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Weldon Barber: If I were a Man, this is Where I'd go

Weldonbarber_001 I've got to tell you, I wasn't really going to bother checking this place out because there must be 400 hair places in Kirkland already.  It was just by chance that I popped in to the Weldon Barber located in Kirkland Park Place  (it's been open for about a month now) and realized what a clever need they are fulfilling. 

Weldonbarber_002 This place is all about the man.  Sleek contemporary lines, dark colors, leather couches and a flat panel TV.  I'm scared to tell my husband about it because he might just go hide out there.  There are seven stations in the back for getting your haircut and each has its own sink.  Suzie and Tia, a couple of the stylists Weldonbarber_003 there (pictured right), were explaining that in co-ed salons men often don't want to go walk to the sinks to get their hair washed (are you embarrassed?).  This way you can just sit back in your big leather chair, get your hair washed and cut and your shoulder and scalp massaged without ever leaving your seat.  Wouldn't it be cool if they handed you a beer and the remote too?  They also have services that sound great, yet are luckily unfamiliar to me, such as a hot towel neck shave and detailing of the eyebrows, ears and nose.

Bill Nordstrom owns the place and has four locations in Spokane already and one that just opened up in Issaquah.  If anybody knows about how to do service right, this should be the guy.  Prices seem reasonable too.  The Weldon Signature is the fanciest package for $38, the Classic (shampoo, cut, facial hair detailing, hot towel neck shave) is $30 and Maintenance package is $15.  You can view a list of what each of these services includes by clicking here

If I were a guy, this is where I'd go.  Assuming I'm older than 30.   Because I hear there's some allure in going downtown Kirkland to have your hair cut by a woman in a leopard skirt and platform heels.  But once your past that phase, I'd head to Weldon Barber.  I'll try to send Steve over as a guinea pig and keep you posted on the quality of his haircut.  To call for more info or to make an appointment dial 425-828-0151. Hours are M-F 10-8 and Sat 8:30-6.    ~Janis

Curious minds want to Know: Houghton Construction Project

Sauderdoor1 Seems there are lots of rumors flying around about what might be going on at the big lot on 6th Street in Houghton, so I figured I'd try to get to the bottom of it.  The address is 733 and 815 6th St S., where the old Sauder Door Warehouse used to be, which is currently being demolished.  I drove back there to get a photo and it's HUGE.  I'm talking the Sonics could have put their new stadium back there huge. 

The property is a little over 720,000 square feet and is currently zoned for light industrialSauderdoor2 Apparently, the original plan was to build multi-family housing but the city council denied this request.  So, they switched to plan B and hope to build three new office buildings.  The building permit has not yet been submitted to the city.  First, we're waiting on the environmental review since there is some soil cleanup on a portion of the property.  Part of this review also includes a traffic impact analysis.   There's about 180,000 square feet of potential office space (for all 3 buildings) and the height restriction is 35 feet (2 stories).

Steve Dougan is the developer on the project (SRMK LLC).  He'll be submitting plans in the next month for three 60,000 sf office buildings that he hopes to get started on around October 2006 and complete 12-14 months later.  If you are interested in leasing office space or have questions for Steve, you can email him at dougandev@att.net . You can also always find lots of good info on www.kirklandpermits.net or you can reach the City of Kirkland  Associate Planner assigned to this project:  Jon Regala, jregala@ci.kirkland.wa.us 425-587-3255 and just mention the "Sauder Door site".      ~Janis

Garlic Jim's= Average Joe's

Garlic_jim We just got back from Chelan and it seemed like the perfect lazy night to order a pizza.  Let's try something new, we thought!  After being bombarded with Garlic Jim's coupons over the past few months and passing by their Kirkland location in Rose Hill, we decided to give them a try.  Steve calls it in to a confused and disorganized guy who needs to take the order down twice and hazes us about the fact that they only deliver to Kirkland (yeah, dude, we ARE in Kirkland).  Then the coupon- we got put on hold for them to try to figure this one out.  We are talking about one large pepperoni pizza here.  This is not a complex order.

