Whole Foods sued for breaking Interbay lease

Whole Foods is being sued by the Interbay Urban Center for breaking their lease, according to a lawsuit that was filed in King County Superior Court.

The lawsuit claims Whole Foods owes the Interbay Urban Center $68 million in damages, raising doubts that the new store may never open. Our sister site Magnolia Voice broke the story this afternoon, and they have more details on the lawsuit and the potential fallout.

Pet boutique coming to Market Street

“I noticed that the first story or two of the building across the street from Ballard Blossom is all boarded up. I’m curious what’s going on there,” GB emailed us. So we did some checking.

According to the employees at Epilogue books and Ballard Blossom, a pet boutique is going in there. The gals didn’t remember the name of the shop but said that there are several other locations in the city.

Archie McPhee is moving to Wallingford

Exclusive: Archie McPhee’s is moving to the NE corner of Stone Way and 45th in Wallingford, says store spokesman David Wahl. A liquor store currently occupies the site. “We don’t have a solid date yet, (and) it depends on when we can get occupancy and finish painting and such,” Wahl explains to My Ballard, estimating it will be around the middle of next year. You may remember Archie McPhee’s original home was on Stone Way in Fremont, so it’s new location will be close by. Two weeks ago, the Ballard store said it was leaving the neighborhood after the land’s owner said he would not renew McPhee’s lease beyond a month-to-month agreement.

Fremont Universe: Technically Wallingford, but can we call it Fremont?

Shiku Sushi’s first night in Ballard

Shiku held its “soft opening” on Monday night along Ballard Ave.

The sushi restaurant’s specialty is Izakaya, or Japanese tapas, like organic vegetable tempura, Kakuni pork and foil poached salmon. We had the pan roasted halibut cheeks with Shiitaki mushroom ragout and it was terrific.

But this is a sushi restaurant, and if you’re looking for the traditional fare, you won’t be disappointed. The fish was incredibly fresh as well as affordable by Seattle standards: an order of tuna sushi (two pieces) costs $5. An order of uni costs $6. We also had a “ninja roll,” which is a double-wrapped spicy tuna roll breaded in panko and lightly fried, for $9.50.

Shiku also features a full bar with a big flat screen. Owner Rob Kim (seen at the bar) kept things running smoothly on opening night. All in all, sushifans will rejoice. But be warned: Shiku’s doesn’t accept reservations, so getting one of the few tables may become a challenge on busy nights.

Also: NWSource has the back story on Shiku and soon-to-open Moshi Moshi, which are just a couple doors down from each other.

Monotonix takes to Ballard streets, turns heads

The “famously insane band” known as Monotonix played at the Sunset Tavern on Sunday afternoon. Actually, they decided to play in front of the Sunset. One thing led to another, and before long, half-naked band members were clamoring up street signs and creating a ruckus at Market St. and Ballard. Ave.

“As the singer climbed up the street lamp and the drummer kept banging on the drums, clueless witnesses stepped out of the shops and restaurants to see what the f— was going on,” explains Megan Seling on The Stranger’s Line Out blog. “It was one of the most exciting live music experiences in recent memory, but I can’t tell you anything about the music.” You can see more photos (may not be safe for work) right here. (Photo courtesy: Megan Seling)

Green cottages almost ready

The 60th Street Cottages at 22nd Ave. & 60th St. that we wrote about earlier this year are scheduled to be complete early next month.

The 4-star green certified homes are billed as an alternative to the cookie-cutter townhouses. It’s high-density living without the shared walls, although the 9 homes sit just feet from each other.

Prices for the 2-bedroom, 1000 square foot cottages start at $429,000, down from the $450,000-$500,000 advertised in the spring.

Food and wine boutique opening on Phinney

That’s right, a “food and wine boutique” called Picnic will open today in a retail space beneath the Fini Condos at the corner of Greenwood Ave. and 68th St. on Phinney Ridge. Picnic will feature a full wine bar as well as organic soups, salads and sandwiches. They’re open at 11 a.m. today, closed tomorrow to regroup after today’s “soft opening” and then they’ll reopen on Wednesday. More details and a sneak peek inside on PhinneyWood.

Homeless car camp hygiene station unveiled

As promised, the “Ballard Homes for All Coalition” took the wraps off a prototype of a mobile hygiene station at the Sustainable Ballard Festival. BHAC would like to deploy hygiene stations in homeless car camps of 3-4 vehicles each. There are an estimated 50 “homeless car campers” in the neighborhood.

Here’s the first hygiene station, “Rover 1,” which was built with the help of Sustainable Ballard and UW architecture students.

It’s essentially a traveling shower with a sink and toilet (to be installed).

Here’s an artist’s rendering of a homeless car camp. The fence would pull together and lock at night. The hygiene station would provide light inside.

Some Ballard residents wrote comments in our earlier story saying they’re worried where the camps will be located and the security of the surrounding neighborhood. This chart, posted at the festival, illustrates possible locations in church parking lots throughout Ballard (each location is made up of four dots). But no locations have been decided yet. Even the Our Lady of the Redeemers Church, which was floated as a possible site, said they would hold community meetings before considering allowing a car camp in their parking lot.

As for security, BHAC says car campers “will go through a screening process prior to being allowed to park at a host site.” And an outreach worker will visit each site on a regular basis. We’ll keep you updated on this story and let you know when the first location(s) are selected.

Update: See the map full screen for better detail.

Scenes from Sustainable Ballard Festival

What a beautiful weekend for the annual Sustainable Ballard Festival at Ballard Commons Park. We just returned from the event with a few photos. (If you missed it today, the event runs 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, too).

There’s a lot to see at the “home-grown, hands-on, human-powered” festival. There are over 50 booths with demonstrations, food, games and music.

This woman gave a solar-powered, electric scooter a swing.

In the Urban Farm Zone, homeowners learned how they could put goats to work to cut down on the weeds. There were rabbits, too.

The Eat Local Now booth features live cooking demonstrations.

This guy was wearing 500 plastic grocery bags — the number he says an average family uses each year — to encourage folks to switch to reusable grocery bags.

Sustainable Ballard wouldn’t be complete without the Conference Bike.

Plenty of electric and biodiesel vehicles are on display.

And right next door, skaters catch some air under a Ralph Nader sign. Lots more info about Sustainable Ballard and the festival right here.