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What's Shakin' at Kirkland Urban?

UrbanAug2019 (3)          UrbanAug2019 (2) <--lobby of Urban North 

Well, Shake Shack for one!  In fact, Urban is already working on a plan for traffic and crowd management in anticipation of the phenom burger chain's opening on 9/9.  Kirklanders seem to really like their burgers and gyms, in some sort of torturous ironic twist.

Are you wondering what else is coming our way? Checklist! Right here w/time estimates. Boom...

  • Dough Zone Express Q4
  • Mosaic Salon + Spa  Q4
  • Restore Hyperwellness and Cryotherapy Northwest  Q4
  • Power Hour 360 Q4
  • AT&T Q4
  • Homestreet Bank TBD
  • Caffe Ladro Q3
  • Levue Nails Q4
  • QFC Open!
  • Mud Bay Q3
  • Top Golf Q1 2020 
  • Heavy Restaurant Group (Purple) Q2 2020 
  • Bright Horizons Children's Center Q4
  • Evergreens Salad Q3-- 
  • Soi Q4
  • Shake Shack Q3

All of the office space is accounted for and there are just 3 retail vacancies left. In the next 60 days you will see the old QFC and the ParkPlace Building come down as they forge forward into the next phase. Yes, that's the iPic phase, which is forecasted for spring 2022 and along with a new 7 story building.

UrbanAug2019 (5)   UrbanAug2019 (1) <--lobby area

    UrbanAug2019 (6)<--pretty sweet shared space to hangout 

I also had the opportunity to tour through Kirkland Urban's new Uptown Apartments which are located on the east end of the property, right up the stairway in the center of Urban.  There's a cool patio as you approach the entry, where music or small events could be held.  You'll also find an amenity space and shared workspaces in the lobby which nestle below 185 apartment units (priced at roughly $3.50/sf), along with BBQ's and sweeping views on the shared patios above. A/C for everybody.   Approximately 40 units are already leased and an occupancy permit is ready any day now, so better hurry if you want to live there!

It's fun watching this project unfold! Seems like a good lineup of entertainment, services and restaurants.  Let us know what else you'd like to see in Kirkland Urban.




Fast Fish and a Killer View at Ivar's

Ivars (1)
at 5910 Lake Washington Blvd is open just in time to enjoy a casual bite on the patio while summer is still here.  Previously Kidd Valley (which is owned by Ivar's), the layout is reminiscent of its former self, with a clean new interior and extra outdoor seating.  I was pleasantly surprised, for a fast-food fish spot the kids working in there went out of their way to be helpful and accommodating and the food was all really good. I'm pretty sure nothing on the menu was over $12.   We all especially loved the salmon chowder and my kids were over-the-moon that the cornbread muffin that came with the salmon tasted just like a cupcake. Here are a few snapshots of our food:

Ivars (4)   Ivars (4)  Ivars (5)

I also love that Ivar's has their own parking because you know it's not always easy in Kirkland, especially when the weather is nice. There were plenty of spots when we rolled in at 8:45pm. Hours there are 10:30am to 10pm.  The views were amazing, and what a nice way to spend under $60 for our family's dinner that was delish ready in less than 10 minutes. I asked my new friend, Rachel, to write up her review for me, since she's already a regular at this new location. 

Here's her summary (thanks Rachel!):

My family has always been HUGE fans of Ivars restaurants.  So when we heard a new Ivars Seafood Bar was coming to Kirkland we couldn’t wait to check it out.  We all ordered something different including, Ivars famous fish ‘n chips and mouth-watering clam chowder, Caesar salad with a hefty serving of Dungeness crab, fish tacos and a side of corn bread! It was all very delicious.  The restaurant was packed with smiling faces – not to mention very clean, the staff was friendly and our food was brought out relatively quickly considering we were there opening weekend.  We opted to take our food to go and picnic across the street at the very convenient Houghton Beach Park.  However, they have plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and soon to come beer and wine.  We will definitely be return customers.

Ivars (6)Ivars (6)


Athina Flora- She's Back!

  IMG_5873 <--Athina w/her giant work table that's been w/her for 26 yrs

Everyone knows Athina.  At least anyone that's been in Kirkland for a little while and has been paying attention. This local gal is always a smiling familiar face with a personality that is so kind and down-to-Earth that you can't help but feel magnetized to her.  She was in floral/events for 15 years, and then went to help her brother with George's after her Dad, George, passed away.  She also does real estate part-time.  It wasn't until her friend asked her, "Athina, what do you actually want to do?" that she realized it was flowers and real estate.  Coming back to the floral business just felt right.  Once this declaration was made, she quickly sprung into action to bring Athina Flora to life.  Two blinks later, she had secured the space at 42 Lakeshore Plaza where the tattoo shop used to be, and celebrated with a ribbon cutting on July 11th.  Hello go-getter.