About 40 minutes later the delivery girl calls to let us know they wrote down Ave instead of St. but she thinks she's really close.  At least she called before letting us starve.   The pizza was average- very doughy with lots of little spicy pepperonis.  Nothing to write home about, but I'm from Jersey.  Home of the mafia kingpins and pizza that just can't be beat so I'm not easily impressed. 

Here's my two cents.  When you are in the pizza business, you need to diffentiate yourself from every other pizza guy in town.  If I call Pagliacci's, a bubbly guy answers the phone that knows me by name and every pizza I've ever ordered.  I suppose this could be embarrassing, especially when they occasionally show up with a free one since we've ordered from there a bazillion times, but at least they are on the ball.  Stellar service.  Interesting and yummy pizzas.  I wouldn't forget my interaction with them which is all a pizza place could ask for.  I'm chalking Garlic Jim's up to an Average Joe's.  But if you want to ignore me feel free to call them at your own risk: 425-822-8881.


Bike Accident on Market St.

I've seen this situation 'almost' happen many times out there, so we should all be extra careful during the spring and summer when the pedestrians and cyclists are out in full force.  On Tuesday April 18, 2006 a 57 year old male cyclist riding in the bike lane was hit by a car on Market Street.  The biker was northbound while the car was southbound waiting to make a left to head east on 18th Ave (right near the Asian Wok).  It was rush hour, so in the bumper to bumper traffic a car stopped to allow the offending vehicle to make its left hand turn.  Northbound SUV's were blocking the view of the bike lane, so the vehicle proceeded with caution and stopped when it spotted the cyclist, who eyewitnesses stated, ran into the side of the car.  The cyclist was taken to Evergreen Hospital as a precautionary measure but reportedly sustained no major injuries.  He was wearing a helmet. 

Mixtura...best restaurant in Kirkland?

Mixturafar Several restaurants have occupied the upper end retail space at 148 Lake Street South in the heart of downtown Kirkland.   Do you remember Jäger or perhaps Szmania's?   There was some other restaurant even before Szmania's, but it was so long ago I can't even remember the name of it.  I just remember it was expensive and the food so so. 

With the track record for restaurants at this location we went into Mixtura thinking their fate was doomed, plus we really weren't too sure what Andean food was all about.  Andean food in Kirkland?  We left, however, with high hopes that this incredible Andean cuisine restaurant (with cook Emmanuel Piqueras) will be in Kirkland for years to come.  The food, atmosphere, and service are incredible--a real dining experience!

We came in on a Wednesday night at about 6:30 pm.   We were sat at a nice table along the wall immediately and noticed it wasn't too crowded yet.   As the night continued the restaurant filled up with a mostly mature crowd.  During dinner some neighbors of ours even strolled in and sat down right next to our table.  It wasn't their first visit to Mixtura and I sensed they were regular customers. 

Once we got comfortable, our server, Jim, came by with a basket of quinoa rolls and three dipping sauces--each a different color, texture and taste.  Even the sauces looked like a work of art.   

Jim took the time to explain every detail of the menu to us and gave us guidance and strategy for our dining experience.  After getting a nice overview of the menu Janis and I ordered a Pisco Sour (classic Peruvian drink for $9) and a Gota de Mango (vodka, triple sec, and mango for $8). 

We decided to order some Mixturas (kind of like tapas) and then each have our own Fondos (main dish).  Every plate that came to our table was a work of art and a delight to the palette.  Here is the breakdown of what we ordered:


Raices del Ande--Andean tuber and root vegetables filled with two cheeses, wild mushrooms, aji sauces ($5.50)

Cebiche cinco elementos--Market fresh seafood prepared in th eclassic Peruvian style ($12)

La causa morada marina--Chilled purple potato cake with smoked salmon, dungeness crab, prawns, deftly punctuated with ctirus elements ($5.5)   


Deconstruccion del arroz con pato--A traditional Peruvian preparation of duck, deconstructed in three ways: confit, magret breast, foie gras ($29)

Halibut Special--since it wasn't on the menu you will just have to take our word that is was really really good. ($ not sure)

After dinner we usually get some dessert or as they would say in Mixtura...have some Postres.   We were just too full at this point and very satisfied with our eating experience.  Of course, if push came to shove I am sure I would have ordered the Pastel de chocolate which was described as hot molten chocolate cake balanced with cool passion-fruit "ecstasy".   

