Nancy runs her fingers over silk blouses, linen tunics, then shuts the closet door. Really? It’s the Milagro Bar on Beacon, not Vegas. No need to change out of jeans and a tee shirt. She and Barb are catching Margo Largo’s first set over a few drinks.
Still, it’s her birthday tomorrow. 71. Not a milestone like 70 or 75. She would be okay skipping it altogether, but Barb insists.“Let’s celebrate your birthday for a whole week.”
Nancy’s never been afraid of getting old, but the latest changes in her body feel more like subtractions than additions.
Baja Bistro is coming back. For almost 25 years it was North Beacon Hill’s longest-running neighborhood Mexican restaurant — and eventually became its one and only gay bar. But Baja was forced to close last summer during the pandemic. Now they’ve secured a new location: the ground floor of the new Colina Apartments. “The ball is rolling,” said owner Oscar Castro.
Family-owned Beacon Hill restaurants Baja Bistro and Kusina Filipina were known for more than just their delicious, authentic recipes. Their customers and neighbors were welcomed like family when they came to dine. That was partly why the loss of both restaurants was so painful. After a change in building ownership led to a rent hike, the Paraiso family closed Kusina in 2017, and Baja shuttered after 25 years in 2020 due to the pandemic. The closures also reflected the decades-long trend of displacement and gentrification in Seattle. With the support of the Beacon Business Alliance (BBA) and a community-minded developer, these two legacy restaurants are planning to reopen in the same neighborhood they were previously forced out of.
Baja and CheBogz — the latter is owned by Paraiso family sisters Trixia and Paula — are returning to Beacon Hill, splitting a storefront space in the new Colina Apartments.
“It’s almost kind of like a fairy-tale story for People of Color,” Trixia said when reflecting on moving the restaurant back to Beacon Hill. “You don’t really get this opportunity to have a landlord say, ‘We want you guys here so that we can keep this community as diverse as it was before.’”
Bring a lawn chair or blanket and head to El Centro de la Raza in Beacon Hill tonight around 9 p.m. for a screening of Attack The Block, part of a free series of outdoor Black cinema hosted by Sankofa Film Society. Every Saturday night through the end of October, Sankofa will host Black Summer Camp, a series of movies based on the Black experience. Upcoming films include The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Moonlight, Jackie Brown, and much more, ending with Blacula on October 30.
Last spring, restaurants and bars braced themselves against a flurry of rapidly escalating news about the COVID-19 virus that led to a statewide lockdown mid-March. In the midst of so many unknowns, one unfortunate fact was certain: Live music venues were among the first to close. In the months since, it became clear that if they survived, the same venues would be the last to reopen. Now that the state has lifted pandemic restrictions, live music, performance, comedy shows, and even dance parties are returning to South End venues. Here’s what the return of live entertainment will look like for Rumba Notes Lounge, Clock-Out Lounge, and The Royal Room.
The Fourth of July weekend was also the first official weekend that King County dropped all COVID-19 restrictions, and many people in South Seattle were excited to finally go to their favorite places, sit down across from friends and family, and take their masks off (as long as they’d been vaccinated).
Individual businesses could ask customers to wear masks, but many allowed those who had been vaccinated to go mask free, trusting them to be honest about whether they’d been vaccinated or not. Some businesses chose to ask patrons to continue wearing masks while others opted to not fully open.
For many South End residents, things almost felt like they were back to a pre-pandemic normal.
Intentionalist is built on one simple idea: where we spend our money matters. We make it easy to find, learn about, and support small businesses and the diverse people behind them through everyday decisions about where we eat, drink, and shop. #SpendLikeItMatters
LGBTQIA+ small business owners have a lot to be proud of, from overcoming the barriers of being queer and out in the professional world, to navigating the year of pandemic shutdown that shocked the world. Despite it all, they keep going.
Historically, LGBTQIA+-owned businesses and spaces have been places of refuge, of rebellion, and the only places queer people could find other people like them. To this day, our communities gain so much from LGBTQIA+-owned small businesses. Queer business owners create safe, welcoming community spaces, donate profits to LGBTQ+ nonprofit organizations, and queer children have role models to look up to.
LGBTQIA+-owned businesses contribute over $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy, creating good jobs and innovating industries, and building wealth in the LGBTQIA+ community, according to The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Take this opportunity to spend with pride and be intentional about giving money back to LGBTQIA+-owned small businesses.
This month, Intentionalist is teaming up with Seattle Sounders FC, Seattle Storm, Seattle Seahawks, OL Reign, Seattle Mariners, and Seattle Kraken to encourage everyone to Spend With Pride. Upload your receipt from a local LGBTQIA+-owned business to Intentionalist’s website for a chance to win a Pride prize pack from your favorite sports team. If we hit our goal of $25,000, each team will make a donation to support local nonprofit Gender Diversity.
Here are three Seattle-area businesses where we encourage you to Spend With Pride!
Last Thursday, right before the Mariners win over the Texas Rangers, there was a special pregame presentation in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. As part of the presentation, the Mariners recognized important AAPI contributions to the region, honored the founders of Our Stories Are Your Stories, and in a special segment — Salute To Those Who Serve — the team recognized Gene Moy, a 104 year-old Chinese American World War Two veteran.
This Sunday, April 25, the Black Action Coalition (BAC) will be hosting a Black Health and Wealth Fair at Jefferson Park. The event is dedicated to providing the Black community with resources to improve their lives holistically.
Featuring a wide range of vendors, activities, and speakers, the event represents an opportunity to learn of the programs and support systems that exist in Seattle and how to take advantage of them.
Community advocates are fighting on multiple fronts to diminish the harms caused by air and noise pollution in Beacon Hill and South King County.
An upcoming online forum from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 10, Earth Day Aviation & Health Zoom Rally, will give those interested a chance to learn about how local politicians are addressing the problem.