Fred Meyer raises age to buy a gun to 21

Joining Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart, Kroger-owned Fred Meyer is raising the minimum age to buy a gun in its stores to 21.

The company said it had already stopped selling assault-style weapons several years ago (except in its Alaska store, which will now stop selling them.)

Kroger said “recent events demonstrate the need for additional action.”

Fred Meyer has stores in both Ballard and Greenwood.

Frankie & Jo’s opening on Friday

Capitol Hill’s popular vegan ice cream shop Frankie & Jo’s is opening its Ballard location this Friday, March 2nd, just in time for spring.

The small shop is located right next door to Rosellini’s along NW 70th St. near 14th Ave., joining other Ballard hot spots Delancey, Essex, Rosellini’s and Brunswick & Hunt.

“Frankie & Jo’s Ballard is on one of our favorite streets in the city! It is also the street where owners Kari Brunson and Autumn Martin first met,” their website explains. “This shop will have all of your favorite flavors from Capitol Hill, a secret succulent garden and lots more pints to take to go.”

Autumn is the founder of another Ballard establishment, Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery on Ballard Ave., which happens to be across the street from the new ice cream shop, Salt & Straw.

Frankie & Jo’s makes everything from scratch (this old Kickstarter video is a great introduction), and unlike other ice cream shops, their small-batch, plant-based ice cream does not contain milk, egg or gum stabilizers. They use gluten-free, vegan ingredients like chewy brownie chunks, tahini fudge, fluffy cakes with ganache, shortbread cookies and activated charcoal caramel.

Flavors include Salty Caramel Ash, Brown Sugar Vanilla, Jamoca Chaga Fudge, Chocolate Date and Beet Strawberry Rose sorbet, to name a few.

The waffle cones are made from scratch using maple syrup, oat flour and brown sugar.

It’s interesting to note this narrow stretch of 70th St. has become a foodie destination, especially with the addition of Frankie & Jo’s — which often attracts lines in Capitol Hill.

Starting Friday, Frankie & Jo’s will be open 7 days a week from noon-11 p.m.

Dockside Cannabis coming soon to Leary Way

Conveniently located across the street from Giddy Up Burgers on NW Leary Way, Dockside Cannabis is hard at work on its third location in the Seattle area.

The building at 4601 NW Leary Way is getting an extensive makeover, but co-owner Maria Moses tells My Ballard they’re hoping to open as soon as April. Dockside Cannabis already has stores in Sodo and Shoreline (pictured below).

“Dockside started out as Dockside Co-op, a medical marijuana dispensary, in March 2011,” explains Moses. “Our first location was just down the street on 36th & Greenwood in Fremont. Also, two of the three owners (me included) have been Frelard area residents for over 18 years. So we’re really excited to be back in the neighborhood.”

On its website, Dockside says it’s active in its communities, sending out a “green team” to pick up trash and a “street team” to work to “promote health relationships between our business and neighbors.” It also offers free Cannabis 101 classes, and it hosts talks at local senior centers.

If you’re interested, Dockside has just posted job openings for the new store.

It looks like Crooked Nail has closed

The neighborhood bar Crooked Nail, which is a bit off the beaten path at the corner of NW 56th St. and 17th Ave. NW, has apparently closed its doors for good.

The news first appeared in the My Ballard Facebook Group, and the business is not answering its phone or email. Its Facebook page has been removed.

We discovered a liquor license application for the same address for a new establishment called “Corner Shot” under the name of Kacy Fitch, co-owner of the Zig Zag Cafe in Pioneer Square. So there’s a good chance Crooked Nail will become Corner Shot, just in time for the big Valdok development to open across the street.

Neighbors in the My Ballard Group had only good things to say about the Crooked Nail, which had been developing a steady clientele since it opened last year. However the location has been challenging for former tenants over the years.

Heritage Distilling to open Ballard location

Ballard isn’t just about beer. The most awarded craft distillery in the country, Gig Harbor-based Heritage Distilling is planning to open a space in Ballard.