All in all this tops our list of restaurants for special occasions.   It was a great overall experience and we felt like we got to sample a variety of authentic flavors. Our bill was $125 before tip so we won't eat there every week and order the Fondos, but you will definitely find us there a bunch of Mixturas in front of us and calling that a meal.   



Get Ready to Run!

Carillonphoto I'm sure all of you hard-core athletes out there have been training for months to prepare for these upcoming Kirkland  events.  Whether you are serious or just looking for fun and a good cause, there's lots of great things around the corner. We've got the Kirkland Half Marathon and 5K on May 14th, the 7 Hills of Kirkland on 5/29 and then the Kirkland Triathalon on 9/17.  Personally, I only run if someone is chasing me (or on the squash court) so I had to consult with my sister Sara, athlete extraordinaire, on this one. 

Kirkland Half Marathon and 5K- Sunday May 14, 2006 7:30am (Happy Mother's Day!), Entry Forms/Checks due May 8th or May 13 if you register online.  This is a co-ed event (even dogs and strollers are allowed!) and runners/walkers are divided up by age starting at 14 to 70+.  The Half Marathon cost is between $40-50 depending on when you register and the 5K is $25-30.  The race starts and finishes at Juanita Beach Park.  All of the route info and application/registration can be found at www.kirklandhalfmarathon.com or you can call 206-729-9972 for more info.  This event supports the HOPE Heart Institute.

Sara's take: "This is a relatively new race so there weren't too many people last year (which was nice).  The first 2-3 miles are uphill and challenging, and overall this run was a great little tour of Kirkland."

7 Hills of Kirkland - Monday May 29,2006 7am (Happy Memorial Day!), Registration fees are $30 before 5/1 and $40 after that.  This one is strictly for the cyclers and it begins and ends in Kirkland's downtown Marina Park.  There are three different routes to choose from: 7 Hills, Metric Century and Century which are all described on the website, http://www.7hillskirkland.com/ . No online registration, you've got to snail mail it, and there's a pdf file on their site to get the form.  Any questions you can email questions@7hillskirkland.com or call 425-576-9531 ext 104.  This race benefits K.I.T.H. (Kirkland Interfaith Transitions in Housing). 

Sara's take: "I was too lazy to do this one last year. "  Haha- just kidding, I said that.  She usually sticks to running.  She's gonna kill me.

Kirkland Triathlon-Sunday September 17, 2006 7am.  This year will be the fourth run for this co-ed triathlon at Carillon Point (transition at Houghton Beach Park) which includes a .5mi swim, 12 mile bike, 3 mile run.  You could opt for the duathlon which is just the bike and run portion, or they also have a kid's triathlon which is 50yd swim, 1 mi bike, 1/4 mi run (look for me there, haha).  They have a very inclusive website with online registration, online confirmation list and race results/times afterwards: http://www.racecenter.com/kirklandtri/.  Fees are between $30-60 depending on individual or team rates. Divisions are by age.  Hint: this is not a good time to lie about your age as it won't work in your favor.  If you have any questions you can email events@racecenter.com or call 503-644-6822. 

Sarablog Sara's take: "This was a very well-organized event last year, but I can't recommend it for first timers.  Lots of people are there to win and the men are over-powering, especially in the water where they just plow over you (unlike the Danskin where the ladies kindly apologize).  The bike part was really hilly. But overall it was great and of course it's an awesome feeling when you finish!"

We'll post again about these events as they happen-in the meantime, have fun training! ~Janis

Calling All Easter Egg Hunters!

Coloreggs Are you between the ages of 4-12 (or know someone who is)?   Do you like a good challenge?  Are you partial to chocolates and bunnies?  Do you love crawling around in the park?  If this sounds like you then you should plan on attending Kirkland's "32nd Annual Easter Egg Hunt" this Sunday, April 16, 2006.   The festivities being at 1:30 pm at Peter Kirk Park in downtown Kirkland.

