Meetup Thursday for LGBTQ business owners in White Center and West Seattle

May 8th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news 1 Comment »

Here’s the announcement for a first-ever event, happening Thursday:

West Seattle/White Center LGBTQ Business Owner Meetup
Thursday, May 11th | 7 pm to 9 pm
Launchpad Co-Working Space,
6030 California Ave SW, West Seattle

It’s about time LGBTQ West Seattle and White Center business owners gathered together for support, networking, and fun! Join us for our first-ever meetup Thursday, May 11th at 7 pm at Launchpad Co-Working space in Morgan Junction. Let’s get to know each other and see what ways we can support each other. This meetup is specifically for those who identify as LGBTQ and are local business owners (all-size businesses, contractors, entertainers/artists). Drinks and appetizers will be provided.

Hosted by Monica Colgan and Autumn Lovewell, owners of Youngstown Coffee, HeartBeet Cafe, and Launchpad.

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FOLLOWUP: Tim’s Tavern announces opening-weekend music lineup

March 20th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Music, White Center news 1 Comment »

When we spoke earlier this month with the co-proprietors of Tim’s Tavern, taking over the ex-Drunky Two Shoes space in downtown White Center, they weren’t ready to announce the music lineup for their opening weekend – but now they are. Here’s the poster and announcement:

The shows must go on! After almost 2 years of searching for a new location, local music champion and legendary live music dive bar Tim’s Tavern is reopening in White Center on March 31st, 2023 with an exceptional line-up of Seattle’s finest musicians.

The grand re-opening festivities include 3 nights full of performances from some of Seattles hottest acts including Marmalade, Grace Love, Asterhouse, Dining Dead, Low Hums, Randy Weeks & The Silent Treatment, and many more.

The new Tim’s (which stands for Together In Music) is located at 9655 16th Ave SW, will feature live music 7 nights a week, all ages shows, a dog friendly patio, and a full menu including plenty of gluten-free and plant-based options. Tim’s will be open from 2pm-12am to start but will be expanding hours in June to offer weekday lunch and live music brunch on weekends.

Co-owner and Chef Mason Reed has spent the last few years preparing meals backstage as a personal chef for many of music’s major artists that have passed through Oregon and Washington. Reed says “We are excited, honored and proud to bring the Tim’s spirit to White Center.”

Please keep an eye on for further updates.

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FOLLOWUP: Opening date set for new home of Tim’s Tavern in White Center

March 5th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Beverages, Businesses, Music, Restaurants, White Center news 5 Comments »

(WCN photo: Matt O’Toole, Mason Reed, and Elvis)

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

The transformation of White Center’s ex-Drunky Two Shoes into the new Tim’s Tavern is about halfway complete.

That’s the assessment of co-owners Matt O’Toole and Mason Reed, who sat down to talk with us this week, one month after they announced they were taking over 9655 16th SW.

They plan to open March 31st. But first, the rest of the transformation. If you ever went to Drunky’s, you might remember the taxidermy. All gone (though the salmon over the front door might stay). Since Tim’s is all about music – “music is our vibe” – they plan to fill the venue with history and memorabilia, new and old. And they’ll keep adding to it.

What has them particularly giddy is the extra space. The original Tim’s Tavern, which closed a year and a half ago in Greenwood, was only 1,000 square feet, they ecplain. Now they have so much room, they plan two music stages – out back with the Airstream bar (which stays), inside in a space dubbed the “Jesus room” – its new decor will be a “shrine to Seattle music history,” and it’ll be for acoustic acts, open mics, weekly trivia (Wednesday nights).

Inside, they’ll feature the sign that previously hung outside their Greenwood location; all new signage is planned outside, arriving soon, so that part of the transformation is close too.

So why White Center? They explain that it took almost two years to find a site that worked – big enough, not close enough to residences to “make the neighbors angry” – but in the end, it turned out to be a place they wanted to model Tim’s Tavern after anyway. Coming out of COVID, they explain, they thought outdoor space would be important, and so they kept telling their real-estate agent to look for someplace “like Drunky’s.” Mason marvels, “This was our model – then it became available!” (It closed rather quietly at the end of January; the Tim’s team says the prior proprietors are focusing on an establishment in Spokane.) Matt adds, “We’re going to put a lot of love in this place.”

