Aster Coffee Lounge to get sidewalk seating

There’s soon to be another option for outdoor seating. Aster Coffee Lounge at 5615 24th Ave NW has been given the green light to add sidewalk seating.

Owner Beth Scribner tells us that they’re going to install fence on the sidewalk and add more tables. Once she gets approval from the Liquor Board, which could come as soon as today, they can start serving beer and wine out there. “That’s the point of it,” she says, “for people to be able to go sip wine and beer and enjoy the outdoors.” The new seating area will be six-feet wide and 34-feet long. Along with the new seating, Beth says that they’re also adding more munchies to their menu like a cheese plate and a meat & cheese plate. They also have happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with discounts on wine and beer. She hopes to have everything ready to go by SeafoodFest, which is next weekend.

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42 thoughts to “Aster Coffee Lounge to get sidewalk seating”

  1. That little place by the Bank of America. I think that's what it's called. Used to be that Norwegian shop before the owners retired.
    Not a great view from the front patio but some interesting people watching. They serve coffee, beer, wine, and food.
    Oh, and they have a fudge counter. :-)

  2. I really don't like them fencing off part of the public right-of-way for their exclusive use. With all sorts of obstructions in the walkway, it just makes it that much harder to navigate as a pedestrian. It is already way too difficult for sight-impaired, or wheelchair bound, or walker-dependent individuals to navigate the sidewalk with street tree wells, sandwich board signs, bike racks. There seem to be so many other uses for sidewalks these days that reduce their utility for their intended users: pedestrians

  3. The sidewalks along 24th are pretty wide in comparison. I do agree some sandwich board signs are a menace. Much more of a menace than outdoor deck areas are, and Copper Gate up the road already has outdoor seating, so why deny Aster?

  4. It's the perfect place to take Evil Nephew after a movie. He can get some fudge and auntie can sit and have a calming beer on the patio.
    I think the patio at Aster would be a similar experience. A place for all ages (and breeds) to sit and relax, and people watch.

  5. Couldn't disagree more! I find it to be the tastiest, most carefully prepared cup in the whole of Ballard. I can't wait enjoy it even more while sitting at their outside patio.

  6. This is great. Aster does a great job at standing out as a great business and feeling very local despite their rather drab condo location. Love the pastries and the beer selection.

  7. This is already decided. Their permit for this was approved, so I cannot deny (even if I had that power). I was expressing my disappointment at the encroachment of the sidewalk at the expense of pedestrians.

    But by extension of your argument, the sidewalks on Market are even wider … OK you can see where I am going with this. I have trouble navigating on the Market sidewalks.

    I just have trouble with businesses staking out property they don't own for their exclusive use to the detriment of the folks (taxpayers of the City of Seattle) who do own the property. If I did this on the sidewalk or parking strip in front of my house, I'm pretty sure my neighbors would be upset about it.

    I should state that my spouse is blind and he has been injured (fortunately so far the worst was a broken collarbone) in the past … he sweeps his cane as he walks, but many times the fencing does not extend to the ground and the cane never touches any thing until he has tripped and fallen into the fenced area.

  8. My apologies, Alysse. Not being blind I can't even imagine the challenges faced by your spouse. And businesses should be more aware of the obstacles they present.
    My main point, though, is Ballard sidewalks are wide in comparison to others. Greenwood/Phinney sidewalks, for example. My mom lives up there and ended up with a foot cast when someone coming out of the Crosswalk knocked her over one of the chairs out there.

  9. The fencing isn't for the use, but a requirement of the liquor board to have alcohol serving areas separate from the general public. I'd much prefer the European model where beer gardens are set up in the park outside the restaurant with no fencing so neighbors can come and go to say hi to their friends relaxing with a drink outdoors.

  10. Equal Exchange is the coffee place in front of the Ballard Market. Glad Aster is adding outside tables so we can stop there during dog walks!

  11. Oh, that's right! Thanks, Hilda. Equal Exchange is the Ballard Market's little coffee place. Then what is the little place by the bank called?

  12. I agree Aster is not super fast, but can't think of any place that gets me reliably in and out if my bus is already squealing down the street. I've always enjoyed their espresso drinks (I'm not sophisticated enough to parse a cup of Clover) and food case.

    I love their beer & wine tastings and friendly staff, too! Although I live closer to Firehouse, Aster is always my preferred stop.

  13. They also do movie nights for free on Friday. They start at 9pm. This month is Mel Brooks month. My wife and I went down last Friday and watch Blazing Saddles, had a nice desert and glass of wine. I believe tomorrow they are showing History of the World Part 1

  14. Frank – I totally agree. WORST coffee in Ballard, and some of the worst coffee I have ever had in Seattle. Seriously undrinkable. I wonder if the fact that their coffee is from Chicago has something to do with it?

    Who in their right mind would open a coffee house in Seattle and serve crummy Chicago coffee?

    Oh, and yes, I do know a little something about coffee. I worked in the Seattle coffee biz for 14 years.

  15. The fact that there is a bus stop there is hardly their concern or responsibility, Rose. Perhaps you can get the 44 to whip through a drive through? Right…not everything happens like Polaroid.
    I don't like the coffee, but, like pizza, etc., it's subjective.
    Glad to have more sidewalk seating available, I love mine, and if folks use it, even better.

  16. Oh, I'd forgotten! Yeah, that's right. First time I went in there they gave me a Old Curiosity Shop bag and said they hadn't gotten their own bags yet.

  17. Well it should be their concern if they want to take advantage of their location.

    I like sidewalk seating so really you can relax.

  18. Sandwich boards are only illegal during the work week via some loophole. Hence they typically are picked up Sunday nights by a pickup truck service. Besides, we've got bigger issues than signage.

  19. Like just about all regulations in this city, they are only enforced when someone complains. Otherwise we go on living in our Libertarian paradise/hell while fooling everyone else into believing it's actually a Liberal paradise/hell.

  20. My only claim to fame is I've been drinking it for 14 years. If this place weren't right by my house, I'd never go there. Being the lazy P.O.S. that I am…sometimes tough to walk an extra block or two.

  21. That's why I patronize Java Bean (just up the street) and Diva Espresso in Greenwood. I appreciate high quality.

    And I'm not a mister, Mister.

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