Worried about how many eggs will be available?  Don't be...over 26,000 foil-wrapped chocolate Easter eggs.  You do the math

Here is the lineup:

Ages 4 and under, Playground Area

Ages 5-7, Lee Johnson Baseball Field

Ages 8-12, Grass area west of QFC

If you have kids in each age group, I am not sure if the hunts are staggered at all.   If they're not, Rileyegghunt you might need some help keeping an eye on all the little ones because it's a big park.  Go ahead and email us at kirklandweblog@gmail.com if you take any digital pictures from the event that you want to share, and we will post a few after the event.  Now this little girl looks like she may have stuffed a few chocolate eggs in her mouth when noone was looking.


What Happened to My Tricycle?

By Jeremy Crossland (he's on the right ;-)

Cj___jeremy_in_dcclose_up Do you remember 'The Day?'  You know, as in 'Back in the Day?'  Well, back in the day,in my day, Kirkland was different.  Not to say better or worse, just different.  I grew up in Kirkland.  My mom, brother and I rented a condo across the street from Juanita Beach all of my grade school and junior high years.  Yes, I am a proud alumnus of A.G. Bell Elementary and Kirkland Junior High.  I won't say what years I was there, but if this helps, the girls were still wearing oversized 'International News' sweatshirts and 'It Takes Two' by Rob Base and DJ EZ-Rock was popular when I finished at KJH.

Who remembers 'Turbo Tubes' in Totem Lake?  What about the Boys & Girls Club that used to sit where Heritage Park is now?  Any of you that were around in Kirkland during that era will appreciate my story of the change in Kirkland. 

This might sum up one of the biggest changes we've all noticed.  When I was about 10, I asked my mom why we didn't live on the water in Juanita.  To which she responded, "Jeremy, those houses are $250,000.  That is a ridiculous price to pay for a house!"  Yes, that was a direct quote from 1985.  Well, Mom, if I could find a house within 10 miles of the Kirkland waterfront for under $250K today, I'd buy two of them.

Wow-how Juanita has changed!  I don't get back very often, but I was in the area about a month ago.  I ate at a Thai restaurant near a condo building, all of which is sitting where an old grocery store was that we shopped at when I was a kid.  I think that block is called Juanita Village now.  About the only things that are still there from when I was young are the Pony Express on the corner, Juanita Beach Park and the Spuds across the street from the beach.  And I can't forget the Super 24 where my brother and I used to play arcade games.  It was 'Super Mario Brothers' and 'Excitebike' to be specific (yes, life before Nintendo).  Who else remembers lining up quarters across the screen of arcade games..."I call next game!"  Wow, I feel old.  Instead of hanging out at Super 24, maybe I should have saved some quarters and bought a few shares of Microsoft when I was 10 (I'm a CPA now).  Live and learn.  If you ask me, spending the quarters was worth it.  I had the high score on Excitebike for almost two weeks!  Best two weeks of my life! Well, maybe not, but you get the idea.

One of my mom's best friends used to have a farm.  Yes, a farm (about 2 acres) on top of the hill on 116th.  And to be expected, a builder made an offer sweet enough so that houses now occupy that land.  I'm not sure of the name of the development, but maybe it should have been called 'Sardines.'

When I was young, my mom used to have to explain to relatives out of town that we lived a few miles outside of Seattle.  Recently, some co-workers of mine from Texas were in Kirkland to work with me.  One of them asked, "Do you guys have Costco up here?"  I said, "Do we have Costco?  Maybe you've heard of the 'Kirkland Signature Brand'?  You're standing in Kirkland."  Yes, my friends, Kirkland is officially on the map and has been for a while now. 

I'm not saying this change has been bad.  I actually think most of it has been good for the area and for the town of Kirkland.  But it sure has changed a lot since 'The Day.' I'm not a Kirkland resident now.  I've lived in Seattle (Greenlake) for the last two years.  Not sure if I'll ever decide to move back to Kirkland, but I know I'm going to keep a close eye to see if it changes as much in the next twenty years as it has in the last twenty. 

