Best Pocket Neighborhoods: Lakewood Park

By Sheila Cain


April 1, 2017

This article originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of Seattle Magazine.

If residents of the Seward Park neighborhood near Lakewood Park run out of milk, eggs or even ice cream, picking up those supplies is an easy trip down to the neighborhood pet store.

Yes, the pet store. When PCC relocated its Seward Park store to Columbia City in 2015, Ideal Pet Stop (5044 Wilson Ave. S) began selling essentials from two refrigerated cases near the register to save locals a trip east.

“Sure, the new PCC is just a mile away,” says Scott Levine, Ideal Pet Stop’s manager, but traffic and parking can make the short trip challenging.
The store stocks pet supplies as well, of course, and a cork board near the entrance serves as a hub for area residents, offering dog walking, pet sitting and other animal-related services.

Photo by Hayley Young
Hanging out at Raconteur

Nearby Caffe Vita fulfills the pocket neighborhood coffee shop requirement, while Third Place Books, which opened last May in the old PCC building, offers another community gathering place. The bookstore’s philosophy is all about creating that communal “third place” away from home and office; neighbors can come here to browse books, and also share a meal with a friend at Raconteur, the restaurant/bar/coffee shop located within the store and run by the owners of Flying Squirrel Pizza Company, located just a half mile north.

Just off the main drag, Wilson Avenue S (onto which most of the neighborhood businesses front), Bent Burgers —which claims to offer the best burgers in the South End—pairs its comic book decor with a hero-themed menu featuring burgers such as The Lone Ranger, Batman & Robin and The Thing, Dun Dun Dun!

Whimsical dinner plates and vases share space with a felt warthog piggy bank at home decor boutique Bayle & Co., opened in December by Michele Bayle, owner of Columbia City’s Wink Eyewear and an eponymous interior design business.

Housing is a mix of mid-century single-family homes—many brick—that become more stately as the terrain heads east downhill to the Lake Washington waterfront.

Parents and childcare providers will appreciate the nearby Lakewood Park playground, where kids can work off their Bent Burger Storm Shakes—hand-dipped to order. Or head a mile to the east to 300-acre Seward Park, which offers a 2.4-mile bike and walking path, beaches and miles of hiking trails.

Photo by Hayley Young
Third Place Books opened last May and is a community centerpoint for Lakewood Park

Photo by Hayley Young
Lakewood Park playground

Snapshot: Lakewood Park
Location: In the Seward Park neighborhood, along Wilson Avenue S between S Hudson Street and S Mayflower Street
Average home price: $760,000
Appreciation: 13.4 percent
Walk score: 58/100
School and score: Hawthorne Elementary (3/10), Mercer Middle School (9/10), Franklin High School (6/10)
Public transportation: Metro’s bus No. 50 passes through this commercial neighborhood along Wilson Avenue, with service south to Columbia City and north through SoDo and on to West Seattle. Route nos. 36 and 120 also serve the neighborhood.

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