They’ll have music seven nights a week, counting open mics on Mondays, with hours expected to be 2 to midnight for starters, then hoping to shift that earlier for lunch by June – White Center has limited lunch options, they note. Once lunch is launched, they’ll go for weekend brunch, “with some entertainment.” And yes, Tim’s will be all-ages, except for some 21+ shows outside. So what kind of food will they serve? Mason is in charge of that, with a resumé including gigs as a “backstage chef” for music stars. “Fun bar food, Northwest pub” is the style, he suggests, later adding that vegan and gluten-free options will be available too. They’ll even have a separate gluten-free fryer. Beverages? “Full wine list, full beer list, some slushies,” and a non-alcoholic cocktail lineup too. They promise it’ll all be “high quality (with) exceptional service” – Mason’s been in the restaurant business for 30 years. (Both co-owners are musicians, by the way.)

We tried to coax them into revealing what’s in store for the opening weekend’s music lineup, but they’re not ready to make the announcements. They do say they plan to book local favorites, mentioning that Billy Joe and the Dusty 45s, for one, will be there every month or so. And their longstanding reputation was as an “incubator,” which means rising stars are likely to be in the mix. So watch for news on the music slate later this month. Till then, as they continue “transforming” their new space, they are impressed by the “great vibe” in White Center, and how welcoming they say everyone’s been so far. They observe that people in White Center are “very proud” of their community, and they hope to be part of the reason for that pride, soon.

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King County announces new program to boost businesses in unincorporated areas including White Center/North Highline

February 9th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Businesses, King County, White Center news Comments Off on King County announces new program to boost businesses in unincorporated areas including White Center/North Highline

Just out of the WCN inbox:

King County Executive Dow Constantine announced today the launch of the Economic Alliance Program, a collaborative effort between the Department of Local Services and community organizations in unincorporated King County. This new program will further help businesses and individuals recover and thrive as the region continues to emerge from the economic slowdown of the last three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The launch of the Economic Alliance Program is a critical step forward in our commitment to promote an equitable recovery for everyone in King County,” said Executive Constantine. “Partnering closely with community organizations throughout unincorporated King County will ensure the needs of businesses and individuals disproportionately impacted by the pandemic are better met and supported.”

The $5.25 million program, which was recommended by Executive Constantine and approved by the King County Council, was developed to address concerns voiced by unincorporated area business leaders and residents that local small businesses needed urgent help, particularly those owned by members of the BIPOC community, women, LGBTQ+, veterans, immigrants/refugees, low-income, limited-English speaking, and those living with disability who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

The Economic Alliance Program will focus on three main areas:

Career Connector: Low-barrier, highly supported workforce development and entrepreneurial training, living-wage career education, subsidized internships, and job placement for workers impacted by COVID-19.

Businesses Builder: Providing technical assistance for small businesses, including accounting, legal support, business planning, and more.

Community Innovator: Offer small business “incubation” resources, including networking opportunities, mentoring resources, and skills-based learning in disproportionately impacted areas of White Center/North Highline and Skyway/West Hill.
This month, Local Services turned to the community to help implement the program and its three elements by contracting with United for a Community Led Economy, a partnership co-founded by representatives of three groups that are embedded in the communities of their respective areas – the White Center Community Development Association, Skyway Coalition, and Comunidad Latina de Vashon.

The Economic Alliance programming that United for a Community Led Economy will foster in the coming months is designed specially to meet the needs and recognize the challenges of businesses and residents in unincorporated King County.

Local Services serves as the local government for residents and businesses in unincorporated King County, including areas such as Skyway, White Center, Vashon Island, East Federal Way, the Snoqualmie Valley, Fall City, Greater Maple Valley, and the Bear Creek/Sammamish areas.

