A few years ago I was devastated to learn that The Gypsy Cafe at N 35th St and Stone Way N was closing. My family and I were fond of listening to folk music there and attending the square dance every now and again. The place was a little worn around the edges, but it was still good. Then it became The Tiny Ninja Cafe, and I went once to an afternoon concert. It had been remodeled a bit — mostly the exterior was painted black, but it was still very much the same in look and feel if not in music.

But probably like many people in Wallingford and Fremont, I felt that there was a lot of potential for this spot that was being wasted. With Joule and The Whale Wins opening up next door, there is definitely a demand for a place that you can go to get a beer while you wait for a table at the restaurant. Or a place where you can go when you can’t get a table at the restaurant. A place that’s a little higher end than The Pacific Inn, a well loved dive bar across the street, but less up-market than the bar at Joule. And maybe a place you can take your family.

How does Stone Way Cafe stack up to these high aspirations? Pretty well. First of all the space has been remodeled considerably. There is gorgeous wood throughout, the kitchen is now exposed and the outdoor seating has been improved. Owner Mark Cramer writes:

Our goal with the Cafe is to create a space that reflects the charm and character of the old building and neighborhood while embracing the vibrant change and many new faces the area is currently seeing.  We love the old timbers and fixtures of the warehouse building.  It’s has great “old bones” and a character that we wanted to preserve and refresh.  We’ve focused on natural and reclaimed wood, iron and stone and see the space as an ongoing work of art that will continue to evolve.

The food? I had a breakfast burrito with veggies instead of bacon. It was delightful and attractive. The coffee is from Cafe Vita and it is good. The staff are friendly, and the place was hopping on a Saturday morning at 9:00.

IMG_2114What about the price of an Americano? A while back a Yelper reviewed Tiny Ninja complaining that the Americano was priced $2.50, $3.00 and $3.50 for an 8 ounce, 12 ounce and 16 ounce respectively. I checked. You now don’t have to pay 50 extra cents for a little bit more water. All sizes are $2.75.

In January I went to the Gypsy Squares Square Dance. It was every bit as busy as its previous incarnation, and I saw kids as well as adults enjoying the music and dancing. It was also packed. The square dance is always on the last Saturday of the month and the next one is April 25th.

Probably the most exciting thing about the cafe is the new selection of beer which you can see here. That’s a lot of beer on tap and more than I would anticipate with a name that includes “Cafe.” Unless there is a band, their summer opening hours are until 8:30 pm (7:00 pm on Sunday). It seems that they could be missing out on some business coming from people wanting to enjoy their great beer selection in the evening after 8:30. However, owner Mark says “we’ve had a great response from local artists wanting to play at the cafe, so our calendar is filling rapidly so many of our summer evenings will have later hours.”

They also sell growlers. $25 includes the growler. If you bring your own it’s $15. I probably won’t take advantage of that since I can get a growler at Fremont Brewing for only $9.

All in all I’m very glad for the addition in the neighborhood. I think if they pushed the beer angle more and maybe improved their evening opening hours it would be a good thing. Stone Way is only going to get busier with all the new development in the neighborhood.

 

Tonight the Meaningful Movies covers industrial hemp with the movie Bringing it Home. The movie dates to 2013 though, and apparently in 2014 the farm bill made it so industrial hemp is now somewhat legalized too. If I remember correctly from college, hemp is the hippie farmer wonder material, kind of like what carbon nanotubes are to the tech world.

Beyond that, Andrew Lee is performing piano on Friday at 8 PM and Saturday at 7 PM for the Wayward Music Series in Good Shepherd Center Chapel. Andrew will be performing the work of composer Randy Gibson, see if the cut below tickles you:

Finally, there’s chickens to consider! At 10 AM on Saturday Tilth is having a class to teach you how to raise chicks and hopefully keep them safe from raccoons and each other. Or you can go to the Portage Bay Grange down in the U-District and check out all the stuff for fun, including fresh chicks every week, ducks, coops, and all the trappings.

Our chicks start in a 20 gallon fish tank for 2 weeks, then graduate to our shower for 2 months, then graduate to the coop out back when summer is in full swing. An electric fence outside is great for keeping away the raccoons. We’ve been getting a fresh batch of chicks every 2 years for the past 14 years now, so we think it’s worth it, although we could probably rent out the coop now adays for $1,000 a month.

Here are the chicks we have now, one week ago when they were 8 days old:

Chicks 2015

Mr Gyros is open and it is everything you’d hope for- economical, super tasty, and friendly. I asked why they chose the spot they did and they said it was small and they didn’t want the overhead of a place with a lot of tables since that doesn’t help them. The pita bread is really nice and they offer to make the food spicy, yet my kids both liked the offerings too. They don’t mess around, offering the same basic menu for lunch or dinner.

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The block is really fun now and sort of anchors East Wallingford- you have roller derby stuff at Fast Girl, then Mr Gyros, then the Hawaiian General Store + travel agent, coffee at A Muddy Cup, Djan’s Thai, and then a block away is Comics Dungeon. Bedrooms and More looks slated to become some sort of bedroom palace according to DPD plans. It’s too bad it’s all right next to the car-centric places like the gas station, the burger place, and Jiffy Lube, but I guess otherwise rents would go up and the offerings might be less interesting.

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Monday Tuesday morning while driving my kids to daycare, I saw the remnants of yet another accident. Wallyhood reader Stephanie also witnessed the aftermath. She writes:

I was hoping you could do a story on the accident that happened this morning (around 8am) on the corner of 39th and Wallingford.  Looked like one person was going to the hospital and another car actually ended up on the sidewalk (thankfully it didn’t look like anyone was on the sidewalk at the time).  Would love to know what happened because I feel like there are always horns blowing on that corner (and I swear 5 cars do a u-turn daily)  and it seems pretty dangerous (especially given the other intersections on Wallingford that seem to be having similar issues per prior posts).

