« January 2008 | Main | March 2008 »

"Temporarily Closed"

Sushiyapapered Is this the new lingo if you're not really sure if you've gone out of business?  Sushiya has been papered up since July.  First there was a sign saying "Closed for Remodeling" but I never saw a truck or a worker near the place.  Thought they seemed to be doing a pretty good business but apparently not-I've emailed the owners- no response.

Pubatjuanitabay The Pub at Juanita Bay just pulled a copycat maneuver and has a handwritten sign on its door saying "temporarily closed."  Phone is disconnected. OK. What the heck does that mean?  No volleyball this summer perhaps. Can anyone help fill in the blanks on these two?  ~j


Kirkland Blog Coffee Week-3rd Up: Urban COFFEE Lounge

Urbancoffeelounge_002 Get ready to be in the know: Urban COFFEE Lounge is scheduled to open to the public on Feb 26th.  Alicia Miner (photo left) has been in the coffee biz for 13 years and really knows her stuff.  She started at a stand her parents used to own on Juanita Drive and has since worked for many coffee houses.  She currently owns her own stand The Coffee Miner in Issaquah and is 'brewing over' with excitement (<-- OMG I'm a dork!) about pursuing the vision of opening the Urban COFFEE Lounge

The Urban COFFEE Lounge will allow you to experience Alicia's years of experience and extracting all of the best practices and her favorite things-such as Stumptown Coffee- coupled with her husband's architecture and design eye that will make it a place you want to stay and relax and enjoy your perfect cup of coffee.  You'll surly find Alicia hands-on behind the concrete coffee bar because it's simply what she loves.  And her enthusiasm is contagious, so you won't have to look far to find her.

Urbancoffeelounge_005And- YES- they really are nestled in Juanita Village and are setting up shop right across the street from Starbucks.  But that doesn't worry her one bit, because she is aiming for a completely different experience.  "I want people to come in, sit down in a club chair, meet people, slow down,and hang out and relax."  No problem! I can't ever find a seat in that Starbucks anyway :-).

Urbancoffeelounge_003 Expect to find some yummies there too.  Breakfast sandwiches, Blazing Bagels, Mighty-O Donuts, pastries and desserts.  Right now the plan is to be open M-F 6am-9pm and Sat/Sun 6:30am-10pm.  The place looks really cool in a u-shape facing the windows with richly painted walls, an open fireplace and funky contemporary lighting (left).  Definitely check this place out if you love a good coffee and some down time. ~J


Kirkland Blog Coffee Week-2nd Up: Caffe Ladro

CaffeladroopenCaffe Ladro already has a big following from many of its other locations around the Seattle area. It's earthy feel and fair trade, organic shade grown coffee is a favorite amongst locals.  Here is what coffee and Seattle are all about.  The Kirkland spot is right along Central way next to Santorini ( a personal fave!) and has some of the old familiar Taco Del Mar seats along with a seating bar and some fun Adirondack chairs out front that will be PERFECT once the weather warms up (maybe this weekend I hear??). 

Steve was there this morning and said they poured him a great coffee.  No problem finding parking, good service, great coffee. I was there, in all fairness, on the second day they were open and had what was a decent tasty latte, but I have a teensy riff.  My usual Grande decaf (to keep my from bouncing off the walls) nonfat vanilla latte was $4.10 (breaking the $4 mark makes me notice) but I was ready for a fabulous brew.  Then when I picked up the cup it was WAY too light-my hand quickly flew into the air at shoulder height with my cup in it. You know what I'm talking about- half foam and not enough joe.  I'm sure this was an early opening thing, as the cute young kid behind the counter made puppy eyes and shrugged so I just smiled in agreement to not hurt his feelings for what was probably his first day on the job.   Again, Steve and everyone else I have spoke to have LOVED their cup of coffee there so I think my example is a rarity.

This first experience won't deter me from going in again.  They also have free wi-fi and are a must-do Seattle coffee house.  It's kind of minimalist/back to the basics which is refreshing.   Not too much seating inside, but love those chairs outside.  Go there.  I'll be on an Adirondack as soon as the temp hits 60. ~Janis


Kirkland Blog Coffee Week-1st Up: St. James Espresso!

