Thursday, June 19, 2008

Phinney-Greenwood New Business Round Up

By Travis Warren
[This post is from the current edition of the Phinney Ridge Review]

Thanks to the many new local businesses popping up along Greenwood and down 65th. this summer the Phinney-Greenwood neighborhood is filled with new possibilities for adults and children looking to learn, play, shop, drink, remodel or enjoy a meal.

First off, on the Phinney-Greenwood corridor a new café opened its doors in March at 8560 Greenwood Ave. The Sip and Ship is the second location... for this unique combination coffeehouse, gift shop and shipping center. Like its sister store in Ballard, the Greenwood Sip and Ship has a decidedly local feel. Upon entering you might notice the Greenwood gear in the boutique area to your right, while to the left there is a full service café stocked with local pastries and coffee from Olympia-based roaster, Batdorf and Bronson. Continuing on to the back of the store, a customer can ship packages at the shipping counter, set up a private mailbox or peruse the local art hanging on the ample wall space.

If you’re in the area without a package to ship or a coffee craving but you do have a toddler who’s full of energy, you might consider stopping by Playmatters on Greenwood at 77th. Playmatters is an 1100 square foot activity- focused facility, offering games, toys, and space geared towards children five and under. Owner Val Anker has applied her 20 years of experience working with children to the facility. From the organic cleaning products she uses to the various workshops offered in the evenings, Playmatters is an excellent resource for both parents and children. Playmatters is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for drop in visits and Sunday for events.

After witnessing the bright greens, oranges and purples of Playmatters you might be inspired to create a bright new play space of your own. The folks at Space: a Design Build Collective have opened a new showroom on 76th and Greenwood and will be happy to help you with all aspects of your project. At the Space Design Center a person can expect to find advice and services on topics as varied as ecologically friendly building materials to the details of feng shui design. A design consultation onsite is available at a fraction of the cost of an at-home visit. The professionals who make up the collective offer comprehensive resources for any building or décor related task. The Space Design Center is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and by appointment Tuesday and Wednesday.

Traveling a little further south onto Phinney, Chef Tokara has some unique catering options for those who have perhaps just finished their dream remodel and are looking to entertain friends and family. Tokara Japanese Confectionery is located at 6208 Phinney Ave. If you peak through the gate you’ll be greeted by the sight of the sweetest Zen garden this side of the Arboretum. The confectionery is open only on certain days every year, generally coinciding with the dates of Japanese festivals. Those in search of traditional Japanese confections need not wait for the doors to open however, as Chef Tokara’s creations can be pre-ordered for special events or be found around Seattle at various cafés and restaurants.

Delicious Japanese confections may make a person thirsty and brew master Joel Vandenbrink is doing his best to quench that thirst at Two Beers Brewing Company. Located on 49th and Aurora, Two Beers is a distribution only brewery filling kegs and the occasional growler for local beer lovers. Currently available at the Park Pub, beer enthusiasts can expect to find the Crooked Belgium Wit, Two Beers’ seasonal offering. In addition to a rotating seasonal, Joel will also be filling kegs with his 20/20 Blonde Ale and Immersion Amber Ale, offered year round. Look for the fledgling brewery at this year’s Washington Brewers Festival at St. Edwards Park over Father’s Day weekend.

If Two Beers’ malted delights have made you thirsty for another tasty brew or if you’re looking for a fine establishment to enjoy a friendly football (soccer) match on the television, The Dray might be the place for you. Just opened on corner of NW 65th and 7th The Dray offers coffee, pastries and sandwiches for the whole family from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., while catering to the 21 and older crowd from 9 p.m. until close. Much of the décor includes custom touches from local artisans and free wifi is available. Co-owner and bartender Travis Eaton will be standing by to serve a latte, pour a pint or fill a growler.

It’s been theorized that Asian-inspired tapas and beers go together just as well as soccer and beers but if you’re not one to take an expert’s word for it, the Dray’s next door neighbor, the Tiger Tail will give you a chance to test the theory for yourself. The Tiger Tail offers a full bar with an extensive list of saki and eight beers on tap. Stop in for an impressive $1 PBR happy hour offering from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and all day Sunday and stay to enjoy the Asian flavored décor and local art.

A day’s worth of playing, designing and drinking might finally lead a hungry neighborhood resident to Il Giardino, an Italian eatery just on the same block as The Dray and Tiger Tail. Il Giardino offers a full bar, patio dining on sunny days, as well as two floors of indoor seating. Live music can be heard on Fridays complementing the full traditional Italian menu.

With so many new businesses opening in the Phinney-Greenwood area, local residents are going to be hard pressed as to where to spend their time. Luckily, rain or shine, there’s something new to try no matter what you’re in the market for.

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