To learn more about the Economic Alliance, visit

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WHITE CENTER BIZNOTE: Drunky’s out, Tim’s Tavern is in

February 4th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Music, Restaurants, White Center news 3 Comments »

(WCN file photo)

Announced via social media, Tim’s Tavern – formerly an iconic North Seattle hot spot for live music – is taking over the Drunky Two Shoe BBQ spot in downtown White Center:

After almost 2 years of searching for a new location, local music champion and legendary live music dive bar Tim’s Tavern will be moving to White Center and setting up shop at 9655 16th Ave. SW, formerly Drunky’s BBQ.

“The wait is over for Tim’s and we couldn’t be happier with this new space and neighborhood. It’s finally time to rock again!” says co-owner and music curator Matthew “Matto” O’Toole.

The new location will be family- and dog-friendly and will feature live music 7 days a week on their covered/heated outdoor patio stage. Inside you’ll find a small arcade, full dining area, and bar.

Co-owner and Chef Mason Reed has spent the last few years preparing meals backstage as a personal chef for many of music’s major artists that have passed through Oregon and Washington. Reed says, “The food menu will consist of Pacific Northwest pub fare with plenty of plant-based and gluten-free options. We are excited, honored, and proud to be a part of the White Center neighborhood.”

The Tim’s team is planning on a soft opening for the end of March, with a week-long grand-opening celebration planned for early April. Please keep an eye on for further announcements.

Tim’s Tavern closed in Greenwood a year and a half ago – read the backstory here. It’s been six years since Drunky’s took over the site, which previously had been DK Café.

ADDED MONDAY: A commenter asked about the Drunky’s closure. A note on the door says January 31st was their last day.

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County councilmember proposes requiring businesses to accept cash

January 5th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Businesses, King County, White Center news 4 Comments »

From the office of County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, a proposal that would affect White Center and vicinity if passed:

King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles on Thursday introduced legislation to require businesses in unincorporated King County to accept cash. The measure is meant to ensure everyone has access to the economy, especially people who don’t or can’t access bank accounts, credit cards, and other financial instruments.

“When I am out and about, I am finding that more and more businesses are only accepting payment by credit cards or smart phones rather than cash,” Kohl-Welles said. “I believe the trend in this direction is highly problematic as it will prevent many people in our community who do not have bank accounts from participating in the economy. And this isn’t just a novel problem – it has the capacity to further hurt our most marginalized communities from accessing the goods and services they need to survive.”

During and even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses in the Seattle area and beyond began shifting to cashless operation, leaving people who rely on cash with fewer options to purchase goods and services. Research, however, shows that cashless businesses most impact communities of color, seniors, people with disabilities, undocumented residents, refugee and immigrant and communities and low-income communities.

At least 2.1% of Washington residents are unbanked, meaning they don’t have bank accounts, credit cards, or other typical financial services, according to the 2021 FDIC Household Survey. Five-year estimates put that number even higher – at 3.1%. More than 17% of residents are underbanked, meaning they might have a bank account but often rely on alternative financial services, such as money orders, check-cashing services and payday loans.

If applied to King County, these figures mean approximately 67,000 people could be unbanked and more than 380,000 people could be underbanked.

It’s unclear how many – if any – businesses in unincorporated King County have gone cashless, but Kohl-Welles intends the proposal as a tool to anticipate a future issue as this trend continues.

“While it is true that this legislation will only pertain to unincorporated King County, I believe that King County is a trend- and example-setter,” Kohl-Welles said. “I am confident that if this ordinance is approved, we will bring attention on this burgeoning issue to a much wider audience.”

Of those who still use cash for most purchases, the largest shares are people of color and those with the lowest incomes, according to data from the Pew Research Center.

A shift to more cashless businesses would leave these people with fewer and fewer options to make purchases, including for food and essential services.

The legislation would require businesses in unincorporated King County to accept cash for most retail transactions, and to not charge higher prices than for another form of payment. It would allow for retailers to only accept up to $250 in cash payment for single transactions larger than that amount. It would allow for civil actions to be brought by someone whose cash payment was refused.

