Tag Archives: Reopening

Mexican American Family Restaurant — and Only Gay Bar on Beacon Hill — Making a Comeback

by Mark Van Streefkerk 

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.

Continue reading Mexican American Family Restaurant — and Only Gay Bar on Beacon Hill — Making a Comeback

PHOTO ESSAY: Community Gathers for Two-Day ‘Welcome Back’ Celebration at Hing Hay Park

by Ronnie Estoque

The Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area (CIDBIA) and the City of Seattle collaborated to host a celebration of local culture and food at Hing Park on Saturday, July 17, and Sunday, July 18. The weekend was also the inaugural event of “Welcome Back Weeks,” which was organized by the City of Seattle with the goal of bringing small businesses, workers, and visitors back to the downtown area after nearly a year and a half of restrictions. As part of “Welcome Back Weeks,” over $300,000 has been invested into small businesses, artists, and nonprofits , which all have experienced significant hardship during the pandemic. 

The two-day event featured live music and performances from local artists from the community, which attracted sizable crowds. The event also offered attendees the opportunity to receive either a Johnson & Johnson or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which was administered by representatives from the Seattle Fire Department (SFD). The CIDBIA will be hosting another Summer CID Food Walk from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 31. Events such as this have been planned to spur more community support for locally owned restaurants and businesses that are rebounding from the economic impacts of the pandemic.

This Saturday, July 24, “Welcome Back Weeks” will continue with an event starting at 10:30 a.m. at Pioneer Square, which will be followed up the next day at Westlake starting at 11 a.m. For more information about “Welcome Back Weeks,” visit the Office of the Mayor’s “Seattle’s Equitable Recovery” webpage.

Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Community Gathers for Two-Day ‘Welcome Back’ Celebration at Hing Hay Park

Live Music Returns to South End Venues

by Mark Van Streefkerk

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. 

Continue reading Live Music Returns to South End Venues

PHOTO ESSAY: First Weekend of ‘Reopening’ in South Seattle

by Susan Fried

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.  

Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: First Weekend of ‘Reopening’ in South Seattle