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In concurrence with national non-profit One Warm Coat’s “Warm Coats & Warm Hearts” promotion, our very own Café Flora in the Madison Park/Madison Valley neighborhood is extending their Cafe Flora happy hour beverages for the month of January.

So far, One Warm Coat’s partner for the drive, Burlington Coat Factory, has received over 114,000 donated coats since the beginning of November. The drive continues through January 21st at Burlington Coat Factory stores around the U.S., and Madison Park’s Café Flora has gotten in with their very own support of the cause to keep those in need warm.

Bring your lightly used or new winter coats to Café Flora throughout January and receive discounted drinks at Cafe Flora happy hour prices Monday through Thursday. You’ll be getting a head start on your spring cleaning, helping those cold and less fortunate, and enjoying a break on prices all at once!

Back in March of this year, it was reported that the Volunteer Park Conservatory may be required to close because of budget cuts. Built in 1912, the conservatory celebrated its centennial this summer as well. Luckily for the historic building, as well as its hundreds of plants and many fans and visitors, the City of Seattle announced recently that the Conservatory will remain open.

Amidst other Parks and Recreation budget cuts, there was a concern that the cost of keeping the Conservatory open and running, about $450,000 per year, was not sustainable. However, the city’s recently approved operating budget updated the inclusions for the Conservatory to a more sustainable financial model.

In addition to the annual cost of running the place, critical structural repairs are necessary to maintain the hundred-year-old building. As the City noted in its announcement, the new budget for the Volunteer Park icon includes $2.3 million of the $3.1 million needed for the repairs. Individual donors have given thousands of dollars toward the remaining $750,000 needed for the restoration of the Conservatory.

Friends of the Conservatory and other volunteer efforts have been critical toward the sustainability of the Volunteer Park Conservatory. Alongside the donations for the repairs on the building, there will be a $4 entrance fee charged per visitor to support maintenance and education programs.

The Volunteer Park Conservatory holds tropical plants that have been collected and maintained over the 100 years of the building’s existence, and offers classes, day camps, events, and more for the neighborhood, Seattle community, and out-of-town visitors.

“As of early November, more than 100,000 people had visited the Conservatory this year, about two-thirds of them from outside Seattle. The Conservatory is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; it is also a City landmark and one of the few remaining original Victorian public glass houses in the country,” the city noted in its announcement.

As a side note, the Volunteer Park Express holiday display has been featured in the Conservatory since December 7th for the holidays. Visit in time to see it before Jan. 1st when it will be removed. Read more about the train in the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog.

Madison Park Seattle is a great neighborhood to be a part of, and we feel lucky to be here. We’re wishing you the most of holiday joys and memories to be made this season, from Christmas day and into the New Year!

Merry Christmas to all of the residents and businesses that make Madison Park Seattle a safe and fun place to be – we look forward to sharing your stories and news in 2013.

Rovers Restaurant, located at 2808 East Madison Street, in the Madison Valley neighborhood, will be turning off the lights and closing the doors for good come April. After 25 years in business chef Rautureau decided it was time to pull the plug and move onto other opportunities. The restaurant will not be sold. Last year chef Rautureau had signed a one year extension on his current lease and was faced this year with having to renew the lease for 10 years. That apparently was not something Rautureau was interested in doing. Come April, when Rovers finally does close, it will be going out on top, as it was voted the #1 restaurant for food and service in Seattle by Zaggat’s. Congratulations to chef Rautureau, and thanks for all your years of service.