“Tens of thousands of King County residents are unbanked, especially low-income seniors,” said Katie Wilson, general secretary of the Transit Riders Union. “Already they’re locked out of so much in our high-cost region just because they can’t afford high rents or expensive meals. At the very least, everyone deserves to be able to buy the things they can afford. That’s why TRU supports this important legislation, to make sure that people don’t walk into a store and find out that their cash doesn’t count.”

The proposal (ordinance number 2023-0027) will be referred to the Local Services committee.

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BIZNOTE: New ownership for Dubsea Coffee

January 3rd, 2023 Tracy Posted in Beverages, Businesses, Greenbridge, White Center news 1 Comment »

13 years after its much-awaited opening in Greenbridge, Dubsea Coffee has new ownership. Founder Sibelle Nguyen made the announcement on social media, saying she has “passed the reins of Dubsea to Carrie and Erin Wilkins.” The couple, with a wide range of career and personal experiences, say in the announcement that they “had discussed running a coffee shop for some years.” They recognized Dubsea’s status as a community hub and promise to continue to grow it in that role. In her parting words, Sibelle expresses confidence that will happen, and adds, “Dubsea, both as a space and an intention, has shown me that it is more than possible for people of all walks of life to be together in kindness, sweet joy, creativity, and connection … in other words, a truly loving community.” She also offers words of gratitude to staff, artists, and customers.

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December 23rd, 2022 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Weather, White Center news Comments Off on WHITE CENTER WEATHER: Thaw time

Thanks to the reader who texted photos from downtown White Center this morning – you can see why some businesses stayed closed (or closed early), like Full Tilt Ice Cream

and Proletariat Pizza

Crawfish House is open tonight until 9:

After being suspended all day because of the ice, Metro buses are back tonight, at least the routes on the Emergency Snow Network list are. The temperature is rising slowly and the ice is finally melting, so tomorrow – despite the forecast for rain – should be a better time to get out and do whatever you need to do before Christmas closures!

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FOLLOWUP: Lumber Yard Bar not quite ready to (re)open yet

June 30th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Lumber Yard Bar not quite ready to (re)open yet

(WCN photo, June 11th)

When we got a sneak peek inside the Lumber Yard Bar‘s new downtown location during the White Center Pride Street Festival, its owners told us they hoped to open at least part of the space July 1st. That’s tomorrow – but they’re not quite ready yet. They’re still vowing to open sometime in July. (If you’re just catching up – the new place at 9630 16th SW is across the street from the old spot, one of seven businesses gutted by arson a year ago.)

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FOLLOWUP: New location for the Lumber Yard Bar close to opening

May 23rd, 2022 Tracy Posted in Beverages, Businesses, White Center news 1 Comment »

You have probably noticed the sign is now up at the new location of the Lumber Yard Bar in downtown White Center, almost 11 months after the fire across the street that gutted the original location and other businesses. So we checked in with the proprietors to see how soon they expect to open the new location (9630 16th SW). Reply: “We are hoping to open late next month.”

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REOPENING: Full Tilt Ice Cream in White Center

January 17th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Fire, Food, Full Tilt Ice Cream, White Center news 3 Comments »

(White Center Now/West Seattle Blog photos)

Four months after the fire that gutted the Locker Room Bar and Grill, one of the other businesses affected is about to reopen: Full Tilt Ice Cream‘s flagship location at 9629 16th SW reopens tomorrow (Tuesday, January 18th). We stopped by this evening as they finished getting ready.

That wall is an example of what had to be fixed before Full Tilt could reopen – firefighters had to break through it while working to stop the fire in September. And they’re two doors down from Locker Room; the damage was even worse at neighboring Huong Xua Deli and, on the other side of Locker Room, Bizzarro Italian Café. No updates on them yet (Bizzarro is still open in Wallingford). Full Tilt will reopen with a few new touches – like this Simpsons-themed pinball machine:

Hours will be the same as they were pre-fire – 3 to 8 pm.

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Que Chevere on the way to former Taradise Café in White Center

December 6th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Restaurants, White Center news 8 Comments »

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

The former Taradise Café, closed since last June – weeks before its proprietor’s untimely death – has a new tenant. A restaurant/bar called Que Chevere – “it’s awesome” – will open at 9808 16th SW, possibly as soon as next month.

