Lounge by Topgolf Opens in Kirkland Urban 1/24

Did you know that there are 52 Top Golf locations internationally? But we, my Kirkland friends, have the very FIRST  Lounge by Top Golf opening this week in Kirkland Urban.  Standing proudly with expansive views above the new QFC, the Lounge offers a variety of virtual games for every level.  There are 4 bays for up to 8 guests each and a VIP area that can accommodate up to 22 people.  If your golf game is not up to 'par' don't stress, you can also play virtual baseball, football, hockey, soccer, carnival games or zombie dodgeball instead of one of the 80 golf courses or challenges.  

TopGolfInterior (2)  TopGolfInterior (2)

I had the opportunity to check everything out at the preview party last week. Upon entering I was mesmerized by all of the digital screens on the ceiling that continually change color and design. I must have stared at it for 5 minutes.   Pair that with a few Moscow Mules and I was ready to swing a golf club!   Perhaps I was a little shy at first but once you get the hang of it you don't care or notice who else is watching and just embrace the goodness that comes with being able to laugh at yourself and others.  Lounge by Topgolf has a full bar and wine and locally-sourced food such as mussels, salmon and steak.  There are plenty of nibbles too- the Greek caesar and edamame hummus was delish and they also have charred cauliflower so you can say you ate some veggies too! Sorry I didn't take any food pics, I was too busy throwing my arm out  on the virtual baseball game (no joke I had to ice when I got home) .  There's plenty of room for lounging in the bar, and I love the expansive deck that wraps around the corner of the building with comfy seating, umbrellas, firepits and city/lake landscape views. Cornhole and Jenga complete the outdoor gaming challenges.

IMG_7960  IMG_7960

Rates to rent a TGL bay is hourly (roughtly $50-70/hr) and varies based on day and time. Current rates are here, and of course they would love to host your private events too.  Events can handle anywhere from 6-225 people.  There will be a DJ on Saturday nights and live music with brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.  After 9pm, the Lounge is 21 and over- woot woot! Hours are Mon-Thurs 11am-12am, Fri 11am-1am, Sat 9am-1am, Sun 9am-11pm.  Happy Hour spreads its cheer from Mon-Fri 3-6pm and of course you receive 4 hours of validated parking.  It's a little tricky to find your way there the first time, so I'm going to help you out.  You can either walk up the stairs that reside to the left/east of the QFC bar and make a right at the top of the stairs to find it down on your left.  OR- if you park below, get in the elevator that is adjacent to the staircase that takes you directly into the QFC and take it to the second floor. Left off the elevator and you have arrived. 

And if you made it this far in the post, you should know the soft opening is 1/20.  I have a feeling this place is going to be a big hit, so book your bays early! 

Also a bonus, Top Golf is planning to open a 14 acre Renton location in 2021.  And a rumor that PinStripes is coming to Urban too? An entertainment mecca awaits at Urban.


Ins and Outs

Rapid-fire updates from my old lady brain-


Howard Mandville Gallery- after 28 years on Park Lane in Kirkland, this art gallery/frame shop will be moving to a space in Woodinville that is shared with their family winery. Pat and Luanne (photo) seemed disappointed with Kirkland parking and the shift away from retail and toward more service based storefronts.  Rents aren't getting any cheaper either.  Pop in to say farewell before June ends to purchase items at reduced rates (Including the tables, fixtures, etc) so they don't have to move it all.  You can still drink wine and buy art from them moving forward at 19501 144th Ave NE B200, Woodinville, WA 98072.

Haley's Cottage- Their little location down near Aloha Lemonade appears to be vacated.  And it feels like I may be noticing much later than it happened?  But you can still find them online and in Snohomish and Bothell. But I'm not sure exactly where as I've never seen a retail business website with such a mysteriously hard to find street address.  #igaveup


Cinemark_The Village at Totem Lake
Cinemark Theater- Cinemark Eight-Screen movie theater coming to The Village at Totem Lake in late 2019.   Looking forward to my luxury recliner and big screen right here in Kirkland!

