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The Park Pub broken window with brick outside

Several PhinneyWood businesses have experienced break-ins and burglaries this past week and a half, as five businesses have been targeted: Chaco Canyon, Seattle ReCreative, Windy City Pie, and most recently, The Park Pub and Greenwood Vision.

It appears to at least two of the break-ins are related, as video footage from the Park Pub and Windy City Pie show what looks to be the same person.

Greenwood Vision also experienced a robbery yesterday, with two people quickly stealing $2,000 worth of glasses frames from the display board.

PhinneyWood.com is waiting on any more potential information about other incidents from Seattle Police Department’s North Precint.

Woman in a maskin a supermarket

Families in Washington with school-aged children can now get help with food at grocery stores or farmers markets with the new Pandemic EBT program. Eligible families can receive a one-time benefit of up to $399 per child. The deadline to apply is August 31 at WashingtonConnection.org.

If you already receive Basic Food (SNAP) benefits, the Pandemic EBT should have been automatically added in July. In not, contact the Washington Department of Social and Health Services.

If you don’t receive SNAP, but have a child in K-12 who was eligible for free or reduced-price school meals last year, you can complete an application regardless of your citizenship or immigration status.

To apply, go to WashingtonConnection.org, choose “Apply Now” and then “Pandemic EBT” and enter your children’s’ names exactly as they appear on school registration. You may have to register for an account.

Need help? Call 2-1-1 and ask about Pandemic EBT.

broken glass on a surface with a rock

Yesterday, Seattle ReCreative suffered a break-in at their 84th and Greenwood store. The worst damage was the smashing in of their large front window. They don’t have leads on the crime at this point, other than it happened early monday Morning. Since Seattle ReCreative’s store sells second-hand art supplies, the perpetrators did not get much of value, noted Executive Director Jenna Boitano.

Seattle ReCreative is a nonprofit organization, creative reuse store, and community art center dedicated to promoting creativity, community and environmental stewardship through creative reuse and art education.

If you’d like to support Seattle ReCreative with a donation, go here: http://www.seattlerecreative.org/financial-donations.

The Bar Method, a boutique barre-based fitness studio set to open in the Phinney Flats building later this year, is offering free outdoor classes starting this week. Here is a statement from local owners Kat and Mari:

Free outdoor classes are starting! Join us every Tuesday at 7:30am and Thursday at 5:15pm in August for a 45-minute full-body Bar Method workout. All classes will be held at the Phinney Center’s Lower Lot just around the corner from the studio.

Space is limited, sign up using this link. More details below. Can’t wait to see you there! What to bring: yoga or camping mat; large towel to drape over props; face mask. What we’ll provide: weights; stationary “barre”; props as needed.

Q: Will people be wearing masks? A: Yes! Masks are required.

Q: What other precautions will you be taking? A: everyone will be distanced at least six feet apart; we will check your temperature when you arrive; hand sanitizer and extra face masks will be available at touchless check-in; props and touchpoints will be properly sanitized before and after use; class lists will be saved for contact tracing.

Q: what are my responsibilities? A: Please register in advance and arrive 10 minutes early to get checked in; if you’re not feeling well, please stay home and take the class online. It will be available on our IGTV tab!

The Bar Method is the premier barre studio that delivers an expertly guided, personalized approach to total mind and body fitness. Each class format has 45 and 60 minute versions that results in increased strength, endurance, and resilience.

(Correcting previous story that listed Greenwood as open)

The Seattle Public Library has published their Road to Reopening that details plans moving forward to best serve our community. The Library is now accepting returns at 12 Library locations across the city including Greenlake and Broadview, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m. or until book returns are full. The Greenwood branch remains closed at this time.

Here are some FAQs that are covered in the new announcement:

When are my books due? Due dates are extended until at least Aug. 15, and we are a fine-free Library system, so there is no rush to return items, and you can take the time you need.

When can I start borrowing books again? SPL is in the process of planning limited curbside pickup services at some Library locations, available by appointment. That service is expected to become available by early to mid-August. More information will be shared as soon as details are available.

When can I visit Library buildings again? At this time, buildings are still primarily closed to the public to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the community. There is no target date for reopening buildings to the public. The Library has canceled in-person public Library programs, as well as meeting room bookings, until at least Sept. 7.

