The entire Eastside region is in the midst of rapid growth in population, development and business as rent rates rise, Eastlink progresses and businesses small and large open new locations in every city.
Locals can look forward to experiencing many of the new businesses this summer, some of which are currently operating and some that will soon open, all within Eastside communities.
Issaquah’s Chamber of Commerce has been active in promoting local restaurants and supporting local businesses with its recent Epicurean Experience contest that crowned the city’s best appetizer and dessert.
Vista Prime Steaks and Seafood at the Snoqualmie Casino won the people’s choice and best dessert award, and Levitate Gastropub won the award for best appetizer.
Locals can visit both locations and look forward to another contest next year as the chamber of commerce was excited about the popularity of the event.
Snoqualmie’s Stacey Anderson opened the store in April. Anderson also caters upon request throughout the Eastside through reservations on her website.
Mercer Island’s South End saw a brand new boutique shop that may also expand to the North End. The Boutique Lounge offers a rotating stock of locally sourced gifts and offers a space for shoppers to relax.
“I wanted it to be a community place for people to sit and relax but also shop,” Owner Kerry Donner said. “Finding the perfect gift for someone is always one of my favorite things to do, and I wanted to give people an option for that down here.”
Donner also rents out the space for birthday parties or any community gathering.
Kirkland is one of the busier cities as far as new development with The Village at Totem Lake and Kirkland Urban undergoing the last few stages of construction.
Locals will see a new Tutta Bella location within the Kirkland Urban QFC that offers an in-store restaurant with a wood-burning oven. The location will also allow pick-up orders and eventually deliver to nearby locations.
Kirkland locals will see another summer option as the city implements its plan for car-free Sundays along Park Lane that will run from June 2 to Sept. 22.
“The idea is that Sundays are a family day,” neighborhood services coordinator Christian Knight said. “It’s a day of rest, relaxation and community. It’s sort of consistent with a lot of cultures to use that day as a community building day.”
The Sunday closure closes off Park Lane entrances at 7 a.m. Sunday mornings, leaving exits open so cars parked there overnight can leave without being towed. The roadway becomes a pedestrian zone until the end of the work day when parks maintenance staff reopen the lane to traffic.
Bothell has seen businesses come and go over the past few months as the beloved Country Village closes its doors for the last time and Twin Pines Animal Hospital opens its brick and mortar location.
Locals in Kenmore can boast several new developments including the Flyway, a new mixed-use building that recently began construction, and “Just Get Me Started,” a community-focused business that helps attendees build their hobbies or “just get started” on a new skill.
“I would love for this to take off — this has been my dream and I love it,” Owner Suzanne Tseng said. “Eventually we’ll have a brick and mortar location — that’s my really big dream…to [have] a space where people could come and feel like they could learn something and eventually sell their own creations.”
The business holds two events each week, one focused on building a hobby or focusing on an art project, and one focused on learning a new skill. The city of Kenmore has been supportive of Tseng’s business which is hosted at The Hangar, Kenmore’s community gathering space.
The community-focused business is run by two local entrepreneurs who also own Woodblock in Redmond. Spark Pizza has tried to emulate Frankie’s Pizza and Pasta which shut down in 2016 to make way for a new hotel.
Eastsiders will be able to find another Molly Moon’s location in Bellevue this summer as the popular ice cream shop expands on the Eastside.
“I’m just excited to be able to have a shop closer to where a lot of customers come from,” said owner Molly Neitzel. “The business owners I’ve talked to are all really, really excited about it as well.”