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An historic Belltown basement where bands like Soundgarden and Pearl Jam got their start is being threatened with sale of the property, which would likely lead to development.

The Black Dog Forge, with its hallowed basement practice room, is currently leased and co-owners Louie Raffloer and Mary Gioia learned on May 18th that they had just two months to vacate the building. The building owners are putting it up for sale. “(I) nearly threw up everything. We were standing in the middle of 25 tons of art supplies. We were very nauseous about that,” Raffloer said.

Raffloer and Gioia operate a blacksmith forge above the basement, and rent the practice space to bands to this day.

For 25 years, the 30-foot basement practice room has been used by artists and musicians including Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, The Briefs and Presidents of The United States of America. “At the time in Belltown, there were bands making noise coming out of windows on every block,” Raffloer said. “There were clubs that blared music out to the street. There was never a class of people that was here to be offended.”

But now this beloved space may be looking at its last days. However, members of the artistic and musical communities are fighting to save it. Charity Drewery, host of Stalking Seattle: A Rock and Roll Tour (which tours the basement and other music landmarks around the city) is attempting to raise money via a GoFundMe in order to buy the building and save it. But with the real estate market as it is, their chances are less than slim. As of the date of this post, only $5,790 of the $4 million goal has been raised.

Drewery has hope, however, “There’s so much money in this city, there’s got to be somebody that would be willing to buy this place and continue to lease it to them,” Drewery said.

Featured photo source: GoFundMe

There is plenty to do in Belltown throughout June, but here are just a few featured food and wine events that you may want to check out…

June 2: First Friday Wine Share
6 – 8:30pm | 2nd Ave and Battery St #109
Each month, a different business or individual in the neighborhood will host the monthly First Friday Wine Share. In June, the theme is Gin and Juice. Check out the details of the event here. Bring a bottle of vino to share and friends welcome!

June 3: Pizza Class
9:50am – 11:30am | Serious Pie Virginia
Serious Pie on Virginia Street is offering a pizza class on Saturday, June 3rd. Learn about the pizza and ingredients used at Serious Pie, plus get hands-on instruction and experience stretching and shaping the pizza dough, topping it with your choice of ingredients, baking and turning it to cook it perfectly, and finally, eating your ‘za with a glass of wine! Classes are limited to 12 people, and the cost is $50/person.

June 3: Free Tour of The Paramount Theatre
10am – 11:30am | The Paramount Theatre
On the first Saturday of each month, The Paramount Theatre offers free tours of its historic facilities. This month, the tour is from 10 a.m. until about 11:30 a.m. on June 3rd. Meet in the main entrance of the theatre by 10 a.m. to participate.

June 4: Vegetable Bounty Sunday Feast at Tavolàta
6pm – 9pm | Tavolàta in Belltown
Tavolàta’s Sunday Dinner for June features 10 dishes, plus sides with a bounty of summer veggies! This family-style dinner includes seven courses. Dinner is at 6 p.m., and the meal is $70 per person. Reservations are required, so call 206-838-8008 to reserve your spot.

June 9: Belltown Art Walk
6 – 9pm | Belltown Community Center
Belltown’s June Art Walk begins at the Belltown Community Center then sends walkers off to local businesses, galleries, dive bars and venues to enjoy works by local artists. Start at the neighborhood community center to pick up a gallery map and snacks between 6 and 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 9th, and then wander throughout Belltown to check out the work of various artists and establishments participating in this monthly event.

June 22: Woodinville Whiskey Dinner
6:30pm – 9pm | Dahlia Lounge
Dahlia Lounge welcomes Woodinville Whiskey Co. in June for a specialty pairing dinner on the 22nd. Chef Kyle Johnson has prepared an epic feast to compliment the stunning local whiskies from Woodinville Whiskey Co. Tickets are $100 per person – purchase tickets here.

Featured photo source: TomDouglas.com

There have been five shootings in just three days recently in Seattle, with the latest occurring last Friday, May 5th at about 1:40 a.m. in Belltown. Police received reports of gunfire near First Avenue and Blanchard Street, and when they arrived on the scene, they found a 27-year-old male victim with gunshot wounds to his chest and leg.

The wounds were described by medics as ‘grazing’ and the man’s injuries overall were not considered life-threatening.

Although officers received conflicting witness information about the altercation that led to the shooting, they believe it was provoked after a fight that took place in front of the Amber Nightclub in the 2200 block of First Avenue in Belltown. According to reports, the shooting victim was involved in the fight, but he ran into a nearby parking lot. He was chased by the second man involved in the fight, who then shot the victim before fleeing the scene.