Can I donate my used books to the Library? The Library is not able to accept book donations at this time and does not anticipate being able to accept donations throughout the summer. Please do not leave books or other materials you wish to donate at Library sites.

What’s available online? To help meet community interest, the SPL has invested in more e-materials throughout the closure. Homebound Seattle residents can explore their vast inventory of learning and entertainment resources, including e-books (see expanded “Always Available ” lists), streaming services, learning resources and more. Library staff are also ready to answer your phone call or chat or email through Ask Us.

It’s hard for us all to keep up with everything going on these days. PhinneyWood is here to help you stay up to date on some of the latest happenings around the neighborhood.

For those in need of cookies (who isn’t?), The Cookie Counter has re-opened for pickup orders. The selection goes beyond their delicious cookies, as brownies, muffins, ice cream and more can be ordered here for pickup on Fridays and Saturdays between 2pm-4pm. Don’t forget their offerings are also vegan, made in-house, and use non-GMO ingredients!

Bleachers Sports Pub and Pizza has revised their current schedule. They will now be open 7 days a week from 1pm-10pm. The kitchen will be open from 2pm-10pm. Be sure to swing by and catch a game or two now that more sports are returning to action.

Looking for another excuse to head over to Woodland Park Zoo  and some of your local establishments? Take a look at the current zoo discounts page, especially the newly added Phinney Business Discounts! Get a 10% discount with your zoo admission or membership card at participating local businesses today.

Participating businesses:

Have some news that you need to share with the community, feel free to reach out so we can spread the word! There is an easy online submission form here.

Scout Troop 100 is holding an Anti-Racism Book Drive to benefit Ballard area libraries of Seattle Public Schools.  This book drive has been started with the intent of assisting the fight towards social justice and runs through August 17th.

The community is invited to donate books to the cause and mail them to: 

Troop 100  
2400 NW 80th St  
PMB 253 
Seattle, WA 98117 

The public may also purchase books through Estelita’s Library, a local black-owned bookstore working toward racial justice.

All books should be received or purchased through Estelita’s Library by August 17th

Erin Lyman is a case study in adaptation. Like most small businesses, her Champion Wine Cellars at 8503 Greenwood Avenue N. has been thrown for a loop due to the pandemic. “It’s been a rollercoaster!” she says. But people have responded as she’s remade a high-contact shop into mostly touch-free.

“Go Greenwood!” she says, with enthusiastic appreciation for her customers, many of whom are helping her business remain viable through word-of-mouth.

But: no more wine tastings. No more casual browsing the colorful shelves of the tiny, windowless shop (unless you make a private, scheduled appointment). Mostly, she doesn’t allow shoppers past the improvised front door that’s been turned into a “wine window.”

Instead, she’s added free, same-day delivery within Seattle (six bottle minimum), curated wine packages based on popular price points, collaborations with pasta and dessert artisans, and even gift-wrapping with a notecard. And as the 30-something owner of Seattle’s oldest wine shop—begun in 1969 at 1st and Denny by Emile Ninaud—she offers an extensive website, email newsletter, virtual wine tastings and Instagram flashiness.

Barring the Door

She stepped onto the roller coaster a week before the mandatory shutdown when she voluntarily closed the store and moved a portable bar in front of the door to create a window where people could pick up their orders from a distance.

That barrier was the polar opposite of her business model to “bring people into the store to taste wine,” she says. Tastings “would make it easier for me to make suggestions based on their preferences.” Erin, a former wine director at Café Campagne, brings the restaurant approach.

Rolling that bar into place also went against her goal of making people “a little more comfortable about wine.” She wants to banish the ideas that a wine shop would be too expensive or they would feel a little put off if they didn’t know a lot about wine. Hence, “no judging” and an entire wall in her shop with wines $15 or less.

More Than ‘White’ Wine

“Wine shops tend to not be the most welcoming place for a wide variety of people,” she says. That includes people of color, which especially concerns her, as both she and her partner are in that demographic. She is Asian-Hawaiian (and grew up in Hawaii) and her partner Suthap Manivong is from Bellevue but his heritage is Lao.

