An Evening at the Beach

If you need a nice reprieve from winter’s dreariness, the No Bones Beach Club is one possible place to hang out.  Tucked into a narrow space one half block south of Mighty-O Donuts off Market St. in Ballard, No Bones serves vegan food in a relaxed tiki bar environment. Subdued lighting, palm fronds, colorful hanging lanterns, surf boards, and tiki god masks create a Polynesian, or coastal feel. A place to confide in a friend or friends over snacks or a drink, or even meet a date (as witnessed by the sharp-dressed couple occupying one corner).

Cauliflower Wings, No Bones Beach Club

On weekends, one can choose something off their brunch menu, or in the late afternoons and evenings most days, there are snacks, sandwiches, salad, fried avocado tacos, as well as other grub and cocktails (both alcoholic & non-alcoholic) to choose from. On the snack menu, the Cauliflower Wings have a nice crunch and come in two tasty varieties: coconut buffalo flavor with a spicy kick to dip in ranch sauce, or ginger sauce which has a sweeter taste. Another snack that appeals even to this confirmed meat & cheese lover is the Northwest Nachos, which are smothered in fresh ingredients, drizzled with a delicious mild cashew & smoked poblano queso, then topped with abundant cilantro.

Guava Margarita and Northwest Nachos

The relaxed ambiance seemed to extend to our server as well. She was friendly and helpful, and didn’t give the feeling one had to rush to leave, even on a busy Saturday night.

Each month, No Bones Beach Club contributes part of what they earn to different animal rescues. So you can feel good about taking a break at the beach on a chilly winter’s evening.

No Bones Beach Club
5410 17th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

HOURS
Closed Mondays
T-TH 4pm–9:30pm
F-SA 11am–10pm
SUN  11am–9pm

Help Ballard Bring Home The Curbed Cup!

We Ballardites know that we’re lucky enough to live in the BEST neighborhood in Seattle, right? Well, now’s our chance to let the whole city know!

The 2016 Curbed Cup is up for grabs and it’s down to us, Vs Columbia City. That’s right, we have made it all the way to the final round!

Now, it’s time to bring it home.  With 5 (yes, F-I-V-E) days to vote for Ballard, and a community of crazy-proud inhabitants, it would be a cinch to take the title. That is, THE title, the whole shebang, The Curbed Cup.

Head over to Curbed Seattle to cast your vote (or click here and skip the extra typing) for our ‘hood before midnight tonight for it to count.

And don’t just stop there, share the link with your friends! Text, them, email them, bribe them into casting their vote, whatever you have to do, get others to join so we can come out on top!

The title is within our grasp, so close we can taste it, let’s not let it slip away! We all know Ballard is where it’s at, let’s make sure everyone else does too! 

Baking Up Something Sweet! Hood Famous Bakeshop Puts Down Roots In Ballard

 

Well known and loved pop-up Hood Famous Bakeshop is laying down roots at last, right in the heart of Ballard!

You may remember Hood Famous first gaining local fame and somewhat of a cult following after appearing with the Food & Sh*t pop-up series (which was co-founded by HFB’s owner Chera Amlag) with a routinely stunning rotating dessert course.

Hood Famous made a fabulous impression with it’s delicious and inventive desserts, drawing heavy inspiration from Filipino, Hawaiian and Asian flavors.

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While they have built their reputation on their not-of-this-world fabulous Ube cheesecake (just try and walk past that glorious purple color and not NEED a piece), they have expanded their menu to include even more exotic combinations like Coconut Pandan, Mango Calamansi, and White Chocolate Guava, much to the delight of patrons.

Amlag’s ability to blend the distinctive flavors of East and West so delicately and precisely is a testament not only to her skill and talent but also illustrates an obvious passion for food and culture.

Their new Ballard home will be a to-go only spot, with no seating space offered. However, in addition to grab-and-go goodies, Hood Famous will still be making items to order, taking catering orders and crafting luscious treats for selected retailers and restaurants in the greater Seattle area and Bellevue.

Hood Famous offers something truly unique and spectacular if you’re in the market for something sweet or just want to try something new.

Be sure to check them out when they have their grand opening this Saturday, October 8th, and see what all the buzz is about!

Hood Famous' violet hued Ube Cheesecake at Kraken Congee

Hood Famous Bakeshop 2325½ NW Market St,
(206) 486-6429
www.hoodfamousbakeshop.com

Open Thursday-Friday 12 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Get Your Oompah On! Ballard Oktoberfest

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If you’re into local craft brews, pretzels, and German oompah band music, check out this weekend’s 2nd Annual Oktoberfest in Ballard. According to The Ballard News, on Saturday, Sept. 17th, four local breweries will be hosting this mini event in a fun way, providing at least one Oktoberfest variety beer and a food truck at each location.