Functional 45- fitness studio that will going in to the Howard Mandville Gallery space. 

Orange Theory- yes, even more fitness rumored to arrive in downtown Kirkland.  After your workout you can grab a burger and a beer...

Coastline Burgers- going in to Aura's old spot. Looks like they have applied for a liquor license too?

Cock & Bull-  I don't think I can say the name out loud without laughing, even though they are perfectly fine animals, perhaps both with tempers.  This is the bar where Bishop's used to be across from Juanita Village.  Been open a little while but I haven't been in yet...am I missing anything?

Bagel Masters Bakery & Cafe- in Laugh's old location in Totem Lake.  Trying to get open, but still not open.  Manager Kareem is working through a few kinks with the city/health dept, but is hoping to soon share some delicious NY style bagels that are boiled and baked on site- chewy on the inside and crispy out.  Soup, sandwiches, coffee and espresso too.

Kirkland Summer Concert Series 2017

Sunshine Summerconcert Sunshine

I just wanted a reason to say SUMMER.  Couldn't be more ready. Let's fast forward.

The Kirkland Downtown Association will be rocking (and celebrating 40 years!) the Kid Concert Series every Tues 10-11am from July 11-Aug 22nd at Juanita Beach Park and the evening concerts in Marina Park from 7-8:30pm  July 6 through Aug 17th.  Thank you to Waste Management and the City of Kirkland for their sponsorship of these fun community traditions. Check out the musical lineup here.

The KDA also puts on many other Kirkland Events such as the Farmer's Market, 4th of July Celebration, Classic Car Show, Summerfest and Winterfest. To help support some of these programs that add to the vibrancy of our community, they have recently started a membership program (starting at $49) that you can learn more about here.

Haunted Happenings

I'm a sucker for save-the-Earth tips that can apply to our everyday lives. Waste Management  was nice enough to send me some just in time for Halloween.

The recycling company released a video and instruction packet to make a truck costume and a safety pledge with fun activities. As the days get shorter, it’s important that kids stay visible and keep a safe distance when trucks are in motion.

Trickortreat  Be Green this 'Ween:

  • Give eco-friendly treats. Local organic groceries and health food stores offer a wide range of candy from organic chocolates to organic lollipops. These tasty treats are produced using methods that are not damaging to the environment.
  • Use recyclable bags for your trick-or-treaters. A fun family activity is to create a unique trick-or-treat basket, or simply put a reusable bag to good use. If you use a traditional plastic jack-o-lantern container, be sure to store and save it for future years. 
  • Walk instead of drive. Rather than drive to other neighborhoods, stay close to home and trick-or-treat in your neighborhood. By walking from house to house you are reducing fuel consumption and air pollution.
  • Throw a green Halloween party. Purchase organic pumpkins for carving and apples for bobbing. Consider using leftover apples and pumpkins for pies, soups and other tasty dishes. Use regular plates, cups and silverware versus disposable materials that end up in the trash.
  • Reuse and recycle: Now is a great time to start composting. Halloween jack-o-lanterns, food scraps, and other organic, biodegradable yard and household waste are perfect items to get your compost bin started.
  • Help keep neighborhoods clean while trick-or-treating. Carry an extra reusable bag and pick up litter along the way. Candy wrappers can be a big source of litter on local streets during Halloween.

Crookedparking  <-----This is the scariest place in Kirkland.  Where am I?

Halloween Poster 2016
Halloween in Kirkland is always fun for the little ones! Sunday Oct 30th 2-4pm and Mon Oct 31st 3-6pm participating merchants in downtown Kirkland will be welcoming trick-or-treaters.  Those under 10 must be accompanied by an adult. Thanks to the KDA for organizing.

Anyone else get spooked when they see a big dollar store gobble up a little dollar store?


Happy Anniversary, Kirkland Weblog!

I was rummaging through some papers the other day and stumbled upon the fact that the Kirkland Blog recently had a TEN YEAR anniversary. Isn't that kind of nuts?! It is to me.  Have we known each other that long-- you and me?? I had to sit down, take a deep breath and ponder my life and collect my thoughts, but yes, it's true, it's been 10 years. 

