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A neighbourhood guide to Seattle’s Pike-Pine Corridor
Ask anyone who’s visited Seattle about Pike Street and they’re likely to mention the Pike Place Market, the city’s most popular tourist attraction. But ask the locals, and they’ll direct you due east from downtown up to Capitol Hill, to the Pike-Pine Corridor.
Pike and Pine possesses more street cred than any other Seattle neighbourhood (other than the Central District), home to names like Jimi and Quincy – though the Hendrix statue kneels on Broadway, one block north of Pine Street. The music continues to pulse on Pine inside Linda’s Tavern, the bar founded by Linda Derschang with Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman as a place to hang out when they weren’t going to so-called grunge shows around the city.
Pavitt and Poneman went on to found Sub Pop Records, signing Nirvana and Pearl Jam, among many others. Derschang then developed Chop Suey and Baltic Room in what was, in the ‘90’s, a derelict section of town occupied by warehouses and auto shops. Today, Chop Suey continues to book the freshest music from around the globe and Baltic Room remains a favourite dance club, though their founder has since sold.
Derschang’s more recent project, Oddfellows, has given the Pike-Pine Corridor “its own cafeteria,” while Elliot Bay Books – arguably Seattle’s best bookshop – has relocated just down 10th Avenue to join the many other galleries and boutiques that line the block. Molly Moon’s Ice Cream, where Seattleites line up to order strawberry ice cream drizzled with reduced balsamic vinegar, moved in around the corner.
Melrose Market, located near Baltic Room, represents the new Pike-Pine Corridor. This cornucopia spills over with seasonal sandwiches from Homegrown, and fine wines from Bar Ferdinand and Sitka & Spruce, Matt Dillon’s relocated restaurant that launched Seattle’s current culinary reputation for fresh regional cuisine, reimagined.
The Pike-Pine Corridor also hosts several food truck enterprises turned brick and mortar cafes like Rancho Bravo Tacos – which started within a trailer in a north Seattle neighbourhood – and Skillet, which launched in a roving truck and has quickly become the hip breakfast spot in this trendiest of locales.
Several other surprises have also arrived. Cascina Spinasse proffers the city’s finest homemade pastas for all to see in the open kitchen. The Menu Degustazione, (a tasting menu served family-style) blows people away, though it may prove challenging to stand at dinner’s end, let alone walk back down Pine.
When the sun sets, the Pike-Pine Corridor fills with revellers to create Seattle’s primary nocturnal environment. But day or evening, weekday or weekend, you can still hoof it up the hill for a leisurely food crawl across the city’s coolest hood.
Written by Crai Bower