So, What Happened to my Tricycle?  Not to worry, I think I can buy a three pack of them at Costco.  I'm sure my nephew would appreciate it.

*Jeremy is a guest blogger today.  If you or someone you know has an interesting story about Kirkland that you'd like to share as a guest blogger, please email us at kirklandweblog@gmail.com

Rich Perks Up Market Street

Richmarketstperk The little private drive-up coffee huts in the Seattle area have always amazed me.  Having previously lived in NJ, NC, SC and GA, I have never observed this concept anywhere else.  Probably because they don't have as many coffee fiends in such a concentrated area as we do.  But I have to say I have been converted to a coffee stand addict.

Market Street Perk is the bright orange coffee stand that resides on Market St. and 16th Ave W in front of the Zip Market.  And Rich Connelly is the owner, and local resident, that you can find there almost every day of the week to greet you with a smile and hot cup of joe.  When I'm pulling up to the window I can already hear him bellowing, "Heyyyyyyyy, darlin'!  What can I get for you this mornin'?"  Somehow the foggy cloud starts to lift from around my head as I smell the fresh roasted coffee beans.  I don't know how he's so happy and energetic in the morning but it's kind of contagious, so I proceed with ordering my vanilla latte.  And I love that he knows my kids will stop whining if he hands them a hot pink straw to play with ( in lieu of a lollipop). 

These coffee houses aren't just about the coffee, they are about the people.  There's no traffic flagger directing me through the long line so I can talk to the speakerphone with my order.  This is just a neighborhood place.  Rich has been in business for nine years, serves up about 150 cups of coffee a day, and does all of his own Brazilian bean roasting daily.   He bought it from his sister (it used to be on 7th/Market) and -go figure- has never had a cup of coffee in his life (!).  That's quite an achievement living out here and owning a coffee stand.  But maybe that's a good thing.  Like a big lady owning a bakery or pill-popper owning a pharmacy, if he drank coffee in that little hut all day his teeth would be brown and he'd be bouncing off the walls like a pinball machine.

I asked Rich if he gets claustrophobic in there.  "No, just bored," he says.  So, what do you do?  "I clean or I've got cable and my computer in here, or I flirt," says the single Connelly with a chuckle.   He also said lots of drivers hit his stand with the back of their cars when pulling away and don't even realize it- "it's like an earthquake in here," he says.  But just one of the dangers of the job I guess.

Rich's stand is open from 6:30am-5pm Mon-Fri and 8-4 on weekends.  Be sure to stop by and visit him from 3-5 M-F for happy hour when drinks are only $1.50.


Our new Downtown Pharmacy

Lakeshorepharmacy Kirkland has a pharmacy opening on Central Way this April.  I spoke to manager, Oleg Ordinartsev, to get the scoop on Lakeshore Pharmacy.  Why does this name sound so familiar, you ask?  No, you're not going crazy (well, you could be). It's because there used to be a Woods Lakeshore Pharmacy in Kirkland Parkplace which is now occupied by Purple/Ravenna Gardens.  The two pharmacies are totally unrelated.

Lakeshore will be a full line pharmacy that also carries durable medical equipment (canes, hospital beds, diabetic footwear), non-durable equipment (gloves, incontinence supplies), health and beauty supplies, shirts/shoes, gift items, and candy.  Oh yeah, and beer and wine too.  You can pick up your Percocet and a bottle of merlot to wash it down.  Love that! 

Oleg positions his store as a Macy's with a pharmacy.   This concept is working well for him at his Bellevue Pharmacy and he also has a new one opening in Kent soon.  Inventory will change as he gets to know his customers in Kirkland and what our needs are.  Oleg says he has had great support and encouragement from the City of Kirkland since there is currently no pharmacy downtown.  He is looking forward to building his Kirkland customer base.

Lakeshore Pharmacy will be accepting private insurance, medicare and medicaid (not for the beer and wine, hehe).   No need to worry about parking as they will have free medication delivery within a 15 mile radius.   Hours are: M-F 9-6, Sat 10-4, Closed Sun.  Phone:425-803-6800.