We talked tonight with entrepreneur Felipe Maqueda, who says this will be his first restaurant. And he’s adamant that while it will include a bar, the food will be the focus, not the drinks. He says Que Chevere will serve “Latino fusion” cuisine, and will be open for lunch as well as dinner, with an international menu created by a chef with experience around the world. The atmosphere will be family-friendly, he promises.

Maqueda – who lives on Beacon Hill – wants Que Chevere to be not simply a restaurant, but also a true community asset. He explains that he has a community-advocacy background, including co-founding the Fiestas Patrias celebration at Seattle Center, and running a soccer program that helps players advance in their education. He also works on Sounders FC’s Spanish-language broadcasts.

He also mentioned a love for music, so we asked if he planned live performances at Que Chevere. Maybe, he said, but they would be more on the “cultural” side – folklorico, for example. He can also envision using the site’s big lot for community events like block parties.

But for now, they’re focusing on remodeling, and getting ready to open. “Hopefully we can bring something good to the community.”

(Before Taradise, the future Que Chevere was the site of Marv’s Broiler for almost 40 years.)

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SATURDAY: White Center CDA to lead ‘Remembrance Walk’

November 30th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center Community Development Association, White Center news Comments Off on SATURDAY: White Center CDA to lead ‘Remembrance Walk’

The White Center Community Development Association invites you to show support Saturday for WC’s struggling small businesses. Here’s the announcement:

We are inviting all White Center community members and storefront supporters to this Remembrance Walk Action Against Commercial Displacement on Saturday, December 4th from 3-5 pm starting on 16th Ave SW and SW 98th St.

We will highlight memories of our beloved storefront businesses and stories of resilience and resistance. We are welcoming people to write fond memories they have with the businesses or any supporting thoughts. While you walk, you will be hearing Evergreen High musicians perform pieces that are inspired by this event.

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FOLLOWUP: Here’s what will happen to the Chase Bank White Center building after the branch closes

November 29th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Here’s what will happen to the Chase Bank White Center building after the branch closes

Following up on our report of the Chase Bank White Center closure in February, we asked the company today what’ll become of the building. The regional spokesperson for Chase replied, ““Following the branch closure, the building will be decommissioned and marketed for sale through an outside real-estate brokerage firm.” The half-acre site is zoned for commercial/business use, according to the King County Assessor’s Office website.

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Chase Bank to close White Center branch next year

November 26th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news 4 Comments »

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)

The Chase Bank branch at 1616 SW 100th is closing in February. That’s what the bank announced in a letter to customers, including Marcus, who tipped us about it. The letter says the banking giant will be “permanently closing” the branch as of February 10, 2022. The letter suggests customers use ATMs or the Westwood Village branch in West Seattle once this branch closes. Property records show Chase owns the building; we’ll be asking them after the holiday what their plans are for the site. Chase closed a branch in West Seattle almost a year ago, in a Morgan Junction supermarket, but still has three freestanding branches there, as well as a branch in Burien, at 222 SW 150th. Meantime, White Center’s bank options are shriveling – you’ll recall the Bank of America branch on 17th SW closed not that long ago.

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November 11th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Beverages, Businesses, White Center news Comments Off on ALMOST OPEN: Lariat Bar

Another new White Center establishment is about to open – Lariat Bar at 9829 16th SW says it’s opening this Saturday (November 13th). Its theme: Pro wrestling.

P.S. They open at 4 pm Saturday.

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PHOTOS: White Center trick-or-treating

October 31st, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Fun, White Center news 2 Comments »

4:42 PM: You have to laugh, or else you’ll cry. We were reminded of that old saying outside still-shuttered Bizzarro Italian Café in White Center this afternoon, where one of the people handing out candy wore a hat of fake flames. White Center’s annual businsss trick-or-treating event, which started at 3 pm, is bigger than ever, despite the fire closures. We walked down the block in the heart of the fire zone, where we also found the Full Tilt Ice Cream team offering treats outside their closed shop. Some businesses have found new homes, like La Tipica Oaxaqueña on the southwest corner of 16th/Roxbury, where a very lively trick-or-treat tent was swarmed. The fun continued southward – outside the 16th entrance to Southgate Roller Rink, and beyond – as well as the other side of 16th; good turnout.