“It’s true, we are opening a production facility, tasting room and retail space in Ballard in late spring 2018,” said Hannah Hanley, Heritage’s chief marketing officer when we spotted the company’s application for a liquor license.

They’ll be opening at 1836 NW Market St., right next to Ballard Blossom.

Heritage sells hand-crafted, small batch spirits — vodka, whiskey, gin and bourbon. It’s Brown Sugar Bourbon (BSB) is especially popular.

“We manage the entire process of making our spirits by hand – from identifying and working directly with the farmers growing our grains, to ensuring the purity of our water source, to milling the grain, making our own mash and wort and running our own custom made stills,” explains the Heritage website.

The company already has locations in Gig Harbor, Roslyn and Eugene, and it also plans to open a Capitol Hill location this spring.

New Seasons still plans to open Ballard store despite ‘strategic shift’

New Seasons announced the departure of its CEO today in a “strategic shift” that will close one California store and halt the opening of three others in the state.

Despite the changes, the company said it’s moving ahead with its new locations in Ballard and the Central District. The Portland-based company is “increasing investments in core stores and local communities,” according to a press release (.pdf).

New Seasons employees have been working toward unionizing and filed a complaint against the company in December, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. The paper quoted an employee who said she hopes the shift will bring positive changes for employees.

The Ballard store is coming together at 907 NW Ballard Way — the sign is up — with the goal to open this spring. PCC plans to open a new store a few blocks away in spring of next year.

(Full disclosure: Both New Seasons as well as the “Good Jobs Coalition” — which opposes New Seasons opening in the Central District — are My Ballard advertisers)

Scout & Molly’s boutique opens in Old Ballard

In the space between the Other Coast Cafe and Re-soul, a new boutique has opened for business in Old Ballard (at 5317 Ballard Ave NW).

Scout & Molly’s features upscale women’s fashion “tailored to the distinct style of Seattle” and a team of personal stylists to attend to shoppers. It’s the first Seattle outpost for the boutique, which has a few dozen stores nationwide.

The Ballard shop is owned by Magnolia residents Marc & Nikki Harpster.

“Part of the mission of Scout & Molly’s founder Lisa Kornstein is to establish meaningful relationships with long-term clients and become a trusted resource for local shoppers,” said Nikki Harpster. “We aim to make every woman who walks in feel like they’re shopping with their best friends, and we focus on personal touches such as a phone call to let you know a new shipment from your favorite brand just arrived.”

While the shop has quietly opened, the Harpsters invite neighbors to attend its official grand opening on Saturday, February 24th from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for music, snacks and raffle prizes.

(Photos from the Scout & Molly’s of Ballard Facebook page)

‘Salt & Straw’ founder returns to Ballard to open new shop next week

Seven years ago, Kim Malek sold her Ballard home, held a garage sale and moved to Portland. Together with some cash from her 401K, she scraped together enough money to open Salt & Straw, a handmade, small-batch ice cream shop in Portland’s Arts District.

“It’s all thanks to Ballard,” she laughs inside Salt & Straw’s brand new location in Old Ballard. Together with her co-founder Tyler Malek — who grew up in Snohomish — they’ll open for business at 5420 Ballard Ave. on February 9th. A week later, they’re opening a Capitol Hill location.

“For both of us, coming to Seattle is like coming home,” Kim said. “I spent every weekend at the Ballard Farmer’s Market. Being on this street is just a dream for me.”

From its humble beginnings in Portland, Salt & Straw attracted long lines and grew quickly, adding locations in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. The new shop in Ballard is their largest so far, and in keeping with its Portland roots, it will feature new flavors created in collaboration with local artisans, farmers and producers.

“(In Seattle) there are so many people to work with and so much inspiration,” Tyler said, recalling the taste of salted caramels from Fran’s Chocolates when he was younger. “It’s like a homecoming.”