“The wine industry is really white,” she says, catering especially to men 40 to 60 years old. Women are also often made to feel unwelcome or ignored, as she herself has felt “until I got to the register.”

So she wants her shop to be “a place where people can come in and get good wines and good service and be a welcoming spot to whoever.” Hers is “a quiet fight,” she says, “one of bringing access to people.” She hopes society changes for the better “as a result of all the attention that has been brought to inequality.”

Erin and Suthap

Testing Your Taste Buds

If you’re used to supermarket wine choices, Erin’s small-producer selections will be a delight. And if you’re environmentally conscious, you’ll appreciate her focus on organic and sustainable wineries.

But it’s the sleuthing of your tastes that Erin finds most rewarding.

“I call it decoding,” she says.

“I’ll usually ask them the last glass of red wine that they had that they really enjoyed, and if they can tell me what grape it was based on, or what restaurant they were at when they had it, or even a photo of the bottle, I can often find wines of a similar style or texture.”

Tasting is the key, she says, so she’ll send a new customer off with one bottle, then adjust her approach when they return. It’s the same for six-bottle packages. “I track what people order and when they come back I can change it up based on their preferences.”

She thinks mood has a big effect on a person’s tastes, and that is especially significant in these times. “If you’re feeling anxious, you want something that will make you feel good. And if you’re feeling happy, that’s when you want to celebrate or venture out into something totally unique. When you’re feeling tired or exhausted, that’s when you want a wine that will pick you up, give you a little more energy.”

Through wine, you can take the temperature of the town. Right now, she says “people need something bright and bubbly,” so sparkling wine is in.

Seeking comfort also dictates taste. “When people find a wine they like, they’ve really been stocking up on that wine, rather than being more experimental,” which resonates with her.

She expects more comfort will be needed this fall. “I feel like people waffle between optimism and despair pretty quickly,” she says. “It’s so gorgeous outside right now and it’s sunny and the minute you turn on the news or look at a New York Times article, you’re like, ‘oh my goodness’.” 

Food Pairing for Home Chefs

More home cooking also has driven wine choices, and Erin’s restaurant experience—plus Suthap’s prowess in the kitchen and her collaboration with artisan producers—has added a great food-pairing dimension to her offerings.

Don’t want to cook on a warm summer night? Try a cold vermicelli bowl, maybe with a red wine that can be briefly chilled due to its flavor notes and tannin levels.

Or try a seasonal pasta or a special dessert, each with appropriate wines. You can get Megan Barone’s pastas at Champion on Saturdays, of course with a wine suggestion. Once a month, order a dessert box from Fremont pastry chef Jasmin Bell Smith and pick it up at Champion with a paired wine.

These offerings just started during the pandemic and “we would love to continue doing collaborations with other small businesses, people who make food,” Erin says. Chefs, are you listening?

Eventually, Seattle will be post-pandemic, and Erin dreams about resuming tastings, and allowing 83-year-old Emile to again make guest appearances. Perhaps even open a wine bar or do private food and wine pairings. Meanwhile, she’s at the other end of the line, waiting to sleuth out your wine preferences.

Northwest Girlchoir announced that it has openings in music programs for girls entering grades 2-12. To join their virtual programming in September, enroll (grades 2-5) or virtually audition (grades 5-12) by August 31st. Learn musicianship, vocal technique, and more.  

Grades 2-5: Easy online registration is now open for girls entering grades 2-5 – no audition needed. Members will participate in two virtual voice lessons per week, with the opportunity to transition to an in-person music class at a later date, once Washington enters Phase 3*. Sign up today at www.northwestgirlchoir.org/joinfresca  

Grades 5-12: Virtual auditions are happening now to join one of Northwest Girlchoir’s four progressive choir levels! Choristers will participate in two virtual voice lessons per week, with the opportunity to transition to an in-person music class at a later date, once Washington enters Phase 3*. Learn more and sign up to audition at www.northwestgirlchoir.org/audition 

Scholarships: Scholarships are available for every choir level and we encourage families to apply. Contact info@northwestgirlchoir.org for more information. 

*To learn more about how Northwest Girlchoir is prioritizing the health and safety of their choristers, read their COVID-19 Safety Plan at www.northwestgirlchoir.org/virtual