.”

Wine World will be open seven days a week till from 10 or 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.

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Vacant storefronts become art displays

August 12th, 2010 by master

“For Lease.” “For Sale.” They’re the signs that have become all too familiar in downtown Fremont. But instead of allowing empty storefronts to just sit there collecting dust, one group is trying to fill the spaces with art.

“We hope it will bring more people to downtown Fremont,” said Mylinda Sneed with the project dubbed Fremont Store-Frontal Exposure

Over the past few months, the group has encouraged artists to display their work in places like the old Capers location on N. 34th Street.  So far, organizers say it has been a hit with the artists and the public.

“People have loved having art in the windows,” said Sneed.

A recent display in Fremont showcasing artist Evan Blackwell.  Photo courtesy of Olympia Dumpster Divers art blog.  Thanks Ruby!

Although Sneed already has a list of more than a dozen artists interested in future displays, she’s encouraging others to get in touch with her.  The biggest obstacle so far is finding property owners who are willing to allow their empty spaces to become stages for art.

You can contact the Fremont Store-Frontal Exposure project at

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Final days in Fremont for bikini boutique

August 11th, 2010 by master

Fremont is about to get another vacant storefront.  Tininha, a boutique specializing in bikinis and resort wear, is moving to Madrona at the end of this month.  No word yet on who might take over the space at 617 N. 35th Street, but the owner of Tininha’s is putting the store’s build-out up for sale.  Photo from Tininha’s Facebook page.


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‘Kiwi’ now open on Fremont Ave.

December 7th, 2008 by master

The smoothie and frozen yogurt shop Mooberry in Ballard has opened a second location in the old Sonic Boom location in Fremont.

But instead of Mooberry, it’s called Kiwi. The shop opened on Wednesday with all the Mooberry favorites. And coming soon to the menu: hotdogs. Right next door, an organic sandwich shop called “Homegrown” is plans to open next year.

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Fremont Village Square sees a familiar face

November 30th, 2008 by master

Michael Cawdrey, former owner of the Red Apple Market and Wine Bar, is happy to be back in Fremont Village Square, managing the Wine Warehouse, a cute little space near Asteroid Cafe selling only wines under $25. Judging from the reaction on Yelp, Fremont is glad to have Cawdrey back. The Wine Warehouse has been open for a month and a half, and Cawdrey is seeing both new customers, and a few familiar faces from the Red Apple, which closed three years ago.

Cawdrey was once the senior wine educator at Columbia Winery in Woodinville, and is very knowledgeable about French, Italian, and local wines. The Wine Warehouse also has the technology to record a customer’s purchases, so that if a customer wants to buy the same wine that was purchased previously, Cawdrey can look customers up and find exactly what they want. The Wine Warehouse holds free tastings every Saturday in the evenings, and you can call the store at (206) 632-1110 to get on the e-mail list for other activities.

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