A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Carmelita Vegetarian Restaurant closing, to be replaced by new eatery by local restaurant owners

June 17th, 2013 by Doree

Carmelita Vegetarian Restaurant, at 7314 Greenwood Ave. N. for almost 17 years, is closing its doors at the end of September. In its place will be a new (not vegetarian) restaurant.

Michael Hughes and Kathryn Neumann have sold the business to three local restaurant owners, including Chris Navarra, who currently owns Prost! right across the street, The Ridge Pizza just a block south, and the soon-to-open Martino’s Smoked Meats & Eatery, a block north. Navarra’s business partners in the new restaurant will be Chris Gerke (also co-owner of  The Ridge Pizza and Martinos, plus Nickerson Street Saloon in Fremont), and Shannon Wilkinson (Little Water Cantina on Eastlake).

Hughes and Neumann say the recession played a part in the decision, but mostly they wanted to spend more time with their young son.

They’re planning lots of special celebrations this summer. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for more information.

Carmelita will close on Sept. 29.

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Martino’s bringing smoked meats to Phinney Ridge sometime this spring

March 6th, 2013 by Doree

Martino’s, a new smoked meat shop, hopes to open this spring in (ironically) the former space of vegan shoe store The Chocolate Shoe Box, at 7410 Greenwood Ave. N.


Martino’s is yet another business venture from neighborhood resident Chris Navarra, who owns Seattle German Pubs Inc., which includes Prost! at 7311 Greenwood Ave. N. and four other pubs (Prost! In West Seattle, Prost! in Portland, Feierabend in South Lake Union, and Die Bierstube on Roosevelt). Navarra also co-owns The Ridge Pizza, at 7217 Greenwood Ave. N.

Martino’s will be co-owned by Chris Gerke and Chris Martino, co-owners of Nickerson Street Saloon on the south side of the Fremont Bridge. Martino will manage the new meat shop.

Navarra says Martino’s will smoke various kinds of meats and fish, and will offer sandwiches (including veggie options of smoked cheese and tofu), dinner specials like ribs on the weekends, and hopefully breakfast at some point. He says a lot of things are still being figured out, but they hope to have seating for about a dozen people, and will offer dine in and take out. Martino’s will have two beers on tap (he’s not sure which ones yet).

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Benefit Wednesday for Phinney Ridge restaurant server who suffered a stroke

January 15th, 2013 by Doree

Catherine (Cat), who is a server at 74th Street Ale House and Prost! in Phinney Ridge, suffered a stroke on Christmas Day. The 35-year-old faces a lot of therapy to recover and has no insurance, so friends and co-workers are hosting a benefit night this Wednesday, Jan. 16, at six locations.

74th Street Ale House’s sister locations, Hilltop Ale House in Queen Anne and Columbia City Ale House, are also participating in the fundraiser, as well as Prost!’s sister locations, Die Bierstube in Roosevelt, and Feierabend in South Lake Union. A large chunk of the proceeds from sales of food and drinks at each location will be donated to her recovery efforts, and extra donations will be accepted.

Hale’s Ale’s, Georgetown Brewery and Maritime Brewery have also donated.

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The Ridge opens to a packed house

January 13th, 2012 by Doree

The Ridge, the new family-friendly pizza place at 7217 Greenwood Ave. N., next to Ken’s Market, that opened on Thursday afternoon, was absolutely packed with people on Thursday night. More than a dozen people waited for a table inside, while more waited outside.

While we waited for our table, many more groups, including a lot of families, walked up and decided not to wait. Co-owner Chris Navarra, who also owns Prost! just a block away, seemed happy but a bit surprised at the opening day crowds.

The Ridge named all of its pizzas after neighborhood businesses, including Ken’s Market, The Avanti (Avanti Art & Design at 7317 Greenwood Ave. N.), Two Birds (Two Birds Tattoo at 7408 Greenwood Ave. N.), The Zoo, and True Value, which welcomed its next door neighbor on its sign.