Stjamesjeanette This new coffee shop on Kirkland Avenue is bright and buzzing with its sleek lines and urban flare.  Jeanette Van Belle (pictured left) always wanted to open a coffee house, so when the timing felt right she decided to go for it!  She and her mom, who also co-own a dog kennel, shipped off to 'coffee school' in OR and learned the biz.  Mom decided to stick with the dogs, but Jeanette found a great spot right across from the Kirkland Performance Center to open up the St. James Espresso (fondly named after her Scottish terrier, Jimmy).  You'll notice paw-print cutouts in the chairbacks and doggie treats for sale on the shelves in his honor. 

Stjamesespressoinside The St. James has a welcoming floorplan with flat panel TV's and plenty of seating.  The crowd seems mostly armed with laptops- there's free wi-fi and a power strip lining the counters which is oh-so-convenient.  Or pick a leather seat near the fireplace and grab something from neatly organized magazine collection on the wall.  There are also books and plenty of games- lots of the classics like "Connect 4", "Battleship", "Risk" and "Sorry" which I will gladly kick your butt in, upon request. 

Stjamesespressooutside We stopped in after dinner, so haven't had a chance to sample the food yet, but it all looked very tempting.  They have paninis and soups (which often get marked down 50% in the evening!), not to mention grilled cheese for the kiddos and of course fabulous desserts that made me drool on their pretty glass case.  The Caffe D'arte coffee was delicious, and how could you not smile at that pretty heart-shaped swirl in the foam?  Every detail of this coffee shop has been well thought out and it shows.  Stay tuned--they are working on getting their license to serve beer/wine--which is brilliant with the KPP across the street! 

Stop in before March 15th and mention the Kirkland Blog to get 10% off. WooHoo!    ~Janis


The French Bakery--just 3 weeks away!

Frenchbakery There's a lot of buzz about this place so I've been trying to chase down some scoop for you guys.  Frederic Courteau is the owner of The French Bakery, which will be opening right across from The Heathman (next to Terra Bite) on State St and Kirkland Ave.  He was kind enough to email me with his vision, which I enjoyed reading so much that I thought I'd just share the note with you!  You can't help but appreciate his love for his work and Kirkland too.  He had me at "chocolate" .........

My wife and I (and our 2 little boys) are anxious and hopeful that this retail store will become one of Kirkland's little gems.  We have a wholesale bakery in Bellevue that has been in business for over 10 years, serving a good chunk of Seattle's best independent cafés.  The word "independent" is very important to us.  The design of our place will reflect a bit my origin, growing up in Grasse (French Riviera), where the culture, architecture, cuisine, and attitudes are very similar to what is found in Northern Italy, just an hour away.   We will blend traditional French pastries with an exclusive Northern Italian coffee & chocolate line, flown in weekly from Bologna.  Our store will also offer a wide array of retail items, almost exclusive to us.  (i.e. coffees, chocolates, teas). 

We live 4 miles away from the store and are committed to this area, in spite of many people advising us to open our shop in Seattle "where the action is".  Our ambitions are modest, except when it comes to quality where we won't stand for second best.  This means we will strive to improve over time and stay at the top of the niche market we serve.

Our phone number will be (425) 898-4510

They are opening just as I've finally lost those holiday pounds.  But don't worry- I am so there. Stay tuned for 'coffee week' next week- there's a lot of new joe in town to talk about....   ~Janis


What happens in Kirkland, Stays in .....

Images12 Forget Vegas, baby, Kirkland is THE place to get married. Brides and grooms are lining up at the Chapel of Love Heritage Hall to take part in the big wedding event that is planned for Feb 14th.  Kirklandweddings.com is putting on the "Tie the Knot on Valentine's Day" in Kirkland where for $350 you get the whole pre-packaged deal: flowers, decorations, music, photographer.  Man, my dad is going to be pissed they weren't doing this back in '99.  No stress, just sit back and let the planners work with the participating local businesses to make your day a breeze.  Deadline was Feb 1st, so you last minute lovebirds are out of luck, but at least you can get a good laugh when you see my favorite wedding dance (WHY didn't I think of this??!!)  ~Janis