8:12 PM: A few more photos – here are Full Tilt proprietors Ann and Justin’s kids Ruby and Moss helping out:

Christine was in charge of the candy outside Southgate:

And here’s the corner crowd outside La Tipica Oaxaqueña:

Trick-or-treating is over but Halloween revelry continues into the night at venues including Boombox, which has a karaoke costume party going on its patio until 2 am.

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FOLLOWUP: Loans available for small businesses harmed by White Center’s July 5th fire

October 29th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Fire, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Loans available for small businesses harmed by White Center’s July 5th fire

(July 5th White Center Now/West Seattle Blog photo by Patrick Sand)

Following up on part of what was mentioned at the community meeting last week, King County sent word this week that the federal Small Business Administration has declared an Economic Injury Disaster. That means businesses and organizations affected by the July 5th fire can apply for low-interest loans up to $2 million if they have suffered from “substantial economic injury” (here’s the definition, and how to apply). If you’re not eligible, the county is promising “seek out more options for other fire victims.”

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FOLLOWUP: Crowdfunding to help twice-burned Locker Room’s owners

September 13th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Fire, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Crowdfunding to help twice-burned Locker Room’s owners

(WCN/WSB photo by Patrick Sand)

As reported in our original coverage of this morning’s three-alarm White Center fire, it’s the second time in five months that flames have torn through the Locker Room at 9633 16th SW – and this time, it’s a total loss. The owners were “on the cusp of starting to rebuild,” according to a crowdfunding page set up for them. It’s been a rough year, the organizer explains: “To be closed for covid multiple times…the first fire…and now just when it was looking up to start rebuilding…another fire.” Here’s where you can donate.

P.S. Neighboring businesses Bizzarro Italian Café and Huong Xua are both boarded up tonight. Bizzarro’s website says they’ll be closed “for a few weeks”; we’ll continue checking tomorrow on Huong Xua. As for the fire’s cause, we checked again with the FD at day’s end – no determination yet.

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PHOTOS: Block party in downtown White Center, as fire recovery continues

August 29th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Businesses, White Center news 1 Comment »

That’s part of the scene on 16th SW south of Roxbury, closed for a block party until 5 pm to raise money for the half-dozen-plus businesses affected by last month’s arson, as mentioned on today’s preview list. Eat, drink, shop, wander!

Some info: To get in on the raffle/silent auction, go to the breezeway by The Plant Store, midblock – that’s where we found DJ Bugzy Beatdown.

The entertainment schedule for the rest of the afternoon:

Now until 2:10 – selfdoubt
2:30-3:15: Junior on the Prowl
3:30-4:30 DJ DeVonne
5:00 DJ Bugzy Beatdown returns

That’s all midblock. You can also check out B.O.C. Music (3:30-4:30) and Monty Banks (5 pm) at Drunky Two Shoes and then at Southgate Roller Rink, DJ Dan Steely at 5 pm and Kids on Fire at 6 pm.

Another big attraction besides street-fair-style shopping – food. There’s a seating area in the middle of 16th where Chef Brady Ishiwata Williams, who’s about to open Tomo, is grilling.

You can also dine outside Buho and Bizzarro Italian Café.

At the south end of the block, the Home Skillit is offering street food including Louisiana hot links and Seattle Dogs.

This is all community-organized; we talked to the White Center Pride team about what people can do to support the businesses that are still working to get back on their feet.

Come down today, wander around, find out about the new locations some have found, they said. (Their booth is on the east side of the block – look for the rainbows.) Some of those new locations are already open – La Tipica Oaxaqueña moved to the southwest corner of 16th/Roxbury – and some hope to be open soon, like John’s Hair and Nails, moving to 10261 16th SW. And if you’ve got any tips about the arson, you can give them to King County Sheriff’s Office reps in person at the block party!

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