Sara's bday 027 <-- Here we are in all of our 2006 glory. I know you're jealous of my bangs.

  Tango2015 (5) 2016: Now we hide behind sunglasses. Steve, please please will you write a blog post for us? For old time's sake?

People often ask how long I've been doing this blog gig and how it started.  So an anniversary seems like a good time to tell the story. Steve and I have lived in Kirkland since 1998 and we've always loved socializing, shopping and eating here. Everyone is just a special kind of AWESOME. So by 2006, we had 2 three year old's and a one year old, so we were a little frazzled perhaps, but clearly still had a love of our community and oddly enough, time to pick up this side hobby.  

All of the truly cool ideas are always Steve's.  Out of nowhere he asked me--"why don't we start a blog about Kirkland?"  (blogging was a sort of new-ish back then)  " We already do everything in Kirkland.  We should just share our experiences with others," said young Steve. "We could take turns writing posts." < Insert canned laughter here.>  Steve wrote about 8 posts and now you have to read my ramblings every week.  What started on a whim then began to snowball.   More followers, more hits/day, friends were asking what we were posting and what was new around town.  And there you have it, the Kirkland Weblog was born.  

A lot has happened in ten years-- real estate has gone up ( then down then up again), businesses have changed over, we annexed, parking spots have disappeared, development is surging and  my laugh lines have deepened.... but the love for Kirkland and all that makes it create that feeling that warms my heart from the inside, has gone unchanged.  So thanks for sticking with me, Kirklanders.  I love hanging out with you.

The best anniversary gift you could give us would be spreading the word.  Tell your fun friends to subscribe in the top left corner here.  Speaking of fun, let's play a game....REMEMBER WHEN.  I'll start...remember when....

-the Grape Choice was where the Heathman stands today?  I think Larry Springer was mayor then.

-Wilde Rover opened? I think it was 2006- was brand new when this blog started. 

-the Bath Bar was on Park Lane? I can almost smell it right now.

-there was a Santa Store on Kirkland Ave, and the owner would carve them in the front window

-I went to EVERY gym in Kirkland and reported back w/ a review. Great butt kicker.

-they moved Heritage Hall from east of Market to its current location at the bottom of Market St.

-Bead Hut, Calabria, River Rock, Crab Cracker, Unique Plus, Life is Good, Trenditions, MuShoe, Olive You, Ravenna, Six Tables, uBrDo...


What do you remember?????????????????????????????????????????????

Run, Drink, Dance

What are you doing tomorrow?? Going to a Kirkland Rooftop Beatles Concert, of course- Saturday, January 30 12:00pm- Creme Tangerine will be rockin' on the rooftop balcony of Livengood Alskog (121 3rd Ave) to give a nod to the anniversary of The Beatles' legendary last performance known as "the rooftop concert."  It's free!  Viewing happens from Central Way and Lake Street at the street level.

Shamrocksneaker<----You need these

The Kirkland Shamrock Run is looking for volunteers for this year's race on March 12th in Marina Park.  There are volunteer shifts available on Thurs 3/10, Fri 3/11 and Sat 3/12  and a $20 donation will be made in your name to the charity of your choice when you sign up to help. Win/Win. Contact Natalie (volunteer coordinator) with questions.  Can't volunteer, but you're ready to run? Register here.

Steve and I enjoyed a great evening at the Vintimate event in the Heathman Hotel last night where we celebrated Chef Brian's new wine label, Piggyback Cellars. Guests had an opportunity to taste the '12 Syrah (this was our fave!), '13 Syrah, '13 Amber Roussanne and '13 Blush Syrah & Roussanne while nibbling on duck with BBQ sauce and foie gras puffs, followed by the new pastry chef's selection of chocolaty-themed treats.   Did you miss the event and still want to try these fabulous wines? Don't fret-they will be on the Trellis wine list very soon or you can also purchase here.