Leading a procession of impromptu participants from one brewery/taproom to another will be The Oompah Machine, a travelling oompah band, who were first assembled last year during the first Ballard Oktoberfest. They will lead a procession between the four breweries, which are only 2-3 blocks apart, for those who’d like to continue with the revelry. The traipsing between places starts at Reuben’s Brews at 2 pm, and then continues to Stoup Brewing (3 pm), Lucky Envelope Brewing (4 pm), and then on to Populuxe Brewing (5 pm).

The event is sponsored again this year by Verity Credit Union, who will be providing free pretzel necklaces! And commemorative steins will be available for sale at each location.

For more brew and kinship on a larger scale (and in a nearby neighborhood), check out the Fremont Oktoberfest the following weekend: Sept. 23, 24, and 25.

Join Historic Seattle and the Ballard Historical Society for “Digging Deeper”

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Historic Seattle’s acclaimed multi-session program Digging Deeper continues on May 7th with a behind-the-scenes look at the archival collections of the Ballard Historical Society. Along with a conversation about the material housed at the Ballard Historical Society and how to access it, Anne Frantilla, Deputy City Archivist, Seattle Archives and Records Management Program, Seattle Municipal Archives, will also discuss the Ballard records housed at the Seattle Municipal Archives.  Also attending will be John LaMont, Genealogy Librarian for Seattle Public Library (SPL), and Hannah Parker with the Ballard Branch of SPL.

Ballard was chosen as a Digging Deeper site after a 2015 Historic Seattle survey revealed strong public interest in the history of the neighborhood. The town of Ballard was settled in 1887 and remained an independent entity until 1907 when it was annexed by the city of Seattle. May 7th’s Digging Deeper program will expand upon the early history of Ballard and audience members will learn how Ballard got its name, when/why the railroad came through Ballard, and many more fun facts about this unmistakable Scandinavian community in Seattle.

Details:

Date: May 7th

Time: 10:30 – 12:00pm

Location:  Sunset Hill Community Association, 3003 NW 66th Street, Seattle
Series of eight sessions: $65 general public / $50 members
Individual sessions: $10 general public / $8 members

Ballard Historical Society

In Ballard, Portland Seeks Lessons on Affordable Housing

Ballard

A tech-boom, soaring real estate prices, and a very tight vacancy rate are causing the city climate of Portland to seem very similar to its neighbor to the north, Seattle. In an attempt to avoid the housing crisis playing out in the West Coast’s premier tech hub, San Francisco, Portland’s city planners are looking to Seattle, and specifically to Ballard, for innovative ways to preserve affordability. Yet, Seattle’s response to its booming population growth has not been universally applauded, especially in Ballard.

The city of Portland is particularly interested in Seattle’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA). The two major components of the agenda are an Affordable Housing Impact Mitigation Program, which requires developers to pay a fee on all new commercial development that directly funds the construction of affordable housing, and a Mandatory Housing Affordability Program, which requires builders to designate five to eight percent of units in new multifamily residential developments as affordable.

While most, if not all, of Seattle residents, can agree that affordable housing is a critical issue, backlash against HALA developed when an unfinished draft of recommendations was leaked to the press in July of 2015.  Among the recommendations was a proposal to increase density in Seattle’s single-family neighborhoods. Neighborhood density is a hotly contended issue, especially in the wake of Seattle’s 2010 land use code change for low-rise multifamily zoned areas.  Many urbanists, as well as developers and builders, argue that increasing density is the only way to provide sufficient housing units for the growing city.  Neighborhood activists and preservationists argue that new out-of-scale development is irreparable changing the unique character of the city’s residential neighborhoods.

Density is a particularly sensitive issue in Ballard.  Livable Ballard, a neighborhood advocacy organization argues that “under the code changes, modest and affordable houses and duplexes are being torn down and replaced with tall, expensive groups of three or four townhouses, which tower over the existing houses and sidewalks and are not at all compatible with the neighborhood.” Furthermore, the group argues that the type of new development being seen in Ballard is particularly worrisome as the neighborhood is already poorly served by mass transit. Neighbors are also concerned by the aesthetic implications of new development.  Chris Bodan, who moved to Ballard in 2004, described the new apartment buildings being constructed in the neighborhood to the Oregonian as “aesthetically and architecturally horrendous.”

Despite opposition from neighborhood groups, Seattle’s City Council passed the Affordable Housing Impact Mitigation Program component of HALA last fall and will be soliciting public feedback on the rest of plan this year. Meanwhile, Portland is in the midst of rewriting its own plans for growth and infill and while a HALA-like collation has not formed, city officials have said much about the need for affordable housing. Portland’s mayor, Charlie Hayes, however, has garnered much criticism from affordable-housing advocates for his support to preserve the low density of the city’s residential neighborhoods.