      IMG_6080   IMG_6084  A stunningly unique bouquet, just love her style!   

In true Athina fashion, she's going to kick this business off by partnering with the KDA and throwing an event called the "Athina Flora Wedding Wine Walk" on Friday August 16th.  This wine walk will allow you to taste Washington wines, check out Athina Flora designs as well as other wedding vendors in downtown Kirkland.  Proceeds will support beautification efforts in the downtown core. If you'd like to help by volunteering (for free drink tickets, of course!) there's a sign up here. 

Athina Flora focuses on the details and creating over-the-top arrangements for your special occasions.   She is so creative. This is not the florist where you browse a wall of flowers in a case.  She will not be housing flowers in the shop, but you can pre-order.  There will always be plants for sale and olive trees, a fave that she says always do well here. Athina also does weddings and special events.  And (tell my husband to read this), you can also choose a frequency to have flowers delivered to a special someone throughout the year.  Birthday, Mother's Day, Anniversary- bam! Sign up for the annual program and you don't have to remember and are sure to impress.   Designing pots for private homes is also an ongoing service she provides for each season. 

AThinatabletopflowers photo cred: www.stonephotographyseattle.com
And then- lucky us! Flower classes will start happening on a monthly basis too.  They will be free of charge  in the evenings and hold aout 12 people.  You are just asked to bring a food donation that will be brought to the Kirkland Seahawkers monthly meeting and delivered to The Free Little Pantry. Athina will teach everyone how to make a particular arrangement from start to finish that she puts together, and then does a drawing to see who will get to take it home.   The first class will be Sept 19th at 6:30pm.

Hours are Tues-Fri 11-4 and Sat & Mon by appt only.  Questions you can email Athina at athinapita@gmail.com.  Also check her out on FB and Insta

QFC Kickstarts Kirkland Urban

IMG_6061 <--bust friends drinking a mid-day beer      IMG_6060

Wow.  Just wow. Crazy crowds are piling in to check out the new QFC at Kirkland Urban.  This should be a nail biter for Whole Foods because QFC has just upped their game big time.  There's an indoor/outdoor bar anchoring the corner, so.... mic drop right there.  But wait..there's more? 

IMG_6064 <--that's my cart of groceries riding down the escalator

Parking is underground and free (for the moment) - eventually it will be a 90 min limit complimentary park once we are all trained on the process.  Nobody seems to know an exact date. You'll find an uber-cool escalator  for your grocery cart (photo) in addition to the usual human version.  Ready-made food abounds- from Tutta Bella and Starbucks to cases and cases of grab-and-go food.  And LOTS more local, natural, organic food choices.  The old reliables are still there, but so many more unique options designed with the local Kirkland shopper in mind.    I promise you will turn into a zombie after walking about 15 feet into the store.  Leave yourself time, the exploring is rich, and I'm already looking forward to the day that I know where to find things in there.  Take note that the milk and eggs are strategically in the very back of the store so you'll have to walk past 64 enticing items to fill your cart with before arriving to the mundane. 

IMG_6051    IMG_6051 IMG_6052

Compostable bags make me happy.  Produce looks amazing- there's even a live local mushroom display! (photo)   Of course there are lots of self check-out stations one each end of the store, peppered with familiar employee faces from the little ole QFC we all remember.  I grabbed some hummus and was chased down by this nice fellow, Walid Joudi, who owns Dreamland Foods, the company that provides many of the fresh locally prepared foods.  "Why did you choose this hummus?" he inquired. "Because I liked the packaging?" I explained sheepishly (got it home, it tastes good too!).  I appreciate that the vendors are here for the launch and talking to customers first hand.  Samples can be found throughout the store.  

IMG_6053  <-Walid Joudi of Dreamland Foods-->      IMG_6049     

Hours are 5am-1am everyday.  Kids are already frolicking in the splash pad out front on these hot days.  Be ready- this is not the subtle QFC experience you are accustomed to-- it is loud and entertains all the senses.   Sneaking in with your pajama pants and a ponytail may be less likely You will see at least 4 people that you know and they will be a bit shell-shocked at what has just landed in Kirkland front/center.  Amazing for some.  Overwhelming for others. You decide.   ~j