The Ridge opens at 3 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. It includes a full bar of beer, wine and liquor. The Ridge’s website isn’t populated yet, but its Facebook page has plenty of information.

In a few weeks we’ll add The Ridge to our Food & Drink section, where you can rate the restaurant and add your comments about food and service.

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The Ridge restaurant opening in old Berserk Games space, next to Ken’s Market

May 23rd, 2011 by Doree

The owners of Prost! and the Nickerson Street Saloon are joining with two others to open The Ridge restaurant at 7217 Greenwood Ave. N., next to Ken’s Market. The Ridge, a family-friendly restaurant, will serve pizza, sandwiches and salads. The Ridge will also have a bar, and will serve beer, wine and liquor. The Ridge will be open for lunch and dinner. They will not offer delivery, but will have take-out.

They hope to open by the end of August.

Chris Navarra owns Seattle German Pubs Inc., which includes Prost! at 7311 Greenwood Ave. N. and four other pubs (Prost! In West Seattle, Prost! in Portland, Feierabend in South Lake Union, and Die Bierstube on Roosevelt).

His co-owners of The Ridge will be Chris Gerke (who has owned the Nickerson Street Saloon on the south side of the Fremont Bridge for 16 years and lives in our neighborhood), Tom Griffith (who owns T.S. McHugh’s and 10 Mercer downtown) and Larry Wikan (a beer distributor who also lives in the neighborhood).

Navarra gave us a sneak peek at the inside of the space, which is currently gutted. The front area will have regular tables and the bar to the left, while the back area will have large family-style tables perfect for a baseball team end-of-year banquet. Also in the back upper area will be the kitchen and some games, such as shuffledboard or old-fashioned video games like Ms. Pac-Man.

The walls will be covered with old neighborhood photos.

“We’re going to be all about the neighborhood. We’re trying to name all the pizzas after neighborhood businesses. The Carmelita is going to be the vegetarian; the True Value will be pepperoni or double pepperoni,” Navarra explained.

He said the restaurant would also like to name pizzas after the Woodland Park Zoo and Fire Station 21, and donate a portion of the proceeds to the zoo’s conservation efforts and a firefighters’ fund.

Navarra and his wife and 2-year-old daughter live in the neighborhood. His family is from Germany, so he was used to being able to take the whole family into a pub while visiting there, and wanted to create the same kind of experience here (hence the recent addition of a railing at Prost! that symbolically separates the bar from the regular tables, so children can now enter that restaurant).

Navarra, who opened Prost! in September 2002, looked at several available spaces in the neighborhood over the last few years, but found the rents too high. He said the old Berserk Games space, at 2,400 square feet, was perfect, and the landlord (the owners of Berserk Games) were very accommodating and happy to find a new tenant without having to actually advertise. (Berserk Games, now called Card Kingdom, moved to Ballard.)

“I’ve had this concept for a pizza place in the neighborhood for a long time,” Navarra said.

While the restaurant will be family-friendly, Navarra envisions it turning into the adult neighborhood hangout later in the evenings.

“After the kids go home, we want to make it a place to come.”

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El Chupacabra expands to West Seattle, Tarah Jade becomes Violet Soul

January 20th, 2011 by Doree

Three Phinney Ridge businesses are changing things up a bit.

El Chupacabra, at 6711 Greenwood Ave. N., is expanding to West Seattle.

Our friends at the West Seattle Blog report that El Chupacabra is hoping to open its Alki Avenue location in mid-March.

Tarah Jade, a clothing boutique that opened at 6801 Greenwood Ave. N. in June, is changing its name to Violet Soul. The business partnership for Tarah Jade – Shawna Risnes and Deborah Stone – has been dissolved, and Stone will own Violet Soul. Risnes owns two Tarah Jade locations in California.

Tarah Jade just before opening day last June.

Stone plans some minor cosmetic changes inside and new signage outside. The website is still under construction.

And Prost! at 7311 Greenwood Ave. N. has just installed a new sign outside.

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