Last-minute shoppers bustle through Ballard

The busiest spot in Ballard today must have been Fred Meyer.

With no parking spots throughout, cars circled endlessly. In this case, a car parked up on the curb where the parking spot was too narrow. Inside, the checkers were operating at high-speed to process the crowds.

Ballard Market was busy, as well. In Central and Old Ballard, the crowds were not nearly as crazy, but parking was still tough. It’s still too early to tell how this holiday season stacks up, but one retailer told us sales have been brisk.

We’ll post an update after the holidays.

Christmas weekend business hours

With Christmas right around the corner, many businesses will be changing their weekend hours. Here is a look at what is open and closed Christmas weekend.

Ballard Bros. Seafood (5305 15th Ave. NW) – Open 11-8 on Friday, noon-8 p.m. on Christmas.

Ballard Fred Meyer (915 NW 45th St) – Open until 6pm on Friday, Closed all day Christmas.

Ballard QFC (5700 24th Ave NW) – Open until 6pm Friday, Closed all day Christmas, Re-opens at 6am Sunday

Ballard Market (1400 NW 56th St) – Open until 6pm on Friday, Closed all day Saturday, Re-opens at 7am Sunday

Ballard Safeway (15th & Market) – Open until 7pm on Friday, Open from 8am – 5pm Christmas, Re-opens at 6am Sunday

Crown Hill Safeway (15th & 85th St) – Open until 7pm on Friday, Closed all day Christmas, Re-opens at 6am Sunday

Sunset Hill Green Market (64th & 32nd Ave NW) – Open until 5pm on Friday, Closed all day Christmas

Trader Joe’s (14th & Ballard Way) – Open until 6pm on Friday, Closed all day Christmas

Take 5 Urban Market (6757 8th Ave NW) – Open until 6pm on Friday, Closed all day Christmas

Aster Coffee (5615 24th Ave NW) – Open from 8am – 4pm Friday, Closed all day Christmas

Café Besalu (5909 24th Ave NW) – Open until 3pm on Friday then will be closed for a few weeks.

Cugini Café (5306 Ballard Ave) – Open until 1 or 2pm depending on business on Friday, Closed all day Christmas

Cupcake Royale (2052 NW Market St) – Open until 6pm on Friday, Closed all day Christmas

Sip and Ship (1752 NW Market St) – Open until 5pm on Friday, Closed all day Christmas and Sunday

Starbucks (2204 NW Market St) – Open from 7am – 4pm on Christmas Day

Tully’s Coffee (2060 NW Market St) – Open from 7am – 6pm on Christmas Day

Majestic Bay Theater (2044 NW Market St) – Open all day Christmas, check majesticbay.com for showtimes

Walgreens (15th & Market) – Open for 24 hours

Honore (1413 NW 70th St) – Open until 1 p.m. on Christmas Eve, closed until Jan. 11th.

Metro Transit will be using the reduced weekday schedule on Christmas Eve and the Sunday schedule on Christmas day

For last minute grocery shopping needs on Christmas day, the Ballard Safeway appears to be one of the few places that will be open.

Starbucks and Tully’s will hold regular business hours on the 24th, and most other businesses will hold regular Sunday hours on the 26th.

Did we forget a coffee shop? Let us know in comments below! We’ll add it to the list.

Bus stops removed along 24th Ave NW

A hand full of bus stops along 24th Ave NW have been shut down to create better flow for Route 75.

Metro Transit removed eight stops on Route 75 and 18 on 24th to “help buses move faster and operate on a more reliable schedule, reduce energy consumption and emissions, and reduce Metro’s operating and maintenance costs,” the website states.

A total of 27 bus stops of the 168 from NW Market St to Pend Oreille Rd were shut down a few days ago. According to Metro, this change affects approximately 5% of Route 75 riders. But as a result, Metro says, the riders should have a faster, more reliable trip.

Wondering if your stop is closed? Here’s the list. (Thanks Caliope for posting this in the forum.)

Thai Siam offering free Christmas dinner

For the 23rd year, Thai Siam (8305 15th Ave NW) is offering free Christmas dinner for those who won’t otherwise have a festive holiday meal. While they generally feed a few hundred people, last year 800 people showed up.

“At Thai Siam we receive so much love and support from our wonderful customers and community,” owner Ott Pinbang tells us. “We believe that it is our mission and responsibility to reach out, to spread our love, care and help to others, especially those who are in need, like a chain of love.”

Thai Siam will be serving up a traditional American dinner with turkey and gravy, meatloaf, mash potatoes, roasted squash and vegetable, corn, stuffing, roll, cranberries sauce, apple pie, pumpkin pie, cookies, tea, coffee, juice, and milk. Diners will also get free sandwich and some cookies to take home for later.

The free dinner is Christmas day from noon to 2 p.m.

Ballardite wins big once again on Jeopardy

Update: He won again on Wednesday night.

He’s into Watergate, he knows the name of an early editor of Cosmo and, of course, he knew the answer to tonight’s Final Jeopardy.

Ballardite Tom Nissley is the Jeopardy champion for the sixth day winning $32,401 tonight alone. Tonight’s clue:

Thomas Huxley & Samuel Wilberforce were among the Oxford Museum speakers debating this theory June, 30th 1860.

Nissley’s grand total for the six days is $184,203.

Paseo taking a winter break

Ballard’s favorite eatery is once again taking a lengthy winter break.

The sign on the Fremont Paseo.
The popular Cuban/Caribbean sandwich shop at 6226 Seaview Ave will be closed until the first of February. The Fremont location at 4225 Fremont Ave N. is also closed. Of course if you’re looking for alternatives, you can always check out the MyBallard restaurant guide.

Ballard man surpasses $150,000 on Jeopardy

Nobody can stop Ballardite Tom Nissley, who won his fifth consecutive Jeopardy tonight with a bang. Behind a bit for the final question, Nissley bet it big when the category was “20th Century Novelists.” Not a bad bet for Nissley, who works at Amazon.com and edits the Omnivoracious blog.

The only contestant to nail the answer (“Who is William Somerset Maugham?”), Nissley vaulted into even bigger money — now standing at $151,802. While Nissley is a rising Jeopardy star, he still has a long ways to unseat the all-time champion, Ken Jennings, who won 74 consecutive episodes in 2004 for a total of $3,022,700 in winnings.

Zoo admission goes up next year

To help offset increasing operating costs, the Woodland Park Zoo is upping admission starting early next year.

Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Beginning on January 3, 2011, winter admission fees will increase from $11 to $11.50 for adults and from $8 to $8.50 for children ages 3 to 12. On May 1, the summer season rates will go up from $16.50 to $17.50 for adults and from $11 to $11.50 for children ages 3 to 12. Toddlers 2 and under are free. Seniors and people with physical disabilities will continue to receive a $2 discount and zoo members receive free admission year round. Also effective on January 3 is a 25 cent increase in parking to accommodate the City of Seattle’s parking tax. Parking will be $5.25.