Shoutout to Kirkland Blog contest winners Michelle, Don and Cody- your reusable bags are on their way!  Thanks for reading and participating. 



Kirkland "Hawkhouse" Comes to an End?

The infamous Kirkland Hawkhouse with the lighted Seahawks display at 11217 NE 100th St is winding down for the season and may be for good.  Here's a posting they had on Facebook the other day.  It made me feel like I need to call 911 or a counselor or maybe go knock on their door with a hug and a beer.  :(


       I'd like to take this time to announce that next Saturday January 2nd I will be shutting the doors for the year and most likely for good at this location.  I know this is going to suck for a lot of people and children near and far. I am making this decision based on the actions of a few people.  The constant slander, rudeness being talked to like I'm a worthless human, and the actions taken that have caused unlimited amounts of anxiety and depression. Some stuff said publicly has also put my family in danger and fear of being robbed for false accusations.       
      I can 100% relate with kids who get bullied who decide to take their own life. Through this whole holiday season instead of enjoying the smiles that people have and tears of joy seeing the display I have been praying every night that I will not wake up the next morning. I will never disclose these individuals because I would never want anyone to treat them the way they treat me or say the things they say about me. I will just pray that they can find happiness in their own lives because obviously these actions come from something deep inside them where they are hurting. 
       I completely understand the headache of the traffic etc. I have timed it from the freeway to my house on a closed evening and the busiest evening and it took me 1 minute and 44 seconds longer to get past my house. (and there were 3 cars unloading so probably took me longer than normal) So if someone is in a hurry that 2 minutes can be very frustrating, but I'm sure the people without homes to go to that receive food and toys from the public really appreciate the sacrifices made in those 2 minutes.
      I know a complaint is I make profit off of my display , but anyone with an I.Q. above 40 would know that is not possible. Other big displays in our state that collect strictly money and have been doing it a lot longer than I have, have never collected more than 7,000 in donations, and they do not collect food and toys so they only except cash. A lot of donations I receive are food and toys. I don't know if they do not realize over the 5 years I have spent over $50,000 on materials that I save up just to put something cool on for the community. Not to mention all the hours of work I lose doing the display. Which I realize is my choice but seeing people so happy makes it worth it.
      I spend over 400 hours setting it up, about 200 hours opening the house to the public, and another 150 or more taking down the display. So almost 800 hours of labor, basically 20 work weeks of time on this. Again I would like to apologize to the community and say thanks to the thousands and thousands that love it and sorry to the couple that hate it.  Merry Christmas, Happy New Years, and Go Hawks

"Hawk Time" Sundays at Waxing the City

Waxing the city seahawks
Have you ever been watching a Seahawks game on a Sunday and while everyone else is screaming at the TV you're thinking yourself, " I should really be getting waxed right now?"  Ah-ha!  I knew it.  You're in luck. Waxing the City in Totem Lake is starting up "Hawk Time" for those that would prefer to sip wine from Northwest Cellars, nibble on light appetizers and get some silky smooth skin during the game.  Wear your Seahawks gear to receive 10% off your waxing service. 11515 124th Ave NE. Appts available online.  Go Hawks!

SeahawkHouse2015 (6)
Oh, and a little birdie told me that the 'Seahawks House' in the Highlands neighborhood (with the over-the-top light display) might be showing up in a major network holiday decoration light fight show. Go Kirkland!

And we have a Winner!

Congratulations to Kirkland Blog reader Rachel Buchan for winning our drawing for two complimentary Kirkland Performance Center tickets to Twisted Flicks: Mothra on September 11th.  Wahoooo! Way to be paying attention to the details.

Dianne Reeves
And for those of you that prefer paying for your tickets, alas, we have something for you too. Don't miss Jazz legend and 2015 Grammy Award winner, Dianne Reeves, who will be at KPC on Sept 18th at 8pm.  Her music is a melding of R&B, Latin, Pop and 21st century jazz.  Tickets are $50/ea and can be purchased online, at the box office or by phone 425-893-9900. ~j