Hayes’ desire to preserve residential neighborhoods, best seen in his recommendation to reduce the allowable density in the affluent residential neighborhood Eastmoreland, is felt throughout the city. One merely has to scan the comment section of the Willamette Week to find an overwhelming number of diatribes against the city’s new apartment buildings. Yet, there is also consistent public outcry over increasing rents and real estate prices.

The current affordable housing conflict occurring across west coast cities has many wondering if  historic low-density neighborhoods have the ability to accommodate the type of growth the region is seeing?  Looking at Ballard, one might presume no.

Friday, April 24th – 1st Annual Ballard Earth Day Street Party

vNE8214NS9GOvXOy7DCu_DSC_0266Earth Day celebrations aren’t over yet – at least not in Ballard.

Set for this Friday, April 24th, 2015 the 1st Annual Ballard Earth Day Street Party will kick off at 4 p.m. and go until 8 p.m.

Hosted by Ballard based solar installation company, Sunergy Systems and Sustainable Ballard, the street party will take place on NW 46th Street between Leary Way NW and 8th Ave NW.

Event highlights include:

Keynote speaker, Tom Watson King County EcoConsumer

Burgers & Greens by Giddy Up and pints provided by Stoup Brewing

Live music: Robotic AboutUs, Matt Badger, Mic Pogo, & Earth Over Heaven

Local environmentally-minded businesses

Fireside workshops and presentations

 

Also, don’t miss the sustainably-themed Raffle with prizes like:

Electric Bike (model Giant Twist Freedom DX)
by Electric & Folding Bikes Northwest

Intro Yoga Certificates

Career Counseling Certificate

Local Ballard products like apparel, teas and candies

Local Ballard restaurant gift cards

 

 

http://www.ballardearthday.com/

Mars Hill sells Flagship Location in Ballard for $9 Million

If you live in Ballard, you’ve likely seen the Mars Hill mega church that sits directly across from the Trader Joe’s store. Reported in the Puget Sound Business Journal today, the church bought the property for $4.8 million in 2003, and keeping it within faith-devoted family, just sold it to local church Quest for $9 million. The Ballard location was the most valuable of 15 the locations the church owned across 5 states.  Ballard-Map

Additionally Mars Hill is selling their 40,000-sf corporate facility at 1411 N.W. 50th Street, as well as their Sammamish building which offers 30,000-sf and around two-acres of land. Both properties asking price is $6.9 million and with Seattle’s real estate industry booming, these properties are catching the interest of retail and office developers.

DPD Hosts Seattle 2035 Discussion at Ballard High School Tonight

92072Tonight, at the Ballard High School Commons (1418 NW 65th Street) from 6 p.m.- 8 p.m., the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is hosting the first of three meetings, discussing local industrial lands and possible future policies surrounding them.

Proposed and named by the City, Seattle 2035 is DPD’s multi-year project that examines growth patterns and city offerings in Seattle.  Mandatory by State law, Seattle is to review and update their Comprehensive Plan every ten years. The deadline for these amendments is June 30, 2015 and the purpose of these meetings is to invite community feedback on proposed policies.

It comes as no shock that Seattle is growing, if you’d like to see something change in the next 20 years, join the conversation and get involved.

 

Seattle 2035 Industrial Lands Policy Discussion – Ballard

Tues, March 3, 2015, 6pm

Ballard High School

1418 NW 65th St., Seattle, WA 98117

 

Seattle 2035 Industrial Lands Policy Discussion – Interbay

Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 6pm

Q Café

3223 15th Ave. W, Seattle, WA 98119

 

Seattle 2035 Industrial Lands Policy Discussion – Interbay

Thursday, March 12, 2015, 6pm

South Seattle Community College – Georgetown Campus, RM C-122

6737 Corson Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98108

Ballard Real Estate Recap

September was another strong real estate month in the Ballard market. During that time we saw an 8% increase in the number of new listings that hit the market but at the same time there were 20% fewer active listings available for purchase when compared to September 2013. While more homes came on the market this past September than the previous year, it still did not make up for the overall low inventory of homes that has plagued the Ballard area. Inventory levels are at a one month supply which is the lowest level in King County. As a result, we saw the median home price rise this past September in part due to fewer homes available to purchase. The median single family home price on closed sales in Ballard was $524,500 last month. That is a 12% increase when compared to September of 2013 where the median home price of a sold home was $468,500. With interest rates still at historic lows and Ballard attracting a lot of buyers, this trend of low inventory and high prices is set to continue. If you would like more information on the Ballard real estate market, please feel free to reach out.

 

*Statistics not compiled or published by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service