Best Neighborhoods: Rainier Avenue South, Columbia City

From South Edmunds Street to South Dawson Street, a peek at a small town in the Seattle's South End.

Bike-riding, Berkeley-style globalistas

If Mayberry had an urban soul, it might look like Columbia City. The high charm quotient comes from the old-style street clock and painted benches, plus cute flower shop KC’s Flowers, all-day breakfast hangout Geraldine’s Counter, butcher shop Bob’s Quality Meats, multiple-screen movie house Columbia City Cinema and a rail station a couple of blocks away (albeit tarted up with light-rail technology and two giant public-art magnifying glasses). Its urban edge resides in offerings like the Columbia City Gallery, Columbia City Farmers’ Market (late April to October) and ethnic restaurants, from Island Soul Caribbean Cuisine to the Thai spot Spice Room.

Full Tilt Columbia City Seattle


EAT/DRINK: Head to La Medusa, meanwhile, for classic Sicilian specialties (salt cod fritters) and event menus that entice. At Columbia City Ale House, lip-smacking sandwiches—steak, tuna melt, blackened salmon—meet thirst-quenching brews, while Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria makes thin-crust pies in a family-friendly setting. There’s much to admire at Columbia City Bakery, where bread baker extraordinaire Evan Andres also creates splendid cakes and pastries. (Especially delectable is the nicely chilled Tres Leche coconut pastry). Empire Espresso Bar has good java and Mighty-O Donuts—and $5 waffles on the weekends. Should you feel guilty about indulging at Full Tilt Ice Cream (pictured), cone-based calories can be worked off at one of the 25-cent pinball machines. You know a local watering hole like Lottie’s Lounge has heart when it hosts a Bloody Mary brunch (including a hangover Monday service) with alcohol-absorbing Mexican chilaquiles and Chardonnay eggs Benedict. Heading to Columbia City Theater for some live music? Stop in for creative concoctions and Southern-style food at The Bourbon Bar, its new in-house restaurant/watering hole. From the owner of Queen Anne’s popular Chinoise Cafe comes prettily executed sushi plus Spam-fried rice and complimentary edamame at Wabi-Sabi Sushi Bar & Restaurant.

SHOP: For affordable bikes, repairs ($25 tune-ups) and free fix-it classes for children, pedal over to Bike Works. At Retroactive Kids, youngsters will be absorbed by the classic toys and parents will love the adorable duds. Visit Andaluz for cool clothes, gifts and accessories, including fetching fedoras, locally designed jewelry and Kitten Camaro wallets. Gather Consignment provides a boutique-style setting for contemporary women’s clothing and home décor.

SERVICES: If you’re inclined to stay in Columbia City for a prolonged visit, The Shirley Marvin Hotel can put you up in a vintage, newly refurbished extended-stay suite.  

La Medusa Columbia CityLa Medusa

>>Andaluz (4908 Rainier Ave. S; 206.760.1900;
>> Bike Works (3709 S Ferdinand St.; 206.725.9408;
>> Bob’s Quality Meats (4861 Rainier Ave. S; 206.725.1221)
>> The Bourbon Bar (4916 Rainier Ave. S; 206.420.8285;
>> Columbia City Ale House (4914 Rainier Ave. S; 206.723.5123;
>> Columbia City Bakery (4865 Rainier Ave. S; 206.723.6023;
>> Columbia City Cinema (4816 Rainier Ave. S; 206.721.3156;
>> Columbia City Gallery (4864 Rainier Ave. S; 206.760.9843;
>> Columbia City Theater (4916 Rainier Ave. S; 206.722.3009;
>> Empire Espresso Bar (3829 S Edmunds St.; 206.659.0588;
>> Full Tilt Ice Cream (5041 Rainier Ave. S; 206.226.2740;
>> Gather Consignment (4863 Rainier Ave. S; 206.760.0674;
>> Geraldine’s Counter (4872 Rainier Ave. S; 206.723.2080;
>> Island Soul Caribbean Cuisine (4869 Rainier Ave. S; 206.329.1202;
>> KC’s Flowers (4873 Rainier Ave. S; 206.722.2200;
>> La Medusa (4857 Rainier Ave. S; 206.723.2192;
>> Lottie’s Lounge (4900 Rainier Ave. S; 206.725.0519;
>> Retroactive Kids (4859 Rainier Ave. S; 206.932.3154;
>> The Shirley Marvin Hotel (3815 S Edmunds St.; 206.922.3656;
>> Spice Room (4909 Rainier Ave. S; 206.725.7090;
>> Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria (4918 Rainier Ave. S; 206.721.3501;
>> Wabi-Sabi Sushi Bar & Restaurant (4909 Rainier Ave. S; 206.721.0212;


Capital One Reimagines Banking With Its First Retail Locations in Seattle

Capital One Reimagines Banking With Its First Retail Locations in Seattle

The new Capital One Café brings banking and living together
| Posted
A rendering of the new Capital One Cafe

Sponsored by Capital One

Residents and workers in Bellevue and South Lake Union neighborhoods will soon be doing their banking Seattle-style—in a new community space, hanging out, drinking coffee and taking care of business—as Capital One brings its new Capital One Café concept to Seattle in 2017.

The Capital One Café is an entirely new approach to banking in the Seattle region, providing a space where individuals can recharge their bank accounts, devices and lives while learning new ways to manage their finances, try innovative digital and financial tools, and grab a great cup of coffee. The Café is intended to serve as a community hub and the open layout will have a range of lounge seating and work spaces. Throw in free Wi-Fi and the resulting mix invites people to relax, get some work done, host study groups or community meetings, learn about finances, or just hang out with friends.

“We know industries are being disrupted by bold technologies and banking is no exception,” said Ryan Laudenbach, Seattle Market Lead for Capital One Café. “Customers want a swift, convenient banking experience, and sometimes, they want a personal connection, too. Our Capital One Cafés blend these needs giving individuals the ability to bank on their own terms.”

The newly announced second Capital One Café location will open in South Lake Union (333 Westlake Ave.), home to a growing number of top technology and life science companies, giving workers an extension to their offices or just a place for that area’s mobile workforce to take a break.

The Bellevue Capital One Café, located at The Bellevue Collection in the Lincoln Square Expansion along Bellevue Way (418 Bellevue Way NE), will be approximately 7,800 square feet with four ATMs on premise, three nooks and two meeting rooms for customers, partners and community members to use for work space.

Capital One has partnered with Fuji Bakery to provide freshly baked goods with a Japanese artisanal touch delivered from Seattle’s Interbay and International Districts. Each Café will also serve Peet’s handcrafted espresso, coffee and tea beverages.

In addition to bringing the Café concept to Seattle, this October Capital One will host a live streamed #CapXTalk to look beyond the natural confines of ‘finances’ and explore how visionaries are reimagining the role that technology and money play in our day-to-day lives. The panel discussion will include personal finance experts, such as Jake Fuentes, co-founder and CEO of Level Money, Stefanie O’Connell, author of The Broke and Beautiful Life, and Erin Lowry of Broke Millennial. Be sure to watch the live stream at and participate using #CapXTalk on Thursday, October 13 at 10 a.m. PT.