Kyle Moore, Public Information Officer for the Seattle Fire Department, only had limited information about this collision: “Ladder 9 responded this morning at 7:51 a.m. for a report of an auto accident with a patient who is bleeding. We arrived on scene.  The dispatch report does not indicate if we treated or transported a patient.” I have a call in to Seattle Police Department, but I haven’t heard back at this time. I will update the post if I get anything else.

I wonder if the commenters on the previous post were on to something when they said that visibility is poor when turning onto Wallingford Ave N from a side street because of the many cars parked on Wallingford. That and an increase in traffic should give us all the more reason to drive safely in our neighborhood. Let’s hope we don’t have to post about another accident soon.

Photo by Wallyhood reader Stephanie

Update: Kyle Moore talked to the fire crew and says the following: “My crew called me back. It was a 4 car accident with one 24 year old male driver with a head wound. Firefighter backboarded and collared the patient and AMR ambulance transported him to the hospital in stable condition.”

I’ll see if I can get more details from SPD. A four car accident seems pretty bad for a neighborhood street.

Pam’s Kitchen May be Breaking The Curse

I ate at Guadalajara when it was a dive bar and got the only vegetarian thing on the menu- refried beans that, when served, still had the can ripples on the side. The place was converted into a family Mexican restaurant with glass and wood carved tables, giving birth soon after to Selena’s Guadalajara. Selena’s had some staying power and the transgender waitress was phenomenal, but it wasn’t great food and towards the end it got empty and sad. I kept hoping it would be taken over by Rosita’s.

Casa Azul stepped in and seemed to have good food but I think the idea of a Mexican restaurant in that space had been tarnished by the versions of Guadalajara that preceded it. No foodie was going to venture in there. Patty’s Eggnest never seemed to get traction either, plus they suffered from mixed reviews.

IMG_0269We’ve been 3 times to Pam’s Kitchen since it opened, even though as vegetarians that’s meant getting the same thing each time. I still can’t decide if the place is worth going to, yet I keep going back. It’s a happy place that is comfortably full, has good music, and has addictive spice. The food is like Ethiopian but with Indian style breads. For a fun outing it naturally pops up. On the flip side, the food and drinks are overpriced, so if you want a great ginger beer with rum you need to reconcile yourself with paying $9 for a tiny glass of it.

In other restaurant news, Mr Gyros was supposed to open on Monday of this week but was closed as of noon on Monday, so I couldn’t check it out. I’ve been missing falafel sandwiches ever since the Golden Olive left.

Also, a few local restaurants are taking part in “Seattle Restaurant Week” over the next 2 weeks, Monday through Thursday. They serve 3 course dinners for $30: KisakuMiyabi, Tilth, and Yoroshiku, with Miyabi and Yoroshiku also offering $15 2 course lunches.

Finally, Wallyhood could really use a restaurant critic with a tart tongue, please let me know if you’re interested. While I could write up a whole book on the ethics of different food choices (fun!), when it comes to how things taste I just want to say “good” or “not good”. Maybe you can do better?

Peg Achterman shares her couchrage:

Once it rains even one time – or the crows decide there is something tantalizing in there – or just one dog raises a leg. NO ONE WILL PICK IT UP.

Could we just agree that one day is enough? And there are many many vans that will pick up. Please? It’s just silly and unsightly.
Couch
Here are some resources:
Seriously – it just takes a phone call.

 

Wallyhood Calendar: Carr, Whirligig, and Alice

Here’s some highlights from the coming week on the Wallyhood Calendar:

  • Your school board rep Sherry Carr is available at 8:30 this morning and the second Saturday of every month from 8:30 AM to 10 AM at Bethany Community Church – Christian Education Building, 8023 Green Lake Dr. You may wish to discuss with her the possibility that Hamilton is thinking about expanding into Lincoln.
  • Alice in Wonderland begins its run at Stone Soup Theatre. The performance runs Friday – Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and from April 10 – May 3, with Saturday Sunday matinees at 3pm, $12.50 previews on April 8 and 9. General admission prices are $15-$25, $20 for seniors. All Thursdays after preview are Pay-What-You-Will. Tickets are available for purchase at www.stonesouptheatre.org, by phone at the Stone Soup Box Office at (206) 633-1883 or at www.brownpapertickets.com, 800-838-3006.

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  • Spring Break and Whirligig: Bounce with abandon on super-sized inflatable rides! Step inside Seattle Center Armory, and you’ll find free and affordable non-stop FUN including balloon artists, face painters, Student Showcases and delicious foods from new Armory eateries. For children 12 and under. A Toddler’s Zone is also available. Prices range from $1.50 for a single ride ticket to $8.00 for an all-day pass. 11 AM to 6 PM daily, rides are FREE on Thursdays. Learn more at seattlecenter.com
  • MS Walk / Run Sunday morning on the Burke Gilman: Expect the Burke Gilman from UW to Gasworks to be filled up with good will on Sunday morning. More info here: http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR?pg=entry&fr_id=24970
  • Familyworks this Thursday: Looking for something to do during spring break?  Come join FamilyWorks for free children’s books, crafts & activities, and story time!  Kids of all ages are welcome with an adult. More info: http://www.familyworksseattle.org/ai1ec_event/reading-rocks?instance_id=

Drop us a line if you want a non-commercial or artistic event featured on the calendar. Thanks!

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