Where can you sip a delicious coffee and immerse yourself in the college scene without seeming out of place — all while savoring a cream cheese brownie?
SOLSTICE CAFE is this season’s Store to Adore. As reviewed by Seattle Coffee Scene: “Sitting at the edge of the University of Washington, the first thing that hits you when you walk into Solstice is the high energy atmosphere they’ve got going. Regardless what day of the week it is, it-always-feels-like-a-Friday when you’re at Solstice.”
As they say on their website, Solstice offers “coffee, tea, beer, food, art, and events in the heart of the U District…Solstice’s open, inviting atmosphere on The Ave is a favorite among college students who hunker down for long study sessions on rainy evenings…” Says their co-owner Joel, “We’re an old school coffee shop. We like having a comfortable place for people to hang out.'” For their menu, CLICK HERE.
Cafe Solstice is still overseen by its original owners, Joel and Doug, who opened their first cafe 25 years ago in 1993. That’s the year Mariner‘s pitcher Randy Johnson set a record for 308 strike outs and local legend Nirvana played for their last year including a powerful performance on MTV’s “Unplugged” show. Solstice Cafe opened in the U District 12 years ago in 2006.
- LOCATION: 4116 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105
- HOURS: Sun-Thur 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Fri & Sat until 9:00 p.m.)
- Fresh local coffee, hand-mixed tea, locally brewed beer, wines, and homemade Kombucha? Yes.
- Espresso Cream Cheese Brownies? Yum!
- Patio? Yes!
As many of you know, The Ave in the U District is under assault by City Hall’s misguided obsession with upzones, fueled by profit-motivated developers and landowners who donate to political campaigns. While it makes sense to increase density around the forthcoming light rail station (scheduled for 2021 on Brooklyn Ave), it does not make sense to destroy the funky charms of The Ave by knocking down existing buildings or jacking up rents on small businesses (to pay for higher property taxes caused by the upzones). City Hall should protect, not destroy. City Hall should listen, not dictate. City Hall should embrace, not displace.
Tell Your Councilmembers and the Mayor: Remove The Ave from the upzone legislation.
Fortunately, communities are fighting back. Over 25 community groups are appealing the upzones across the city because ““The City has not adequately assessed the negative impacts of its planned upzones, nor studied reasonable alternatives to upzoning to create affordable housing, nor has the city accompanied its plan with measures to prevent displacement of longtime residents and small businesses, loss of tree canopy, loss of open space, and the loss of historic buildings that inevitably will result”. For an update from Outside Seattle Hall (Seattle Displacement Coalition), CLICK HERE.
In addition, small businesses formed “Save the Ave” which funded a study by former City Council President Peter Steinbrueck. For his presentation to City Council, CLICK HERE (and scroll to item #8). For the entire 40-page report, CLICK HERE. Based on the key findings (65% of its businesses are women or minority owned), City Hall should NOT upzone The Ave.
In another perplexing move, Metro, SDOT, and Sound Transit are forbidding buses from delivering transit riders directly to the new light rail station. How? They are making Brooklyn 12 inches too short. Don’t let them. To take the survey and demand “Buses on Brooklyn” CLICK HERE and tell Dow Constantine firstname.lastname@example.org (who runs Metro) and City Councilmember Rob.Johnson@seattle.gov who oversees SDOT (from the City Council’s Transportation Committee). Both Constantine and Johnson sit on the Sound Transit Board. Don’t let them screw up the light rail station at Brooklyn like officials screwed up the station at Husky Stadium by cutting off express bus lines and making residents with mobility challenges (such as senior citizens) walk over the long bridge to the light rail.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Learn more about the U District. Stroll through Farmers Market Saturday mornings. Engage the many groups: University District Community Council, the U District Partnership (formerly the Chamber of Commerce), the alternative Small Businesses Directory (associated with Save the Ave and the U District Square campaigns), and the City / University Community Advisory Committee (CUCAC). Fill up at the diverse eateries such as Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe, Persepolis, and Portage Bay Cafe. Adore stores such as The Trading Musician, Gargoyles Statuary, and Artist & Craftsman Supply as well as the Henry Museum and Burke Museum. In short, you can spend an entire day exploring the U District, starting your morning with espresso at Bulldog News or Solstice Cafe and ending it with beer & pizza at Big Time Brewery. To Save the Ave, contact email@example.com and write all 9 of your City Councilmembers at firstname.lastname@example.org .