When they open, they’ll feature five Seattle chocolate flavors from the likes of Fran’s, Theo’s and Intrigue’s Chocolate, just in time for Valentines Day. This part of the menu changes every four weeks, and Tyler said there are many more collaborations to come, including a flavor from chef Renee Erickson as well as ice creams created with local roasters… and breweries.

“We want to have a hyperlocal feel,” he said.

The store will also feature Salt & Straw’s classic flavors like Double Fold Vanilla, Chocolate Gooey Brownie, Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons and Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache — 11 in all. Prices range from $4.95 for a single scoop ($3.95 for kids) up to $11.45 for a “tasting flight” of flavors.

Salt & Straw sells a few sweets from Seattle producers, as well take-home pints and merchandise (even ice cream socks.)

Just in time for spring, the shop opens next Friday. The late-night crowd will be happy to know its hours will be from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week

Ballard food blogger launches ‘Not Without Salt Shop’ and her own video show

It’s hard to tell how Ballard entrepreneur Ashley Rodriguez finds time to do it all.

She created a very popular food blog (Not Without Salt), wrote a book (Date Night In) and started selling her own salts and cookie mixes. Then she’s started her own space at the corner of 3rd Ave. NW and 65th St., Not Without Salt Shop, where she hosts workshops and meal events. And now she’s launching a new video show, Kitchen Unnecessary.

Both the shop and her upcoming video show will be celebrated in a private launch party this Saturday afternoon.

“That’s a good question,” she responded when we asked how’s she able to do it all. “First of all, I have an incredibly supportive husband who helps in everything I do. When you make your passion your work it doesn’t even feel like work. I’m so excited to get up and start tackling the to do list,” Rodriguez said. “Except the laundry. That is never done.”

“With this new project, Kitchen Unnecessary, it feels like we’re making our dream our career and that is incredibly exciting,” she said.

The show (watch the preview) features Rodriguez venturing into the outdoors — rain, shine or snow — to cook and enjoy a seasonal local meal. The first episode, which was shot in the woods outside Port Ludlow, will be shown at Saturday’s event.

A 10-year resident of Ballard, Rodriguez says she loves the neighborhood.

“I am so excited to dig deeper into this community with the Not Without Salt Shop (above),” she said. “I love food but what I really love is feeding people, and now I have a beautiful 12-foot long table to fill. We plan to host private dinners, workshops and fun pop-ups. I’m eager to build relationships around the table.”

(Photos from @KitchenUnnecessary and @NotWithoutSaltShop on Instagram.)

‘The Ice Box’ arcade opens in old Allied Ice spot, bowling may be next

Over 45 years ago at the edge of Ballard and Fremont, Allied Ice was born, providing blocks of ice for the fleet of nearby fishing boats. As time went on, the business grew, delivering ice all over the Northwest to stores, sporting facilities and festivals.

Then in 2012, the business sold, and the Allied Ice facilities went up for lease.

Now the manufacturing space — tucked behind the Allied Ice home at 615 NW Bright St. — has become the home of “The Ice Box,” a new arcade packed full of pinball machines and vintage video arcade games. To find it, just follow the artificial-grass-covered driveway to the back.

“I think we have more pinball machines than anywhere but the Seattle Pinball Museum,” said the Ice Box’s Tyler Morgan when we visited on Friday morning. Unlike the museum, there’s no entrance fee, and games cost 50 cents and up. With 30 machines and counting, Morgan said the plan is have as many as 100 pinball machines in all.

The founders have been running an arcade leasing business, and the new space doubles as a repair shop. We spotted several pinball machines opened wide, wires spilling out underneath. Several vintage video games were squirreled away in a side room, their monitors dead. Morgan said the selection constantly changes, as new games come and go.

The Ice Box opened two weeks ago, and Morgan says the reception so far as been good, “mostly from the pinball community.”

But the arcade’s aspirations go beyond pinball. Morgan said they’re thinking about opening a two-lane bowling alley in a boxcar as well as a putt-putt golf course on the roof.

The Ice Box is open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and keep an eye on the arcade’s Facebook page for upcoming competitions and events.

(Thanks Derek and Leslie for the tips!)