Another New Restaurant Downtown

Yet another new restaurant, Henry’s Tavern, is scheduled to open August 30th at Lincoln Square. Henry’s Tavern is best known for its wide selection of beers on tap, its frosted bar rail to keep beers cold and a vast menu. This will be the sixth Henry’s Tavern for Restaurants Unlimited, Inc.

logo-henrys

 

Henry’s opened in Portland in 2004 and expanded to Seattle in 2013 with a Sodo location. This is the second Bellevue location for Restaurants Unlimited, Inc.  –  the other is Palomino. The restaurant will be 11,000+ square feet with a 700 square foot patio and a keg wall – a two tiered glass cooler that has all kegs on display.

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Ice Cream Season

ice cream

flickr/gordonramsaysubmissions

The last couple of warm-ish days got me thinking about ice cream. The big news, and I will make a trip to Capital Hill, is Portland’s Salt & Straw ice cream shop opening in the Capital Hill. Downtown Bellevue is missing a signature ice cream shop.

A long time downtown Bellevue resident, I remember the Baskin & Robbins ice cream shop downtown. Along with the Dairy Queen (both have been gone for years) these were the two “go to” stops for ice cream in the summer. Ben & Jerry’s is inside Bellevue Square and there are several places you can find gelatto,  frozen yogurt or a milkshake, no destination ice cream shop in downtown Bellevue anymore.

The weather was great and we spent a lot of time outdoors this weekend walking the dogs and enjoying the colorful blooms downtown. It was fun to sit outside with a cup of coffee but it would have been fabulous to sit outside with a yummy cone of ice cream. I’m looking forward to summer and hopefully the arrival of a pop-up ice cream shop.

Magic Season Skating Rink

skatersReady or  not, the year end holidays and 2017 are just around the corner. That means Snowflake Lane, lighted wreaths on Main Street and the Bellevue Magic Season events are just a month away. One of the season’s favorite events, the outdoor skating rink, will temporarily be relocated to Ashwood Park this year due to construction at the Downtown Park.

The skating rink will be open November 25th through January 8th with food and beverage concessions, music and special events. More information about transportation and parking is available from the City of Bellevue or Bellevue Downtown Association. The library will provide complimentary parking n its garage. Admission is $12 for ages 9+ and $9 under age 8 which includes skate rental. Cash, credit and debit cards accepted.

 

Its Your City

BELLGATE  - sculpture by Lee Kelley

Small things can make a big difference and making even a small effort every day can have a big impact on the quality of where you live. Next time you’re walking to dinner or the movies, spending time with your kids in the park or walking your dog, take a minute to make a difference.

  • There is no Poop Fairy! Make it a habit to pick up more poop. Certainly clean up after your own dog but carry an extra bag on your next dog walk and pick up someone else’s dog’s poop.
  • Report it if you see a problem. Did a truck lose some of its gravel load in the street? Has overgrown landscaping blocked a sidewalk? Is a clogged storm drain overflowing? Its quick and easy to report problems using the MyBellevue app on your phone. Touch the “new request” button to report a problem or to request a service.
  • While the City of Bellevue does a great job maintaining the city’s parks, landscape and maintenance staff can’t be everywhere all the time (see Poop Fairy above). Lend a hand  –  if you see trash left behind, pick it up and place it in the closest trash can.
  • SLOW DOWN! As Bellevue’s residential and employment population grows so do the number of pedestrians on the streets. As a courtesy and to keep our streets safe, slow down, pay attention, look twice before making that right-turn-on-red and NO cell phone use or texting. The city is full of people young and old, bike riders, children and pets  –  keep everyone safe.
  • Get to know your neighbors. Watch out for one anther, children and pets. You could discover a new friend, baby sitter, dog walker and maybe something new about your neighborhood.
  • Volunteer. Check with local non-profit organizations and the City of Bellevue website for volunteer opportunities.
  • Unfortunately one of the hazards of a growing city is an increase in homelessness. Next time you see someone who is obviously homeless, make eye contact, smile, say hello. Acknowledgement of another person can make their day. Carry $5 Starbucks cards and occasionally hand them out  –  the ability to buy a hot drink or sandwich for someone who doesn’t have the means to do so could make a big difference.
  • Shop local. Support the many locally owned stores and restaurants throughout Bellevue. Visit area farmers markets.
  • VOTE! There’s no better way to make your voice heard.

A New Downtown Fire Station

fire-engine-sign

Flickr/Andrew Siguenza

As downtown Bellevue grows, so does the need for expanded life, fire and property emergency response. The Bellevue Fire Department, after completing an extensive study to examine how to meet the city’s current and future needs, has proposed construction of a new Fire Station 10. The City Council has approved funds for property acquisition for Fire Station 10 in the 2015-2021 Capital Investment Program. The proposed site for the new station is on the west side of 112th Avenue NE and NE 12th Street, just north of McCormick Park. The 2.82 acre site will not affect McCormick Park.

Downtown’s residential population is expected to increase to 19,000 by 2030 and the city’s employment base is expected to grow to 70,000+ by 2030. The Fire Department’s goal is to reduce the target travel time to the increasing number of high-rise residential and commercial buildings and ensure quick response times for the nearby neighborhoods of Northtowne, Bel-Red, Northwest and West Bellevue and Wilburton.

Construction of Fire Station 10 is scheduled for 2019 and will take approximately 18 months with an occupancy date in 2021. For more information about Fire Station 10 visit the City of Bellevue’s website at www.ci.bellevue.wa.us.

Plan Ahead for Traffic Revisions

detour-signWith so many buildings under construction and, along with staging and construction of the light rail system, there are going to be temporary and long term delays and detours in and around downtown Bellevue. Here are the current long term detours to watch for in the coming months.

  • 120th Avenue between Bel-Red Road (NE 12th Street) and Northup Way (NE 20th Street) will be closed through April 2017 for construction of a new light rail bridge.
  • 110th Avenue NE from Main Street and 112th Avenue SE to 110th Avenue NE/NE 6th Street will have ongoing closures through late 2016 for installation of light rail tunnel monitoring equipment.
  • NE 2nd Place from 110th  Avenue NE to 111th  Avenue NE will be closed through 2018 for use as a staging area for Sound Transit

There will likely be other occasional closures in the coming months, so be patient and flexible with your route planning and timing – trips could take a few minutes longer than expected.

 

Post Office Moves this Weekend

For as long as I can remember, and I’ve lived in Bellevue for over 30 years, the post office has been located downtown at the corner of NE 12th Street and Bellevue Way. Long overdue for either a major face lift or new building, the downtown Bellevue post office will be moving to its new digs this weekend. Starting Monday, September 12th you can buy stamps, ship packages and access your post office box at the new location just east of I-405 at the corner of Bel-Red Road and 124th Avenue NE (the former Land Rover dealership). Most services will be available through Saturday and hopefully everything will be up and running starting Monday.

I will miss the convenience of having the post office downtown within a block of my home, but definitely won’t miss the giant potholes in the parking lot.