“It was pretty lively out here,” said witness Nathan Harris. “I was having my last cigarette of the night, and then I heard two, three gunshots. And after that I just saw everyone running in different directions.”

SPD detectives are still working to identify and contact the suspect in this shooting.

Friday morning’s shooting in Belltown occurred within the same 24-hour period of two other shootings in Seattle (the previous two events resulted in a total of four victims). This increase in shootings has SPD ramping up patrols, but Friday’s shooting occurred less than a day after Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole announced around-the-clock patrols due to shootings.

“We are outraged by the gun violence, and neither our department nor our community will tolerate it,” O’Toole said in a statement issued Thursday.

Featured photo source: KomoNews.com

If you’ve been bumping along on your commute through Belltown for the past few months, your ride is about to get a lot smoother! The Seattle Department of Transportation started a major repaving project along Third Avenue this morning, where there has been a serious pothole problem.

The potholes are particularly bad along Third Avenue, due to its higher bus traffic and everyday wear-and-tear. The tough freezing this winter caused quite a bit of pavement cracking as well, which has been exacerbated by the impact vehicle traffic.

Construction will take place along Third Avenue between Virginia and Broad Streets.

SDOT expects this to be a 10 month project, and part of the reason for the long timeline is to reduce the impact on traffic. In order to work, SDOT will need to close the avenue down to a single lane in each direction at work sites. They are also dividing road closures for the project into intersections to reduce the impact on traffic.

Although it’s going to cause traffic headaches, it’s very, very necessary. Right now, “It’s like going through a slalom course!” one driver said.

Featured photo source: Kiro7.com

Food and art events are the name of the game for things to do in Belltown in May! Check out some of our featured favorites…

May 3: Cinerama Anime Festival Closing Night
12pm | Cinerama
Seattle Cinerama is completing its first ever Anime Movie Festival on May 3rd. Now through the last day, get your tickets for films such as Ponyo, Ghost in the Shell, Akira, Pom Poko and more. Tickets are $16 for each showing, and reserved seating is available. In honor of the event, the nearby Tom Douglas restaurant TanakaSan is offering a special menu inspired by the anime films.  

May 4: Free Tour of The Paramount Theatre
10am – 11:30am | The Paramount Theatre
On the first Saturday of each month, The Paramount Theatre offers free tours of its historic facilities. This month, the tour is from 10 a.m. until about 11:30 a.m. on May 4th. Meet in the main entrance of the theatre by 10 a.m. to participate.

May 6: Pizza Class
9:50am – 11:30am | Serious Pie Virginia
Serious Pie on Virginia Street is offering a pizza class on Saturday, May 6th. Learn about the pizza and ingredients used at Serious Pie, plus get hands-on instruction and experience stretching and shaping the pizza dough, topping it with your choice of ingredients, baking and turning it to cook it perfectly, and finally, eating your ‘za with a glass of wine! Classes are limited to 12 people, and the cost is $50/person.

May 7: Foraged Feast at Tavolàta
6pm – 9pm | Tavolàta in Belltown
Tavolàta’s Sunday Dinner for this month features foraged goods, from mushrooms and nettles to ramps and sea beans! It’s perfect for springtime sampling.  This family-style dinner includes seven courses. Dinner is at 6 p.m., and the meal is $75 per person. Reservations are required, so call 206-838-8008 to reserve your spot.

May 9: Fresh off the Farm Bale Breaker Dinner
6pm – 9pm | Dahlia Lounge
Experience the ultimate farm-to-table dinner on Tuesday, May 9th at Dahlia Lounge, with the Fresh Off the Farm Bale Breaker Dinner. This is a one-of-a-kind meal, with brews from Bale Breaker paired with dishes featuring ingredients from Tom Douglas Restaurants’ Prosser Farm. Check out the menu and beer pairings here. The cost is $60 per person, which includes tax and gratuity.  

May 5: First Friday Wine Share
6 – 8:30pm | Location TBD
Each month, a different business or individual in the neighborhood will host the monthly First Friday Wine Share. Stay tuned for May’s location. Bring a bottle of vino to share and friends welcome!

May 12: Belltown Art Walk
6 – 9pm | Belltown Community Center
Belltown’s May Art Walk begins at the Belltown Community Center then sends walkers off to local businesses, galleries, dive bars and venues to enjoy works by local artists. Start at the neighborhood community center to pick up a gallery map and snacks between 6 and 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 12th, and then wander throughout Belltown to check out the work of various artists and establishments participating in this monthly event.