Madison Park Scene


By Megan Hill

Originally conceived and crowdfunded — unsuccessfully — in fall 2016 as a Capitol Hill fine-dining restaurant called Galerie 23, chef Rob Sevcik’s restaurant project has been scaled back and is now set to open later this month in Madison Valley as Petite Galerie. He’ll preview the food with dinners held February 14 to 17.

Sevcik has spent time in Thierry Rautureau’s kitchens, including now-defunct Rover’s. Last summer, Sevcik left his role as chef de cuisine at Rautureau’s fancy French restaurant Loulay to start work on his own venture. Sevcik set lofty goals to raise $325,000 through an Indiegogo campaign, but the fundraiser fell significantly short, netting only one percent of the total. Sevcik’s Capitol Hill location also fell through.

With those plans scrapped, Sevcik instead renovated the former Oh Chocolates space at 3131 E Madison St. in Madison Valley. Sevcik says to expect an “elegant brasserie serving lunch and dinner” and a menu of “French-influenced New American” food with approachable pricing.

The dinner menu will include small plates — hinted at by the “Petite” in the restaurant’s name — with plenty of options for various dietary preferences. Dishes are divided into four categories, including “land” and “heaven” sections that most diners will recognize as meat and dessert. Diners can choose to eat family-style, select dishes to be coursed out, or simply ask to be placed in the chef’s hands based on preferences and proclivities.

Lunch will be slightly less abstruse, with open-faced sandwiches, soups, salads, quiches, and chilled seafood options like crab, tuna, prawns, and lobster. Sevcik is also planning to offer an Italian soda that diners mix at the table.

Sevcik is offering invite-only preview dinners to select diners from February 14 through 17. Diners can order from an a la carte menu or choose a four-course meal priced at $95 per person; both options include free beverage pairings. Items range from whole lobster with saffron butter to seared wagyu rib caps to roasted whole quail. To request an invitation, interested parties are encouraged to call the restaurant at (206) 588-1682.

Syndicated from

By Ryan Murray

The Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit corridor is still at least three years away, but plans are becoming more concrete.

At a First Hill Improvement Association meeting at Virginia Mason Medical Center, Eric Tweit from the Seattle Department of Transportation focused in on some details of the corridor but also gave an overview of the project.

“There have been lots of delays for buses traveling on Madison,” he said. “The corridor is a historically underserved area.”

The Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit project, also known as the RapidRide G Line is intended to speed up transit from east Seattle to Downtown and back. The line will start near the ferries and 1st Avenue, split going Eastbound on Spring Street and Westbound on Madison Street before joining again near Terry Avenue. It will continue over First Hill and into the Madison Valley.

The next big hurdle for the project is to secure federal grant funding from the Federal Transit Administration, by no means a sure thing. However, the administration has approved Seattle’s environmental assessment document.

“Obviously we are hoping for that grant,” Tweit said. “But we have other strategies without that grant. But would it be fully funded or built in stages? That’s something we would have to determine.”

Other funding is coming from the Levy to Move Seattle and Sound Transit 3. The total estimated cost of the project is $120 million.

The major agenda item for the project locally is to work with business owners and other stakeholders to create a construction phasing schedule.

Between 1st Avenue and 8th Avenue, and again between 15th and 17th Avenues, the buses on the line would use shared business access/transit lanes. Between 6th Avenue and 15th Avenue, the route would split off into transit-only lanes. From 17th Avenue to Martin Luther King Jr. Way, the buses would merge into general purpose lanes.

At the height of the line’s usage (Monday through Saturday between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.) buses are scheduled every six minutes. On off hours, Sundays or holidays, that drops to every 15 minutes. RapidRide G will run from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Residents of First Hill were specific on questions, asking about wheelchair-accessible ramps at certain intersections.

The corridor will prohibit the left-hand turn onto Terry Avenue from Madison Street going Eastbound, prompting some concerns from business-owners on Terry. A crosswalk near the IHOP on East Madison Street and 10th Avenue was proposed.

“We almost never put a crosswalk across a four lane street,” Tweit said. “It’s definitely been discussed, but it’s far from a done deal.”

Much of the project is far from done. Throughout 2018, the city will reach out to the public. The project final design is expected this summer, and construction documents and permits are scheduled for the fall.

Construction is scheduled to begin early 2019 on the corridor, and last until late winter 2020. The line is tentatively planned to begin service in early 2021. Planning on the project began in 2014.

