Tag Archives: Columbia City

With Mochaculture, Converge Media Highlights Local Musicians

by Chamidae Ford


On April 2, Converge Media launched its new series: Mochaculture. Hosted by Shaina Shepherd — also the executive producer — the show explores the history of Black musicians while highlighting local Seattle talent along the way.

Mochaculture initially began as a live event pre-COVID-19, but it has since adapted to the current state of the world. 

“I was a musician two years ago, just kind of starting to make my way into bigger clubs. I had just got to know some of the artists that I used to just listen to and be a big fan of, and we would be in our little Columbia City bubble, and I just got the idea of ‘Let’s make a show,’” Shepherd said. “There’s no reason why a venue or a booker can book these people and I can’t, you know — so why not just try it out?” 

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The Art of Moses Sun Reflects Seattle’s Diaspora, Cultures, and Jazz

by Mark Van Streefkerk


It’s been almost three months since Moses Sun finished his mural “Flourish Together” on the south-facing exterior wall of The Columbia City Theater. The ground-to-roof-sized mural is made up of floral designs in gold, green, and light blue, set against an indigo background, with two abstract hands clasped together in the middle. It wasn’t easy working on an outside mural during the rainy months. The process officially started on Dec. 16, with Sun and his team patiently on call, showing up to paint as the weather permitted. Finished in early January, “Flourish Together” pays homage to a space where cross-cultural connections thrive. Since then, Sun has been hard at work, completing another mural for Starbucks in January and sharing dynamic artworks fused with jazz and hip hop on Instagram, and he’ll be part of a Vivid Matter Collective show debuting this week at Vermillion Art Gallery & Bar. Though his next projects are under wraps, expect to see much more from Sun in the coming months. 

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Bartender-Turned-Owner Emily Eberhart Starts a New Chapter for Columbia City Ale House

by Mark Van Streefkerk 


Last year when the Columbia City Ale House announced it was closing its doors for good due to the pandemic, bartender Emily Eberhart knew she had to do something about it. Having worked at the tavern for seven years, Eberhart wasn’t ready to say goodbye to her coworkers and South End community of regulars. Although a global health crisis loomed, Eberhart approached Ale House owner Jeff Eagan and asked to take over the business. He said yes, ushering in a new chapter for the Columbia City watering hole. 

Eberhart remembered last year’s turning point that galvanized her into action: “[Eagan] made a statement about closing forever and my immediate response was, ‘No we’re not.’ I had an amazing group of regulars and people [who] came to me, ‘What are we doing and how are we going to do this? Let’s make it happen.’ I knew the support was there.”

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News Gleams: Oral History Pilot, Community IPAs, Vaccines, Garden Share Events, & More!

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle! 


Image courtesy of Wa Na Wari.

Seattle Black Spatial Histories Institute Pilot Program — Now Accepting Applications!

Application Deadline: March 31

From the source: Wa Na Wari and the Shelf Life Community Story Project are launching the Seattle Black Spatial Histories Institute, a pilot oral history/community story training program.

In 2021, a six-person cohort will explore the ethics, techniques, best practices, tensions, and dilemmas of oral history. The cohort will then practice their new skills by conducting oral history interviews with local community members around three topics. Upon completion of the Institute, cohort members will receive compensation of $4,000 and a certificate of completion.

Continue reading News Gleams: Oral History Pilot, Community IPAs, Vaccines, Garden Share Events, & More!

Intentionalist: Where to Get Your Energy for 2021

by Kristina Rivera

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


As we enter the new year, there’s one thing that’s already clear: We’re going to need our energy to get through it. And what could be more energizing than a carefully crafted cup of coffee from a local South Seattle coffee shop?

Independent coffee shops are so much more than the coffee they serve. Pre-pandemic, they were our go-to meeting spots when we wanted to catch up with a loved one, community organizing spaces, and where we set up our office for the day. It may be awhile until we can fully embrace everything these special neighborhood spaces have to offer, but for now, we can still enjoy a delicious drink made by people who genuinely care.

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Grant Empowers Black and Tan Hall To Purchase Venue and Chart a Path to Reopening in 2021

by M. Anthony Davis


The last time the Emerald  caught up with Black and Tan Hall (B&TH), the South Seattle performing arts and restaurant space deeply rooted in the history of Rainier Valley, we spoke with co-founder Ben Hunter about their Hall-i-Day Party. During that conversation, Hunter mentioned some of the struggles B&TH had been having with leasing their space.  

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Historic L.E.M.S Bookstore Reopens

by Chamidae Ford


Located on Rainier Avenue South, in the heart of Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood, the historic Life Enrichment Bookstore (L.E.M.S) has officially reopened its doors. 

Founded by Vickie Williams over 20 years ago as a bookstore and cultural hub for people to gather, it is one of two Black-owned bookstores in the state. The Vanishing Seattle blog detailed ways L.E.M.S has created an environment for the local community to come together: “[It] held space for African church services, recovery groups, job training for formerly incarcerated folks, and holiday and Kwanzaa bazaars for #blackowned businesses.” For many years, Dr. Maxine Mimms facilitated a monthly community gathering at the bookstore to teach Black history.

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Intentionalist: Mele Kalikimaka From South Seattle

by Laura Clise

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


In my family, the holidays have always been about spending time together. My mom is from the town of Waimea on the island of Kaua‘i where I have fond memories of family visits and, fortunately, video footage of my late grandma dancing Christmas hula. I was raised in Seattle, but when my parents retired, they decided to spend more time with my mom’s side of the family on Kaua‘i — which is admittedly not a terrible place to be as the weather gets chillier here in the Pacific Northwest.

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Community Ramps Up Support for Vietnamese-Owned Coffeeholic House Robbed Last Saturday

by Ronnie Estoque


Chen Dien, owner of Coffeeholic House in Columbia City, knew something was wrong when he received a phone call from his mom last Saturday morning notifying him that the store’s front door had been opened before the business day had begun.

“My heart just dropped,” Dien said. “The key box was destroyed and the key inside was gone. The cash drawer was broken, and all the money was gone.”

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Pho Bo’s Proposed Demolishment for Luxury Apartments Raises Community Concerns

by Ronnie Estoque


Seattle resident Achil Obenza regards Pho Bo in Columbia City as her go-to spot for Vietnamese cuisine. In fact, when her newborn daughter was merely 3 days old, she brought her there alongside her husband for their first family outing. Now the restaurant space is under the threat of being demolished to make way for 71 luxury apartments by a company referred to in the design review documentation as CP Rainier LLC. Construction is projected to begin in spring of 2021 once the design review process is finalized by the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections.

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