Syndicated from The Madison Park Times

By Ryan Murray

Some Madison Valley residents are raising issues with a long-standing plan regarding the new State Route 520 bridge across the Washington Park Arboretum.

Jim Crutcher, a Broadmoor resident, said that the Washington Department of Transportation’s plan to demolish an eastbound on-ramp to 520 will be one to bite them, and residents, in the aftermath.

“Anybody wanting to get onto 520 from Madison Park will have to go all the way up to Montlake,” he said. “Traffic is going to be abysmal on Montlake.”

WSDOT’s plan to eliminate the on-ramp to help return the Arboretum to a green space is well-intentioned but misguided, Crutcher said. Traffic on Montlake Avenue East, 24th Avenue East and Lake Washington Boulevard will back up into the Arboretum regardless, he said.

Steve Peer, spokesman for the 520 project, said that things might be a little difficult for a while as Montlake is expanded, but ultimately traffic will flow correctly and cars will be out of the Washington Park Arboretum.

“We’ve been in contact with groups for about a decade about that,” he said. “We’ll be making several enhancements during the “Montlake Phase.” The on-ramp wouldn’t be able to be used anyway with the new bridge.”

The new bridge is considerably higher than the on-ramp to be demolished, and Peer said the cost to replace it is prohibitive. The Montlake Phase “includes a new Montlake interchange, a block-long lid covering the freeway, a land bridge to carry bicyclists and pedestrians over the highway, and the eastbound half of the SR 520 west approach bridge,” according to WSDOT documents.

More than 75,000 drivers traverse 520 each day, and 60,000 go north and south on Montlake, making the intersection of the two a high-priority section of Seattle’s transportation infrastructure, Peer said.

Work to demolish the ramp is scheduled tentatively for winter of 2018, but construction bids will determine the exact schedule. WSDOT is planning for four years of construction on the Montlake phase.

“We’re looking forward to building a big transportation hub,” Peer said. “When we unveil this thing  four or five years from now, it will be a net gain for the motorists on 520 and Montlake, but also for the neighborhood.”

Syndicated from

By Ranji Sinha

How about being greeted with graffiti in the New Year??

That’s the situation for several homeowners in one Seattle neighborhood. Some of them alerted KIRO 7 to a few acts of vandalism, and our crews ended up finding some more.

Most of it was graffiti, and graffiti of any type carries a message, but the messages in the Madison Valley section of Seattle appeared to target certain homes with phrases such as “Eat the Rich” and “Yuppies.”

Graffiti art is in the eye of the beholder, but when the message writ large on someone’s home is “Eat the Rich” or advocates hurting police with the phrase “Kill Cops” or highlights anarchists, the message and messengers can seem clear.

The graffiti found New Year’s Day targeted new or renovated properties in the Madison Valley, and at least one piece of graffiti defaced a sign for an empty lot where homes haven’t even been built.

One homeowner who asked that we not use his name says he spent New Year’s Day wiping away the graffiti in his front yard.

“Saw it happen to a neighbor three blocks down, somebody had written ‘eat the rich’ on this house. So we were coming back from a walk from the Arboretum and saw as we came somebody had written ‘Kill Cops’ on our fence.”

He says that he recognizes the political bent from phrases like “Eat the Rich” but also wonders if the political message could be sent without defacing someone’s home.

“I empathize with a lot of things that are happening in the world, but I don’t think that’s the right approach.”

Other vandalism included a smashed pickup truck window.

All of it bothered Mario Estany, who says he’s lived near 29th Avenue East for 11 years, kept an eye on things, even cleaned his own street, only to see furniture dumped on corners, and now spray-painted properties,

“I sweep because I love to do community service … It’s so wrong,” he said of the graffiti.

Estany says the lesson to not deface things came at an early age in his native Cuba.

“I want to write something on the walls in my house in Cuba. They say, ‘NO, you have paper!’”

Madison Valley has seen changes that some would call gentrification. Newer homes, new construction and some remodeling are the norm, and in 2018, Seattle is poised to keep changing in a similar fashion, and some class conflict could come with it.

The person who wrote the graffiti decrying the wealthy or relatively well-to-do and the new resident in a new home who has to clean it may both think “There goes the neighborhood.”

Estany’s solution for both is simple: “Paint something beautiful.”

Residents said the Seattle Police Department took photos to catalog the graffiti. Seattle Police did respond to several reported incidents in the areas of 29th and 30th Ave East.

Syndicated from